Sebastian Maisch had engaged in the disputation of a dissertation with the title Improving Interactive Rendering of Volumetric Effects in Computer Graphics and Visualization. The examination board comprised Timo Ropinski (Medieninformatik, UUlm), Carsten Dachsbacher (KIT), Enrico Rukzio (Medieninformatik, UUlm), Heiko Neumann (Neuroinformatik, UUlm), and the head of the examination board, Manfred Reichert.
The research group Visual Computing is delighted of this first succesfull dissertation of this veteran pioneer.
The corresponding talk in March was of the following content:
Volumetric effects are some of the most challenging effects to render in the field of computer generated images. Depending on the data to generate images from, the challenge lies either in the time budget available for rendering, or the memory available during rendering. The first problem often occurs when a physically based approach is taken in presence of participating media. Since the goal of physically based rendering is to generate images that are as close to a photo as possible, the rendering process needs to take into account even smaller details. Rendering large volume data sets on the other hand is more severely affected by memory shortage, as these data sets are often present in case of data visualization of three or four dimensional medical or, more general, scientifc data. Fortunately, in many cases not all details are important for the viewer and can therefore be omitted, while other details might need to be emphasized for a better visibility.
This dissertation aims to address both of these challenges encountered when generating images capturing volumetric effects. It presents of several novel approaches to physically based rendering that improve image quality in comparison to other state of the art techniques in that field while keeping the impact on rendering times low. These approaches include a deep learning technique based on point cloud data, as well as several more established methods that have a special focus on the translucency effect. The dissertation also includes an evaluation that compares the visual impact of different methods of memory reduction techniques for volume data.