Data Parallel Volume Rendering Algorithms for Interactive Visualization

Peter Schröder, Wolfgang Krüger.


The increasing availability of parallel computing platforms has led to the development of parallel volume rendering algorithms. In the present paper we compare two algorithms for volume raytracing in a data parallel framework: a shearing technique and a line drawing technique. The two algorithms are primarily distinguished by the level of parallelism they exploit. Both algorithms have been implemented on the Connection Machine CM2 massively parallel computer and execute at speeds suitable for interactive volume rendering applications. Since considerable floating point resources are available on the CM2 we have used rendering algorithms based on transport theory. In the second part of the paper we examine some of the trade-offs involved between image quality and rendering speed when using high fidelity rendering algorithms.

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