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A single-pass GPU ray casting framework for interactive out-of-core rendering of massive volumetric datasets

Gobbetti, Enrico, Marton, Fabio, Iglesias Guitian, Jose Antonio
CRS4 Visual Computing Group, Sardegna Ricerche Edificio 1, C.P. 25, 09010, Pula, Italy
The Visual Computer, Vol. 24, No. 7-9. (July 2008), pp. 797-806

@article{gobbetti2008single,

   title={A single-pass GPU ray casting framework for interactive out-of-core rendering of massive volumetric datasets},

   author={Gobbetti, E. and Marton, F. and Iglesias Guiti{‘a}n, J.A.},

   journal={The Visual Computer},

   volume={24},

   number={7},

   pages={797–806},

   issn={0178-2789},

   year={2008},

   publisher={Springer}

}

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We present an adaptive out-of-core technique for rendering massive scalar volumes employing single-pass GPU ray casting. The method is based on the decomposition of a volumetric dataset into small cubical bricks, which are then organized into an octree structure maintained out-of-core. The octree contains the original data at the leaves, and a filtered representation of children at inner nodes. At runtime an adaptive loader, executing on the CPU, updates a view and transfer function-dependent working set of bricks maintained on GPU memory by asynchronously fetching data from the out-of-core octree representation. At each frame, a compact indexing structure, which spatially organizes the current working set into an octree hierarchy, is encoded in a small texture. This data structure is then exploited by an efficient stackless ray casting algorithm, which computes the volume rendering integral by visiting non-empty bricks in front-to-back order and adapting sampling density to brick resolution. Block visibility information is fed back to the loader to avoid refinement and data loading of occluded zones. The resulting method is able to interactively explore multi-gigavoxel datasets on a desktop PC.
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