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Proceedings Paper

Order-of-magnitude faster isosurface rendering in software on a PC than using dedicated general-purpose rendering hardware
Author(s): George J. Grevera; Jayaram K. Udupa; Dewey Odhner
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Paper Abstract

The purpose of this work is to compare the speed of isosurface rendering in software with that using dedicated hardware. Input data consists of 10 different objects form various parts of the body and various modalities with a variety of surface sizes and shapes. The software rendering technique consists of a particular method of voxel-based surface rendering, called shell rendering. The hardware method is OpenGL-based and uses the surfaces constructed from our implementation of the 'Marching Cubes' algorithm. The hardware environment consists of a variety of platforms including a Sun Ultra I with a Creator3D graphics card and a Silicon Graphics Reality Engine II, both with polygon rendering hardware, and a 300Mhz Pentium PC. The results indicate that the software method was 18 to 31 times faster than any hardware rendering methods. This work demonstrates that a software implementation of a particular rendering algorithm can outperform dedicated hardware. We conclude that for medical surface visualization, expensive dedicated hardware engines are not required. More importantly, available software algorithms on a 300Mhz Pentium PC outperform the speed of rendering via hardware engines by a factor of 18 to 31.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 May 1999
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 3658, Medical Imaging 1999: Image Display, (26 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.349431
Show Author Affiliations
George J. Grevera, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
Jayaram K. Udupa, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)
Dewey Odhner, Univ. of Pennsylvania (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3658:
Medical Imaging 1999: Image Display
Seong Ki Mun; Yongmin Kim, Editor(s)

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