Opacity Peeling for Direct Volume RenderingAuthor:
Christof Rezk-Salama and Andreas KolbAbstract:
The most important technique to visualize 3D scalar data, as they arise e.g. in medicine from tomographic measurement, is direct volume rendering. A transfer function maps the scalar values to optical properties which are used to solve the integral of light transport in participating media. Many medical data sets, especially MRI data, however, are difficult to visualize due to different tissue types being represented by the same scalar value. The main problem is that interesting structures will be occluded by less important structures because they share the same range of data values. Occlusion, however, is a view-dependent problem and cannot be solved easily by transfer function design. This paper proposes a new method to display different entities inside the volume data in a single rendering pass. The proposed opacity peeling technique reveals structures in the data set that cannot be visualized directly by one- or multi-dimensional transfer functions without explicit segmentation. We also demonstrate real-time implementations using texture mapping and multiple render targets.
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