HPMC is a small OpenGL/C/C++-library that extracts iso-surfaces of volumetric data directly on the GPU.
The library analyzes a lattice of scalar values describing a scalar field that is either stored in a Texture3D or can be accessed through an application-provided snippet of shader code. The output is a sequence of vertex positions and normals that form a triangulation of the iso-surface. HPMC provides traversal code to be included in an application vertex shader, which allows direct extraction in the vertex shader. Using the OpenGL transform feedback mechanism, the triangulation can be stored directly into a buffer object.
(C. Dyken, G. Ziegler, C. Theobalt, H.-P. Seidel, High-speed Marching Cubes using Histogram Pyramids, Computer Graphics Forum 27 (8), 2008.)
The computational power of GPU-based algorithms is receiving increased attention in research on Computer Vision and 3D stereo reconstruction from images. In this context one of the most important ingredients for any 3D stereo reconstruction technique is the estimation of photo consistency. This ECCV06 paper presents a new, illumination invariant photo consistency measure for high quality, volumetric 3D reconstruction from calibrated images. In contrast to current standard methods such as normalized cross-correlation it supports unconstrained camera setups and non-planar surface approximations. The paper shows how this measure as well as the other important stages of the volumetric reconstruction pipeline can be implemented in a highly efficient way by exploiting current graphics processors. The authors’ GPU implementation achieves speedups up to a factor of 85 in comparison to CPU-based algorithms, and allows reconstruction of high quality models with computation times of only a few seconds to minutes, even for large numbers of cameras and high volumetric resolutions. (Robust and Efficient Photo-Consistency Estimation for Volumetric 3D Reconstruction. Alexander Hornung and Leif Kobbelt. European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV 2006), LNCS, vol. 3952, Springer, 179-190.)