Volume Raycasting Performance Using DirectCompute

Hakan Johansson
Blekinge Institute of Technology
Blekinge Institute of Technology, 2012


   title={Volume Raycasting Performance Using DirectCompute},

   author={Johansson, H{aa}kan},



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Volume rendering is quite an old concept of representing images, dating back to the 1980’s. It is very useful in the medical field for visualizing the results of a computer tomography (CT) and magnet resonance tomography (MRT) in 3D. Apart from these two major applications for volume rendering, there aren’t many other fields of usage accept from tech demos. Volumetric data does not have any limitations to the shape of an object that ordinary meshes can have. A popular way of representing volume data is through an algorithm that is called volume raycasting. There is a big disadvantage with this algorithm, namely that it is computationally heavy for the hardware. However, there have been vast improvements of the graphic cards (GPUs) in recent years and with the first GPU implementation of volume raycasting in 2003, how does this algorithm perform on modern hardware? Can the performance of the algorithm be improved with the introduction of GPGPU (DirectCompute) in Directx 11? The performance results of the basic version and the DirectCompute version was compared in this thesis and revealed significant improvement in performance. Speedup was indeed possible when using DirectCompute to optimize volume raycasting.
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