Going Virtual with QuickTime VR: New Methods and Standardized Tools for Interactive Dynamic Visualization of Anatomical Structures

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Continuing evolution of computer-based multimedia technologies has produced QuickTime®, a multiplatform digital media standard that is supported by stand-alone commercial programs and World Wide Web browsers. While its core functions might be most commonly employed for production and delivery of conventional video programs (e.g., lecture videos), additional QuickTime VR “virtual reality” features can be used to produce photorealistic, interactive “non-linear movies” of anatomical structures ranging in size from microscopic through gross anatomic. But what is really included in QuickTime VR and how can it be easily used to produce novel and innovative visualizations for education and research? This tutorial introduces the QuickTime multimedia environment, its QuickTime VR extensions, basic linear and non-linear digital video technologies, image acquisition, and other specialized QuickTime VR production methods. Four separate practical applications are presented for light and electron microscopy, dissectable preserved specimens, and explorable functional anatomy in magnetic resonance cinegrams.



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