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Guest Editors' Introduction: Special Section on the Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games (I3D)

Amitabh Varshney, IEEE
Chris Wyman, IEEE

Pages: pp. 1589-1590

Weare pleased to bring you extended versions of three of the outstanding papers presented at the 2011 Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics and Games. I3D 2011, the 25th year of the symposium, was held at the Mariott Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, 18-20 February 2011. I3D is the premier symposium in the area of interactive graphics. We are pleased to note that the symposium has continued to provide an excellent opportunity for researchers, practitioners, and students from industry and academia to meet, learn, collaborate, and infuse each other with ideas and enthusiasm on cutting-edge research and techniques related to interactive 3D graphics.

We received 64 paper submissions at I3D 2011. The papers selection process involved careful reviews by 67 members of the International Program Committee and five external reviewers. Each paper received at least three reviews, followed by an extensive online discussion, allowing program committee members and reviewers time to deliberate on each paper's merits. Each paper was evaluated completely independently of others, based solely on its own merits; we were not under any constraints to aim for a certain number of papers or a certain acceptance ratio. After the rigorous review process, based on the recommendations of the program committee we accepted 24 papers. Out of this select group of 24 papers, the symposium's Best Papers Award Committee selected finalists for the annual Best Paper Award. These outstanding papers are featured in this special section of the IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics ( TVCG). Each of these three papers has undergone significant revisions and includes additional new work beyond that presented at I3D, and all have undergone an additional round of journal reviewing and multiple rounds of editing.

“Real-Time Rendering of Rough Refraction” by Charles De Rousiers, Adrien Bousseau, Kartic Subr, Nicolas Holzschuch, and Ravi Ramamoorthi presents a novel approach to interactively render transparent objects with rough surfaces, such as frosted or misted glass, that are illuminated by distant, all-frequency illumination. This approach achieves its speedup by using a new formulation of the scattering function at the interface based on an approximation by spherical Gaussians that allows them to replace the stochastic integration of lighting by a pre-integration. They also approximate the exiting rays by using geometry filtering and cone tracing. This approach is extensible to spatially-varying roughness as well as for local lighting on thin objects.

“Real-Time GPU Surface Curvature Estimation on Deforming Meshes and Volumetric Data Sets” by Wesley Griffin, Yu Wang, David Berrios, and Marc Olano presents a GPU-based algorithm for computing curvatures. This is critical for 3D graphics applications in which curvature computation is necessary for time-varying meshes and volumes. Traditional approaches to this problem compute the curvature on CPU and then transfer it to the GPU, but for interactive applications in graphics and games, such movement of per-vertex data between CPU and GPU is prohibitive. This paper addresses this through two approaches to calculating the curvatures on GPUs—one based on using shaders in the graphics pipeline and the other based on general-purpose GPU computing APIs such as CUDA. Applications of this work include vertex-skinned animations and isosurface extraction from time-varying volumes on GPUs.

“Interactive Slice WIM: Navigating and Interrogating Volume Data Sets Using a Multisurface, Multitouch VR Interface” by Dane Coffey, Nicholas Malbraaten, Trung Bao Le, Iman Borazjani, Fotis Sotiropoulous, Arthur G. Erdman, and Daniel F. Keefe describes an interaction system that uses two display surfaces—a horizontal table and a vertical wall. This combination facilitates the display of horizontal slices on the table for a 2D data overview while providing the 3D views on the wall. Since the table supports multitouch gestures, this also provides a very effective navigation and exploration interface for exploring complex 3D geometries and multiple volume slices. The paper also discusses a design study and user feedback on visualization of high-resolution 3D anatomy as well as visualization of 3D blood flow through a bileaflet mechanical valve in the heart.

These three papers represent distinct and vital components of interactive 3D graphics: geometry, rendering, and interaction, and they collectively represent the range of ideas and insights that are annually featured at I3D. The conference version of “Real-Time Rendering of Rough Refraction” received the Best Paper Award and the conference versions of the other two papers featured in this section received Honorable Mentions at I3D 2011. We greatly appreciate the hard work of the authors and the efforts of the members of the I3D 2011 program committee and the reviewers. We are grateful to Ming Lin, TVCG Editor-in-Chief, for her continued support of this special section of TVCG devoted to I3D, and sincerely appreciate Michael Garland and Rui Wang for organizing I3D 2011. We are very pleased with this special section of TVCG and hope that you will enjoy and learn from these papers as much as we did.

Amitabh Varshney

Chris Wyman

Guest Editors

About the Authors

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Amitabh Varshney received the PhD degree in computer science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a professor of computer science and the director of the Institute for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. His research focus is on exploring the applications of interactive and high-performance graphics and visualization in engineering, science, and medicine. He received the IEEE Visualization Technical Achievement Award in 2004. He is a fellow of the IEEE.
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Chris Wyman received the PhD degree in computer science from the University of Utah and the BS degree in mathematics and computer science from the University of Minnesota. He is an associate professor of computer science at the University of Iowa, though he is currently on leave at NVIDIA Research in Salt Lake City, Utah. His research interests focus on interactive global illumination and a variety of rendering problems, most recently participating media, but also extend to visualization and perceptual issues in rendering. He is a member of the IEEE.
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