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For some time, production visualization was almost exclusively done by using high-end graphics workstations. Generally, rendering of the data on the graphics workstation was preceded by a feature extraction step and a geometric modeling step to significantly reduce the size of the data to be rendered. While the graphics workstation allowed interactive visualization of the extracted data, looking only at a lower resolution and polygonal representation of the data defeated the original purpose of performing the high-resolution simulation/scanning. In this article, the authors describe two highly scalable, parallel software volume-rendering algorithms-one renders unstructured grid volume data and the other renders isosurfaces.

S. Parker and K. Ma, "Massively Parallel Software Rendering for Visualizing Large-Scale Data Sets," in IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 21, no. , pp. 72-83, 2001.
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