Visualization Center Hardware
The hardware setup of the TESSIN VISLab uses a back projection-based stereoscopic visualisation environment with an approximately 6 x 3 m large main screen and extending projections on the floor and two side wings. Thirteen projectors are used to achieve a high resolution of approximately 6,400 by 1,900 pixel on the main and side screens and 3,600 by 1,050 pixel on the floor screen (resulting in over 10 megapixel). Images are generated alternating for the left and the right eye and users wear special glasses which separate these images, resulting in a stereoscopic view. For the stereo separation, we can switch between two technologies—active stereo using shutter glasses and passive stereo using Infitec technology. An optical motion tracking system is used to adjust the view according to the movement of the observer. Infrared cameras detect passive markers on the user’s 3D glasses and allow computation of images in such a way that a correct perspective is always maintained. In addition, a pointer device (Flystick) allows for interaction with the virtual environment.
The rendering is performed using a cluster of four workstations (one for each screen) equipped with Nvidia Quadro 5000 & K5200 graphics processing units (GPUs), situated in a server room next to the presentation venue. The master/server process of the actual application is started on a hardware device in front of the display that allows controlling of multiple machines in the server room from one keyboard, mouse and monitor (KVM switch).
In addition to the virtual reality capabilities, the Vislab can be employed for enhanced multimedia presentations such as the simultaneous display of images, videos and documents or a combination of 2D and 3D content. A typical use is to present the 3D data on the main screen and additional data sets such as images, spreadsheets, maps and videos in a context-dependent way on the two side screens.