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August 20, 2008

SIGGRAPH Day 1: Massive Model Visualization Techniques

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This class dealt with how to interactively (defined as >= 10 fps) manipulate large models. The Boeing 777 data set was used for several of the examples, which has 470 million triangles and over is over 30 GB on disk.


There are two main ways to draw 3D: rasterization and ray tracing.

  • Rasterization
    • Advantages
      • Graphics hardware is optimized for rasterization
      • 1-2 orders of magnitude faster than ray tracing
    • Disadvantages
      • Direct Illumination
      • Performance approximately linear to number of triangles
  • Ray Tracing
    • Advantages
    • Disadvantages
      • No hardware support
      • Slow

As models get more complex, ray tracing becomes more viable compared to rasterization.

ReduceM is a data structure for geometry designed for ray tracing. It minimizes the footprint for viewing large models at interactive rates.

Far voxels are a way to represent lots of data by a simple cube. Each face of the cube is a texture of what the model would look like from that vantage point.

Comments (2)

A lot has been made of nVidia using a second GPU as a physics engine for games and simulations. Are any of the big guys looking into ray trace optimized engines, or is the market just too small to justify the effort?


Nvidia and Intel are both showing interactive ray tracing.

I'll have more posts on this later.

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