Feature Aligned Volume Manipulation for Illustration and Visualization

Carlos Correa, Deborah Silver, Min Chen
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, Vol. 12, No. 5. (2006), pp. 1069-1076


   title={Feature aligned volume manipulation for illustration and visualization},

   author={Correa, C. and Silver, D. and Chen, M.},

   journal={IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics},




   publisher={Published by the IEEE Computer Society}


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In this paper we describe a GPU-based technique for creating illustrative visualization through interactive manipulation of volumetric models. It is partly inspired by medical illustrations, where it is common to depict cuts and deformation in order to provide a better understanding of anatomical and biological structures or surgical processes, and partly motivated by the need for a real-time solution that supports the specification and visualization of such illustrative manipulation. We propose two new feature-aligned techniques, namely surface alignment and segment alignment, and compare them with the axis-aligned techniques which was reported in previous work on volume manipulation. We also present a mechanism for defining features using texture volumes, and methods for computing correct normals for the deformed volume in respect to different alignments. We describe a GPU-based implementation to achieve real-time performance of the techniques and a collection of manipulation operators including peelers, retractors, pliers and dilators which are adaptations of the metaphors and tools used in surgical procedures and medical illustrations. Our approach is directly applicable in medical and biological illustration, and we demonstrate how it works as an interactive tool for focus+context visualization, as well as a generic technique for volume graphics.
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