Patent Number: 6,297,799

Title: Three-dimensional cursor for a real-time volume rendering system

Abstract: A low-cost, real-time volume rendering system including a three-dimensional cursor for interactively identifying and marking positions within a three-dimensional volume data set during display is disclosed. The cursor appearance is configurable such that it may appear as cross hairs, cross planes, or some combination thereof, with each cursor dimension being selectively enabled. Each cursor dimension is configurable in terms of color and level of opacity. The shape of the edges and the appearance of the intersection of the dimensions is configurable, and the colors of the individual cursor components may alternately blend or obscure the colors of the objects behind them. The cursor is realized through use of a comparison circuit operating in conjunction with a parallel pipeline processor optimized for volume rendering using a ray-casting technique. The comparison circuit checks whether the data sample is taken from a region of the three-dimensional object which may be affected by the presence of a three-dimensional cursor. Voxels which collectively define the object are ordered according to a given three-dimensional coordinate system; the desired cursor is also defined with respect to this coordinate system.

Inventors: Knittel; James (Groton, MA), Simha; Vikram (Lexington, MA)


International Classification: G09G 5/08 (20060101); G06F 3/033 (20060101); Q06T 015/00 ()

Expiration Date: 10/02/2018