Virtual Community Practice Toolkits Using 3D Imaging Technologies

Virtual Community Practice Toolkits Using 3D Imaging Technologies

George Triantafylliadis (Technological Education Institution of Crete, Greece), Nikolaos Grammalidis (Center for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece) and Dimitiros Tzovaras (Center for Research and Technology Hellas, Greece)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-340-1.ch012
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Extending visual communications to the third dimension (3D) has been a dream over decades. The ultimate goal of the viewing experience is to create the illusion of a real environment in its absence. However limitations of visual quality and user acceptance prevented the development of relevant mass markets so far. Recent achievements in research and development triggered an increasing interest in 3D visual technologies. From technological point of view, this includes improvements over the whole 3D technology chain, including image acquisition, 3D representation, compression, transmission, signal processing, interactive rendering and 3D display. In the center of all these different areas, the visualization of 3D information stands as the major aspiration to be satisfied, since 3D enriches the interaction experience. This enhanced user experience that 3D imaging offers compared to 2D, is the main reason behind the rapid increase of the virtual communities using and managing 3D data: Archaeological site 3D reproductions, virtual museums (in the field of cultural heritage); 3D plays, special effects (in the field of entertainment); virtual classes (in the field of learning) are only some examples of the potentialities of 3D data. It’s clear that 3D imaging technologies provide a new and powerful mechanism for collaborative practicing. In this context, this chapter focuses on the utilization of 3D imaging technology and computer graphics, in various virtual communities in the domains of education, cultural heritage, protection, commerce, and entertainment.

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