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Parallel volume rendering using binary-swap compositing

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4 Author(s)
Kwan-Liu Ma ; Inst. for Comput. Applications in Sci. & Eng., NASA Langley Res. Center, Hampton, VA, USA ; J. S. Painter ; C. D. Hansen ; M. F. Krogh

We describe a parallel volume-rendering algorithm, which consists of two parts: parallel ray tracing and parallel compositing. In the most recent implementation on Connection Machine's CM-5 and networked workstations, the parallel volume renderer evenly distributes data to the computing resources available. Without the need to communicate with other processing units, each subvolume is ray traced locally and generates a partial image. The parallel compositing process then merges all resulting partial images in depth order to produce the complete image. The compositing algorithm is particularly effective for massively parallel processing, as it always uses all processing units by repeatedly subdividing the partial images and distributing them to the appropriate processing units. Test results on both the CM-5 and the workstations are promising. They do, however, expose different performance issues for each platform.<>

Published in:

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications  (Volume:14 ,  Issue: 4 )