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Proceedings Paper

Evaluation Of 3D Voxel Rendering Algorithms For Real-Time Interaction On An SIMD Graphics Processor
Author(s): Don Schreiter; John B. Zimmerman
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Paper Abstract

The display of three-dimensional medical data is becoming more common, but current display hardware and image rendering algorithms do not generally allow real-time interaction with the image by the user. Real-time interactions, such as image rotation, utilize the motion processing capabilities of the human visual system, allowing a better understanding of the structures being imaged. Recent advances in general purpose graphics display equipment could make real-time interaction feasible in a clinical setting. We have evaluated the capabilities of one type of advanced display architecture, the PIXAR1 Image Computer, for real-time interaction while displaying three-dimensional medical data as two-dimensional projections. It was discovered during this investigation that the most suitable algorithms for implementation were based on the rendering of voxel rather than surface data. Two voxel-based techniques, back-to-front and front-to-back rendering produced acceptable, but not real-time, performance. The quality of the images produced was not high, but allowed the determination of an image orientation which could then be used by a later, high-quality rendering technique. Two conclusions were reached: first, the current performance of display hardware may allow acceptable interactive performance and produce high-quality images if a scheme of adaptive refinement is used wherein succesively higher quality images are generated for the user. Second, the correct algorithm to use for fast rendering of volume data is highly dependent upon the architecture of the display processor, and in particular upon the ability of the processor to randomly access image data. If the processor is constrained to sequential or near-sequential access to the voxel data, the choice of algorithms and the utilization of parallel processing is severely limited.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 June 1988
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0914, Medical Imaging II, (27 June 1988); doi: 10.1117/12.968779
Show Author Affiliations
Don Schreiter, Washington University (United States)
John B. Zimmerman, Washington University (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0914:
Medical Imaging II
Samuel J. Dwyer III; Roger H. Schneider; Samuel J. Dwyer III; Roger H. Schneider; Roger H. Schneider; Samuel J. Dwyer III, Editor(s)

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