Hybrid 2-D and 3-D Immersive and Interactive User Interface for Scientific Data Visualization

Report No. ARL-TR-8113
Authors: Simon Su and Luis Bravo
Date/Pages: August 2017; 20 pages
Abstract: We present a hybrid 2-D and 3-D scientific visualization workflow that allows users to add 3-D immersive visualization capability to their day-to-day desktop scientific visualization workflows. The 3-D immersive and interactive visualization capability was added to the widely used visualization tool ParaView running on the zSpace semi-immersive virtual reality display system using ray tracing for rendering at an interactive rate. The zSpace display system supports head-tracked stereoscopic display, and stylus-based 3-D interaction. Further, the zSpace virtual reality system requires very little calibration or maintenance after the initial system driver setup and configuration. For software, we extended an existing ParaView pluginâ??the pvOSPRay renderer pluginâ??to work with the Immersive ParaView plugin to support 3-D immersive and interactive visualization. We tested the workflow presented using a data set with 8 million data points at an interactive rate. We also evaluated this visualization workflow in a pilot user study comparing 2-D visualization and 3-D immersive and interactive visualization using a scientific simulation data set common to our users. We collected performance data and user feedback from a usability questionnaire. The 3-D immersive and interactive visualization workflow was found to be preferred over the 2-D visualization workflow, together with some very constructive user feedback on the 3-D immersive and interactive visualization system.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: August 1, 2017