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      Scientific rotoscoping: a morphology-based method of 3-D motion analysis and visualization.

      Journal of experimental zoology. Part A, Ecological genetics and physiology

      Alligators and Crocodiles, anatomy & histology, physiology, Animals, Bone and Bones, Columbidae, Computer Simulation, Flight, Animal, Imaging, Three-Dimensional, instrumentation, methods, Joints, Locomotion, Models, Biological, Software, Tomography, X-Ray Computed, Video Recording

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          Three-dimensional skeletal movement is often impossible to accurately quantify from external markers. X-ray imaging more directly visualizes moving bones, but extracting 3-D kinematic data is notoriously difficult from a single perspective. Stereophotogrammetry is extremely powerful if bi-planar fluoroscopy is available, yet implantation of three radio-opaque markers in each segment of interest may be impractical. Herein we introduce scientific rotoscoping (SR), a new method of motion analysis that uses articulated bone models to simultaneously animate and quantify moving skeletons without markers. The three-step process is described using examples from our work on pigeon flight and alligator walking. First, the experimental scene is reconstructed in 3-D using commercial animation software so that frames of undistorted fluoroscopic and standard video can be viewed in their correct spatial context through calibrated virtual cameras. Second, polygonal models of relevant bones are created from CT or laser scans and rearticulated into a hierarchical marionette controlled by virtual joints. Third, the marionette is registered to video images by adjusting each of its degrees of freedom over a sequence of frames. SR outputs high-resolution 3-D kinematic data for multiple, unmarked bones and anatomically accurate animations that can be rendered from any perspective. Rather than generating moving stick figures abstracted from the coordinates of independent surface points, SR is a morphology-based method of motion analysis deeply rooted in osteological and arthrological data.

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