The Visualization Toolkit: An Object-Oriented Approach to 3-D Graphics (2nd Edition)

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9780139546945: The Visualization Toolkit: An Object-Oriented Approach to 3-D Graphics (2nd Edition)

This Java-built "Visualization Toolkit (VTK)" will enable readers to represent any set of data--medical, scientific, or financial--in 3D. Users will learn to build 3D Java applets with the VTK software on the CD-ROM. The book covers Web applications like VRML, Java, and Java3D.

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From the Publisher:

The aim of this text is to strike a balance between practice and theory. The book goes beyond description and focuses on applicaton of visualization to real-world problems.

From the Inside Flap:

Preface

Visualization is a great field to work in these days. Advances in computer hardware and software have brought this technology into the reach of nearly every computer system. Even the ubiquitous personal computer now offers specialized 3D graphics hardware. And with the release of Windows95 and OpenGL, there is an API for 3D graphics as well.

We view visualization and visual computing as nothing less than a new form of communication. All of us have long known the power of images to convey information, ideas, and feelings. Recent trends have brought us 2D images and graphics as evidenced by the variety of graphical user interfaces and business plotting software. But 3D images have been used sparingly, and often by specialists using specialized systems. Now this is changing. We believe we are entering a new era where 3D images, visualizations, and animations will begin to extend, and in some cases, replace the current communication paradigm based on words, mathematical symbols, and 2D images. Our hope is that along the way the human imagination will be freed like never before.

This text and companion software offers one view of visualization. The field is broad, including elements of computer graphics, imaging, computer science, computational geometry, numerical analysis, statistical methods, data analysis, and studies in human perception. We certainly do not pretend to cover the field in its entirety. However, we feel that this text does offer you a great opportunity to learn about the fundamentals of visualization. Not only can you learn from the written word and companion images, but the included software will allow you to practice visualization. You can start by using the sample data we have provided here, and then move on to your own data and applications. We believe that you will soon appreciate visualization as much as we do.

In this, the second edition of Visualization Toolkit and vtk version 2.0, we have added several new features since the first edition. Volume rendering is now fully supported, including the ability to combine opaque surface graphics with volumes. We have added an extensive image processing pipeline that integrates conventional 3D visualization and graphics with imaging. Besides several new filters such as clipping, smoothing, 2D/3D Delaunay triangulation, and a new decimation algorithm, we have added several readers and writers, and better support net-based tools such as Java and VRML. Finally, our PC support has greatly improved, including a nice tool for managing the compile process.

The additions of these features necessitated the addition of three special contributors to the text: Lisa Sobierajski Avila, Rick Avila, and C. Charles Law. Rick and Lisa worked hard to create an object-oriented design for volume rendering, and to insure that the design and software is fully compatible with the surface-based rendering system. Charles is the principle architect and implementor for the imaging pipeline. We are proud of the streaming and caching capability of the architecture: It allows us to handle large data sets despite limited memory resources.

Especially satisfying has been the response from users of the text and software. Not only have we received a warm welcome from these wonderful people, but many of them have contributed code, bug fixes, data, and ideas that greatly improved the system. In fact, it would be best to categorize these people as co-developers rather than users of the system. We would like to encourage anyone else who is interested in sharing their ideas, code, or data to contact the vtk user community, or one of the authors. We would very much welcome any contributions you have to make.

Contact us at kitware.

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