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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Iso-splatting: A Point-based Alternative to Isosurface Visualization


We present a new approach to isosurface visualization that we call ''iso-splatting.'' We use point primitives for representing and rendering isosurfaces. The method consists of two steps. In the first step, point samples are generated throughout the volumetric domain of a scalar function. In the second step, these points are projected onto the isosurface of interest. We render the resulting point set using a surface splatting algorithm. The method can be extended to out-of-core or parallel environments.Our results show that this method can offer much greater time and space efficiency when compared with standard triangle-based methods, thereby supporting higher levels of interactivity. Parts of the algorithm can be accelerated using graphics hardware. One key advantage of this approach is that, since extraction computations are divided into two smaller phases, work can be distributed to exploit all available resources.

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