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Introduction

Natural sciences, medicine and engineering are only a small selection of application domains where volumetric data, continuous as well as scattered, are close to ubiquitous. While the visualization of such data itself is not straightforward, interaction with and manipulation of volumetric data - essential aspects of effective data analysis - pose even further challenges. Due to the three-dimensional nature of the data, it is not straightforward how to select features, pick positions, segment regions or otherwise interact with the rendering or the data themselves in an intuitive manner. In this tutorial we will present state of the art approaches and methods for addressing these challenges with a special focus on the users’ analysis and interaction tasks, as well as on the application of the methods in a large variety of application domains.

The tutorial will start by reviewing common classes of interaction tasks in volume visualization, motivating the need for direct interaction and manipulation, and describing the usually encountered difficulties. Interaction with visualization traditionally happens in PC-based environments with mouse and 2D displays. The second part of the tutorial discusses specific interaction methods that deal with the challenges in this context. Furthermore, an overview of the range of applications of these techniques is given to demonstrate their utility. The use of alternative paradigms for interaction with volumes is discussed in the third part. Such paradigms, e.g. in the context of touch interfaces or immersive environments, provide novel opportunities for volume exploration and manipulation, but also pose specific challenges themselves. The last part completes the tutorial’s scope by a treatment of higher-level interaction techniques guiding users in navigation and exploration of the data using automatic or semi-automatic methods for identifying relevant parameter ranges. Such techniques employ additional, sometimes workflow-specific, information to assist in choosing effective volume visualization techniques and related attributes.

Organizers and Presenters

(in alphabetical order)

Stefan Bruckner is professor in visualization at the Department of Informatics of the University of Bergen, Norway. He received his master's degree in Computer Science from the Vienna University of Technology (VUT), Austria in 2004 and his Ph.D. in 2008 from the same university. He was awarded the habilitation (venia docendi) in Practical Computer Science in 2012. From 2008 to 2013, he was an assistant professor at the Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms at VUT. His research interests include interactive visualization techniques for biomedical data, illustrative visualization, volume rendering, and visual data exploration. His research has received publication awards at several international events including VCBM 2014 (best paper and honorable mention), SCCG 2013 (best paper), EuroVis 2010 (best paper), and Eurographics 2007 (3rd best paper). He won the Karl-Heinz-Höhne Award for Medical Visualization in 2006 and received the 2011 Eurographics Young Researcher Award. He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, ACM SIGGRAPH, and Eurographics. [Website]

Tobias Isenberg is senior research scientist (directeur de recherche) with the AVIZ project team at INRIA-Saclay, south of Paris in France. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Magdeburg, Germany. Previously he held positions as post-doctoral fellow at the University of Calgary, Canada, and as assistant professor at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. His research interests comprise topics in scientific visualization, in illustrative and non-photorealistic rendering, and interactive visualization techniques. In particular, he is interested in how we can make use of touch-enabled displays to support intuitive and effective forms of interaction with scientific data. He is a member of the IEEE, ACM, ACM SIGGRAPH, and Eurographics. [Website]

Timo Ropinski is Professor in Visual Computing at Ulm University, Germany, where he is heading the Visual Computing Group. Before moving to Ulm he was Professor in Interactive Visualization at Linköping University in Sweden, where he was heading the Scientific Visualization Group. He received his Ph.D. in 2004 from the University of Muenster, where he was also awarded the habilitation (venia legendi) in 2009. Ropinski’s research is focused on volume rendering, biomedical visualization and interactive visual decision making. He headed the winning team of the IEEE Visualization contest 2010, and he has held tutorials at Eurographics, ACM SIGGRAPH and IEEE Visualization. Furthermore, he is a member of the IEEE Computer Society, ACM, and Eurographics. [Website]

Alexander Wiebel is professor of software development and digital media production at Worms University of Applied Sciences in Germany. He received his Dipl.-Inf. (MS in computer science) degree from the University of Kaiserslautern in 2004 and his Ph.D. degree from Universität Leipzig in 2008. For both degrees he performed research in the context of flow visualization. As a postdoctoral researcher at Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, and later at Zuse Institute Berlin (ZIB), he conducted research in interactive visualization of 3D MRI data with a focus on intuitive selection of structures in direct volume renderings. During this time, Alexander Wiebel lectured at Universität Leipzig and Freie Universität Berlin. Between 2013 and 2015 he was a professor of visual computing at Coburg University of Applied Sciences in Germany. His research received a nomination for the best paper award and an honorable mention at IEEE Visualization in 2007 and 2010 respectively. [Website]

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