Computer Graphics
TU Braunschweig

3D Reconstruction and Visualization of Spiral Galaxies

3D Reconstruction and Visualization of Spiral Galaxies

Spiral Galaxies are among the most stunning objects in the night sky. However, reconstructing a 3D volumetric model of these astronomical objects from conventional 2D images is a hard problem, since we are restricted to our terrestrial point of view. This work consists of two contributions. First, we employ a physically motivated, GPU-based volume rendering algorithm which models the complex interplay of scattering and extinction of light in interstellar space. Making use of general galactic shape information and far-infrared data, we secondly present a new approach to recover 3D volumes of spiral galaxies from conventional 2D images. We achieve this by an analysis-by-synthesis optimization using our rendering algorithm to minimize the difference between the rendition of the reconstructed volume and the input galaxy image. The presented approach yields a plausible volumetric structure of spiral galaxies which is suitable for creating 3D visualization, e.g., for planetarium shows or other educational purposes.

Author(s):Kristian Hildebrand, Marcus Magnor, Bernd Fröhlich
Published:January 2006
Journal:Journal of WSCG
Presented at: International Conferences in Central Europe on Computer Graphics, Visualization and Computer Vision (WSCG)

  title = {3D Reconstruction and Visualization of Spiral Galaxies},
  author = {Hildebrand, Kristian and Magnor, Marcus and Fr{\"o}hlich, Bernd},
  journal = {Journal of {WSCG}},
  pages = {113--120},
  month = {Jan},
  year = {2006}


  • Kristian Hildebrand

  • Marcus Magnor

    Director, Chair
  • Bernd Fröhlich