Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

Cosmic cookery: making a stereoscopic 3D animated movie

Holliman, N.S.; Baugh, C.; Frenk, C.; Jenkins, A.; Froner, B.; Hassaine, D.; Helly, J.; Metcalfe, N.; Okamoto, T.; Woods, Andrew J.; Dodgson, Neil A.; Merritt, John O.; Bolas, Mark T.; McDowall, Ian E.

Cosmic cookery: making a stereoscopic 3D animated movie Thumbnail


N.S. Holliman

C. Frenk

A. Jenkins

B. Froner

D. Hassaine

J. Helly

T. Okamoto

Andrew J. Woods

Neil A. Dodgson

John O. Merritt

Mark T. Bolas

Ian E. McDowall


This paper describes our experience making a short stereoscopic movie visualizing the development of structure in the universe during the 13.7 billion years from the Big Bang to the present day. Aimed at a general audience for the Royal Society's 2005 Summer Science Exhibition, the movie illustrates how the latest cosmological theories based on dark matter and dark energy are capable of producing structures as complex as spiral galaxies and allows the viewer to directly compare observations from the real universe with theoretical results. 3D is an inherent feature of the cosmology data sets and stereoscopic visualization provides a natural way to present the images to the viewer, in addition to allowing researchers to visualize these vast, complex data sets. The presentation of the movie used passive, linearly polarized projection onto a 2m wide screen but it was also required to playback on a Sharp RD3D display and in anaglyph projection at venues without dedicated stereoscopic display equipment. Additionally lenticular prints were made from key images in the movie. We discuss the following technical challenges during the stereoscopic production process; 1) Controlling the depth presentation, 2) Editing the stereoscopic sequences, 3) Generating compressed movies in display speci¯c formats. We conclude that the generation of high quality stereoscopic movie content using desktop tools and equipment is feasible. This does require careful quality control and manual intervention but we believe these overheads are worthwhile when presenting inherently 3D data as the result is signi¯cantly increased impact and better understanding of complex 3D scenes.


Holliman, N., Baugh, C., Frenk, C., Jenkins, A., Froner, B., Hassaine, D., …McDowall, I. E. (2006). Cosmic cookery: making a stereoscopic 3D animated movie. In Stereoscopic displays and virtual reality systems XIII : 16-19 January, 2006, San Jose, California, USA.

Conference Name Stereoscopic Displays and Virtual Reality Systems XIII.
Conference Location San Jose, Calif
Start Date Jan 16, 2006
End Date Jan 19, 2006
Publication Date Feb 2, 2006
Deposit Date Oct 10, 2008
Publicly Available Date Aug 21, 2009
Series Title Proceedings of SPIE
Series Number 6055
Series ISSN 0277-786X
Book Title Stereoscopic displays and virtual reality systems XIII : 16-19 January, 2006, San Jose, California, USA.
Keywords Stereoscopic animation, Scientific visualization, Cosmology, Astronomy, 3D video editing, 3D video coding, 3D display, Human factors, Rendering.
Additional Information 16-18 Jan 2006.


You might also like

Downloadable Citations