Proceedings: GI 2007

Point-based stream surfaces and path surfaces

Tobias Schafhitzel , Eduardo Tejada , Daniel Weiskopf , Thomas Ertl

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007: Montréal, Québec, Canada, 28 - 30 May 2007, 289-296

DOI 10.20380/GI2007.38

  • Bibtex

    author = {Schafhitzel, Tobias and Tejada, Eduardo and Weiskopf, Daniel and Ertl, Thomas},
    title = {Point-based stream surfaces and path surfaces},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2007},
    series = {GI 2007},
    year = {2007},
    issn = {0713-5424},
    isbn = {978-1-56881-337-0},
    location = {Montr{\'e}al, Qu{\'e}bec, Canada},
    pages = {289--296},
    numpages = {8},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2007.38},
    acmdoi = {doi>10.1145/1268517.1268564},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},


We introduce a point-based algorithm for computing and rendering stream surfaces and path surfaces of a 3D flow. The points are generated by particle tracing, and an even distribution of those particles on the surfaces is achieved by selective particle removal and creation. Texture-based surface flow visualization is added to show inner flow structure on those surfaces. We demonstrate that our visualization method is designed for steady and unsteady flow alike: both the path surface component and the texture-based flow representation are capable of processing time-dependent data. Finally, we show that our algorithms lend themselves to an efficient GPU implementation that allows the user to interactively visualize and explore stream surfaces and path surfaces, even when seed curves are modified and even for time-dependent vector fields.