Fast Interactive Region of Interest Selection for Volume Visualization
We describe a new method to support the segmentation of a volumetric MRI- or CT-dataset such that only the components selected by the user are displayed by a volume renderer for visual inspection. The goal is to combine the advantages of direct volume rendering (high efficiency and semi-transparent display of internal structures) and indirect volume rendering (well defined surface geometry and topology). Our approach is based on a re-labeling of the input volume's set of isosurfaces which allows the user to peel off the outer layers and to distinguish unconnected voxel components which happen to have the same voxel values. For memory and time efficiency, isosurfaces are never generated explicitly. Instead a second voxel grid is computed which stores a discretization of the new isosurface labels. Hence the masking of unwanted regions as well as the direct volume rendering of the desired regions of interest (ROI) can be implemented on the GPU which enables interactive frame rates even while the user changes the selection of the ROI.