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Visualize This! Challenge


Visualize This! is a Canada-wide competition that aims to celebrate the innovative ways visualization can help researchers to explore datasets and answer important scientific questions. Visualize This! is your chance to challenge your creativity, experiment with new visualization tools, and contribute to the growth of data visualization in Canada!

Please visit the 2018 Visualize This page for the current competition details.

The 2017 Visualize This! Challenge was hosted by WestGrid, a regional partner of Compute Canada. More than 80 people registered for the competition, and we had some very strong submissions. After thoughtful deliberation the panel of judges has picked three winners.

First place

The first place was taken by Jarno van der Kolk, a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Ottawa. Jarno's visualization (shown below) was selected for its overall presentation, with a very informative voice-over. We especially appreciated the toy conceptual animation rendered entirely in ParaView and the use of programmable sources for rendering grass, the house, and the roof in the same scene with the turbine blades. The colour scheme for showing the wind speed was very nice, with red/blue indicating the flow which is faster/slower than the incoming air. Jarno's visualization provided a clear explanation of what forces exactly drive the blades.


Second place

The second prize went to Nadya Moisseeva, a PhD student in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC. Nadya's work (shown below) was selected for its use of several innovative techniques in her visualization:

  • use of the Stream Tracer With Custom Source filter through a grid of seed points in a vertical cross-section (forcing the streamlines to be redrawn at each height),
  • animating the position of multiple integration time contours,
  • nice colour selection in the volumetric plots of regions of high/low pressure around the blades,
  • semi-transparent vorticity surfaces,
  • final multi-layer animation combining seven properties in a single timeline,
  • smooth continuous transitions between all animations,
  • informative burned-in captions, and
  • nice use of several rotation and displacement motions.


Third place

The third place was taken by Dan MacDonald, Thangam Natarajan, Richard Windeyer, Peter Coppin, and David Steinman, a joint team from the Biomedical Simulation Laboratory of the University of Toronto and the Perceptual Artifacts Laboratory of OCAD University. Their visualization (shown below) was selected for its unique use of Blender's game engine to let a user walk through the ParaView-created scene, toggle the visibility of the various physical components, and for coupling the visual scene with the SuperCollider server to produce on-the-fly audio from selected Q-criterion under the microphone in Blender's game engine.



The prizes for this competition were generously donated by Dell EMC (the first prize is a 43" 4K Multi-Client Monitor) and Intel (the second and third prizes are 512 GB SSD drives). We would like to acknowledge both Dell EMC and Intel for their continued support of Advanced Research Computing in Canada!