Skip to Main Content
A new method for finding the locus of parallel vectors is presented, called PVsolve. A parallel-vector operator has been proposed as a visualization primitive, as several features can be expressed as the locus of points where two vector fields are parallel. Several applications of the idea have been reported, so accurate and efficient location of such points is an important problem. Previously published methods derive a tangent direction under the assumption that the two vector fields are parallel at the current point in space, then extend in that direction to a new point. PVsolve includes additional terms to allow for the fact that the two vector fields may not be parallel at the current point, and uses a root-finding approach. Mathematical analysis sheds new light on the feature flow field technique (FFF) as well. The root-finding property allows PVsolve to use larger step sizes for tracing parallel-vector curves, compared to previous methods, and does not rely on sophisticated differential equation techniques for accuracy. Experiments are reported on fluid flow simulations, comparing FFF and PVsolve.