SIGGRAPH Dailies 2014 Narration for "Volume-Rendered Global Atmospheric Model

Narration: Greg Shirah


Hi, I'm Greg Shirah from NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio. This animation is driven by data from a complex 3d simulation of Earth's atmosphere called GEOS-5. The atmosphere was simulated for a 2 year period. The results from the simulation were saved out at 30 minute time steps. This produced about 6 PetaBytes of simulation data. The time span chosen for this test visualization includes a category 4 typhoon in the Western Pacific (near the center of the screen).

Data volumes from the simulation were about 1.2 billion voxels per time step. These volumes were converted into 354 separate brickmaps, one for each FRAME of this animation. Each brickmap was about 2.6 GigaBytes. So, about 1 TeraByte of brickmaps were needed to render this short visualization in Renderman. Future work will include more simulation parameters, optimizations, photorealism, and tighter camera angles. Visualizations like this can be crucial to help scientists present their complex but important work on Climate Research.