Web-based Virtual Tour has become a desirable and demanded application, yet challenging due to the nature of web application's running environment such as limited bandwidth and no guarantee of high computation power on the client side. Image-based rendering approach has attractive advantages over traditional 3D rendering approach in such Web Applications. Traditional geometry-based approach, such as VRML, requires labor-intensive 3D modeling process, high bandwidth and computation power especially for photo-realistic virtual scenes. QuickTime VR and IPIX as examples of image-based approach, use panoramic photos and the virtual scenes that can be generated from photos directly skipping the modeling process. But, QuickTime VR and IPIX may not only require special cameras or effort to take panoramic views but also provide only one fixed-point navigation (look-around and zooming in-out) rather than "walk around", that is a very important feature to provide immersive experience to virtual tourists. Easy and Effective Virtual Tour constructs virtual tour using several snap shots of conventional photos without special tools, build simple 3D space within each photo using spidery mesh, and expand the virtual spaces by connecting each other using simple user intervention to specify correspondence. The expanded virtual space provides virtual tourists with free navigation and immersive experience of walking around through the WWW.
Proteins are long chains of amino acids that have a definite 3-d conformation and the shape of each protein is vital to its function. Since proteins are normally in solution, hydrodynamics (describes the movement of solvent around a protein as a function of shape and size of the molecule) can be used to probe the size and shape of proteins compared to those derived from X-ray crystallography. The computation chain needed for these hydrodynamics calculations consists of several separate programs by different authors on various platforms and often requires 3D visualizations of intermediate results. Due to the complexity, tools developed by a particular research group are not readily available for use by other groups, nor even by the non-experts within the same research group. To alleviate this situation, and to foment the easy and wide distribution of computational tools worldwide, we developed a web based interactive computational environment (WICE) including interactive 3D visualization that can be used with any web browser. Java based technologies were used to provide a platform neutral, user-friendly solution. Java Server Pages (JSP), Java Servlets, Java Beans, JOGL (Java bindings for OpenGL), and Java Web Start were used to create a solution that simplifies the computing chain for the user allowing the user to focus on their scientific research. WICE hides complexity from the user and provides robust and sophisticated visualization through a web browser.
This paper describes information technology being developed to improve the quality, sophistication, accessibility, and pedagogical simplicity of ecological network data, analysis, and visualization. We present designs for a WWW demonstration/prototype web site that provides database, analysis, and visualization tools for research and education related to food web research. Our early experience with a prototype 3D ecological network visualization guides our design of a more flexible architecture design. 3D visualization algorithms include variable node and link sizes, placements according to node connectivity and tropic levels, and visualization of other node and link properties in food web data. The flexible architecture includes an XML application design, FoodWebML, and pipelining of computational components. Based on users’ choices of data and visualization options, the WWW prototype site will connect to an XML database (Xindice) and return the visualization in VRML format for browsing and further interactions.
Web-based Virtual Tour has become a desirable and demanded application, yet challenging due to the nature of web application's running environment such as limited bandwidth and no guarantee of high computation power on the client side. Image-based rendering approach has attractive advantages over traditional 3D rendering approach in such Web Applications. Traditional approach, such as VRML, requires labor-intensive 3D modeling process, high bandwidth and computation power especially for photo-realistic virtual scenes. QuickTime VR and IPIX as examples of image-based approach, use panoramic photos and the virtual scenes that can be generated from photos directly skipping the modeling process. But, these image-based approaches may require special cameras or effort to take panoramic views and provide only one fixed-point look-around and zooming in-out rather than 'walk around', that is a very important feature to provide immersive experience to virtual tourists. The Web-based Virtual Tour using Tour into the Picture employs pseudo 3D geometry with image-based rendering approach to provide viewers with immersive experience of walking around the virtual space with several snap shots of conventional photos.
We present a new compression algorithm for synthetic images that produces high compression rates by utilizing depth and color information from previously rendered images. Images predicted from prior images are combined with a residual image that may be transmitting from a remote location, to generate new images. The image-based rendering technique provides accurate motion prediction and accelerates rendering at the same time by exploiting temporal coherence. The motion prediction is computed and evaluated in image- order, pixel by pixel, producing residual images that are sparse and do not require address or index data. The system yields a compression ratio improvement of a factor of 4 - 10 over MPEG, in many cases. This approach is attractive for remote rendering applications where a client system may be a relatively low-performance machine and limited network bandwidth makes transmission of large 3D data impractical. The efficiency of the server generally increases with scene complexity or data size since the rendering time is predominantly a function of image size. This technique is also applicable to archiving animation.