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Webfish Visualization

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What is it?

Since humans are visually oriented, the ability to assimilate and understand data is enhanced once they are seen. Data collected by underwater acoustic instruments are particularly difficult to understand because, unlike marine mammals, we do not use sound to directly evaluate aqueous environments. Computer visualization provides an initial inspection and restores the spatial and temporal dimensionality of acoustic backscatter and model data.

Webfish3d - Visualizing acoustic backscatter of fish

The webfish3d application allows you to explore the world of backscattered sound. You can see how we represent a fish body and swimbladder in KRM models and how amplitudes of echoes will change depending on the acoustic frequency and the orientation of the fish. You get to chose the species, the frequency, and the final appearance of the model.

Fish3d was first developed in IDL and is implemented on the web using RSI's ION Script. We continue to tweak the programs to maximize graphics quality. Visit often and let us know how things work.

Here is the "quickstart" guide to webfish3d, a help guide is available (and worth a look anyway) when you download a 3-d model:

  • select a species to render
  • select the frequency to view the backscatter
  • select the model type
    • wireframe - all objects are displayed as wire frames.
    • solid - objects are displayed as solids with the ability to display texture maps. The tested VRML viewers have trouble rendering the solid model VRML files correctly and we are unable to determine the cause. We are working to correct this problem.
  • select the resolution
    • low - low resolution input files are used. This allows for faster rendering and smaller VRML files at the cost of detail.
    • high - high resolution input files are used. The high resolution files take longer to process and create larger VRML files but look oh so good.
  • check your fish body display options - check off the objects you wish to view.
  • select a fish body texture map option
    • none - display the fish body in it's default color (white).
    • radiograph - display the fish body with an x-ray texture map. This will increase the VRML file size.
    • photograph - display the fish body with a photograph texture map. This too increases VRML file size.
  • set the fish body opacity - applies to solid models only. 0% is completely transparent while 100% is completely opaque.
  • check the ambit display options
  • set the ambit opacity - applies to solid models only. 0% is completely transparent while 100% is completely opaque.
  • click an output button
    • output PNG - clicking this button will return a .png image of the model output. This is the best bet when you're just starting.
    • output VRML - clicking this button will return a VRML (.wrl) file for a 3-dimensional, interactive exploration of the model output. You must have a VRML client installed on your computer and it must be configured correctly. Also note that these files range from 2 to 10 megs in size and aren't for the bandwidth impaired. Read the fish heads guide to VRML if you're not really sure what VRML is or if your having problems viewing VRML models.

Start Webfish3d

©2010 Fisheries Acoustics Research