3dCompare will allow interactive manipulation of diverse virtual objects. This interface will: 1) Provide access to multiple objects indexed by user-supplied metadata; 2) Allow the user to manipulate objects independently, including non-linear deformations, rigid motions and scaling; 3) Implement intuitive virtual physics (e.g. forbidding object interpenetration, simulating gravity, etc.) or, alternatively, allow virtual interactions that are impossible in the physical world (e.g. overlap two objects to compare their geometry); 4) Incorporate appropriate tools for quantitative comparison of objects - for example, allowing the user to add point correspondences to objects, with real-time feedback on local or global quality of the implied object correspondences; 5) Allow objects to be connected to each other (e.g. with rods or springs) to study behaviors or to allow users to assemble composite objects from fragments (e.g. bones in a skeleton, shards of pottery), and provide automatic tools for optimizing assemblies; 6) Enable spatial arrangements for annotating and sharing comparisons with collaborators and for display.
This application will include state-of-the-art object manipulation, deformation, and correspondence techniques developed by our team members, other researchers, as well as existing production software (in particular the Bullet virtual physics library). The main thrust of this research emphasis will be development of a VRUI applications programmer interface (API), based on PyVrui, which will allow users to easily put together sophisticated object manipulation and comparison operators into meaningful tools for diverse applications. Given the broad applicability of the proposed 3dCompare interface, this development effort will include researchers and students from Computer Science, Geology, Physics, Archeology, Anthropology, Science & Technology Studies, and English. The American Museum of Natural History will be collaborating with Amenta and Weaver, providing data sets of scanned bones and fossils for use in the development and initial remote collaborative uses of this software. We have established an international collaboration with the Cyprus Institute, which will provide a cultural heritage application for the project.
Development beginning 2011.