The Scientific Visualization Studio (SVS) develops short
computer animations of scientific concepts, data, instruments, and satellites
related to various NASA and GSFC missions and research efforts. These
animations serve as source material for education, scientific, mission
and general public communities. The source material generated by the SVS
may be used by public affairs for broadcast to the media, by the scientists
for presentation, as source material for videos, CDs, museum displays
and web sites. SVS team members interact with scientists from the various
fields (such as ESE, CT, and NCCS) as well as Public Affairs in the
development and distribution of the various animations. The spacecraft
platforms actively being supported at present include SeaWiFS, SOHO, TRMM, TOMS,
EO-1, GOES, TERRA, TRACE, and LandSat-7.
Visualization expertise is provided by the SVS team members
in the form of direct consultation with researchers in order to understand
their requirements and provide visualization tools and techniques to satisfy
these requirements. Visualization production services take the form of
video, film, software development, and color hardcopy generation.
The animations generated may include: generation of original
data formats with such packages as IDL, Viz5D, and Performer including
further creation and enhancements with programs such as Maya, Lightwave3D,
Photoshop, Premier, RenderMan, and Final Cut Pro.
These animations may be supplemented with additional conceptual
and model animations involving such programs as Lightwave3D, Maya, and
Other tools used are programming languages such as perl,
python, tk, Tcl, and when no other tools are applicable, custom applications
are developed using C, C++, and python. The Scientific Visualization Studio
uses Linux workstations and Macintosh computers. The SVS saves every animation created.
At one point they were grouped by topic, in a tape library. Now every frame is stored digitally
and offered through this website. SVS team members are continually developing
the database that populates this website, whether it be to track more information,
or to find a better way to capture, store, and deliver this information.