Fast Implicit KD-Trees: Accelerated Isosurface Ray Tracing and Maximum Intensity Projection for Large Scalar Fields

M. Groß, C. Lojewski, M. Bertram, and H. Hagen (Germany)


Isosurface extraction, Maximum Intensity Projection, TimeVarying Volume Data, Large Data Set Visualization, Implicit KDTrees, Ray Tracing


Many scientific data sets are 3D or 4D scalar fields, for which typically isosurfaceand volume visualization meth ods are used to extract information. These data sets are ei ther massively complex (e.g., seismic data sets), or steadily increasing in size due to the permanently improving res olutions of different 3D scanners (e.g., CTand MRT scanners) or calculation results (e.g., CFD-simulations). Only algorithms that scale well to data set complexity are suited to visualize those increasing data sets. Isosurface ray tracing and maximum intensity projection (MIP) accelerated through implicit KD-trees have a loga rithmic dependency between visualization time and scene size, making them ideal algorithms for the visualization of massively complex scalar fields. Furthermore is ray tracing efficiently parallelized on the more and more com monly used shared memory machines (e.g., desktop ma chines with several multicore processors) and may be used to realize advanced shading effects like shadows and re flections. We introduce new optimized implicit KD-trees which allow on today’s desktop computers interactive iso surfacing and MIP of data sets that are bigger than one half of the machine’s main memory.

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