The visualisation of 3D flow poses many challenges. Difficulties can stem from attempting to capture all flow features, the speed of computation, and spatial perception. Streamlines and stream surfaces are standard tools for visualising 3D flow. Although a variety of automatic seeding approaches have been proposed for streamlines, little work has been presented for stream surfaces. We present a novel automatic approach to the seeding of stream surfaces in 3D flow fields.
We first describe defining seeding curves at the domain boundaries from isolines generated from a derived scalar field. We then detail the generation of stream surfaces integrated through the flow and discuss the associated challenges of surface termination and occlusion. We also present the results of this algorithm, how we achieve satisfactory domain coverage and capture the features of the flow field. Strategies for resolving occlusion resulting from seeding multiple surfaces are also presented and analysed.