Skip to Main Content
In volume rendering, most optical models currently in use are based on the assumptions that a volumetric object is a collection of particles and that the macro behavior of particles, when they interact with light rays, can be predicted based on the behavior of each individual particle. However, such models are not capable of characterizing the collective optical effect of a collection of particles which dominates the appearance of the boundaries of dense objects. In this paper, we propose a generalized optical model that combines particle elements and surface elements together to characterize both the behavior of individual particles and the collective effect of particles. The framework based on a new model provides a more powerful and flexible tool for hybrid rendering of isosurfaces and transparent clouds of particles in a single scene. It also provides a more rational basis for shading, so the problem of normal-based shading in homogeneous regions encountered in conventional volume rendering can be easily avoided. The model can be seen as an extension to the classical model. It can be implemented easily, and most of the advanced numerical estimation methods previously developed specifically for the particle-based optical model, such as preintegration, can be applied to the new model to achieve high-quality rendering results.