GPU-based adaptive visualization for particle systems

Masato Odagawa, Yuriko Takeshima, Issei Fujishiro, Gota Kikugawa, Taku Ohara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When visualizing large-scale particle systems, it is difficult to maintain adequate framerates because we have to render dynamic scenes with a large number of small spheres. For the control of trade-offs between the overall image quality and total rendering speed, we propose a new rendering scheme which uses a fast method based on shaded texture mapping and a high-quality implicit surface method in a combined way. The shaded texture mapping, which generates a pseudo-texture through alpha-blending a proper portion of template texture for shade and highlight onto a base spherical texture, can render a particle faster than the implicit surface method. However, a weakness of the texture mapping lies in its poor shading quality. In contrast, the implicit surface method is accurate enough for analyzing particle systems visually. Actual method to render each particle is decided according to the viewing distance; the high-quality method is chosen only when the distance is smaller than a threshold, to allow the user to observe the region of interest closely. We use a molecular dynamics simulation dataset to evaluate the effectiveness of our scheme empirically. In addition to this, we also consider the extensibility of our scheme in terms of framerate stability, scalability, and expressiveness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1767-1778
Number of pages12
JournalNihon Kikai Gakkai Ronbunshu, B Hen/Transactions of the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers, Part B
Issue number781
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Flow visualization
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Molecular simulation
  • Particle system
  • Scalability
  • Visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


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