Particle Level Set Advection for the Interactive Visualization of Unsteady 3D Flow
Typically, flow volumes are visualized by defining their boundary as iso-surface of a level set function. Grid-based level sets offer a good global representation but suffer from numerical diffusion of surface detail, whereas particle-based methods preserve details more accurately but introduce the problem of unequal global representation. The particle level set (PLS) method combines the advantages of both approaches by interchanging the information between the grid and the particles. Our work demonstrates that the PLS technique can be adapted to volumetric dye advection via streak volumes, and to the visualization by time surfaces and path volumes. We achieve this with a modified and extended PLS, including a model for dye injection. A new algorithmic interpretation of PLS is introduced to exploit the efficiency of the GPU, leading to interactive visualization. Finally, we demonstrate the high quality and usefulness of PLS flow visualization by providing quantitative results on volume preservation and by discussing typical applications of 3D flow visualization.