Tag Archives: Journal paper

Similarity Measures for Enhancing Interactive Streamline Seeding

Focus and context rakesStreamline seeding rakes are widely used in vector field visualization. We present new approaches for calculating similarity between integral curves (streamlines and pathlines). While others have used similarity distance measures, the computational expense involved with existing techniques is relatively high due to the vast number of Euclidean distance tests, restricting interactivity and their use for streamline seeding rakes.We introduce the novel idea of computing streamline signatures based on a set of curve-based attributes. A signature produces a compact representation for describing a streamline. Similarity comparisons are performed by using a popular statistical measure on the derived signatures. We demonstrate that this novel scheme, including a hierarchical variant, produces good clustering results and is computed over two orders of magnitude faster than previous methods. Similarity-based clustering enables filtering of the streamlines to provide a non-uniform seeding distribution along the seeding object. We show that this method preserves the overall flow behavior while using only a small subset of the original streamline set. We apply focus + context rendering using the clusters which allows for faster and easier analysis in cases of high visual complexity and occlusion. The method provides a high level of interactivity and allows the user to easily fine-tune the clustering results at run-time while avoiding any time-consuming re-computation. Our method maintains interactive rates even when hundreds of streamlines are used.

Tony McLoughlin, Mark W. Jones, Robert S. Laramee, Rami Malki, Ian Masters,
and Charles D. Hansen.
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 19(8), 1342-1353, 2013. [doi]

Naive-Ray-Tracing: A divide-and-conquer approach

We present an efficient ray-tracing algorithm which, for the first time, does not store any data structures when performing spatial subdivisions, and directly computes intersections inside the scene. This new algorithm is often faster than comparable ray-tracing methods at rendering dynamic scenes, and has a similar level of performance when compared to static ray-tracers. Memory management is made minimal and deterministic, which simplifies ray-tracing engineering, as spatial subdivision data structures are no longer considered in the graphics pipeline. This is possible with a modification of Whitted’s naive ray-tracing algorithm by using a divide-and-conquer approach, and by having a sufficient collection of rays in order to reduce the complexity of naive ray-tracing. In particular, the algorithm excels at spontaneously solving large Ray/Primitive intersection problems.

Benjamin Mora.
ACM Transactions on Graphics, Article 117, Vol. 30, No 5, October 2011.

Automatic Generation of 3D Caricatures based on Artistic Deformation Styles

Caricatures are a form of humorous visual art, usually created by skilled artists for the intention of amusement and entertainment. In this paper, we present a novel approach for automatic generation of digital caricatures from facial photographs, which capture artistic deformation styles from hand-drawn caricatures. We introduced a pseudo stress-strain model to encode the parameters of an artistic deformation style using “virtual” physical and material properties. We have also developed a software system for performing the caricaturistic deformation in 3D which eliminates the undesirable artifacts in 2D caricaturization. We employed a Multilevel Free-Form Deformation (MFFD) technique to optimize a 3D head model reconstructed from an input facial photograph, and for controlling the caricaturistic deformation. Our results demonstrated the effectiveness and usability of the proposed approach, which allows ordinary users to apply the captured and stored deformation styles to a variety of facial photographs.

Lindsay Clarke, Min Chen and Ben Mora.
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 2011, Vol. 17. No 5, pp. 808-821.

Temporal Visualization of Boundary-based Geo-information Using Radial Projection

This work is concerned with a design study by an interdisciplinary team on visualizing a 10-year record of seasonal and inter-annual changes in frontal position (advance/retreat) of nearly 200 marine terminating glaciers in Greenland. Whilst the spatiotemporal nature of the raw data presents a challenge to develop a compact and intuitive visual design, the focus on coastal boundaries provides an opportunity for dimensional reduction. In this paper, we report the user-centered design process carried out by the team, and present several visual encoding schemes that have met the requirements including compactness, intuitiveness, and ability to depict temporal changes and spatial relations. In particular, we designed a family of radial visualization, where radial lines correspond to different coastal locations, and nested rings represent the evolution of the temporal dimension from inner to outer circles. We developed an algorithm for mapping glacier terminus positions from Cartesian coordinates to angular coordinates. Instead of a naive uniform mapping, the algorithm maintains consistent spatial perception of the visually-sensitive geographical references between their Cartesian and angular coordinates, and distributes other termini positions between primary locations based on coastal distance. This work has provided a useful solution to address the problem of inaccuracy in change evaluation based on pixel-based visualization [BPC10].

Y. Drocourt, R. Borgo, K. Scharrer, T. Murray, S.I. Bevan, M. Chen.
Computer Graphics Forum Intl. Journal, volume 30, number 3, year 2011, pp. 981-990, presented also at EuroVis Conference 2011, May 31-June 3, Bergen, Norway.

Smooth Graphs for Visual Exploration of Higher-Order State Transitions

Representing higher order paths with smooth linesIn this paper, we present a new visual way of exploring state sequences in large observational time-series. A key advantage of our method is that it can directly visualize higher-order state transitions. A standard first order state transition is a sequence of two states that are linked by a transition. A higher-order state transition is a sequence of three or more states where the sequence of participating states are linked together by consecutive first order state transitions. Our method extends the current state-graph exploration methods by employing a two dimensional graph, in which higher-order state transitions are visualized as curved lines. All transitions are bundled into thick splines, so that the thickness of an edge represents the frequency of instances. The bundling between two states takes into account the state transitions before and after the transition. This is done in such a way that it forms a continuous representation in which any subsequence of the timeseries is represented by a continuous smooth line. The edge bundles in these graphs can be explored interactively through our incremental selection algorithm. We demonstrate our method with an application in exploring labelled time-series data from a biological survey, where a clustering has assigned a single label to the data at each time-point. In these sequences, a large number of cyclic patterns occur, which in turn are linked to specific activities. We demonstrate how our method helps to find these cycles, and how the interactive selection process helps to find and investigate activities.

Jorik Blaas, Charl P. Botha, Ed Grundy, Mark W. Jones, Robert S. Laramee and Frits H. Post.
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics 15(6), 969-976, 2009. [doi] [BibTeX]

Visualization of Sensor Data from Animal Movement

Accelerometry data visualized on a sphereA new area of biological research is identifying and grouping patterns of behaviour in wild animals by analysing data obtained through the attachment of tri-axial accelerometers. As these recording devices become smaller and less expensive their use has increased. Currently acceleration data are visualised as 2D time series plots, and analyses are based on summary statistics and the application of Fourier transforms. We develop alternate visualisations of this data so as to analyse, explore and present new patterns of animal behaviour. Our visualisations include interactive spherical scatterplots, spherical histograms, clustering methods, and feature-based state diagrams of the data. We study the application of these visualisation methods to accelerometry data from animal movement. The reaction of biologists to these visualisations is also reported.

Edward Grundy, Mark W. Jones, Robert S. Laramee, Rory P. Wilson and Emily L.C. Shepard
Eurovis 2009, Computer Graphics Forum 28(3), 815-822, 2009 [doi] [BibTeX]

Into the Blue: Better Caustics through Photon Relaxation

The photon mapping method is one of the most popular algorithms employed in computer graphics today. However, obtaining good results is dependent on several variables including kernel shape and bandwidth, as well as the properties of the initial photon distribution. While the photon density estimation problem has been the target of extensive research, most algorithms focus on new methods of optimising the kernel to minimise noise and bias. In this paper we break from convention and propose a new approach that directly redistributes the underlying photons. We show that by relaxing the initial distribution into one with a blue noise spectral signature we can dramatically reduce background noise, particularly in areas of uniform illumination. In addition, we propose an efficient heuristic to detect and preserve features and discontinuities. We then go on to demonstrate how reconfiguration also permits the use of very low bandwidth kernels, greatly improving render times whilst reducing bias.

Ben Spencer and Mark W. Jones.
Eurographics 2009, Computer Graphics Forum 28(2) 319-328, 2009. [doi] [BibTeX]

Visualization and Computer Graphics on Isotropically Emissive Volumetric Displays

The availability of commodity volumetric displays provides ordinary users with a new means of visualizing 3D data. Many of these displays are in the class of isotropically emissive light devices, which are designed to directly illuminate voxels in a 3D frame buffer, producing x-ray-like visualizations. While this technology can offer intuitive insight into a 3D object, the visualizations are perceptually different from what a computer graphics or visualization system would render on a 2D screen. This paper formalizes rendering on isotropically emissive displays and introduces a novel technique that emulates traditional rendering effects on isotropically emissive volumetric displays, delivering results that are much closer to what is traditionally rendered on regular 2D screens. Such a technique can significantly broaden the capability and usage of isotropically emissive volumetric displays. Our method takes a 3D data set or object as the input, creates an intermediate light field, and outputs a special 3D volume data set called a lumi-volume. This lumi-volume encodes approximated rendering effects in a form suitable for display with accumulative integrals along unobtrusive rays. When a lumi-volume is fed directly into an isotropically emissive volumetric display, it creates a 3D visualization with surface shading effects that are familiar to the users. The key to this technique is an algorithm for creating a 3D lumi-volume from a 4D light field. In this paper, we discuss a number of technical issues, including transparency effects due to the dimension reduction and sampling rates for light fields and lumi-volumes. We show the effectiveness and usability of this technique with a selection of experimental results captured from an isotropically emissive volumetric display, and we demonstrate its potential capability and scalability with computer-simulated high-resolution results.

Benjamin Mora, Ross Maciejewski, Min Chen and David S. Ebert
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, March-April 2009, Vol. 15. No 2, pp. 221-234.

Hierarchical Photon Mapping

Hierarchical Photon MappingHierarchical Photon MappingPhoton mapping is an efficient method for producing high-quality photorealistic images with full global illumination. In this paper, we present a more accurate and efficient approach to final gathering using the photon map based upon the hierarchical evaluation of the photons over each surface. We use the footprint of each gather ray to calculate the irradiance estimate area rather than deriving it from the local photon density. We then describe an efficient method for computing the irradiance from the photon map given an arbitrary estimate area. Finally, we demonstrate how the technique may be used to reduce variance and increase efficiency when sampling diffuse and glossy-specular BRDFs.

Ben Spencer and Mark W. Jones.
IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 15(1), 49-61, Jan/Feb 2009. [doi] [BibTeX]