Flexible Occlusion Rendering


These renderings come from RENCI Senior Visualization Researcher David Borland’s Ph.D. thesis in the UNC Chapel Hill computer science department, with advisor Russell M. Taylor II and collaborator John P. Clarke (UNC radiology department, School of Medicine). They use a technique called Flexible Occlusion Rendering (FOR), an extension to standard volume rendering techniques, which can render 3D views of MRI and CT data and remove occluding material to show views that would otherwise not be possible. Image 1 shows a standard volume rendering of the shoulder joint (left). Using FOR, (right) the user can position the virtual camera within the upper area of the shoulder and see the entire shoulder socket, removing material  obstructing the view. This technique can also be used to look for tumors in the urinary tract and inspect knees for fractures, among other uses.

Project Team

David Borland


  • Dr. John P. Clarke, UNC School of Medicine
  • Dr Julia Fielding, UNC School of Medicine