As a Reynolds Fellow, Bimal Balakrishan, director of the Immersive Visualization Lab at the University of Missouri, is exploring the potential applications (and challenges) of 3-D technology for the journalism and advertising industries. Balakrishnan says various 3-D technologies could enable visual content to be presented in a more innovative, interactive and immersive manner for news and advertising.
In the past few decades, the entertainment industry has made several advances in 3-D technology with computer-generated animations like the Toy Story series, or 3-D films like Avatar that seamlessly mix video and computer-generated footage. Other professions have incorporated these advances into their workflow. For example, faculty, staff and students at the iLab in Architectural Studies use animation and gaming software, motion capture equipment and 3-D cameras among other tools to advance architectural visualization techniques. According to Balakrishnan, while 3-D content and immersive technologies hold great potential for journalism, the profession has been slow to embrace them.