Original Article

The Visual Computer

, Volume 28, Issue 3, pp 265-278

First online:

Uncertainty visualization using HDR volume rendering

  • Vijeth DineshaAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Automation, Indian Institute of Science
  • , Neeharika AdabalaAffiliated withCybULab
  • , Vijay NatarajanAffiliated withDepartment of Computer Science and Automation, Supercomputer Education and Research Centre, Indian Institute of Science Email author 

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In this paper, we explore a novel idea of using high dynamic range (HDR) technology for uncertainty visualization. We focus on scalar volumetric data sets where every data point is associated with scalar uncertainty. We design a transfer function that maps each data point to a color in HDR space. The luminance component of the color is exploited to capture uncertainty. We modify existing tone mapping techniques and suitably integrate them with volume ray casting to obtain a low dynamic range (LDR) image. The resulting image is displayed on a conventional 8-bits-per-channel display device. The usage of HDR mapping reveals fine details in uncertainty distribution and enables the users to interactively study the data in the context of corresponding uncertainty information. We demonstrate the utility of our method and evaluate the results using data sets from ocean modeling.


Uncertainty visualization Transfer function design Ray casting Volume rendering High dynamic range imaging Tone mapping