CTX Imaging Shows 3D Bones In Fast Motion, Total Recall Style

10
Save
Illustration for article titled CTX Imaging Shows 3D Bones In Fast Motion, Total Recall Style

Dr. Elizabeth Brainerd and her colleagues in the vertebrate morphology group at Brown University have just developed CTX Imaging, a technique that combines computed-tomography, x-ray video and computing post-processing to let you see bones in rapid motion. Like Mr. Crocodile here doing the Jane Fonda on the treadmill. The process and the results are quite stunning, as you will see in the images after the jump.

Advertisement
Illustration for article titled CTX Imaging Shows 3D Bones In Fast Motion, Total Recall Style

First, they do a complete tomography scan on the subject, which gets stored in the computer to get combined with "high-speed fluoroscopy" footage of the animal in motion. That generates a highly detailed 3D computer animated model that can be seen from any angle. So detailed that it can capture 1,000 frames per second with a precision of a tenth of a millimeter.

According to Dr. Brainerd, this allows you "to study many aspects of skeletal kinematics, such as long axis rotation of bones, putative bending of fine bones in small animals, and the relative 3D motions of the articular surfaces of joints" for the first time ever.

Image credits: D.B. Baier for the Alligator and S.M. Gatesy for the bird.

Down to the bone [Popsci]

DISCUSSION

I thought I was looking at an original idea for a second, all they're doing is putting dinosaur models into a 3D program and using inverse kinematics to figure out their motion. Basically when you create a skeleton with inverse kinematics, instead of figuring out the xy&z coords of every bone manually, you create different kinds of joints between the bones. Then to create a walk cycle you only have to move the feet, the thigh and calf will form the angles they would in real life because of the joints restraining their movement.

I guess it's great that scientists are figuring out how to use computers, but all you need to do is look at a Pixar film to know that people have been doing this for years.