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A New Line Integral Convolution Algorithm for Visualizing Time-Varying Flow Fields
April-June 1998 (vol. 4 no. 2)
pp. 98-108

Abstract—New challenges on vector field visualization emerge as time-dependent numerical simulations become ubiquitous in the field of computational fluid dynamics (CFD). To visualize data generated from these simulations, traditional techniques, such as displaying particle traces, can only reveal flow phenomena in preselected local regions and, thus, are unable to track the evolution of global flow features over time. This paper presents a new algorithm, called UFLIC (Unsteady Flow LIC), to visualize vector data in unsteady flow fields. Our algorithm extends a texture synthesis technique, called Line Integral Convolution (LIC), by devising a new convolution algorithm that uses a time-accurate value scattering scheme to model the texture advection. In addition, our algorithm maintains the coherence of the flow animation by successively updating the convolution results over time. Furthermore, we propose a parallel UFLIC algorithm that can achieve high load-balancing for multiprocessor computers with shared memory architecture. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our new algorithm by presenting image snapshots from several CFD case studies.

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Index Terms:
Flow visualization, vector field visualization, image convolution, line integral convolution, flow animation, unsteady flows, texture synthesis, parallel algorithm.
Citation:
Han-Wei Shen, David L. Kao, "A New Line Integral Convolution Algorithm for Visualizing Time-Varying Flow Fields," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 98-108, April-June 1998, doi:10.1109/2945.694952
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