IMAX Cosmic Voyage

Developers: Marcus Thiebaux, R. Patterson, D. Cox, E. Wesselak, C. Mihos, L. Hernquist, F. Summers

Two high-resolution astrophysical simulations are explored, choreographed, and rendered. The first is a visualization of the collision / merging of two spiral galaxies. This simulation required over 950 computational hours on the C90 at SDSC.

Another simulation is visualized that shows the condensation and formation of galaxies and clusters of galaxies. This 2-million particle / time step simulation was computed on the SGI Power Challenge at NCSA.

The voice-driven CAVE Virtual Director is used to choreograph the above astronomical simulations for an IMAX film Cosmic Voyage, sponsored by the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Motorola Corporation, and National Science Foundation.

The CAVE Virtual Director is demonstrated as a long-distance collaboration and viewing tool that links researchers across the country.

The recorded CAVE output is used with custom PIXAR particle rendering software to produce high-resolution images for large-format 70 mm film and will be shown on the NII / Wall. These images and CAVE interactions provide viewers with an enormous amount of information that has never been seen before in simulations of this magnitude.

This application was demonstrated at ACm / IEEE Supercomputing ’95.


Date: January 1, 1995 - March 1, 1995
D. Cox

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