We present a novel technique called streamline splatting to visualize 3D vector fields interactively. This technique integrates streamline generation with the splatting method of volume rendering. The key idea is to create volumetric streamlines using geometric streamlines and a kernel footprint function. To optimize the rendering speed, we represent the volumetric streamlines in terms of a series of slices perpendicular to the principal viewing direction. Thus 3D volume rendering is achieved by blending all slice textures with support of graphics hardware. This approach allows the user to
visualize 3D vector fields interactively such as by rotation and zooming on regular PCs. This new technique may lead to better understanding of complex structures in 3D vector fields.
"Visualizing 3D vector fields with splatted streamlines", Proc. SPIE 6060, Visualization and Data Analysis 2006, 60600Z (16 January 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.643603; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.643603