A first post to talk about my work as a PhD student ! I have been doing a PhD for a little bit more than one year now at INRIA Rhone-Alpes in Grenoble, on the rendering and exploration of very (very !) large voxel scenes. I am working more specifically on GPU voxel ray-casting and ray-tracing, complex GPU data structures and interactive large datasets streaming. I am working in close collaboration with Fabrice Neyret, my PhD supervisor, on that project. Sylvain Lefebvre and Elmar Eisemann are also collaborating on it.
My research webpage can be found here: http://artis.imag.fr/Membres/Cyril.Crassin/
Voxel representations are useful for semi-transparent phenomenas and rendering advanced visual effects such as accurate reflections and refractions. Such representation provide also faster rendering and higher quality (allowing better and easier data filtering) than triangle based representation for very complex meshes (typically leading in one or more triangles per pixels).
The first result of that work have been a research report named Interactive GigaVoxels. We now have a paper accepted at I3D 2009 that is better written, more complete and presents our last work and results. It introduced a rendering system we have named GigaVoxels, that is our realtime voxel engine. GigaVoxels is based on a kind of lightwise sparse voxel octree data structure, a fully GPU voxel ray-caster that provides very high quality and real time rendering and a data streaming strategy based visibility informations provided directly by ray-casting. 3D Mip-Mapping is used to provide very-high filtering quality and the out-of-core algorithm allow virtually unlimited resolution scenes