EnSight Volume Visualization

Report No. ARL-TR-6247
Authors: Richard C. Angelini
Date/Pages: November 2012; 26 pages
Abstract: Volume visualization is a computationally intensive image-rendering technique that has been around since the 1970s; however, the advent of modern parallel computing architecture and high-speed graphics cards now makes this technique an attractive alternative to traditional surface-based methods. The resulting image using the volume visualization algorithm can best be described as an opaque cloud of data that allow the viewer to see millions or billions of computational values simultaneously. There are numerous algorithms available to perform volume rendering, and this report focuses on a specific implementation developed by Computational Engineering, Inc.—the developers of EnSight, which is a commonly used general-purpose visualization package used at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL). EnSight provides an extendable graphical user interface that supports client-server access to data calculated on high-performance computing systems supported by ARL and the Department of Defense. The volume-rendering technique implemented by EnSight was applied to ARL datasets, and the methodology and results are presented in this report.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: November 1, 2012