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A hybrid ray tracer for rendering polygon and volume data

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1 Author(s)
Levoy, M. ; Dept. of Comput. Sci., North Carolina Univ., Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Volume rendering, a technique for visualizing sampled functions of three spatial dimensions by computing 2-D projections of a colored semitransparent volume, is extended to handle polygonally defined objects. A hybrid ray-tracing algorithm, whereby rays are simultaneously cast through a set of polygons and a volume data array, is used. Samples of each are drawn at equally spaced intervals along the rays, and the resulting colors and opacities are composited together in depth-sorted order. To avoid aliasing of polygonal edges at modest computational expense, a form of selective supersampling is used. To avoid errors in visibility at polygon-volume intersections, special treatment is given to volume samples lying immediately in front of and behind polygons. The cost, image quality, and versatility of the algorithm are evaluated using data from 3-D medical imaging applications.<>

Published in:

Computer Graphics and Applications, IEEE  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 2 )