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Fast display of illuminated field lines

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3 Author(s)
Stalling, D. ; Konrad-Zuse-Zentrum fur Informationstech., Berlin, Germany ; Zockler, M. ; Hege, H.-C.

A new technique for interactive vector field visualization using large numbers of properly illuminated field lines is presented. Taking into account ambient, diffuse and specular reflection terms, as well as transparency and depth cueing, we employ a realistic shading model which significantly increases the quality and realism of the resulting images. While many graphics workstations offer hardware support for illuminating surface primitives, usually no means for an accurate shading of line primitives are provided. However, we show that proper illumination of lines can be implemented by exploiting the texture mapping capabilities of modern graphics hardware. In this way, high rendering performance with interactive frame rates can be achieved. We apply the technique to render large numbers of integral curves of a vector field. The impression of the resulting images can be further improved by a number of visual enhancements, like color coding or particle animation. We also describe methods for controlling the distribution of field lines in space. These methods enable us to use illuminated field lines for interactive exploration of vector fields

Published in:

Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:3 ,  Issue: 2 )