Behind the Scenes: Creating Marty the Monkey

Posted by John Einselen – July 24, 2013

Kaiser Permanente partnered with Vectorform to build a new tool for use in autism assessment, helping make the experience fun for kids and easier for clinicians. Structured around speech, occupation, and physical therapy mini-games, the Microsoft Kinect system was combined with therapist input to help track performance and improvement. As a key part of the experience we created a 3D animated character to act as guide, coach, and friend; Marty the Monkey.

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Virtual Colonoscopy Viewer at TechFest, experts weigh in

Posted by Administrator – March 17, 2011

Colon cancer is the third leading cause of cancer related deaths, but the death rate is impacted by the ability to quickly and efficiently screen for polyps before they can develop. The Virtual Colonoscopy (VC) Viewer is a revolutionary collaboration between Microsoft, Intel, Vectorform and Massachusetts General Hospital, winning top honors at RSNA 2010.

Vectorform’s multi-touch user interface allows physicians to view and manipulate a 3D rendering of a patient’s colon. Using software to translate a series of CT scans into a 3D representation, the VC Viewer provides physicians with life-like imagery and seamless navigation using natural gestures including pan, zoom, pinch, traverse and rotate. This Natural User Interface (NUI) solution was highlighted at TechFest 2011, which brings Microsoft researchers and Microsoft product teams together in Redmond, WA for an event where attendees see the innovative technologies emerging from Microsoft’s research efforts.
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Anaglyph Compositing

Posted by John Einselen – September 16, 2010

Earlier this year I was working on some interactive demos at Vectorform that needed stereoscopic delivery. With Avatar, Up, and many other stereo movies being released, requests for 3D imagery were proliferating quickly, and I needed to develop a pipeline that could quickly and reliably deliver stereoscopic imagery for home, mobile, and specialised device delivery. Realtime processing in Apple’s Quartz Composer made it easy to quickly mock up and revise my compositing techniques, setting up compositing rules that were later ported into After Effects and Photoshop tutorials, and in-house plugins for After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and Motion via FxFactory Pro.
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Stereoscopic Cameras

Posted by John Einselen – September 14, 2010

Vectorform is always working on the latest tech, be it unreleased hardware or the most popular multitouch platforms from Microsoft, Apple, 3M, HP, and others. We work with some of the top players in the industry, and earlier this year we got to develop stereoscopic demos on the Microsoft Surface. In preparation for productions like this, I worked on pipeline solutions for developing, creating, and finishing stereo imagery.

There are of course multiple ways to deliver a stereoscopic experience; linear and circular polarised glasses paired with filtered projection (IMAX and Disney RealD), lenticular or masked parallax displays (such as Sharp 3D or the Nintendo 3Ds), and many more, including the easiest and oldest — anaglyphic. While I’ll discuss anaglyphic compositing in some upcoming articles, this tutorial covers some of the actual camera setups and rendering tricks needed to create stereoscopic imagery in the first place. Generating content for stereoscopy (left and right sides) is universal, regardless of delivery mechanism, so this tutorial should be suitable for any system you’re working with.

Two schools of thought

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Vectorform shows off at Microsoft’s “Many Screens and a Cloud” event

Posted by Lindsay Lamb – August 16, 2010

Working with the Microsoft Research Team and Massachusetts General Hospital, Vectorform’s Justin Lankes and Patrick Samona demonstrated the Virtual Colonoscopy Viewer at a recent event in Boston, MA.  Virtual Colonoscopy makes it possible to navigate through 3D images of the colon using a multi-touch platform. The goal behind this application is to reduce the time of a typical colonoscopy exam to only 5 minutes. Currently, the procedure takes 40-60 minutes. Virtual Colonoscopy requires a series of clear, high-resolution images to be taken from a CT scanner. Once the pictures are taken, the part of the exam that can be considered by patients to be “invasive” is done!  The high-res images are then fed into the application, giving the doctor the opportunity to explore and navigate through the colon, searching for polyps.   A standard colonoscopy procedure entails a doctor’s examination of the colon in real time using a fiber optic camera attached to a flexible tube; the tube then gets passed through the rectum.  As you can imagine, this can be a long and uncomfortable experience.  We hope Virtual Colonoscopy will encourage more people to opt for colon cancer screening, giving us an opportunity to save lives. 

Would you like to learn more? Check out Microsoft’s Curt Devlin’s blog post about the application and the demonstration in Boston. 

Virtual Colonoscopy will also be demonstrated at the RSNA Conference in November, stay tuned for more updates!

Dynamic Paper Cutouts

Posted by John Einselen – December 14, 2009

While stop motion can be a fantastic medium, the process is too slow for many productions. Even for simple elements, like wrinkled paper, the time it takes to do things physically is often untenable; for the Microsoft PowerPivot online advertising campaign, Vectorform required lightening quick turnaround on visual elements and animation revisions, often on an hour by hour basis.

This is how the paper cutout effects were designed and generated dynamically using Adobe After Effects.
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