This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Tracking and Visualizing Turbulent 3D Features
April-June 1997 (vol. 3 no. 2)
pp. 129-141

Abstract—Visualizing 3D time-varying fluid datasets is difficult because of the immense amount of data to be processed and understood. These datasets contain many evolving amorphous regions, and it is difficult to observe patterns and visually follow regions of interest. In this paper, we present a technique which isolates and tracks full volume representations of regions of interest from 3D regular and curvilinear Computational Fluid Dynamics datasets. Connected voxel regions, "features," are extracted from each time step and matched to features in subsequent time steps. Spatial overlap is used to determine matching. The features from each time step are stored in octree forests to speed the matching process. Once features are identified and tracked, properties of the features and their evolutionary history can be computed. This information can be used to enhance isosurface visualization and volume rendering by color coding individual regions. We demonstrate the algorithm on four 3D time-varying simulations from ongoing research in Computational Fluid Dynamics and show how tracking can significantly improve and facilitate the processing of massive datasets.

[1] O.N. Boratav, R.B. Pelz, and N.J. Zabusky, "Reconnection in Orthogonally Interacting Vortex Tubes: Direct Numerical Simulations and Quantifications," Physics of Fluids A, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 581-605, 1992.
[2] R. Samtaney et al., “Visualizing Features and Tracking Their Evolution,” Computer, Vol. 27, No. 7, July 1994, pp. 20-27.
[3] D. Silver and X. Wang, "Volume Tracking" Proc. IEEE Visualization '96, pp. 157-164,San Francisco, Oct. 1996.
[4] P. Woodward, “Interactive Scientific Visualization of Fluid Flow,” Computer, Vol. 26, No. 10, Oct. 1993, pp. 13-25.
[5] J. Jimenez, A. Wray, P. Saffman, and R. Rogallo, "The Structure of Intense Vorticity in Isotropic Turbulence," J. Fluid Mechanics, pp. 65-90, 1993.
[6] J.G. Brasseur and W.-Q. Lin, "Structure and Statistics of Intermittency in Homogeneous Turbulent Shear Flow," Advances in Turbulence, vol. 3, 1991.
[7] D.H. Ballard and C.M. Brown, Computer Vision, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J., 1982.
[8] B. Jahne, Digital Image Processing. Springer Verlag, 1991.
[9] I. Carlbom, I. Chakravarty, and W. Hsu, “Integrating Computer Graphics, Computer Vision, and Image Processing in Scientific Applications,” Computer Graphics (Siggraph 91 Workshop Report), Vol. 26, No. 1, Jan. 1992, pp. 8-16.
[10] A. Pentland and B. Horowitz, “Recovery of Non-Rigid Motion and Structure,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 13, no. 7, pp. 730-742, July 1991.
[11] D. Metaxas and D. Terzopoulos, “Shape and Non-Rigid Motion Estimation through Physics-Based Synthesis,” IEEE Trans. Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence, vol. 15, no. 6, pp. 580-591, June 1993.
[12] S. Sclaroff and A. Pentland, "Modal Matching for Correspondence and Recognition," Technical Report 201, The Media Laboratory, Massachusetts Inst. of Tech nology, May 1993.
[13] Y. Arnaud, M. Desbois, and J. Maizi, "Automatic Tracking and Characterization of African Convective Systems on Meteosat Pictures," J. Applied Meteorology, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 443-453, May 1992.
[14] J. Villasenor and A. Vincent,“An algorithm for space recognition and time tracking of vorticity tubes in turbulence,” CVGIP: Image Understanding, vol. 55, no. 1, p. 27, 1992.
[15] D. Silver, N. Zabusky, V. Fernandez, and M. Gao, “Ellipsoidal Quantification of Evolving Phenomena,” Scientific Visualization of Natural Phenomena, pp. 573-588, 1991.
[16] T. van Walsum, "Selective Visualization on Curvilinear Grids," PhD thesis, Delft Univ. of Tech nology, Delft, The Netherlands, 1995.
[17] D. Silver, "Object Oriented Visualization," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 54-62, May 1995.
[18] B. Guo, "Interval Set: A Volume Rendering Technique Generalizing Isosurface Extraction," IEEE Visualization '95 Proc., pp. 3-10,Atlanta, Ga., Oct. 1995.
[19] D.C. Banks and B.A. Singer, A Predictor-Corrector Technique for Visualizing Unsteady Flow IEEE Trans. Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 151-163, June 1995.
[20] J.D. Buntine and D.I. Pullin, "Merger and Cancellation of Strained Vortices," J. Fluid Mechanics, vol. 205, pp. 263-295, 1989.
[21] J.L. Helman and L. Hesselink, "Visualization of Vector Field Topology in Fluid Flows," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 36-46, 1991.
[22] M. Gao, "Data Extraction and Abstraction in 3D Visualization," Master's thesis, Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, N.J., Mar. 1992.
[23] X. Wang, D. Silver, and S. Bhat, "Visualization Tools for Feature Extraction and Quantification of 3D Datasets: User Manual," Technical Report TR-199, CAIP Center, Rutgers Univ., Piscataway, N.J., 1995.
[24] D. Silver and N.J. Zabusky, "Quantifying Visualizations for Reduced Modeling in Nonlinear Science: Extracting Structures from Data Sets," J. Visual Communication and Image Representation, vol. 4, no. 1, pp. 46-61, 1993.
[25] H. Samet, The Design and Analysis of Spatial Data Structures. Addison-Wesley, 1990.
[26] J. Wilhelms and A. Van Gelder, "Octrees for Faster Isosurface Generation," ACM Trans. Graphics, vol. 11, no. 3, July 1992, pp. 201-227.
[27] F.J. Post, T. van Walsum, F.H. Post, and D. Silver, "Iconic Techniques for Feature Visualization," Proc. Visualization '95, pp. 288-295,Atlanta, Ga., IEEE, Nov. 1995.
[28] B.-L. Yeo and B. Li, "Volume Rendering of DCT-Based Compressed 3D Scalar Data," IEEE Trans. Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 29-43, Mar. 1995.
[29] AVS User's Manual (Release 5), AVS, Inc., 1993.
[30] S.-Y. Chen and X. Shan, "High-Resolution Turbulent Simulations Using the Connection Machine-2," Computers in Physics, vol. 6, no. 6, pp. 643-646, 1992.
[31] V.M. Fernandez, N.J. Zabusky, S. Bhat, D. Silver, and S.-Y. Chen, "Visualization and Feature Extraction in Isotropic Navier-Strokes Turbulence," Proc. AVS95 Conf.,Boston, Apr. 1995.
[32] X. Wang and D. Silver, "Volume Tracking—Video Animation," 1995. MPEG, version on
[33] D.G. Dritschel and M.H.P. Ambaum, "A Contour-Advective Semi-Lagrangian Numerical Algorithm for Simulating Fine-Scale Conservative Dynamical Fields," Quarterly J. Royal Meteorological Soc., vol. 123, no. 540, pp. 1,097-1,130, Apr. 1997.
[34] D.G. Dritschel and M. Torre Juarez, "The Instability and Breakdown of Tall Columnar Vortices in a Quasi-Geostrophic Fluid," J. Fluid Mechanics, Aug. 1996.
[35] G.-C. Zha, D. Knight, D. Smith, and M. Haas, "Numerical Simulation of HSCT Inlet Operability with the Angle of Attack," Proc. 33rd AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conf., July 1997.
[36] H. Hirsh, A. Banerjee, and T. Ellman, "Inductive Learning of Feature-Tracking Rules for Scientific Visualization," Proc. Workshop Machine Learning in Engineering (IJCAI-95), Mar. 1995.
[37] S. Bhat, "Segmentation of Unstructured Datasets," MS thesis, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Eng., Rutgers Univ., New Brunswick, N.J., 1996.

Index Terms:
Scientific visualization, multidimensional visualization, feature tracking, computer vision, CFD, isosurfaces, volume rendering.
Deborah Silver, Xin Wang, "Tracking and Visualizing Turbulent 3D Features," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 129-141, April-June 1997, doi:10.1109/2945.597796
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.