Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Talk at EPFL - Visual Computing Seminar

Super excited to visit Wenzel Jacob and give the following talk in the context of the Visual Computing Seminars.

Blue Brain Brayns, A platform for high fidelity large-scale and interactive visualization of scientific data and brain structures

The Blue Brain Project has made major efforts to create morphologically accurate neurons to simulate sub-cellular and electrical activities, for example, molecular simulations of neuron biochemistry or multi-scale simulations of neuronal function.

One of the keys towards understanding how the brain works as a whole, is visualization of how the individual cells function. In particular, the more morphologically accurate the visualization can be, the easier it is for experts in the biological field to validate cell structures; photo-realistic rendering is therefore important. Brayns is a visualization platform that can interactively perform high-quality and high-fidelity rendering of neuroscience large data sets. Thanks to its client/server architecture, Brayns can be run in the cloud as well as on a supercomputer, and stream the rendering to any browser, either in a web UI or a Jupyter notebook.

At the Blue Brain project, the Visualization team makes intensive use of Blue Brain Brayns to produce ultra-high resolution movies (8K) and high-fidelity images for scientific publications. Brayns is also used to serve immersive visualization on the large displays, as well as unique devices such as the curved OpenDeck located at the Blue Brain office.

Brayns is also designed to accelerate scientific visualization, and to adapt to the large number of environments. Thanks to its modular architecture, Brayns makes it easy to use various rendering back-ends such as Intel's OSPRay (CPU) or NVIDIA's OptiX for example. Every scientific use-case such as DICOM, DTI, Blue Brain research, etc, is a standalone plug-in that runs on top of Brayns, allowing scientists and researchers to benefit from a high performance/fidelity/quality rendering system, without having to deal with the technical complexity of it.

Brayns currently implements a number of basic primitives such as meshes, volumes, point clouds, parametric geometries, and pioneers new rendering modalities for scientific visualization, like signed distance fields.

During this talk, I will explain the motivations behind the creation of the Brayns platform, give some technical insight about the architecture of the system and the various techniques that we already use to render datasets. I will also describe how new datasets, as well as rendering components (engines, shaders, materials, etc), can be added to the platform.