Device Independent Perspective Volume Rendering Using Octrees


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Department of Computer Science, Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University


This paper describes a reasonably fast, space efficient algorithm for volume rendering. The algorithm is device independent since it is written as an X Windows client. It makes no graphics calls to dedicated graphics hardware, but allows the X server to take advantage of such hardware when it exists. It can be run on any machine that supports X windows, from an IBM-PC to a high-end graphics workstation. It produces a perspective projection of the volume, since perspective projections are generally easier to interpret than parallel projections. The algorithm uses progressive refinement to give the user a quick view of the dataset and how it is oriented. If a different orientation or dataset is desired, the user may interrupt the rendering process. Once the desired dataset and position have been determined, the progressive refinement process continues and the image improves in quality until the greatest level of detail is displayed.