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A Shader Framework for Rapid Prototyping of GPU-Based Volume Rendering



In this paper, we present a rapid prototyping framework for GPU-based volume rendering. Therefore, we propose a dynamic shader pipeline based on the SuperShader concept and illustrate the design decisions. Also, important requirements for the development of our system are presented. In our approach, we break down the rendering shader into areas containing code for different computations, which are defined as freely combinable, modularized shader blocks. Hence, high-level changes of the rendering configuration result in the implicit modification of the underlying shader pipeline. Furthermore, the prototyping system allows inserting custom shader code between shader blocks of the pipeline at run-time. A suitable user interface is available within the prototyping environment to allow intuitive modification of the shader pipeline. Thus, appropriate solutions for visualization problems can be interactively developed. We demonstrate the usage and the usefulness of our framework with implementations of dynamic rendering effects for medical applications.