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3D Computer Graphics

3D Computer Graphics

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Published by Nikhil Verma

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Published by: Nikhil Verma on Jun 06, 2011
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08/19/2013

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Figure 48 Zirconocene with an isosurface showing areas of the molecule susceptible to elec-
trophilic attack. Image courtesy of Accelrys (http://www.accelrys.com)

An isosurface is a three-dimensional analog of an isocontour. It is a surface
that represents points of a constant value (e.g. pressure, temperature, veloc-
ity, density) within a volume of space; in other words, it is a level set of a
continuous function whose domain is 3-space.

Isosurfaces are normally displayed using computer graphics, and are used as
data visualization methods in computational fluid dynamics (CFD), allowing
engineers to study features of a fluid flow (gas or liquid) around objects, such
as aircraft wings. An isosurface may represent an individual shockwave in
supersonic flight, or several isosurfaces may be generated showing a sequence
of pressure values in the air flowing around a wing. Isosurfaces tend to be a
popular form of visualization for volume datasets since they can be rendered
by a simple polygonal model, which can be drawn on the screen very quickly.

Inmedicalimaging, isosurfacesmaybeusedtorepresentregionsofaparticular
density in a three-dimensional CT scan, allowing the visualization of internal
organs, bones, or other structures.

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Joint constraints

Numerous other disciplines that are interested in three-dimensional data of-
ten use isosurfaces to obtain information about pharmacology, chemistry, geo-
physics and meteorology.

A popular method of constructing an isosurface from a data volume is the
marching cubes algorithm.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isosurface

Principal Authors: StoatBringer, The demiurge, Michael Hardy, RedWolf, Taw

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