Advanced lighting for unstructured-grid data visualization

Min Shih, Yubo Zhang, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


The benefits of using advanced illumination models in volume visualization have been demonstrated by many researchers. Interactive volume rendering incorporated with advanced lighting has been achieved with GPU acceleration for regular-grid volume data, making volume visualization even more appealing as a tool for 3D data exploration. This paper presents an interactive illumination strategy, which is specially designed and optimized for volume visualization of unstructured-grid data. The basis of the design is a partial differential equation based illumination model to simulate the light propagation, absorption, and scattering within the volumetric medium. In particular, a two-level scheme is introduced to overcome the challenges presented by unstructured grids. Test results show that the added illumination effects such as global shadowing and multiple scattering not only lead to more visually pleasing visualization, but also greatly enhance the perception of the depth information and complex spatial relationships for features of interest in the volume data. This volume visualization enhancement is introduced at a time when unstructured grids are becoming increasingly popular for a variety of scientific simulation applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2015 IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2015 - Proceedings
EditorsShigeo Takahashi, Shixia Liu, Gerik Scheuermann
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781467368797
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015
Event2015 8th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2015 - Hangzhou, China
Duration: Apr 14 2015Apr 17 2015


Other2015 8th IEEE Pacific Visualization Symposium, PacificVis 2015


  • I.3.7 [Computer Graphics]: Three-Dimensional Graphics and Realism - Color
  • I.3.8 [Computer Graphics]: Applications
  • shading
  • shadowing
  • texture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Software


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