CIS Computing & Information Services

Visualization

CCV provides a wide range of visualization services, including:

  • immersive high-end centralized visualization technology,
  • expertise in graphics software and packages,
  • custom software development.

We can also provide consultation on developing and implementing advanced visualization technology within the research labs and work environments across campus. If you would like more information on CCV's visualization services, please contact info@ccv.brown.edu.

Below are examples of the services we currently provide:

The YURT

CCV's state of the art virtual reality theater displays over a million pixels and consists of 69 full HD projectors driven by 20 nodes of the CCV HPC cluster. The projectors display onto 145 mirrors covering a 360 degree surface including overhead and underfoot. At normal viewing distances, the pixels are smaller than are resolvable by the human retina. The screen consists of translucent polycarbonate. The front wall is 25 feet long and 8 feet high and spans 180 degrees of view. The screens are suspended, along with half of the projectors, from an aluminum superstructure, with a catwalk for maintenance.

YURT photos

The blending and warping that create one image from many projectors is proprietary, from the Scalable Display company, but this library has been licensed to be incorporated into many different applications and software libraries. Many of the applications that run in the YURT use vrg3d, a virtual reality graphics package developed and maintained in the Computer Science department. Other scientific and analysis packages have already been successfully incorporated into the YURT, including Blender, a popular open-source 3D modeling game engine, and Paraview, a widely-used scientific graphics and analysis package. These open up the YURT to use by a large body of users of these packages.

We are looking for projects to take advantage of this unique technological including both for teaching and for research. For further information contact the CCV at info@ccv.brown.edu.

General information on Caves and projects involving the Cave:

The Cave

CCV's original fully immersive display system is a Tan "vr-Cube", which we call the Cave (CAVE is an acronym for "Cave Automatic Virtual Environment" which is now trademarked by FakeSpace Systems, Inc.).

The Cave is an 8' cube with projected images on the front, left and right walls, as well as the floor. CrystalEyes LCD-shutter glasses provide stereo depth-perception, and a variety of Intersense and Polhemus tracking devices allow software to track the position of a user's hand, head, wand, etc. The Cave also has a multi-speaker sound system that provides positional audio.

This system is provided as a resource that all researchers and educators at Brown can use. Some existing software that can be used in the system currently include volume visualization, molecular visualization, and simple 3d model manipulation. New projects can be initiated through consultation with CCV visualization staff.

Visualization Lab

As a complement to the Cave system, CCV also provides an area for experimenting with new technologies that relate to the CAVE/YURT as well as to broader areas of visualization technologies, such as head-mounted devices, tiled video walls, ultra high resolution video, gestural systems, and related development software.

Desktop and Lab Visualization Systems

While CCV's visualization efforts have been shaped by our high end systems, we recognize the need for targeted visualization applications and localized resources. We provide application development and support, as well as visualization system design and integration to departments and individuals on campus who may need more specialized and individualized visualization resources.

If this is something you or your department are interested in, please contact info@ccv.brown.edu for more information.