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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lighting Transfer Functions for Direct Volume Rendering


An important task in volume rendering is the visualization of boundaries between materials. This is typically accomplished using transfer functions that increase opacity based on a voxel's value and gradient. Lighting also plays a crucial role in illustrating surfaces. In this paper we present a multi-dimensional transfer function method for enhancing surfaces, not through the variation of opacity, but through the modification of surface shading. The technique uses a lighting transfer function that takes into account the distribution of values along a material boundary and features a novel interface for visualizing and specifying these transfer functions. With our method, the user is given a means of visualizing boundaries without modifying opacity, allowing opacity to be used for illustrating the thickness of homogeneous materials through the absorption of light.

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