Chapter 7. Point-Based Visualization of Metaballs on a GPU

Kees van Kooten Playlogic Game Factory

Gino van den Bergen Playlogic Game Factory

Alex Telea Eindhoven University of Technology

In this chapter we present a technique for rendering metaballs on state-of-the-art graphics processors at interactive rates. Instead of employing the marching cubes algorithm to generate a list of polygons, our method samples the metaballs’ implicit surface by constraining free-moving particles to this surface. Our goal is to visualize the metaballs as a smooth surface by rendering thousands of particles, with each particle covering a tiny surface area. To successfully apply this point-based technique on a GPU, we solve three basic problems. First, we need to evaluate ...

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