Volumetric depth peeling for medical image display

David Borland, John P. Clarke, Julia R. Fielding, Russell M. Taylor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

15 Scopus citations


Volumetric depth peeling (VDP) is an extension to volume rendering that enables display of otherwise occluded features in volume data sets. VDP decouples occlusion calculation from the volume rendering transfer function, enabling independent optimization of settings for rendering and occlusion. The algorithm is flexible enough to handle multiple regions occluding the object of interest, as well as object self-occlusion, and requires no pre-segmentation of the data set. VDP was developed as an improvement for virtual arthroscopy for the diagnosis of shoulder-joint trauma, and has been generalized for use in other simple and complex joints, and to enable non-invasive urology studies. In virtual arthroscopy, the surfaces in the joints often occlude each other, allowing limited viewpoints from which to evaluate these surfaces. In urology studies, the physician would like to position the virtual camera outside the kidney collecting system and see inside it. By rendering invisible all voxels between the observer's point of view and objects of interest, VDP enables viewing from unconstrained positions. In essence, VDP can be viewed as a technique for automatically defining an optimal data- and task-dependent clipping surface. Radiologists using VDP display have been able to perform evaluations of pathologies more easily and more rapidly than with clinical arthroscopy, standard volume rendering, or standard MRI/CT slice viewing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVisualization and Data Analysis 2006 - Proceedings of SPIE-IS and T Electronic Imaging
StatePublished - 2006
EventVisualization and Data Analysis 2006 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 16 2006Jan 17 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherVisualization and Data Analysis 2006
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Applications of volume graphics and volume visualization
  • View-dependent visualization
  • Visualization in medicine
  • Volume rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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