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Volume rendering of large data for scalable displays using photonic switching

Vol-a-Tile is a volume visualization tool for large-scale, time-series scientific datasets rendered on high-resolution scalable displays. These large-scale datasets can be dynamically processed and retrieved from remote data stores over optical networks using OptiStore - a system that filters raw volumetric data and produces a sequence of visual objects such as isosurfaces or voxels. Vol-a-Tile focuses on very large volumetric data and time-dependent simulation results, such as ultra-high-resolution seismic and microscopy data.


Optistore is the dataserver which stores objects as 3D volumes or geometry. Optistore is designed to assist visualization dataset handling, including data management, processing, representation and transport. It is built upon existing functionality in VTK such as the marching cubes, gradient estimation, data reduction and sampling filters .


Vol-a-tile handles the rendering, scalable displaying and user interaction. All the nodes in Vol-a-tile (master and slaves) have a dedicated link to Optistore to retrieve the datasets. The master handles user interaction and any transfer function updates from the transfer function editor and broadcasts it to the slaves using MPI. The slaves are responsible for processing commands from the master and rendering to their respective view frustums.

Transfer function Editor (tfUI)

tfUI is the user interface for transfer function selection based on the Simian system at Univ of Utah. The color and opacity can be selected using the classification widgets. These widgets can be overlayed and then rasterized to a 2D texture which is sent to Vol-a-Tile. The 2D Histogram for the dataset is retrived from Vol-a-Tile and displayed to guide the user in the selection.

Vol-a-Tile rendered on a Perspectile, EVL's 5Kx3K resolution display.

updated: August 2004