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Building Cyber-Insects

Cyber-insects are created in several steps: (1) each point of their surface is characterized by 3 coordinates (x, y, and z); (2) points are connected forming a wire model; (3) the model is covered by a colored skin; (4) lights and background are added; and (5) the whole scene is rendered.

3-D models are built using special software (e.g., 3D Studio MAX, Lightwave). Complex 3-D objects can be created from simple objects (spheres, cylinders, boxes) by applying various transformations (bending, extruding, etc.). Also, complex surfaces can be built automatically using 3-D scanners. However, most insects are too small for scanning.

We bought 13 insect images from Viewpoint Labs and then modified them to increase biological accuracy. For example we added textures to several insects, wing veins for a bee and and fly, etc.

To make a stereo image, you need to have 2 pictures for the right and left eye. Then place them side by side on one larger picture. For example, if each image is 320x240 pixels, then the combined image will have the size of 640x240 pixels. The picture for the left eye should be on the right side, and the picture for the right eye should be on the left. Save this combined picture as a JPEG file. Then, change the extention of the file name to ".jps".

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Alexei Sharov 06/16/1998