Efficient Sparse Voxel Octrees - Analysis, Extensions, and Implementation

This technical report extends our previous paper on sparse voxel octrees. We first discuss the benefits and drawbacks of voxel representations and how the storage space requirements behave for different kinds of content. Then, we explain in detail our compact data structure for storing voxels and an efficient ray cast algorithm that utilizes this structure, including the contributions of the original paper: additional voxel contour information, normal compression format for storing high-precision object-space normals, post-process filtering technique for smoothing out blockiness of shading, and beam optimization for accelerating ray casts. Management of voxel data in memory and on disk is covered in more detail, as well as the construction of voxel hierarchy. We extend the results section considerably, providing detailed statistics of our test cases. Finally, we discuss the technological barriers and problems that would need to be overcome before voxels could be widely adopted as a generic content format.

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