For his masters thesis at TNO, Lukas de Boer visualized point cloud data coming from TNO’s EFFECTS. EFFECTS can simulate, for example, the movement of gas clouds under the effects of wind, where rendering the outcome can be interesting in 3D. This was done using TNO’s web-based visualization framework CommonSense, which was extended in order to use Cesium as an additional rendering engine, allowing the user to quickly switch between 2D and 3D rendering.

Point cloud data was delivered in 2D “slices,” which were stacked into a 2D texture that was passed as a uniform to the shader via the fabric material. After this, custom shader code was written in order to do volume ray casting against this point cloud. Code can be found on GitHub.

The thesis explores the combination of this raycasting visualization and surrounding building models, which can be seen in the screenshots. If you have questions, contact Lukas de Boer.