Monday, October 3, 2011

Reading: (Spatial Vis) Imaging vector fields using line integral convolution

At the outset this paper addresses one of the odd observations I've had about the others, which is that they all mention "science" as the primary application for volume visualizations, but this one mentions several other areas, and adds the following, "upon first inspection, imaging vector fields appears to have limited application — confined primarily to scientific visualization. However, much of the form and shape in our environment is a function of not only image intensity and color, but also of directional information such as edges. Painters, sculptors, photographers, image processors[16] and computer graphics researchers[9] have recognized the importance of direction in the process of image creation and form. Hence, algorithms that can image such directional information have wide application across both scientific and artistic domains." I guess vector fields are different than volumes, but at least the authors thought outside the box for their introductory paragraphs.

The article appears to be a good survey of convolution methods for vector fields. Unfortunately, I can't find anything in this paper that applies to anything we're planning to do with our class project, and I'm actually having trouble visualizing any uses beyond the given photos. Towards the end, they use a motion blur on Boris Yeltzin, but I don't think I even like the effect. The wind velocity visualization is nice, though.