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Interactive Isosurface Ray Tracing of Time-Varying Tetrahedral Volumes

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4 Author(s)
Wald, I. ; Univ. of Utah, Santa Clara ; Friedrich, H. ; Knoll, A. ; Hansen, C.D.

We describe a system for interactively rendering isosurfaces of tetrahedral finite-element scalar fields using coherent ray tracing techniques on the CPU. By employing state-of-the art methods in polygonal ray tracing, namely aggressive packet/frustum traversal of a bounding volume hierarchy, we can accommodate large and time-varying unstructured data. In conjunction with this efficiency structure, we introduce a novel technique for intersecting ray packets with tetrahedral primitives. Ray tracing is flexible, allowing for dynamic changes in isovalue and time step, visualization of multiple isosurfaces, shadows, and depth-peeling transparency effects. The resulting system offers the intuitive simplicity of isosurfacing, guaranteed-correct visual results, and ultimately a scalable, dynamic and consistently interactive solution for visualizing unstructured volumes.

Published in:

Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 6 )