Multi-Material Volume Rendering with a Physically-Based Surface Reflection Model

Oleg Igouchkine, Yubo Zhang, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Rendering techniques that increase realism in volume visualization help enhance perception of the 3D features in the volume data. While techniques focusing on high-quality global illumination have been extensively studied, few works handle the interaction of light with materials in the volume. Existing techniques for light-material interaction are limited in their ability to handle high-frequency real-world material data, and the current treatment of volume data poorly supports the correct integration of surface materials. In this paper, we introduce an alternative definition for the transfer function which supports surface-like behavior at the boundaries between volume components and volume-like behavior within. We show that this definition enables multi-material rendering with high-quality, real-world material data. We also show that this approach offers an efficient alternative to pre-integrated rendering through isosurface techniques. We introduce arbitrary spatially-varying materials to achieve better multi-material support for scanned volume data. Finally, we show that it is possible to map an arbitrary set of parameters directly to a material representation for the more intuitive creation of novel materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8226853
Pages (from-to)3147-3159
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018


  • BRDF
  • global illumination
  • hardware acceleration
  • volume rendering
  • Volume visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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