Illustrating transparent surfaces with curvature-directed strokes

Victoria Interrante, Henry Fuchs, Stephen Pizer

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

45 Scopus citations


Transparency can be a useful device for simultaneously depicting multiple superimposed layers of information in a single image. However, in computer-generated pictures - as in photographs and in directly viewed actual objects - it can often be difficult to adequately perceive the three-dimensional shape of a layered transparent surface or its relative depth distance from underlying structures. Inspired by artists' use of line to show shape, we have explored methods for automatically defining a distributed set of opaque surface markings that intend to portray the three-dimensional shape and relative depth of a smoothly curving layered transparent surface in an intuitively meaningful (and minimally occluding) way. This paper describes the perceptual motivation, artistic inspiration and practical implementation of an algorithm for `texturing' a transparent surface with uniformly distributed opaque short strokes, locally oriented in the direction of greatest normal curvature, and of length proportional to the magnitude of the surface curvature in the stroke direction. The driving application for this work is the visualization of layered surfaces in radiation therapy treatment planning data, and the technique is illustrated on transparent isointensity surfaces of radiation dose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Visualization Conference
Editors Anon
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
EventProceedings of the 1996 IEEE Visualization Conference - San Francisco, CA, USA
Duration: Oct 27 1996Nov 1 1996


OtherProceedings of the 1996 IEEE Visualization Conference
CitySan Francisco, CA, USA


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