Surgical Planning Laboratory - Brigham & Women's Hospital - Boston, Massachusetts USA - a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School

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Multilayer Images for Interactive 3D Visualization on the World Wide Web

Surgical Planning Laboratoty, Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Publication Date:
SPL Technical Report 1997 Sep;
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Generated Citation:
Umans C., Halle M., Kikinis R. Multilayer Images for Interactive 3D Visualization on the World Wide Web. SPL Technical Report 1997 Sep;
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Web-based interactive 3D visualization of large and complex scientific datasets is impractical for the average user, due to high transmission costs and the need for 3D graphics hardware to achieve reasonable rendering speed and quality. Image-based rendering techniques have lessened this problem, typically allowing limited navigation of 3D worlds on desktop PC's, with lower transmission costs. However several types of interaction that are highly desirable in medical, CAD and other applications are impossible in these systems, including turning structures on and off, and adjusting their transparency and color. We describe a simple image-based technique utilizing multilayer images that trades navigational capabilities for these types of interaction, imposes low transmission costs, and can be implemented on an average PC. The usefulness of this technique is demonstrated in a Java-based "Anatomy Browser" that allows students and doctors to interactively explore 3D anatomical reconstructions from real surgical cases on the World Wide Web.