The Visual Computer

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 2–7 | Cite as

Volume rendering by adaptive refinement

  • Marc Levoy
Article

Abstract

Volume rendering is a technique for visualizing sampled scalar functions of three spatial dimensions by computing 2D projections of a colored semi-transparent gel. This paper presents a volume-rendering algorithm, in which image quality is adaptively refined over time. An initial image is generated by casting a small number of rays into the data, less than one ray per pixel, and interpolating between the resulting colors. Subsequent images are generated by alternately casting more rays and interpolating. The usefulness of these rays is maximized by distributing them according to measures of local image complexity. Examples from two applications are given: molecular graphics and medical imaging.

Key words

Volume rendering Voxel Adaptive refinement Adaptive sampling Ray tracing 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc Levoy
    • 1
  1. 1.Computer Science DepartmentUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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