Layer data organization for visualizing unstructured-grid data

Kwan-Liu Ma, G. Abla, E. Lum

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Unstructured grid discretizations have become increasingly popular for computational modeling of engineering problems involving complex geometries. However, the use of 3-d unstructured grids complicates the visualization task, since the resulting data sets are irregular both geometrically and topologically. The need to store and access additional information about the structure of the grid can lead to visualization algorithms which incur considerable memory and computational overhead. These issues become critical with large data sets. In this paper, we present a layer data organization technique for data from 3-d aerodynamics simulations using unstructured grids. This type of simulations typically model air flow surrounding an aircraft body, and the grid resolutions are very fine near the aircraft body. Scientists are usually interested in visualizing the flow pattern near the wing, sometimes very close to the wing surface. We have design an efficient way to generate the layer representation, and experim ented it with different visualization methods, from isosurface rendering, volume rendering to texture-based vector-field visualization. We found that the layer representation facilitates interactive exploration and helps scientists to quickly find regions of interest.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)111-120
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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