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High-Quality Rendering of Glyphs Using Hardware-Accelerated Ray Tracing

Stefan Zellmann, Martin Aumüller, Nathan Marshak, Ingo Wald
accepted at EGPGV 2020.

Preprint (author version)

Source code (link to github repo)


Glyph rendering is an important scientific visualization technique for 3D, time-varying simulation data and for higher-dimensional data in general. Though conceptually simple, there are several different challenges when realizing glyph rendering on top of triangle rasterization APIs, such as possibly prohibitive polygon counts, limitations of what shapes can be used for the glyphs, issues with visual clutter, etc. In this paper, we investigate the use of hardware ray tracing for high-quality, high-performance glyph rendering, and show that this not only leads to a more flexible and often more elegant solution for dealing with number and shape of glyphs, but that this can also help address visual clutter, and even provide additional visual cues that can enhance understanding of the dataset.