The StarCAVE at CalIT2 - TEDxSanDiego 2013
photo attribution: sean dreilinger durak.org
CALIT2 3-D Caves in Atkinson
Although they sound like something out of science fiction, these caves are a virtual-reality environment that allow you to venture into worlds as small as nanoparticles and as big as the cosmos?permitting scientists new insights that could fuel discoveries in many fields. The CAVEs are five-sided virtual reality (VR) rooms where scientific models and animations are projected in super high definition stereo on 360-degree screens surrounding you, and onto the floor as well. Thanks to the rooms? unique shape and special screens that allow you to use 3D polarizing glasses, you can fly over a strand of DNA and look in front, behind and below you, or navigate through the superstructure of a building to detect where damage from an earthquake may have occurred. The Explore Earth Cave immerses you in a walk through the redwoods or a visit to the Luxor in Egypt. Adding to the virtual reality in the CAVEs is the surround sound system, which harnesses recent advances in wave field synthesis?a way to maximize the perception of many channels of sound coming from different sides of the room.
3D Virtual Reality Environment Developed at UC San Diego Helps Scientists Innovate: www.calit2.net/newsroom/release.php?id=1383
Calit2's gets 'awesome' lab honors: www.universityofcalifornia.edu/news/article/24021
Getting the bigger and fuller picture
The StarCAVE consists of five walls with three screens each, plus floor projection. Two JVC HD2K projectors generate a stereo image for each screen, plus four projectors for the floor, totalling 34 projectors. Every projector pair is driven by a Dell XPS computer running under CentOS Linux version 6, with dual Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 graphics cards and a 10 Gigabit NIC. We use an additional XPS machine as the head node to control the rendering cluster, for a total of 18 nodes. For