Chapter 6

Surface Rendering

Abstract

Surface rendering is one of the two major rendering modes for medical volume data.

Instead of classifying volume data and mapping it directly to the viewport, surface rendering is based on an indirect surface mesh representation. This mesh is either generated by extracting an isosurface from the original volume data or by transforming a segmentation result.

Surface rendering of volume data was primarily motivated by two issues: it was much faster than volume rendering, since a mesh has a significantly lower memory footprint than a volume dataset and it provides clearly recognizable images with depth cues such as those caused by illumination. These original advantages have somehow lost their relevance when GPU ...

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