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Re: survey: accelerated 3D volumetric rendering

Rick Towler (rtowler@u.washington.edu) writes:

> What are peoples experiences with accelerated 3d volumetric rendering.  I am
> sure very high end  unix viz workstations have the ability to accelerate
> volumetric rendering but what about lower end hardware.  Is this the domain
> of high end video adapters only?
> In my case we have a Sun Ultra60 with the Creator3d framebuffer and PC's
> running consumer versions of nvidia's Geforce line.  The Creator3d is
> painfully slow rendering anything.  The Geforce cards are quite fast with
> your standard polygon rendering but volumetric rendering isn't supported in
> hardware.
> Does anyone have any experience with this using nvidia's Quadro line or with
> 3dLabs cards?  What about other platforms?
> fwiw, Sun just released the Expert3d lite which does support accelerated
> volumetric rendering and when bundled runs for $2000.  I guess that is low
> end....

My experience with volume rendering with several different
"inexpensive" graphics cards for PCs is that software
rending is *always* faster than hardware rendering. (Not
to mention prone to far fewer rendering errors.) 

I pretty much always have software rendering on as the
default, and I make *sure* I have it on for any object
graphics programs I distribute that have anything unusual
going on in them.


David Fanning, Ph.D.
Fanning Software Consulting
Phone: 970-221-0438 E-Mail: davidf@dfanning.com
Coyote's Guide to IDL Programming: http://www.dfanning.com/
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