Scientific visualization is a new approach in the area of numerical simulation. It allows researchers to observe the results of numerical simulations using complex graphical representations. Visualization provides a method for seeing what it is not normally visible such as torsion forces inside a body, wind against a wall, heat conduction, flows, plasmas, earthquake mechanisms, and molecules. The purpose of this book is to present the techniques of computer graphics, image synthesis and computer animation necessary for visualizing phenomena and mechanisms in sciences and medicine. The book provides engineers, scientists, physicians, and architects with fundamental concepts allowing them to visualize their results using graphics and animation. Complete examples of visualization are presented in biology, chemistry, physics, medicine, and robotics. The book starts with an overview of graphics workstations and processors. Then, several fundamental problems of computational geometry are presented. The third chapter tries to answer the question "when does a surface look good?".
As volumes are essential in scientific visualization, three chapters are dedicated to various aspects related to representing volumes: solid modelling, finite element theory and volume rendering techniques. Special methods for modelling natural objects are described such as fractals, particle systems, and modular maps. Basic and advanced techniques in computer animation are then described including keyframe animation, algorithmic animation and human animation. The next chapter presents robotics methods for task-level and behavioral animation. The Astrid system for graphical representation of numerical simualtions is described in a specific chapter. Additional chapters are dedicated to typical applications of visualizations and graphics simulation: visualization of flow simulations, visualization and manipulation of medical images, visualization of botanical structures, and visualization on complex molecular models. Two chapters are dedicated to computer vision and its relationship to computer graphics. Finally, the last two chapters presents the graphics simulation of robots and production installations.