Interactive volumetric lighting simulating scattering and shadowing

Timo Ropinski, Christian Doring, Christof Rezk-Salama
University of Munster, Munster, Germany
IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis), 2010


   title={Interactive volumetric lighting simulating scattering and shadowing},

   author={Ropinski, T. and Doring, C. and Rezk-Salama, C.},

   booktitle={Pacific Visualization Symposium (PacificVis), 2010 IEEE},





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In this paper we present a volumetric lighting model, which simulates scattering as well as shadowing in order to generate high quality volume renderings. By approximating light transport in inhomogeneous participating media, we are able to come up with an efficient GPU implementation, in order to achieve the desired effects at interactive frame rates. Moreover, in many cases the frame rates are even higher as those achieved with conventional gradient-based shading. To evaluate the impact of the proposed illumination model on the spatial comprehension of volumetric objects, we have conducted a user study, in which the participants had to perform depth perception tasks. The results of this study show, that depth perception is significantly improved when comparing our illumination model to conventional gradient-based volume shading. Additionally, since our volumetric illumination model is not based on gradient calculation, it is also less sensitive to noise and therefore also applicable to imaging modalities incorporating a higher degree of noise, as for instance magnet resonance tomography or 3D ultrasound.
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