Using motion to illustrate static 3D shape - Kinetic visualization

Eric B. Lum, Aleksander Stompel, Kwan-Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present a novel visualization technique - kinetic visualization - that uses motion along a surface to aid in the perception of 3D shape and structure of static objects. The method uses particle systems, with rules such that particles flow over the surface of an object to not only bring out, but also attract attention to information on a shape that might not be readily visible with a conventional rendering method which uses lighting and view changes. Replacing still images with animations in this fashion, we demonstrate with both surface and volumetric models in the accompanying videos that, in many cases, the resulting visualizations effectively enhance the perception of three-dimensional shape and structure. We also describe how, for both types of data, a texture-based representation of this motion can be used for interactive visualization using PC graphics hardware. Finally, the results of a user study that we have conducted are presented, which show evidence that the supplemental motion cues can be helpful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-126
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2003


  • Animation
  • Graphics hardware
  • Particle systems
  • Scientific visualization
  • Texture
  • Visual perception
  • Volume rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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