Welcome to the vedphoto blog! Here you can keep up-to-date on research (Fluid Lensing), exhibitions (Physics In Vogue and Reactive Reefs) and photo-shoots. Learn about the techniques and stories behind my images by searching for a location or keyword. That picture of fruit bats from Northern Madagascar - I had to wade waist-high in bat guano to get it! Always a humbling experience.
APRIL 2014 - Announcing Stromatolite Mapping Mission + Australia Field Updates!
Mapping mission testHamelin Pool, Shark Bay
This was hard to keep a secret, so many already know, but I am thrilled to share the news of an exciting collaboration with Dr. Pamela Reid's group from the University of Miami to map Stromatolites, in Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia, home to Earth's oldest reefs and organisms, for another high-resolution underwater mapping effort for the Reactive Reefs project. I am in the field from mid-March until the end of April mapping Stromatolites around Shark Bay (photo below by Ergin Karaca).
The hypersaline waters here have kept this microbial community thriving and also helps to keep the massive sharks at bay, though the venomous sea snakes love it! The sub-cm resolution 3D maps I will generate are of great interest to research teams around the world and, in particular, to NASA's astrobiology researchers as Stromatolites are Earth's oldest lifeform as evidenced by fossil records dating back to 3.5 billion years ago! All that O2 you love, thank your Stromatolite friends for oxygenating our atmosphere.
Arrival at Hamelin Pool, Shark Bay, Western Australia:
Stromatolites in Hamelin Pool!Pustular mat stromatolites at low tide at Flagpole, Shark Bay
Arrival at Hamelin Pool Getting stuck in coquina shells. Can you imagine that entire shorline is made up of these little guys?
Stuck in shells
Shark BayWe found this little guy on the trail to Hamelin Pool. Sharknado?
Octocopter being tested and prepared for mapping missions (below). This guy decided to put me through the gamut of electrical woes. ESCs mysteriously shorting out, calibrations becoming inaccurate after a few flights, and gains changing with even the slightest change in payload configuration!
OctocopterReady for mapping mission
Fortunately, after lots of soldering and reassembly, I was able to get this thing stabilized and flying:)
Octocopter test flight in PerthFinally stable!
On the road to Hamelin Pool from Perth
Sample flight video below (resized for slow internet here):
Flagpole short flight
April 2, 2014 - Updated fluid lensing results from the Reactive Reefs project in American Samoa.
These are the first data sets processed on the new computer setup (funded by you!) and Agisoft's generous donation of their professional GIS software.
Hover over figures to see descriptions below:
Fluid lensing on aerial Samoa DataRAW aerial image on the right and 45-frames (0.75 seconds of video data) post processed using Fluid Lensing on the left. Notice under sampled original image with compression artifacts, caustics and wave distortions renders nearly all structure indistinguishable. Lensed data show clear features and no caustics. Fluid lensing removes surface distortions that typically limit 3D reconstruction ability. Below, I show the fluid lensing enabled 3D reconstruction using structure from motion for a segment of flight data. Note boundary regions show errors due to insufficient data and overlap in those regions, but the full data set will merge all flights for sufficient overlap. Data are rendered at 1/10th actual resolution.
3D Coral Reef ReconstructionUsing structure from motion combined with Fluid Lensing (preliminary 1/10th resolution dataset)
November 2, 2013 -
I am in the midst of my PhD qualifying exams, so bear with me until I am done on the 12th of November and can get back to processing all the coral mapping data from our trip to Ofu!
Update (December 13, 2013) - I passed! Officially a PhD candidate. Some new results added below. I am in sore need of new equipment to process all the 3D data - check out the new Vedphoto store and holiday sale if you can. All proceeds go to funding the Reactive Reefs project and providing this data free to the public!
However, as part of my research presentation, I did manage to make the first 3D map of the underwater reef from just a snippet of the full data set. After many grueling computer hours and over 9 hours of processing on an 8-core machine + GPU I have at last a preliminary 3D map! The reconstruction actually worked much better than I had imagined, though to finish the entire map I will surely need much better computational resources. The maps below have over 3.5 million polygons! Need to bump that up to ~100 million for the maximum resolution.
The basic idea behind the 3D reconstruction is to use otherwise discarded data from the Fluid Lensing process and exploit the motion of the quad-copter over the reef. Fluid Lensing removes all the surface distortions from image sets, so I can accurately triangulate the distance to each voxel (three-dimensional pixel). Once I have a point cloud of data points, the computationally intensive process of fitting a surface to those points begins. Once the surface texture is computed and discretized into millions of small polygons, I can overlay the high-resolution texture that Fluid Lensing provides. Below is a schematic of how the imaging was captured. As the quadcopter moves about the surface, it creates a stereographic baseline to view the same surface from multiple points (like your eyes). This allows a distance to be computed and a 3D surface to be rendered.
Here is a close up of the rendered 3D surface showing the 3D geometry of the corals beneath the ocean surface!
coral high shading render
Here is the 3D modeled covered with the high-resolution Fluid Lensed map: coral high texture render
And a brief animation exploring the 3D environment. Sorry about the lag - I will need to get the funds together to build a dedicated 3D map-processing desktop that can handle the graphics and reduce the render time. Preliminary Coral Reef 3D map
More to come soon!
Head on over to the new vedphoto store where you can purchase items from past exhibitions to help support future public exhibitions, student internships and scientific research! Any support is much appreciated in helping me raise funds for new equipment to process all of the 3D Reactive Reefs coral data and trip expenses.
Holiday Sale - 50% has been taken off storewide and free shipping on all orders now until January 15, 2014!
Complete your order by 18 December for delivery by 25 Dec (continental USA guarantee). Orders placed after the 18th will be fulfilled by Jan 12. Store prices already reflect 50% discount. All items listed are in-stock and ready to ship.
Thank you for supporting my mission and I hope you enjoy your hand-made piece!
The Reactive Reefs coral mapping using Fluid Lensing was featured on the front page of Stanford News and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Check out the links below to read the article by Rob Jordan. Thanks for your support and interest everyone! I am looking forward to processing all the data and images and readying Reactive Reefs for exhibit next year!
Recent PostsVedphoto Holiday Sale! Stanford Student ARTS brochure Reactive Reefs Exhibition @ The World Parks Congress, Sydney! Imagining the Universe on the front page of Stanford.edu Reactive Reefs 3D Coral Diorama Prototype! Announcing Stromatolite Mapping Mission + Field Updates! New Samoa Coral Mapping results with Fluid Lensing Updated 3D Mapping Results - Reactive Reefs Vedphoto Holiday Sale + New Store Launch Reactive Reefs & Coral Mapping featured in Stanford News