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Discrete ray tracing

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3 Author(s)
Yagel, R. ; Dept. of Comput. & Inf. Sci., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, OH, USA ; Cohen, D. ; Kaufman, A.

Discrete ray tracing, or 3-D raster ray tracing (RRT), which, unlike existing ray tracing methods that use geometric representation for the 3-D scene employs a 3-D discrete raster of voxels for representing the 3-D scene in the same way a 2-D raster of pixels represents a 2-D image, is discussed. Each voxel is a small quantum unit of volume that has numeric values associated with it representing some measurable properties or attributes of the real object or phenomenon at that voxel. It is shown that RRT operates in two phases: preprocessing voxel and discrete ray tracing. In the voxel phase, the geometric model is digitized using 3-D scan-conversion algorithms that convert the continuous representation of the model into a discrete representation within the 3-D raster. In the second phase, RRT employs a discrete variation of the conventional recursive ray tracer in which 3-D discrete rays are traversed through the 3-D raster to find the first surface voxel. Encountering a nontransparent voxel indicates a ray-surface hit. Results obtained by running the RRT software one one 20-MIPS (25-GHz) processor of a Silicon Graphics 4D/240GTX are presented in terms of CPU time.<>

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 5 )