Slab-Based Raycasting: Efficient Volume Rendering with CUDA

Jörg Mensmann

Timo Ropinski

Ulm University

Klaus Hinrichs



GPU-based raycasting [Krüger and Westermann 2003] is the state-of-the-art rendering technique for interactive volume visualization. The ray traversal is usually implemented in a fragment shader, utilizing the hardware in a way that was not originally intended. New programming interfaces for stream processing, such as CUDA, support a more general programming model and the use of additional device features, which are not accessible through traditional shader programming. We propose a slab-based raycasting technique that is modeled specifically to use these features to accelerate volume rendering. This technique is based on experience gained from comparing fragment shader implementations of basic raycasting to implementations directly translated to CUDA kernels. The comparison covers direct volume rendering with a variety of optional features, e.g., gradient and lighting calculations.


	title={Slab-Based Raycasting: Efficient Volume Rendering with CUDA},
	author={Mensmann, J{\"o}rg and Ropinski, Timo and Hinrichs, Klaus},