Semantic layers for illustrative volume rendering

Peter Rautek*, Stefan Bruckner, M. Eduard Gröller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Direct volume rendering techniques map volumetric attributes (e.g., density, gradient magnitude, etc.) to visual styles. Commonly this mapping is specified by a transfer function. The specification of transfer functions is a complex task and requires expert knowledge about the underlying rendering technique. In the case of multiple volumetric attributes and multiple visual styles the specification of the multi-dimensional transfer function becomes more challenging and non-intuitive. We present a novel methodology for the specification of a mapping from several volumetric attributes to multiple illustrative visual styles. We introduce semantic layers that allow a domain expert to specify the mapping in the natural language of the domain. A semantic layer defines the mapping of volumetric attributes to one visual style. Volumetric attributes and visual styles are represented as fuzzy sets. The mapping is specified by rules that are evaluated with fuzzy logic arithmetics. The user specifies the fuzzy sets and the rules without special knowledge about the underlying rendering technique. Semantic layers allow for a linguistic specification of the mapping from attributes to visual styles replacing the traditional transfer function specification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1336-1343
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Focus+context techniques
  • Illustrative visualization
  • Volume visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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