The VRE volume rendering engine

Michal Hucko, Michal Vanek, Milos Sramek
Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Proceedings of the 26th Spring Conference on Computer Graphics, SCCG ’10, 2010


   author={Huv{c}ko, Michal and Vanek, Michal and v{S}r'{a}mek, Milov{s}},

   title={The VRE volume rendering engine},

   booktitle={Proceedings of the 26th Spring Conference on Computer Graphics},

   series={SCCG ’10},



   location={Budmerice, Slovakia},







   address={New York, NY, USA},

   keywords={client/server architecture, cross-platform, rendering, volume visualisation}


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We present the extendable volume rendering engine VRE which provides an open and flexible environment for both experimental and production level implementation of a wide range of volume visualisation algorithms, including various CPU and GPU based ones. We identify parts of renderer functionality suitable for isolation in logical units and propose various types of plugins. As the support for various volume data file formats, internal data representation and rendering algorithms is realised by the plugins, the engine can be easily extended by new functionality. We define a general application interface which enables to develop arbitrary visualisation applications, being it command line, batch ones or applications with a graphical user interface. The proposed architecture provides for multiple concurrent renderings which can be with advantage utilised in the client/server version of the engine. In this setup the server side component of the engine allows access of multiple peers to a single instance of the engine, which makes sharing of the visualised data by multiple clients possible. The VRE software is released under the GPL licence, opening the potential of the environment to all interested parties.
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