The Alexandra Institute // About Us // Labs // Visual Computing Lab

Visual Computing Lab

Visualisation and interaction have a wide range of applications within e.g. science, education, communication, construction, medicine, culture, experiences and computer games.

We work with interactive 3D graphics, simulation of light and physics, modern graphics cards, image analysis and parallel programming. We have particular focus on processing and visualisation of massive data sets, surgical simulation for training, visualisation of medical image data, ultra-realistic computer graphics in real-time, interaction forms, alternative displays and integration of the digital and physical world.

We can help our partners with spectacular integrations of IT in physical surroundings using the latest technology and on a high aesthetical level as we can provide advanced computer graphics solutions.

Across technologies we also work methodically with support of innovation and user involvement in design processes.

Check out our portfolio of cases to see projects and tasks we have been involved in.
You can filter the cases by duration, expertise or field of application.

Processing and visualisation of massive data sets - the volume of information increases exponentially and much faster than the ability to process, and not least visualise and interpret data. We are working on realising efficient calculations on massive data sets by using modern many-core processors and massive data algorithms. Subsequently interactive information visualisation is crucial to analyse and understand massive data sets, e.g. continuous data from status in wind turbines or sensors in mobile phones.

Surgical simulation, medical visualisation and image processing - we have worked with simulation and computer graphics within a number of medical areas including heart, ear, mouth, jaw and the general science of anatomy. Today, surgeons are trained in an apprenticeship principle where the younger surgeon is slowly allowed to take over parts of the surgical procedure from the experienced surgeon. In order to reduce risks to patients and to guarantee a high-quality training course, we want to build surgical simulators for a number of medical areas. As part of the pre-surgical planning, it is furthermore important with efficient tools for visual inspection of the many medical image data in 2D or 3D and support of the diagnostic work routine.

Ultra-realistic computer graphics in real-time - computer games and special effects in Hollywood films present realistic computer graphics in each their way. We develop new efficient computer graphic effects to construct extremely realistic images in real-time - with applications within e.g. interactive product design, architecture and visual communication in general.

Interaction forms - we explore and use alternative interaction forms as e.g. iPhones, force feedback devices, GPS, accelerometer, analysis of body movements based on camera tracking, etc. We are currently exploring interaction forms in relation to digital 3D models.

Integrating the digital and physical world - we are working on integration of digital solutions as part of our physical world, e.g. interactive tables and building facades.

Art and culture - in close collaboration with performing artists we have been involved in the production of digital art works for a number of years. We have both experience in IT application within this particular field and competences in organising and implementing the design and production.

Experience - we have a particular focus on the experience-oriented dimension of IT-supported engaging dissemination within e.g. museum communication, product presentation and marketing.

Software technologies - our core competence is within the following technological areas:
• Real time rendering
• OpenGL
• Shaders
• Numerical calculations
• Cuda/OpenCL
• Parallel calculations
• Many-core/multi-core
• Simulation of physical properties
• 3D Studio Max and Unity 3D

Alternative displays - we work with 3D technologies, including Panorama and mobile 3D stereo displays, through our collaboration with the Centre for Advanced Visualisation and Interaction (CAVI). We have access to CAVI’s virtual studio, where it is possible to produce video consisting of digital 3D models and physical objects and persons. We also work with large LED displays for the use of integration in building facades and other forms of architecture.

Innovation methods and processes - across technologies we work methodically with support of innovation processes and user involvement in design processes. The methodological basis is based on e.g. ethnographic studies of use context, design workshops, visualisation of design concepts and prototyping.
An example of design workshops is "Inspiration Card Workshops", a workshop technique where a number of design concepts is developed through a combination of knowledge gathered from domain studies and technological options.
Another of our design techniques uses CAVI’s virtual studio to visualise a design solution within pervasive computing. This is a design technique that is particularly useful when IT integrates with large or larger displays in our physical surroundings.

Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University - we have worked closely with the research area "computer graphics & scientific computing" on research and development projects for a number of years. The Department of Computer Science is located closely to Alexandra Institute and this creates a natural flow of scientists and students. The collaboration has had particular focus on surgical simulation and medical visualisation as well as parallel programming on modern graphics cards.

CAVI - we work closely with CAVI, the Centre for Advanced Visualisation and Interaction, which was established in 2001 in collaboration between Aarhus University, the Centre for IT Research and the Alexandra Institute. Through this collaboration the Alexandra Institute has access to competences within the area and to advanced visualisation technologies such as 3D stereo displays and a virtual studio. The collaboration has had a particular emphasis on medical visualisation, experience-oriented applications, digital art and design processes.

Department of Information and Media Studies, Aarhus University - we are working with the Center for Interaction Design at the Department of Information and Media Studies within the areas of experience-oriented design, user-driven innovation and innovation processes.
At the same department we also collaborate with the Center for Digital Urban Living, where e.g. the Alexandra Institute is a partner. The centre focuses on digital applications in the city within e.g. media facades, citizen communication, new media, cultural heritage and digital art. Moreover, we collaborate with the Digital Aesthetics Research Center within the areas of interface aesthetics and digital art.

Aarhus University Hospital - in collaboration with e.g. cardiac surgeons, radiologists, oncologists and hospital physicists we have realised a number of software products within medical visualisation and surgical simulation - see e.g. Virtual Open Heart Surgery and ONCOMAN.

Copenhagen University Hospital - in collaboration with Copenhagen University Hospital we have worked on a simulator for training of ear surgery - see e.g. The Visible Ear Simulator.

We have a strong focus on high technological and applicable technology based on advanced visualisation and interaction – as such we have collaborated with a number of companies.

LEGO Systems - we have produced a software and physical setting where children can play with LEGO products in 3D before buying the product. In 2010, we are strategic partner with LEGO within advanced 3D graphics for their interactive products and we produce e.g. advanced 3D graphics for LEGO Digital Designer.

B & O - we held a workshop about collaboration between technical and creative staff groups within computer graphics.

Unity Studios - in 2010, we have a consultancy project in collaboration with Unity Studios. Furthermore, we collaborate on computer games in other connections in the Innogate project.

Jyllands-Posten - in collaboration with the Center for Digital Urban Living and the mobile carrier 3, we have produced the Alexandra Institute’s first iPhone application in appStore - "Klimatrends" for COP15.

Department of Computer Science, Aarhus University – for a research project on simulation of smoke we have developed a rapid visualisation of the very same smoke, from 30 minutes to 3 seconds.

Oncology Department, Aarhus University Hospital – for the new learning centre at the Oncology Department we have developed an anatomic atlas, which is run on a big screen and can be seen with stereovision.

Danfoss, Carl Bro, 3XN, DI ITEK, 3D Supply, 3D Empire, Apex - are all partners in the Innogate project where we combine game technology with other applications in the Danish industry.

Chief Scientific Officer
+45 22 15 77 99
Åbogade 34, 8200 Aarhus N
Nygaard building, 3rd floor room 379