3-D Data Presentation

Visualization of a 3-D object on a 2-D piece of paper is difficult at best. Apple's Quicktime VR (virtual reality) software has the capability of representing objects as a virtual image that the reader may manipulate to view from any desired direction.

Quicktime VR Interactive Graphics

To view these images online, your browser must have the free Quicktime plug-in (5.0 or later) available from Apple.

Below is an example of a Mn (Xspessartine) isosurface inside of a garnet. If Mn can be considered a "time line" for garnet growth (that is, the Mn concentration decreases monotonically with time), then the image represents a snapshot of the garnet shape at an instant in its growth history.

The QTVR was created by serial sectioning and compositional mapping using the electron microprobe on each section. X-ray compositional maps were registered using NIH Image and rendered in 3-D using the program Slicer. The QTVR image was created by rendering 56 separate views (4 rows of 14 images each, each 10 degrees apart) and importing into Apple's QTVR Authoring studio. The rendering took a couple of hours, but creation of the QTVR was accomplished in a few tens of minutes.

The image can manipulated using these commands:

  • Move: click and hold the mouse button while dragging across te image
  • Zoom in: Shift key
  • Zoom out: Control key
  • Translation: Option (Mac) or Alt (PC) + click and drag (you must zoom in first)