This Article 
 Bibliographic References 
 Add to: 
Interactive Visualization of Three-Dimensional Vector Fields with Flexible Appearance Control
July/August 2004 (vol. 10 no. 4)
pp. 434-445

Abstract—In this paper, we present an interactive texture-based algorithm for visualizing three-dimensional steady and unsteady vector fields. The goal of the algorithm is to provide a general volume rendering framework allowing the user to compute three-dimensional flow textures interactively and to modify the appearance of the visualization on the fly. To achieve our goal, we decouple the visualization pipeline into two disjoint stages. First, flow lines are generated from the 3D vector data. Various geometric properties of the flow paths are extracted and converted into a volumetric form using a hardware-assisted slice sweeping algorithm. In the second phase of the algorithm, the attributes stored in the volume are used as texture coordinates to look up an appearance texture to generate both informative and aesthetic representations of the vector field. Our algorithm allows the user to interactively navigate through different regions of interest in the underlying field and experiment with various appearance textures. With our algorithm, visualizations with enhanced structural perception using various visual cues can be rendered in real time. A myriad of existing geometry-based and texture-based visualization techniques can also be emulated.

[1] J.P.M. Hultquist, "Constructing Stream Surfaces in Steady 3D Vector Fields," Visualization '92, A.E. Kaufmann and G.M. Nielson, eds., pp. 171-177, 1992.
[2] N. Max, B. Becker, and R. Crawfis, “Flow Volumes for Interactive Vector Field Visualization,” Proc. IEEE Visualization '94, pp. 19-24, 1994.
[3] J. van Wijk, Spot Noise: Texture Synthesis for Data Visualization Computer Graphics, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 309-318, 1991.
[4] B. Cabral and C. Leedom, Imaging Vector Fields Using Line Integral Convolution Proc. SIGGRAPH '93, pp. 263-270, 1993.
[5] J. van Wijk, Image Based Flow Visualization ACM Trans. Graphics (Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH 2002), vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 745-754, 2002.
[6] G. Li, U. Bordoloi, and H. Shen, Chameleon: An Interactive Texture-Based Rendering Framework for Visualizing Three-Dimensional Vector Fields Proc. IEEE Visualization '03, Oct. 2003.
[7] D. Ebert, F. Musgrave, D. Peachey, K. Perlin, and S. Worley, Texturing and Modeling, A Procedural Approach, third ed. Morgan Kaufmann, 2002.
[8] R. Crawfis and N. Max, Direct Volume Visualization of Three-Dimensional Vector Fields Proc. 1992 Workshop Volume Visualization, pp. 55-60, 1992.
[9] T. Porter and T. Duff, Compositing Digital Images Proc. ACM SIGGRAPH '84, pp. 253-259, 1984.
[10] R.A. Crawfis and N. Max, "Texture Splats for 3D Scalar and Vector Field Visualization," Visualization 93, G.M. Nielson and D. Bergeron, eds., IEEE Computer Society Press, Los Alamitos, Calif., 1993, pp. 261-265.
[11] D. Stalling and H.-C. Hege, Fast and Resolution Independent Line Integral Convolution Proc. SIGGRAPH '95, pp. 249-256, 1995.
[12] H.-W. Shen, C. Johnson, and K.-L. Ma, Visualizing Vector Fields Using Line Integral Convolution and Dye Advection Proc. Symp. Volume Visualization '96, pp. 63-70, 1996.
[13] M.-H. Kiu and D.C. Banks, Multy-Frequency Noise for LIC Proc. Visualization '96, R. Yagel and G.M. Nielson, eds., pp. 121-126, Oct. 1996.
[14] H.-W. Shen and D.L. Kao, “A New Line Integral Convolution Algorithm for Visualizing Time-Varying Flow Fields,” IEEE Trans. Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 4, no. 2, pp. 98-108, Apr.-June 1998.
[15] U.D. Bordoloi and H.-W. Shen, Hardware Accelerated Interactive Vector Field Visualization: A Level of Detail Approach Computer Graphics Forum, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 605-614, 2002.
[16] V. Interrante and C. Grosch, “Strategies for Effectively Visualizing 3D Flow with Volume LIC,” Proc. IEEE Visualization 97, pp. 421-424, 1997.
[17] C. Rezk-Salama, P. Hastreiter, C. Teitzel, and T. Ertl, “Interactive Exploration of Volume Line Integral Convolution Based on 3D-Texture Mapping,” Proc. IEEE Visualization '99, pp. 233-240, 1999.
[18] B. Jobard, G. Erlebacher, and M.Y. Hussaini, “Lagrangian-Eulerian Advection for Unsteady Flow Visualization,” Proc. IEEE Visualization 2001, Oct. 2001.
[19] D. Weiskopf, M. Hoph, and T. Ertl, Hardware-Accelerated Visualization of Time-Varying 2D and 3D Vector Fields by Texture Advection via Programmable Per-Pixel Operations Proc. Vision, Modeling, and Visualization '01, pp. 439-446, 2001.
[20] B. Jobard and W. Lefer, Creating Evenly-Spaced Streamlines of Arbitrary Density Proc. Eighth Eurographics Workshop Visualization in Scientific Computing, pp. 57-66, 1997.
[21] D. Darmofal and R. Haimes, Visualization of 3-D Vector Fields: Variations on a Stream AIAA 30th Aerospace Science Meeting and Exhibit, 1992.
[22] S. Fang and D. Liao, Fast CSG Voxelization by Frame Buffer Pixel Mapping Proc. 2000 IEEE Symp. Volume Visualization, pp. 43-48, 2000.
[23] R. Crawfis, N. Max, and B. Becker, “Vector Field Visualization,” IEEE CG&A, Vol. 14, No. 5, Sept. 1994, pp. 50-56.
[24] S.K. Ueng, K. Sikorski, and K.-L. Ma, "Fast Algorithms for Visualizing Fluid Motion in Steady Flow on Unstructured Grids," Proc. Visualization '95, G.M. Nielson and D. Silver, eds., pp. 313-320, 1995.
[25] N. Max and B. Becker, Flow Visualization Using Moving Textures Proc. ICASE/LaRC Symp. Visualizing Time-Varying Data, pp. 77-87, 1995.
[26] M. Segal and K. Akeley, The OpenGL Graphics System: A Specification (Version 1.3). Reference Board, 2001.
[27] J.D. Foley, A. van Dam, S.K. Feiner, and J.F. Hughes, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, second ed. Addison-Wesley Longman Publishing, 1990.
[28] OpenGL Extension Registry http://oss.sgi. com/projects/ogl-sampleregistry /, 2003.
[29] W.R. Mark, R.S. Glanville, K. Akeley, and M.J. Kilgard, Cg: A System for Programming Graphics Hardware in a C-Like Language ACM Trans. Graphics, vol. 22, no. 3, pp. 896-907, 2003.
[30] Microsoft directx High-Level Shader Language http://msdn. microsoft.comlibrary/, 2003.
[31] D. Ebert and P. Rheingans, “Volume Illustration: Non-Photographic Rendering of Volume Models,” Proc. IEEE Visualization 2000, pp. 195-202, 2000.
[32] A. Lu et al., "Nonphotorealistic Volume Rendering Using Stippling Techniques," Proc. IEEE Visualization 2002, IEEE CS Press, 2002, pp. 211-218.
[33] R. Kirby, H. Marmanis, and D. Laidlaw, Visualizing Multivalued Data from 2D Incompressible Flows Using Concepts from Painting Proc. Visualization '99, pp. 333-340, 1999.
[34] M. Zöckler, D. Stalling, and H.-C. Hege, Interactive Visualization of 3D-Vector Fields Using Illuminated Streamlines Proc. IEEE Visualization '96, pp. 107-113, 1996.

Index Terms:
Flow visualization, vector field visualization, texture synthesis, appearance control, line integral convolution, volume rendering, graphics hardware.
Han-Wei Shen, Guo-Shi Li, Udeepta D. Bordoloi, "Interactive Visualization of Three-Dimensional Vector Fields with Flexible Appearance Control," IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 434-445, July-Aug. 2004, doi:10.1109/TVCG.2004.13
Usage of this product signifies your acceptance of the Terms of Use.