Opacity volume based halo generation and depth-dependent halos
Halos are generally used to enhance depth perception and display spatial relationships in illustrative visualization. In this paper, we present a simple and effective method to create volumetric halo illustration. At the preprocessing stage, we generate, on graphics hardware, a view-independent halo intensity volume, which contains all of the potential halos around the boundaries of features, based on the opacity volume. During halo rendering, the halo intensity volume is used to extract halos only around the contours of structures for the current viewpoint. The performance of our approach is significantly faster than previous halo illustration methods, which perform both halo generation and rendering during direct volume rendering. We further propose depth-dependent halo effects, including depth color fading and depth width fading. These halo effects adaptively modulate the visual properties of halos to provide more perceptual cues for depth interpretation. Experimental results demonstrate the efficiency of our proposed approach and the effectiveness of depth-dependent halos. © 2012 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.