MRI and CT scans are diagnostic processes that create volumetric data that consists of a set of 2D images showing cross sections through a 3D volume. Volume rendering is a computer graphics technique used to construct 3D images from this type of volumetric data. Although volume rendering is commonly used to analyze medical scans, it can also be used to create 3D scientific visualizations in academic disciplines such as geology, archeology, and molecular biology.
The data captured by MRI and CT scans typically follows the form of a 3D grid of Nx×Ny×Nz, or Nz 2D “slices,” where each slice is an image of size Nx×Ny. Volume-rendering ...