High-Quality Volume Graphics on Consumer PC Hardware

Course Notes PDF
Presentations
Summary
Siggraph Introduction Volume Rendering basics, presented by Markus Hadwiger (web)
Vis02 Introduction Volume Rendering basics, presented by Markus Hadwiger (ppt)
Vis02 Texture Based Texture-based volume rendering techniques, presented by Markus Hadwiger (ppt)
Siggraph Illumination The fundamentals of lighting for volume rendering, presented by Christof Rezk-Salama (web)
Vis02 Illumination The fundamentals of lighting for volume rendering, presented by Christof Rezk-Salama (ppt)
Siggraph Classification Optical properties and transfer function design, presented by Joe Kniss (web)
Vis02 Transfer Functions Transfer function design, presented by Gordon Kindlmann (ppt)
Vis02 Classification Optical properties, presented by Joe Kniss (ppt)
Vis02 Deformation Volume Deformation, presented by Christof Rezk-Salama (ppt)
Vis02 Filtering Hardware interpolation and filtering, presented by Markus Hadwiger (ppt)
Vis02 Pre-integrated TFs Pre-integrated Transfer Functions, presented by Klaus Engel (ppt)
Vis02 Hybrid Hybrid Volume Rendering Techniques, presented by Rudiger Westerman (ppt)
Siggraph Advanced Techniques Hardware filtering, Pre-integrated transfer functions, and volumetric effects, presented by Klaus Engel (web)
Siggraph Wrap up The top 10 issues comming up with the next generation hardware. (web)

Organizer Contact Information:

Joe Michael Kniss
Scientific Computing and Imaging, School of Computing University of Utah
50 S. Central Campus Dr. #3490
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Work phone: 801-581-7977
Cell phone: 801-898-7977
email: jmk@cs.utah.edu

Name of speakers:

Klaus Engel, University of Stuttgart, Germany
Markus Hadwiger, VRVis Research Center, Austria
Joe M. Kniss, University of Utah
Christof Rezk-Salama University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany

Proposed Length:

1/2-day

Proposed Presentation Venue:

regular session room / CAL

Summary Statement:

Participants will learn to leverage new features of modern graphics hardware to build interactive high-quality volume rendering applications for scientific visualization and entertainment. The course covers many aspects of volume rendering including illumination, transfer function design, interaction, hardware-accelerated filtering, and effects. It provides participants with code samples and implementation details.

Expanded Statement:

Interactive volume visualization in science and entertainment is no longer restricted to expensive workstations and dedicated hardware thanks to the fast evolution of consumer graphics driven by entertainment markets. Course participants will learn to leverage new features of modern graphics hardware to build high-quality volume rendering applications using OpenGL. Beginning with basic texture-based approaches, the algorithms are improved and expanded incrementally, covering illumination, non-polygonal isosurfaces, transfer function design, interaction, volumetric effects, and hardware accelerated filtering. The course is aimed at scientific researchers and entertainment developers. Course participants are provided with documented source code covering details usually omitted in publications.

Prerequisites:

Participants should have basic programming skills and should be familiar with OpenGL. Basic knowledge of graphics hardware is helpful but not required.

Topics covered:

Physical Background:
      Transport theory of light and sampling theory, ray casting

Texture Based Volume Rendering:
      2D textures, 3D textures, 2D multi-textures, alpha blending and maximum intensity projection OpenGL extensions

Illumination:
      non-polygonal shaded isosurfaces, per-pixel illumination, texture dot products, diffuse and specular light maps

Transfer Functions:
      Pre- and post-classification, texture color tables, dependent textures, multi-dimensional transfer functions

Transfer Function Design:
      Usability, image- and data-driven approaches, interaction and feedback, direct manipulation widgets

Advanced Techniques:
      Pre-integrated classification, pixel shader techniques, rasterization isosurfaces, hardware-accelerated high-quality filtering Perlin noise techniques and volumetric FX

Course Syllabus:

MODULE 1: Basic Hardware Volume Rendering
Session room
A. Introduction [15 min] (M. Hadwiger)
      Physical Background
      Traditional Ray-casting
      Computer Graphics Hardware

B. Texture-Based Methods [45 min] (M. Hadwiger)
      Relevant OpenGL Extensions
      2D-Texture Based Volume Rendering
      3D-Texture Based Volume Rendering
      2D-Multi-Texture Based Volume Rendering
      Compositing

C. Illumination Techniques [45 min] (Ch. Rezk-Salama)
      Introduction [10]
      Gradient Estimation[10]
      Per-pixel Illumination (Dot-Product) [15]
      Lightmaps/Environment Maps (Dep. Textures) [15]
      Non-polygonal Shaded isosurfaces [5]
      On-the-fly gradient estimation [5]
MODULE 2: Advanced Hardware Volume Rendering
CAL or Session room
D. Classification [30 min)] (J. Kniss)
      Introduction
      Pre- versus Post-classification
      Transfer Functions
      Implementations
      Multi-dimensional transfer functions

E. Transfer Function Design [30 min](Joe Kniss)
      Image-driven methods (thumbnail selection)
      Data-driven methods
      User Interaction and Feedback
      Optical Properties

F. Advanced Techniques [45 min] (K. Engel)
      Pre-Integrated Classification
      Texture-based Pre-Integrated Volume Rendering
      Rasterization Isosurfaces using Dependent Textures
      Hardware-Accelerated High-Quality Filtering
      Perlin Noise and Volumetric FX

G. Summary, Questions and Answers [variable] (all speakers)
We will present and demonstrate the advantages and disadvantages of the latest approaches for hardware volume rendering. Our intention is to motivate audience participation with issues such as the tradeoff between interactivity and image quality. We intend to answer questions on the fly since the content of the advanced part of the course can be quite challenging. We feel that it is important demonstrate these ideas since the reality of implementation can be quite different from the theory presented in the scientific literature.

Course Notes Description:

The course notes will contain all the slides used in the live presentation, an introductory 10-20 page overview and annotated bibliography including several reprints of important papers as well as sample code and executables for Linux and Windows. Some small volume data sets from computed tomography and magnet resonance imaging might be included on the CD-ROM, depending on the available disc space. Large data sets will be available online for the participants to download.

Special Notes Requirements:

None necessary. Powerpoint, pdf files, example code and programs can be included on the CD-ROM notes.

Course History:

Volume Graphics Courses have had a long history at Siggraph. Listed below are only some of them, including courses that have covered the topic as part of a broader subject. Programmable graphics hardware developers have made enormous advancements in recent years. New features available on many commodity graphics boards allow unprecedented image quality and interactivity. As a result, many of the effects that were only possible in software are now possible at interactive frame rates. This course will provide attendees with the skills to harness these features for volume graphics, as well as techniques for modern graphics hardware programming which can be applied to other areas of computer graphics.
Volume Visualization Algorithms and Architectures Siggraph Course #11 1990
Introduction to Volume Visualization Siggraph Course #7 1991
State of the Art in Volume Visualization Siggraph Course #8 1991
Photorealistic Volume Modeling and Rendering Techniques Siggraph Course #27 1991
Introduction to Volume Visualization Siggraph Course #8 1992
Introduction to Volume Visualization: Imaging Multidimensional Scientific Data Siggraph Course #11 1993
Advances in Volume Visualization Siggraph Course #32 1997 Covered both software and hardware methods for volume visualization.
Advanced Geometric Techniques for Ray Casting Volumes Siggraph Course #4 1998 Covered Hardware accelerated techniques for hardware volume rendering.
Advanced Graphics Programming Techniques Using OpenGL Siggraph Course #17 1998. This course covered the basic programming techniques for general graphics using OpenGL. It included a section on scientific visualization including volume rendering.
Rendering and Visualization in Parallel Environments Siggraph Course #13 2000 This course covered approaches for large data visualization via parallel computation. This course focused mainly on software techniques. It included a section outlining the basic principles of parallel software volume rendering.
Volume Graphics Siggraph Course #41 2001 This course focused on the basics of volume rendering, including sampling and raycasting techniques, as well as some medical applications of volume rendering.
Nonphotorealistic Rendering in Scientific Visualization Siggraph Course #32 2001 This course covered non-photo-realistic rendering models in the context of scientific visualization. It included sections on NPR techniques for volume visualization.

Course Presenters' Information

Klaus Engel
Visualization and Interactive Systems Group (VIS), Faculty of Computer Science
University of Stuttgart
Breitwiesenstraße 20-22
70565 Stuttgart
Email: Klaus.Engel@informatik.uni-stuttgart.de
Research Web-Page: http://wwwvis.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/~engel/
Phone: +49-(0)711-7816 208
Fax: +49-(0)711-7816 340
Klaus Engel is a PhD candidate at the Visualization and Interactive Systems Group at the University of Stuttgart. He received a Diplom (Masters) of computer science from the University of Erlangen in 1997. From January 1998 to December 2000, he was a research assistant at the Computer Graphics Group at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. Since 2000, he is a research assistant at the Visualization and Interactive Systems Group of Prof. Thomas Ertl at the University of Stuttgart. He has presented the results of his research at international conferences, including IEEE Visualization, Visualization Symposium and Graphics Hardware. In 2001, his paper "High-Quality Pre-Integrated Volume Rendering Using Hardware-Accelerated Pixel Shading" has won the best paper award at the SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Workshop on Graphics Hardware. He has regularly taught courses and seminars on computer graphics, visualization and computer games algorithms. His PhD thesis with the title "Strategies and Algorithms for Distributed Volume-Visualization on Different Graphics-Hardware Architectures" is currently under review.
Detailed information about this research projects are available online at:
http://wwwvis.informatik.uni-stuttgart.de/~engel/


Markus Hadwiger
VRVis Research Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization
Donau-City-Strasse 1
A-1220 Vienna, Austria
work phone: +43 1 20501 30603
fax: +43 1 20501 30900
cell phone: +43 676 385 7870
email: msh@vrvis.at
Markus Hadwiger is a researcher in the "Basic Research in Visualization" group at the VRVis Research Center in Vienna, Austria, and a PhD student at the Vienna University of Technology. The focus of his current research is exploiting consumer graphics hardware for high quality visualization at interactive rates, especially volume rendering for scientific visualization. First results on high quality filtering and reconstruction of volumetric data have been presented as technical sketch at SIGGRAPH 2001, and as a paper at Vision, Modeling, and Visualization 2001. He is regularly teaching courses and seminars on computer graphics, visualization, and game programming. Before concentrating on scientific visualization, he was working in the area of computer games and interactive entertainment. His master's thesis "Design and Architecture of a Portable and Extensible Multiplayer 3D Game Engine" describes the game engine of Parsec (http://www.parsec.org/), a still active cross-platform game project, whose early test builds have been downloaded by over 100.000 people, and were also included on several Red Hat and SuSE Linux distributions.
Information about current research projects can be found at:
http://www.VRVis.at/vis/
http://www.VRVis.at/vis/research/hq-hw-reco/


Joe Michael Kniss
Scientific Computing and Imaging, School of Computing University of Utah
50 S. Central Campus Dr. #3490
Salt Lake City, UT 84112
Work phone: 801-581-7977
Cell phone: 801-898-7977
email: jmk@cs.utah.edu
Joe Kniss is a masters student at the University of Utah. He is a research assistant in the Scientific Computing and Imaging Institute. His current research has focused on interactive hardware based volume graphics. A recent paper, Interactive Volume Rendering Using Multi-dimensional Transfer Functions and Direct Manipulation Widgets, won Best Paper at Visualization 2001. He also participated on the Commodity Graphics Accelerators for Scientific Visualization Panel, which won the Best Panel award at Visualization 2001. His previous work demonstrates a system for large scale parallel volume rendering using graphics hardware. New results for this work were presented by Al McPherson at the Siggraph 2001 course on Commodity-Based Scalable Visualization. He has also given numerous lectures on introductory and advanced topics in computer graphics, visualization, and volume rendering.
Current research activities can be found on line at:
http://www.cs.utah.edu/~jmk/research.html
http://www.cs.utah.edu/~jmk/simian/index.html



Christof Rezk-Salama
Computer Graphics Group, Computer Science Department
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg,
Am Weichselgarten 9, 91058 Erlangen, Germany
work phone: +49 9131 85-29927
home phone: +49 9183 40 31 42
fax: +49 9131 85-29931
email: rezk@cs.fau.de
Christof Rezk-Salama is a PhD candidate at the Computer Graphics Group of the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg. He received a Diplom (Masters) of computer science from the University of Erlangen in 1998. Since January 1999, he is a research assistant at the Computer Graphics Group and scholarship holder at the graduate college "3D Image Analysis and Synthesis". He has presented the results of his research at international conferences, including IEEE Visualization, Eurographics, MICCAI and Graphics Hardware. In 2000, his paper "Interactive Volume Rendering on Interactive Volume Rendering on Standard PC Graphics Hardware" has won the best paper award at the SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Workshop on Graphics Hardware. He has regularly taught courses on graphics programming and conceived tutorials and seminars on computer graphics, geometric modeling and scientific visualization. His PhD thesis with the title "Volume Rendering Techniques for General Purpose Hardware" is currently under review. He has gained practical experience in several scientific projects in medicine, geology and archeology.
Detailed information about this research projects are available online at
http://www9.informatik.uni-erlangen.de/~rezk

Selected Slides and Images