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Chapter 10: Volume Visualization


Below are several scenarios that illustrate techniques for the visualization of 3D scalar volumes, using volumetric rendering. As always, make sure to study also the complementary techniques described in the source code samples for Chapter 10.


Volume rendering introduction

This scenario demonstrates the basic concepts of volume rendering. A given 3D scalar volume is rendered using various styles

  • surface: little is visible, since inner structures are occluded
  • one slice: the actual scalars are well visible only at the slice's location
  • multiple slices: a crude form of volume rendering (due to alpha blending limitations)
  • volume: true volume rendering exposes inner structures

Try changing the color and alpha mapping function to obtain different insights into the volume data.

Volume rendering styles

This scenario demonstrates the effects of various parameters of volume rendering. As dataset, we use a 3D flow volume, for which we visualize the scalar velocity. Tuning the colormap and volumetric shading effects reveals different structures pertaining to high flow velocity areas in the dataset.