06/01/1990 09:00 AM
Computer Science
Computer graphics has, since its inception, been an invaluable tool for the understanding and analysis of datasets, both computed and acquired. The primary means for visualizing abstract datasets has been to extract two or three-dimensional geometric information from the data and display it using traditional computer graphics rendering techniques. However, this technique is not appropriate for many types of datasets and may result in loss of information in the visualization process. Volumetric datasets consist of a three-dimensional grid of scalar and/or vector values which may not be inherently representable using geometric methods. Recently, researchers haved developed specialized techniques for directly rendering volumetric data, however, not many have addressed the need to incorporate these techniques into traditional rendering systems. The objective of this research is to investigate an object-oriented approach to the analysis, design, and implementation of a ray casting rendering system which handles volumetric and geometric primitives directly. Particular attention is paid to the requirement of extensibility of the rendering system. This feature is inherent in an object-oriented design and eases the addition of new types of renderable objects and experimentation with different methods. To demonstrate, the system is extended to include a new primitive for rendering the volumetric results of computational fluid dynamics simulations on three-dimensional curvilinear solution grids.

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