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Computer Graphics

Minor thesis of Norbert Schultz

Volume Visualization for Tetrahedral Meshes with Preintegration

Chair for Computer Graphics and Visualization

Student: Norbert Schultz
Supervising Professor: Prof. Dr. Stefan Gumhold


Visualization of big data sets engadges the science for long times now. Calculation power may increase but at the same time new scanners - in particular in medecin and technology - are used whose resolution is increasing at least the same. One possibility to manage this is ordering these data in tetrahedral meshes and focussing on important parts of the data. For this different techniques are existant for Preintegration and Visualization based on the compositing approach.


This work shows different approaches for Rendering and for the final Preintegration. For the rendering, we developed a new approach called FineDrawer which does the complete raycasting algorithm on the GPU. Also we developed a program called TetraViewer2 which shall bring the possibility to easy implement new different methods and to compare them.


The most important result of the work is the software suite TetraViewer2. It implements differnet approaches for Preintegration, Rendering and sorting of tetrahedrons und makes it possible to compare these approaches. It is built modular so that it can be used principially from each application capable to render using OpenGL.

  • 3 Preintegration systems: naive, Bin-Approach from [LWM04], Taylor-Preintegration (currently not working)
  • 3 Rendering approaches: FineDrawer (GPU Raycasting), SingleDrawer (Cell Projection), SoftwareDrawer (Software Raycasting)
  • 2 Tetrahedron sorting approaches needed by SingleDrawer
  • 2 Classification systems
  • TetGen-Importer
  • Self test for preintegration
  • Multithreading support, gaining better performance for preintegration on multi core CPUs
  • Support for Windows, Linux, Mac OSX

Example: CTHead

Example: Cross

Example: Silva13k



The work can be enhanced in many differnet ways. The created program could be integrated into the CGV-Framework of the professorship. There are also more Preintegration and Rendering algorithms possible. As implemented in C++ using interfaces it shall not be too hard too implement them. For simplifying the work with tetrahedral meshes, a tool for simplyfing them would also be very useful.



  • [Wei06] Weiskopf, D.: GPU Based Interactive Rendering Visualization Techniques, Springer Verlag 2006
  • [Lum02] Lum E., Wilson B., Ma K.: High-Quality Lighting and Efficient Pre-Integration for Volume Rendering. In Eurographics/IEEE Symposium on Visualization 2004.
Last modified: 1st Feb 2010, 2.40 PM
Author: Corina Weissbach