Fast high-quality volume ray casting with virtual samplings

Byeonghun Lee, Jihye Yun, Jinwook Seo, Byonghyo Shim, Yeong Gil Shin, Bohyoung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Volume ray-casting with a higher order reconstruction filter and/or a higher sampling rate has been adopted in direct volume rendering frameworks to provide a smooth reconstruction of the volume scalar and/or to reduce artifacts when the combined frequency of the volume and transfer function is high. While it enables high-quality volume rendering, it cannot support interactive rendering due to its high computational cost. In this paper, we propose a fast high-quality volume ray-casting algorithm which effectively increases the sampling rate. While a ray traverses the volume, intensity values are uniformly reconstructed using a high-order convolution filter. Additional samplings, referred to as virtual samplings, are carried out within a ray segment from a cubic spline curve interpolating those uniformly reconstructed intensities. These virtual samplings are performed by evaluating the polynomial function of the cubic spline curve via simple arithmetic operations. The min max blocks are refined accordingly for accurate empty space skipping in the proposed method. Experimental results demonstrate that the proposed algorithm, also exploiting fast cubic texture filtering supported by programmable GPUs, offers renderings as good as a conventional ray-casting algorithm using high-order reconstruction filtering at the same sampling rate, while delivering 2.5x to 3.3x rendering speed-up.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5613494
Pages (from-to)1525-1532
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported in part by the BK 21 Project in 2010 and by Basic Science Research Program through the NRF funded by the MEST of Korea (No. 2010-0017178). This work was also supported in part by the Industrial Strategic Technology Development Program funded by the MKE of Korea (No. 10035474) and in part by Grant no. 10888 from the Seoul Research and Business Development Program. The ICT at Seoul National University provides research facilities for this study.


  • GPU
  • curve interpolation
  • direct volume rendering
  • high quality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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