Rendering the first star in the Universe - A case study

Ralf Kähler, Donna Cox, Robert Patterson, Stuart Levy, Hans Christian Hege, Tom Abel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


For quantitative examination of phenomena that simultaneously occur on very different spatial and temporal scales, adaptive hierarchical schemes are required. A special numerical multilevel technique, associated with a particular hierarchical data structure, is so-called Adaptive Mesh Refinement (AMR). It allows one to bridge a wide range of spatial and temporal resolutions and therefore gains increasing popularity. We describe the interplay of several visualization and VR software packages for rendering time dependent AMR simulations of the evolution of the first star in the universe. The work was done in the framework of a television production for DISCOVERY CHANNEL TELEVISION, "The Unfolding Universe." Parts of the data were taken from one of the most complex AMR simulation ever carried out: It contained up to 27 levels of resolution, requiring modifications to the texture based AMR volume rendering algorithm that was used to depict the density distribution of the gaseous interstellar matter. A voice and gesture controlled CAVE application was utilized to define camera paths following the interesting features deep inside the computational domains. Background images created from cosmological computational data were combined with the final renderings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the IEEE Visualization Conference
EditorsR. Moorhead, M. Gross, K.I. Joy
Number of pages4
StatePublished - 2002
EventVIS 2002, IEEE Visualisation 2002 - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: Oct 27 2002Nov 1 2002


OtherVIS 2002, IEEE Visualisation 2002
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


  • 3D texture based volume rendering
  • Adaptive mesh refinement data
  • CAVE applications
  • Data visualization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Rendering the first star in the Universe - A case study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this