Interactive Volume Rendering Supporting Global Illumination Phenomena

Timo Ropinski

Ulm University

Jennis Meyer-Spradow

Stefan Diepenbrock

Jörg Mensmann

Klaus Hinrichs



We propose a method for rendering volumetric data sets at interactive frame rates while supporting dynamic ambient occlusion as well as an approximation to color bleeding. In contrast to ambient occlusion approaches for polygonal data, techniques for volumetric data sets have to face additional challenges, since by changing rendering parameters, such as the transfer function or the thresholding, the structure of the data set and thus the light interactions may vary drastically. Therefore, during a preprocessing step which is independent of the rendering parameters we capture light interactions for all combinations of structures extractable from a volumetric data set. In order to compute the light interactions between the different structures, we combine this preprocessed information during rendering based on the rendering parameters defined interactively by the user. Thus our method supports interactive exploration of a volumetric data set but still gives the user control over the most important rendering parameters. For instance, if the user alters the transfer function to extract different structures from a volumetric data set the light interactions between the extracted structures are captured in the rendering while still allowing interactive frame rates. Compared to known local illumination models for volume rendering our method does not introduce any substantial rendering overhead and can be integrated easily into existing volume rendering applications. In this paper we will explain our approach, discuss the implications for interactive volume rendering and present the achieved results.


	title={Interactive Volume Rendering Supporting Global Illumination Phenomena},
	author={Ropinski, Timo and Meyer-Spradow, Jennis and Diepenbrock, Stefan and Mensmann, J{\"o}rg and Hinrichs, Klaus},