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10 March 2006 High quality GPU rendering with displaced pixel shading
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Direct volume rendering via consumer PC hardware has become an efficient tool for volume visualization. In particular, the volumetric ray casting, the most frequently used volume rendering technique, can be implemented by the shading language integrated with graphical processing units (GPU). However, to produce high-quality images offered by GPU-based volume rendering, a higher sampling rate is usually required. In this paper, we present an algorithm to generate high quality images with a small number of slices by utilizing displaced pixel shading technique. Instead of sampling points along a ray with the regular interval, the actual surface location is calculated by the linear interpolation between the outer and inner points, and this location is used as the displaced pixel for the iso-surface illumination. Multi-pass and early Z-culling techniques are applied to improve the rendering speed. The first pass simply locates and stores the exact surface depth of each ray using a few pixel instructions; then, the second pass uses instructions to shade the surface at the previous position. A new 3D edge detector from our previous research is integrated to provide more realistic rendering results compared with the widely used gradient normal estimator. To implement our algorithm, we have made a program named DirectView based on DirectX 9.0c and Microsoft High Level Shading Language (HLSL) for volume rendering. We tested two data sets and discovered that our algorithm can generate smoother and more accurate shading images with a small number of intermediate slices.
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Hui Zhang and Jae Choi "High quality GPU rendering with displaced pixel shading", Proc. SPIE 6141, Medical Imaging 2006: Visualization, Image-Guided Procedures, and Display, 61412U (10 March 2006);


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