2011 NAMIC Project week: Real-Time Volume Rendering for Virtual Colonoscopy


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Key Investigators

  • MGH: Yin Wu, June-Goo Lee, Hiro Yoshida
  • BWH/Isomics: Steve Pieper, Alex Yarmarkovich, Ron Kikinis


Optimize interactive performance of open source volume rendering on commodity computing devices:

  • vtkGPU ray cast mapper with view-dependent field of view (cropping)
    • slicer3 endoscopy module with volume cropped to transformed ROI
    • plans for slicer4
      • PythonQt endoscopy module
      • design discussions for volume rendering in slicer4
  • vtkCUDA library
    • custom volume rendering
    • GPGPU computing

Approach, Plan

  • Identify other projects/researchers with an interest in real-time volume rendering
  • Identify other projects/researchers with an interest in GPGPU computing environment
  • Assess needs for slicer4 implementation


  • Extensive discussions with vtk developers and fellow slicer developers to determine best porting path. Current plan is for Alex to implement MRML and DisplayableManager level while Julien Finet implements the Qt user interface.
  • Yanling Liu and Curt Lisle, working at NCI, will continue to develop custom GPU based mappers.
  • Kitware has reported bugs to Apple regarding vtkGPU ray caster (code works elsewhere, but not on Apple). Apple has passed these to Nvidia. We will continue to press for resolution.
  • Nicholas, author of CUDA ray casters, will be in Boston for the next few weeks and will be consulted on other options.

Collaborating Projects

NA-MIC Virtual Colonoscopy Project PAR-07-249: R01CA131718
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