I’m now session hopping to look at some pretty pictures at the first Volume Rendering session of Vis. Carlos Correa is talking about Size-Based Transfer Functions, joint work with Kwan-Liu Ma. Both Correa and Ma are well-known for their infuriatingly good-looking volume renderings – I’m looking forward to seeing this. The work is based on enriching transfer functions with scale, so that the “size” of features can be used as part of the transfer function. I don’t know much about scale space, so these will be seat-of-my-pants comments.

His volume-rendering of the aneurysm dataset is compelling – the aneurysm really pops out. The scale field is computed by detecting when the scalar field critical point disappears through diffusion. Cool connection between topology and geometry. I’m not sure every feature in well represented by a critical point of the right size, though, and I wonder if he could just use Attila Gyulassy and co-authors’ topological analysis framework instead. Paper idea: Persistence-Based Transfer Functions?

The performance of the diffusion running on GPUs is perfectly acceptable, which I guess eliminates my question about doing all the diffusion on the frequency domain (this would not work for their nonlinear diffusion).

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