Title: An enhanced filtering-based approach to approximate volumetric ambient occlusion

Authors: Naima Bahi; Mohamed Chaouki Babahenini

Addresses: Department of Computer Science, LESIA Laboratory, Biskra University, Biskra, Algeria ' Department of Computer Science, LESIA Laboratory, Biskra University, Biskra, Algeria

Abstract: Achieving, through shading, a good visualisation of scientific volumetric data sets is prohibitive for interactive applications due to a significant amount of existing occlusion effects and lighting variation. Ambient occlusion, although allowing us to understand these data through soft shadows, often comes with an important cost of pre-processing which prevents its use especially in the applications based on the transfer function editing. In this paper, we present a new method for approximating ambient occlusion for volumetric data using an exponential function which allows for high-quality hardware-accelerated filtering and leads us to achieve more compact information using a filterable representation in order to avoid the classic occlusion test with a binary manner. Our evaluation of a series of medical images demonstrates that the proposed algorithm provides smooth shading, producing high quality results, achieves an interactive rate and consumes less memory.

Keywords: scientific 3D visualisation; scientific data sets; interactive application; volume rendering; shading; ambient occlusion; GPU-based filtering; medical images.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBET.2018.089939

International Journal of Biomedical Engineering and Technology, 2018 Vol.26 No.3/4, pp.385 - 403

Received: 18 Jun 2016
Accepted: 27 Sep 2016

Published online: 26 Feb 2018 *

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