A Declarative Grammar of Flexible Volume Visualization Pipelines

Min Shih, Charles Rozhon, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This paper presents a declarative grammar for conveniently and effectively specifying advanced volume visualizations. Existing methods for creating volume visualizations either lack the flexibility to specify sophisticated visualizations or are difficult to use for those unfamiliar with volume rendering implementation and parameterization. Our design provides the ability to quickly create expressive visualizations without knowledge of the volume rendering implementation. It attempts to capture aspects of those difficult but powerful methods while remaining flexible and easy to use. As a proof of concept, our current implementation of the grammar allows users to combine multiple data variables in various ways and define transfer functions for diverse input data. The grammar also has the ability to describe advanced shading effects and create animations. We demonstrate the power and flexibility of our approach using multiple practical volume visualizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
StateAccepted/In press - Aug 17 2018


  • animation
  • declarative specification
  • direct volume rendering
  • multivariate/multimodal volume data
  • Volume visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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