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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Lighting Transfer Functions for Direct Volume Rendering

  • Author(s): Lum, Eric
  • Ma, Kwan-Liu
  • et al.

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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