34. Volume Visualization: Principles and Practice

Full Day / Intermediate

Volume visualization is a key technology for visualizing 3D-sampled, simulated, and synthetic datasets. This course provides an overview of the nomenclature, the technology, and the techniques, with an emphasis on algorithms, software tools, and applications. It covers different approaches in surface extraction, volume viewing, volume shading, volume synthesis, volumetric global illumination, commercially available software, and applications. Slides, videos, and live demos demonstrate state-of-the-art techniques.

Who Should Attend
Computer scientists and professionals who develop visualization techniques for volume data, and professionals in scientific, engineering, and biomedical disciplines who use or plan to use these techniques.

Arie Kaufman
State University of New York at Stony Brook

Rick Avila
William Lorensen
Lisa Sobierajski
General Electric Corporate Research and Development

Roni Yagel
The Ohio State University


8:30 am: Introduction - Kaufman

Topics include background, history, taxonomy, data flow, and the volume visualization pipeline.

9:15 am: Volume Representation - Lorensen

Topics include various data types for volume representation, surface extraction and display such as marching and dividing cubes algorithms, decimation, and volume modeling. Videos and live demos on surface-based volume rendering.

10:00 am: Break

10:15 am: Volume Representation (continued) - Lorensen

10:45 am: Viewing and Shading Algorithms - Yagel

Topics include basic and efficient algorithms for viewing and shading in voxel space (e.g., back-to-front, shearing, splatting) and in pixel space (e.g., ray casting). Introduction to volume rendering on multiprocessors and rendering of irregular grids. Videos and live demos of volume rendering and shading techniques.

12:00 noon: Break

1:30 pm: Volume Synthesis - Kaufman

Topics include voxelization (3D scan conversion), 3D discrete topology, intermixing synthetic and sampled/computed data, and volume graphics. Videos and live demos of volume synthesis.

2:15 pm: Volumetric Global Illumination - Sobierajski

Topics include discrete ray tracing, volumetric ray tracing, and volumetric radiosity. Videos and live demos of volumetric global illumination.

3:00 pm: Break

3:15 pm: Applications - Lorensen

This section will survey and demo some of the applications of volume visualization. The emphasis will be on 3D interactive biomedical imaging, scientific visualization, and industrial and engineering applications. Specific examples include CAD, geometric modeling, numerical cutter path generation, robot path planning, enhancing reality in the operating room, virtual endoscopy, and the Visible Human.

4:00 pm: Software Tools - Avila

Topics include an overview of volume visualization software tools, and available packages. Volume visualization sessions and different tools of the VolVis system will be demonstrated. The applications will include 3D interactive biological and medical imaging, geological imaging, oil exploration, environmental visualization, flow field and scientific visualization.

Course Notes

Introduction to Volume Visualization, by Arie E. Kaufman, is missing from the printed notes. A PDF version can be downloaded here (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 4.6MB).

Volume Synthesis, by Arie E. Kaufman, is missing from the printed notes. A PDF version can be downloaded here (Adobe Acrobat PDF, 14.7MB). Note: this file contains Dr. Kaufman's slide presentation and is very large.

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