Tutorial 2
High-Quality Volume Graphics on Consumer PC Hardware (Full day) [proposal]

Markus Hadwiger, VRVis Research Center
Joe Michael Kniss, University of Utah
Christof Rezk-Salama, University of Erlangen-Nuremberg
Rudiger Westermann, Aachen University of Technology

Volume rendering has become one of the most important visualization modalities for science and medicine. Until recently, volume rendering was an off-line process or required ultra high-end supercomputers to provide interactive frame rates. Recent advancements in commodity level graphics hardware have made it possible to render reasonably sized volumes at interactive frame rates using a $300 graphics card. In addition to the huge strides made in performance, these graphics cards offer a great deal programmability, which permit image quality that rivals sophisticated software lighting and classification models. Course participants will learn to leverage new features of modern graphics hardware to build high-quality volume rendering applications using OpenGL. Beginning with basic texture-based approaches, the algorithms are improved and expanded incrementally covering illumination, non-polygonal isosurfaces, transfer function design, interaction, volumetric effects, and hardware accelerated filtering. The course is aimed at scientific researchers who wish to gain an understanding of modern volume rendering techniques and the new features available on programmable graphics hardware. Course participants are provided with documented source code covering details usually omitted in publications.