Kevin Beason
MS Computer Science

Global Illumination of Isosurfaces

The purpose of my research is to upgrade the quality of 3D scientific visualization by applying global illumination to isosurfaces.

An isosurface of a three-dimensional (3D) function is a surface in which all the points have an identical value, called the isovalue. This isosurface may capture the shape of the brain (from MRI data), or of a nerve cell (from laser microscopy) or of neutron clusters (from a computational simulation of neutron stars). Often the shape is very complex, in which case the subtle effects of realistic lighting (like soft shadows, inter-reflection, and caustics) make the 3D structure more evident to the scientific user.

Unfortunately, solving the light-transport equation for these complex surfaces may take hours to complete. My work is the first to demonstrate that pre-processing allows these high-quality renderings to be produced using the video card of an ordinary home computer, and at the same speed as the low-quality "local illumination" provided by existing commercial tools for 3D visualization.

Courses taken outside of major
STA 5106 Computational Methods in Statistics I
STA 5107 Computational Methods in Statistics II
PHY 3424 Optics
ART 2010 Photography

Florida State University