Data visualization. Principles and practice by Telea A.

By Telea A.

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In many cases, rendering half-transparent (translucent) shapes can add extra value to a visualization. For instance, in our height-plot running example, we may be interested in seeing both the gridded domain and the height plot in the same image and from any viewpoint. We can achieve this effect by first rendering the grid graphics, followed by rendering the height plot, as described previously, but using half-transparent primitives. 39 40 2. 7. The height plot in (b) is drawn on top of the current screen contents in (a) with additive blending to obtain the half-transparent plot result in (c).

In OpenGL, such a camera can be specified by indicating its location (also called the eye position e), a location towards which the camera is pointing (also called the center position c), and a vector u indicating how the camera is rotated around the viewing direction c − e (also called the “up” vector). 9 illustrates this. The plane orthogonal to the viewing direction, on which the final image will appear, is also called the view plane. 9. Extrinsic parameters of the OpenGL camera. 44 2. From Graphics to Visualization In OpenGL, specifying the eye, center, and up vector values for a camera can be done using the gluLookAt function2 glMatrixMode (GL MODELVIEW) ; glLoadIdentity ( ) ; gluLookAt ( ex , ey , ez , cx , cy , cz , ux , uy , uz ) The first two function calls (glMatrixMode and glLoadIdentity) ensure that the subsequent gluLookAt call will modify the extrinsic camera parameters of OpenGL, rather than intrinsic camera parameters, which are discussed in the next section.

More advanced readers should, at this point, be able to implement functional, albeit simple, versions of several of the visualization algorithms discussed in this book. However, this book is not about implementing visualization algorithms. Readers interested in this topic should consult the specialized literature describing the design and use of visualization software toolkits [Schroeder et al. 06, Kitware, Inc. 04]. The aim of this book is to present an overview of data-visualization methods and teach the reader about the various trade-offs involved in the design of such methods, ranging from modeling issues to visual presentation and software design.

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