Audi Virtual Reality Studios: presentation technology

Automotive Design 24 Jan 2008
Audi Virtual Reality Studios: presentation technology

The Audi Virtual Reality Studios at Ingolstadt have adopted an advanced presentation technology that delivers high-resolution and high-contrast visualisation to help the decision-making in the design development process.


The technology is similar to that recently adopted by Land Rover and Jaguar’s Virtual Reality Center and is based on advanced digital projectors by Sony.

Below we report the official release by Audi:

Major advantages for design check and at Data Monitoring Centre
Ingolstadt – Audi has become the first car manufacturer in Europe to adopt
a new presentation technology – of digital cinema quality.

It is possible to
examine future vehicle models realistically and in detail in the design check
and the Data Monitoring Centre at the Virtual Reality (VR) Studios even
before they have been created.

Audi Virtual Reality - Image DetailThe Data Monitoring Centre visualises vehicle projects authentically on the basis
of design data.

These are then presented to the Board Member responsible, who
takes the data and approves it for the production process of creating operating
materials and equipment.

"The new technology in the Data Monitoring Centre serves as an interface
between man and technology in the production release process,"
explains VR
developer Carsten Huschka.

"The entire visible vehicle surface is examined to
guarantee the quality look that the customer perceives and expects."

The projector that makes such presentations possible was actually intended for
digital cinema and is made by Sony Business Systems.

Sony SRX-S110 high resolution projectors Sony’s high-end projectors have a max resolution of 4096x2160px,
a weight of 110 kg, and a spare xenon lamp costs about $6,000

The Sony SRX-S110 4K
projector
(Silicon X-tal Reflective Display) shows the complex 3D data models
from the computers at a resolution of 4,096 x 2,160 active pixels – four times as
many as the standard for high-definition television.

Vehicle models can
consequently be presented to their original scale in 5.6 million pixels – rising to
7.4 million for the design check – on the Powerwall, which measures 6 metres
wide by 2.3 metres high.

The projection system involves a whole network of computers, connected up to the projection system by what is known as a pixel
processor.

This combines the individual elements and can also display other
media, such as photos, by the Picture in Picture (PiP) principle.

The two new systems at Audi’s design check operations in Technical
Development and in the Data Monitoring Centre were created and executed
almost concurrently, with the help of Audi’s IT Planning.

"Using this projector results in major advantages for the design check," explained
Christian Ziller, coordinator of the project in the design check at Audi.

"Without
needing to carry out any edge blending, we can now obtain a seamless image
and can control even the smallest of details thanks to the high image quality and
outstanding contrast,"
added Ziller.

The design check is a visualisation and
decision-making process that aims to avoid the wrong direction being taken in the
development process.

Audi Virtual RealityIt starts at the concept phase and ends when a new model
is launched on the market. Throughout the process, concepts and current
development statuses can be visualised and verified promptly. Here again, the
new presentation technology proves beneficial.

Virtual camera flights around the exterior and through the vehicle’s interior during
the design check and at the Data Monitoring Centre allow the vehicle geometries
developed on the computer to be examined very closely.

Discrepancies in the
surface structure can be recognised immediately and even the smallest of
spacings and gaps can be measured precisely.

The various materials – from the lustre of the paintwork to the fine leather
structure – have a tangible, "true to life" look. Realistic light conditions such as
shadows and reflections give the viewer the impression that it is an actual vehicle
on the Powerwall, no matter what angle it is contemplated from.

This is
enormously useful for data monitoring, because discrepancies in measurements
can easily be detected and analysed. The vehicle can then be refined
accordingly.
The new projector at the Planning Department’s Virtual Reality Studio can now
show dimensions for which a battery of six projectors would previously have been
necessary.

The "edge blending" that needed to be performed under the old
method to blend together the overlaps between the images from the separate
projectors is now a thing of the past.

The new presentation technology not only
projects the images seamlessly with optimum results, but also makes it possible
to monitor all details precisely thanks to the high-contrast image quality.

(Source: Audi)

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