Virtual Rheoscopic Fluids

Florian Hecht, Peter J. Mucha, Greg Turk
College of Computing, Georgia Institute of Technology, 85 5th Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30032-0760, USA
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2009


   title={Virtual Rheoscopic Fluids},

   author={Hecht, F. and Mucha, P.J. and Turk, G.},

   journal={IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics},



   publisher={Published by the IEEE Computer Society}


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We present a visualization technique for simulated fluid dynamics data that visualizes the gradient of the velocity field in an intuitive way. Our work is inspired by rheoscopic particles, which are small, flat particles that, when suspended in fluid, align themselves with the shear of the flow. We adopt the physical principles of real rheoscopic particles and apply them, in model form, to 3D velocity fields. By simulating the behavior and reflectance of these particles, we are able to render 3D simulations in a way that gives insight into the dynamics of the system. The results can be rendered in real time, allowing the user to inspect the simulation from all perspectives. We achieve this by a combination of precomputations and fast ray tracing on the GPU. We demonstrate our method on several different simulations, showing their complex dynamics in the process.
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