Hybrid Data Visualization Based On Depth Complexity Histogram Analysis

Computer Graphics Forum, Volume 34, Number 1, page 74--85 - 2014
In many cases, only the combination of geometric and volumetric data sets is able to describe a single phenomenon under observation when visualizing large and complex data. When semi-transparent geometry is present, correct rendering results require sorting of transparent structures. Additional complexity is introduced as the contributions from volumetric data have to be partitioned according to the geometric objects in the scene. The A-buffer, an enhanced framebuffer with additional per-pixel information, has previously been introduced to deal with the complexity caused by transparent objects. In this paper, we present an optimized rendering algorithm for hybrid volume-geometry data based on the A-buffer concept. We propose two novel components for modern GPUs that tailor memory utilization to the depth complexity of individual pixels. The proposed components are compatible with modern A-buffer implementations and yield performance gains of up to eight times compared to existing approaches through reduced allocation and reuse of fast cache memory. We demonstrate the applicability of our approach and its performance with several examples from molecular biology, space weather, and medical visualization containing both, volumetric data and geometric structures.

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BibTex references

@article{LFSBYR14,
  author       = {Lindholm, Stefan and Falk, Martin and Sund\'en, Erik and Bock, Alexander and Ynnerman, Anders and Ropinski, Timo},
  title        = {{Hybrid Data Visualization Based On Depth Complexity Histogram Analysis}},
  journal      = {Computer Graphics Forum},
  number       = {1},
  volume       = {34},
  pages        = {74--85},
  year         = {2014},
  note         = {DOI: 10.1111/cgf.12460}
}

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