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Medicine Google Technology

Browsing the Body 107

ColdWetDog writes "Google Labs has an interesting new line of business — human anatomy. The Google Body Browser is a 3D representation of the major parts of the human body. Based on the well known and very expensive Zygote 3D artwork, you can zoom in, rotate, view the various organ systems (bone, internal organs, nerves) in various states of transparency. Very much like Google Earth in both execution and concept. Written with HTML5, it requires WebGL to work. The Firefox 4 beta seems to work fine. Google, of course, recommends Chrome."
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Browsing the Body

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  • by andi75 ( 84413 ) on Friday December 17, 2010 @11:54AM (#34588088) Homepage

    While I think this is awesome, and biology teachers all over the world will love it, the transparency rendering is quite terrible.

    The problem is that some surfaces are rendered, while others are not, which looks very wierd. You can reproduce the effect by only displaying the skeleton and setting transparency to 50% or so.

    There are two generally accepted solutions:

    1) To a topological sort and render all triangles back to front
    2) Use a so called depth-peeling algorithm to render the scene in multiple passes

    Unfortunately, they do neither right now, but there's always hope for the next version.

    Personally, I favor 2) since you can offload all the work to the GPU. I had to implement this once for a CAD/CAM system for hearing aids (they are often custom-built, and you want to render the exterior semi-transparent so you can place the battery and electronics inside perfectly, before sending the thing to the manufacturing machine).

  • by Beroya ( 1916732 ) on Friday December 17, 2010 @12:10PM (#34588354)
    I like how the first dozen or so comments are just about the browser compatability, and not the biological fidelity.

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