Acceleration of direct volume rendering with programmable graphics hardware

Hacer Y. Keles, Alphan Es, Veysi Isler
Department of Computer Engineering, METU, Ankara, Turkey
The Visual Computer, Vol. 23, No. 1. (January 2007), pp. 15-24.


   title={Acceleration of direct volume rendering with programmable graphics hardware},

   author={Yal{i}m Kele{c{s}}, H. and Es, A. and {.I}{c{s}}ler, V.},

   journal={The Visual Computer},








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We propose a method to accelerate direct volume rendering using programmable graphics hardware (GPU). In the method, texture slices are grouped together to form a texture slab. Rendering non-empty slabs from front to back viewing order generates the resultant image. Considering each pixel of the image as a ray, slab silhouette maps (SSMs) are used to skip empty spaces along the ray direction per pixel basis. Additionally, SSMs contain terminated ray information. The method relies on hardware z-occlusion culling and hardware occlusion queries to accelerate ray traversals. The advantage of this method is that SSMs are created on the fly by the GPU without any pre-processing. The cost of generating the acceleration structure is very small with respect to the total rendering time.
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