Opening DiscussionMegan Watzke :: CXC
Kim Kowal Arcand :: CXC
Building on previous efforts (Washington 2003, Garching 2005), this workshop will attempt to further the fruitful and efficient network of professionals seeking to promote astronomy. Moreover, the aim of this workshop is to take a closer look at the all-important visual component that must accompany any science result - be it a news release or EPO product. In this opening talk, we will outline the goals of the workshop, plus show a few examples where collaboration and innovation have brought success to those involved.
Press Release Images, Virtual Observatories, and Web ServicesFrank Summers :: STScI
Zoltan Levay :: STScI
Lisa Frattare :: STScI
Bandara Kaushi :: University of Toronto
At the Space Telescope Science Institute, we have partnered with the National Virtual Observatory to create a web service that will make the press release images from Hubble available through standard virtual observatory protocols. This talk will describe the process of building the simple image access web service, with a special focus on adapting public outreach images to the science-based tools of the virtual observatory community. All of the tools that we used will be released for others to use in developing similar web services based on outreach image collections.
Visualization, w.r.t. Astronomy & the NVO, at Harvard's new IICAlyssa Goodman :: Harvard University
The Initiative in Innovative Computing (IIC) is a new program at Harvard designed to develop and bring the best possible computational techniques to bear on the most pressing and challenging scientific problems facing researchers at Harvard. One area of particular interest involves the communication of complex scientific ideas through visualization. In this talk, I will explain both the origin and mission of the IIC, and I will give specific examples of its visualization efforts as related to Astronomy. In one example, I will show how medical imaging software is being used to analyze and display 3D astronomical data; and in the other I will explain an ongoing effort to improve the "graphical collaboration software" available to astronomers, and other scientists, today. For more information, please see iic.harvard.edu.
The ESA/ESO/NASA FITS Liberator v.2 and its Metadata ToolsLars Lindberg Christensen :: ESA/Hubble
Robert Hurt :: Spitzer Science Center
This talk will cover the recent advances in the "FITS Liberator" tool and the various improvements in workflow. Version 2.0 includes powerful new tools for handling high dynamic range image. It also introduces an interface for embedding metadata into the final image files. We will discuss why metadata tagging is the first, and perhaps most important, step towards making our images more globally accessible. We will also touch on the progress of our work with the "Virtual Repository" concept.
A Philosophy for Image CreationTravis Rector :: University of Alaska Anchorage
Zoltan Levay :: STScI
Lisa Frattare :: STScI
Jayanne English :: University of Manitoba
Kirk Pu’uohau-Pummill :: Gemini Observatory
The quality of modern astronomical data, particularly at non-optical wavelengths, and the agility of current image-processing software enable the creation of high-quality images for science and the public. Even at optical wavelengths, telescopes show objects in a way that the eye cannot. Indeed, that's why we use telescopes in the first place. Practical and aesthetic considerations when assembling an image, including scaling, cropping and coloring, will be discussed. Examples of good and not-so-good usage of these techniques will also be presented.
Multi-Wavelength Imaging Using Multi-Observatory DataZolt Levay :: STScI
NASA's Great Observatories, Hubble, Chandra and Spitzer, provide an unprecedented wealth of astronomical data covering a broad range of the spectrum. These missions, joining an already established wealth of astronomical instrumentation available on the ground, have produced a gallery of compelling outreach images. We now have an opportunity to go one step farther to visualize an even broader range of phenomena and physical conditions by combining images from several observatories and instruments. I will show specific examples of images combining data from space-based and ground-based observatories to take advantage of their complementary qualities, and discuss some of the techniques of Adobe Photoshop and other software used to produce the images. I will also discuss some of the challenges inherent in the conflicting qualities of the datasets and show some techniques to address these challenges.
Image Processing on a Tight Budget and Deadline-Driven ScheduleLisa Frattare :: STScI
Large-scale imaging projects, both ground- and space-based, are unique in combining science, art, and public awareness, usually driven by deadline and on a limited budget. The successful release of an aesthetic image can be its own worst enemy in that there is a desire to continuously "outdo" each photo release with the next image. This can easily present a bottleneck and a backlog of datasets to be processed. Based on the theme of getting more done with fewer resources - both time and monetary - I wish to share lessons learned from the Hubble Heritage Project of how to put out artistically compelling imagery on a fixed timeline. Through its maturity over the years, the Heritage team has overcome procedural obstacles regarding its team dynamics, monthly release schedule, and multiple dataset inprogress schedule. I will discuss how to best utilize specialized personnel as well as interns and volunteers and discuss win-win examples of co-releasing with other facilities, and thus, sharing the workload while both or several institutions reap the benefits. I welcome other meeting participants to contribute best practices for getting out images in a timely and efficient manner while still preserving the quality and scientific integrity of our work.
Meeting the MediaMegan Watzke :: Chandra PAO
With so much time, energy, and expertise being spent on creating visuals, it is healthy from time to time to get feedback from those who use these products. This panel will have representatives from a variety of outlets, hopefully representing the gamut from print to online to broadcast. The intent of this session will be to have an open and honest discussion, hopefully improving creation and dissemination of our astronomical visuals.
ViewSpace: Getting Your Sci-Viz Directly Into Free-Choice Learning EnvironmentsBryan Preston :: STScI
The three-year-old ViewSpace multimedia network continues to grow and expand its reach. Now playing in more than 70 planetariums and museums worldwide, ViewSpace combines rich visuals with captivating narrative to deliver cutting edge space and earth science every day. Find out more about ViewSpace and how your mission can get involved in this exciting outreach enterprise.
Needs of Planetariums & Related Education ProgramsKeith Turner :: Carmel Clay Schools; Great Lakes Planetarium Association
The quality and availability of Astronomical images and video has increased exponentially in the past few years. With every advance in image or video quality a new format or file type seems to appear. In the planetarium "realm" of informal science, the file type for source material that is available greatly affects our ability to deliver high quality images and videos. We produce planetarium presentations with these files to make DVDs tailored to meet our audience needs for state standard coverage or for public show topics. A discussion on format and usage of source material is the intent of our talk.
A Peek into Chandra's Illustrated World/UniverseMelissa Weiss :: CXC
In this session you will get an inside look into some of the most popular illustrated images of the Chandra X-ray Center, as well as learn first-hand specific Photoshop techniques that were used in their creation. Some special techniques that may be reviewed, based on the interest level of those who attend, are custom brush creation, using blending modes, and getting the most out of Photoshop's standard filters and layer effects. This session will begin with a viewing of selected Chandra illustrations and then continue into a live demonstration of the illustration process. It will prove to be a fun and educational workshop for not only the seasoned Photoshop user, but also for those that simply enjoy creative astronomical imagery.
Science in MotionApril Hobart :: CXC
This session will begin with a viewing of Chandra's latest animations and a quick walk through the process used to convert science data to conceptual animation. Group participation and open discussion will be encouraged throughout the remainder of the session. Some tricks of the trade, including particle effects and the use of compatible 2D & 3D applications, will be covered. Topics unique to animating scientific concepts for public consumption will also be discussed, including: addressing public perception versus scientists' findings, keeping a high standard of accuracy while leaving room for visual excitement, communicating with scientists between revisions, and creative ways to interact with and educate the public. Other issues related to broadcast media will be presented in a general forum, including following NASA-Television guidelines and optimizing video clips for use on news programming. The session will conclude with a look at upcoming projects and a chance to network and explore future collaborations.
Accuracy & Aesthetics: Scientific Visualizations Using Hollywood ToolsFrank Summers :: STScI
Scientific visualizations by scientists generally utilize the same software used for research papers, tools meant for communicating between experts. Communication to the public, whose visual expectations have been shaped by special effects laden films, is much more challenging. Fortunately, many high-end computer graphics packages have programming interfaces that can allow scientific data to be used within these visually sophisticated environments. For example, the MEL programming interface allows one to import huge scientific data sets into Maya. The Renderman shader language permits near exact visual representation of the calculations in supercomputer simulations. Shake can handle compositing the immense detail in high resolution (giga-pixel scale) research images. I will present examples of these techniques as used in the creation of high resolution planetarium dome visualizations and an IMAX short film. The combination of research-level data and Hollywood-grade software provides both accuracy and aesthetics in presenting science to the public.