GPU-based Dynamic Tubular Grids for Sparse Volume Rendering

David Mayerich, John Keyser
Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
IEEE Visualization Conference Vis 2010 (2010) Pages: 3-4


   title={GPU-based Dynamic Tubular Grids for Sparse Volume Rendering},

   author={Mayerich, D. and Keyser, J.},



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Dynamic Tubular Grids (DT-Grids) are designed to encode gridaligned data in level-set simulations. While they are extremely efficient for storing sparse volumetric data, they require logarithmic time for random access. We demonstrate that DT-Grids can be used to efficiently render sparse volumetric data that would otherwise not be able to fit in texture memory. For many real-world biomedical data sets, such as 3D images of microvascular and neuronal networks, this results in over 10X compression compared to representation as a 3D voxel grid. DT-Grids also have several advantages over GPU-based octrees, requiring less memory and fewer indirect lookups per voxel. Finally, storing additional information per voxel does not increase DT-Grid overhead. This is an important feature for visualizing data sets from emerging imaging methods, such as Array Tomography and infrared spectroscopy, which allow many channels to be imaged per spatial voxel.
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