Interactive Data Exploration and Editing for Surgical Applications
Volumetric datasets are used in many surgical applications. Displaying the 3D information contained in these datasets on 2D screens effectively is challenging, because of loss of information due to projection from 3D to 2D space. Problems such as opaque structures occluding each other and difficulty of perceiving depth of a given pixel complicates these kinds of volume visualizations. Application of effects like transparency and transfer functions to show certain anatomical structures makes the mental mapping between the visualization and the patient difficult.
We have used the focus+context visualization paradigm to help with these problems. The users can explore the datasets by using different transfer functions in different parts of therendering. This way, internal structures can be displayed by exploring multiple co-registered datasets in a single coherent view. A novel rendering method using depth images minimizes the performance impact of this visualization approach. An extension to this visualization idea is also developed by using volumetric brushes to perform volume editing tasks. This way, the users can perform accumulated selection of arbitrary shaped regions, and combine multiple datasets in a single visualization.