BVH for efficient raytracing of dynamic metaballs on GPU

Olivier Gourmel, Anthony Pajot, Loic Barthe, Mathias Paulin, Pierre Poulin
IRIT, University of Toulouse, France
Proceedings of SIGGRAPH 2009: Talks, SIGGRAPH ’09


   title={BVH for efficient raytracing of dynamic metaballs on GPU},

   author={Gourmel, O. and Pajot, A. and Barthe, L. and Paulin, M. and Poulin, P.},

   booktitle={SIGGRAPH 2009: Talks},





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Metaballs [Bloomenthal 1997] are effective to represent fluids and similar complex and deformable geometries, but their implicit nature makes difficult their visualization in real time. A common strategy is to tessellate the resulting isosurface and to render it on GPU, but it scales poorly as the number of metaballs increases. Kanamori et al. [2008] efficiently raycast thousands of metaballs without intermediate representations. Their method assumes that rays are shot from a single viewpoint, thus preventing secondary effects (no shadows, reflections, etc.), and is limited to polynomial density functions. We propose to exploit the culling capacity of dynamic bounding volume hierarchies (BVH) [Wald 2007], the secant method for ray-surface intersection, and CPU-GPU parallelism to alleviate the restrictions of their method. This results in a general raytracing method, allowing arbitrary ray intersection (visibility, shadow, reflection, refraction, etc.) with metaballs of any finite-support at interactive performances.
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