Interactive voxel graphics in virtual reality poses significant research challenges in terms of interface, file I/O, and real-time algorithms. Voxel graphics is not so new, as it is the focus of a good deal of scientific visualization. Interactive voxel creation and manipulation is a more innovative concept. Scientists are understandably reluctant to manipulate data. They collect or model data. A scientific analogy to interactive graphics is the generation of initial conditions for some model. It is used as a method to test those models. We, however, are in the business of creating new data in the form of graphical imagery. In our endeavor, science is a tool and not an end. Nevertheless, there is a whole class of interactions and associated data generation scenarios that are natural to our way of working and that are also appropriate to scientific inquiry. Annotation by sketching or painting to point to and distinguish interesting and important information is very significant for science as well as art. Annotation in 3D is difficult without a good 3D interface. Interactive graphics in virtual reality is an appropriate approach to this problem.
Glenn G. Chappell,
"Interactive voxel graphics in virtual reality", Proc. SPIE 4662, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging VII, (30 May 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.469551; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.469551