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Display of Surfaces from Volume Data
May/June 1988 (vol. 8 no. 3)
pp. 29-37

The application of volume-rendering techniques to the display of surfaces from sampled scalar functions of three spatial dimensions is discussed. It is not necessary to fit geometric primitives to the sampled data; images are formed by directly shading each sample and projecting it onto the picture plane. Surface-shading calculations are performed at every voxel with local gradient vectors serving as surface normals. In a separate step, surface classification operators are applied to compute a partial opacity of every voxel. Operators that detect isovalue contour surfaces and region boundary surfaces are examined. The technique is simple and fast, yet displays surfaces exhibiting smooth silhouettes and few other aliasing artifacts. The use of selective blurring and supersampling to further improve image quality is described. Examples from molecular graphics and medical imaging are given.

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Marc Levoy, "Display of Surfaces from Volume Data," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 29-37, May-June 1988, doi:10.1109/38.511
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