An illustrative visualization framework for 3D vector fields

Cheng Kai Chen, Shi Yan, Hongfeng Yu, Nelson Max, Kwan Liu Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Most 3D vector field visualization techniques suffer from the problem of visual clutter, and it remains a challenging task to effectively convey both directional and structural information of 3D vector fields. In this paper, we present a novel visualization framework that combines the advantages of clustering methods and illustrative rendering techniques to generate a concise and informative depiction of complex flow structures. Given a 3D vector field, we first generate a number of streamlines covering the important regions based on an entropy measurement. Then we decompose the streamlines into different groups based on a categorization of vector information, wherein the streamline pattern in each group is ensured to be coherent or nearly coherent. For each group, we select a set of representative streamlines and render them in an illustrative fashion to enhance depth cues and succinctly show local flow characteristics. The results demonstrate that our approach can generate a visualization that is relatively free of visual clutter while facilitating perception of salient information of complex vector fields.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1941-1951
Number of pages11
JournalComputer Graphics Forum
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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