Decoupled Shading for Real-time Heterogeneous Volume Illumination

Y. Zhang, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Existing real-time volume rendering techniques which support global illumination are limited in modeling distinct realistic appearances for classified volume data, which is a desired capability in many fields of study for illustration and education. Directly extending the emission-absorption volume integral with heterogeneous material shading becomes unaffordable for real-time applications because the high-frequency view-dependent global lighting needs to be evaluated per sample along the volume integral. In this paper, we present a decoupled shading algorithm for multi-material volume rendering that separates global incident lighting evaluation from per-sample material shading under multiple light sources. We show how the incident lighting calculation can be optimized through a sparse volume integration method. The quality, performance and usefulness of our new multi-material volume rendering method is demonstrated through several examples.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016


  • Categories and Subject Descriptors (according to ACM CCS)
  • Global illumination
  • high performance
  • I.3.7 [Computer Graphics]: Three-Dimensional Graphics and Realism
  • I.3.8 [Computer Graphics]: Applications
  • multi-material
  • multiple scattering
  • soft shadow
  • volume rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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