Texture-Based Visualization of Unsteady 3D Flow by Real-Time Advection and Volumetric Illumination

Daniel Weiskopf, Tobias Schafhitzel, Thomas Ertl
Graphics, Visualization, & Usability Lab, Simon Fraser Univ., Burnaby, BC
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2007


   title={Texture-based visualization of unsteady 3d flow by real-time advection and volumetric illumination},

   author={Weiskopf, D. and Schafhitzel, T. and Ertl, T.},

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







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This paper presents an interactive technique for the dense texture-based visualization of unsteady 3D flow, taking into account issues of computational efficiency and visual perception. High efficiency is achieved by a 3D graphics processing unit (GPU)-based texture advection mechanism that implements logical 3D grid structures by physical memory in the form of 2D textures. This approach results in fast read and write access to physical memory, independent of GPU architecture. Slice-based direct volume rendering is used for the final display. We investigate two alternative methods for the volumetric illumination of the result of texture advection: First, gradient-based illumination that employs a real-time computation of gradients, and, second, line-based lighting based on illumination in codimension 2. In addition to the Phong model, perception-guided rendering methods are considered, such as cool/warm shading, halo rendering, or color-based depth cueing. The problems of clutter and occlusion are addressed by supporting a volumetric importance function that enhances features of the flow and reduces visual complexity in less interesting regions. GPU implementation aspects, performance measurements, and a discussion of results are included to demonstrate our visualization approach.
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