imagining novel access points
to science for more communities 

This Matterport3D experience provides an interactive media-driven exploration of a ‘virtual twin’ of the ISAC II research facility, an area not commonly part of the lab’s public tour program. Using artificial intelligence, the Matterport scanner generates a 3D model of the space while simultaneously capturing 360 high dynamic range photographs. The concept brought tagged descriptions of experimental facilities, beamlines and design schematic treatments together, in the form of rendered videos. 

This opportunity to deconstruct and reconstruct modern visual technology and information design into a completely new workflow has given us a lot of momentum to develop other new and more widely accessible learning experiences.

Scott Mallory, Arts & Culture Curator

This integrated media approach was developed by first accessing the Matterport framework to blend these captured assets through workflows used in creative media. The intricate effort included a combination of 3D model scans, 360° photography, 3D animation, visual effects (VFX), and production design. 

The 360° images were taken into a separate VFX software used for cinema. Here they were ‘wrapped’ onto spheres in a digital environment to create video ‘scenes’ or shots by custom animating camera moves inside the spheres.

(Image: Matterport HDR 360° photograph)

The beam activity was stylized and animated using a combination of 2D and 3D tools, then tracked and integrated into the camera moves of each scene according to location, dimension, and color.

(Image: 2D digital compositing in NukeX)

Because of its high level of detail accessing the TIGRESS 3D design schematic model, created by TRIUMF’s Design Shop, required an industrial design workflow to extract its core components before bringing them into the VFX pipeline.

(Image: TIGRESS 3D model optimization from Solidworks, into both Rhino and Maya workflows; Robert-Martyn Fraser and Alex Swanson pictured)
(Image: TIGRESS design schematic wireframe analysis)
(Image: still from a 3D animation of the interior workings of the TIGRESS gamma ray spectrometer based on TRIUMF Design Shop drawings)

After design schematic optimization, the core model was placed into a 360° VFX scene and matched to an animated camera move. Several variations of the tracked model were isolated as video clips to be re-combined and customized in the next production phase.


The clips were imported as ‘layers’ into compositing software to be further stylized and seamlessly integrated into the sequence of beam activity visualizations.

(Image: 360 camera scene in After Effects)

The Matterport 3D model was extracted then integrated into the featured site map transitions using dynamic simulation and pixel blending techniques between 3D, 360°, and graphic design of the site.

(Image: Matterport model and 360° image ‘fly in’ pixel blend)
(Image: 360° image pixel scatter)

Finally, these results were assembled into the video clips linked in the Matterport interface alongside text and web links, providing a multifaceted sequence of information that allows the user to experience ISAC II in Matterport3D at their own pace.

TRIUMF Communications’ team of collaborators include: 

Scott Mallory, Production Lead & Digital Compositor

Ray Sun, Matterport Specialist

Ivan Li, Computer Graphic Artist

Declan Reilly-Gordon, Interaction Designer

Robert-Martyn Fraser, Industrial Designer

Alex Swanson, Industrial Designer