Interactive Black-Hole Visualization

IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, page 10 - 2020
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We present an efficient algorithm for visualizing the effect of black holes on its distant surroundings as seen from an observer nearby in orbit. Our solution is GPU-based and builds upon a two-step approach, where we first derive an adaptive grid to map the 360-view around the observer to the distorted celestial sky, which can be directly reused for different camera orientations. Using a grid, we can rapidly trace rays back to the observer through the distorted spacetime, avoiding the heavy workload of standard tracing solutions at real-time rates. By using a novel interpolation technique we can also simulate an observer path by smoothly transitioning between multiple grids. Our approach accepts real star catalogues and environment maps of the celestial sky and generates the resulting black-hole deformations in real time.

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BibTex references

@Article { VE20,
  author       = "Verbraeck, Annemieke and Eisemann, Elmar",
  title        = "Interactive Black-Hole Visualization",
  journal      = "IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics",
  pages        = "10",
  year         = "2020",
  url          = ""

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» Elmar Eisemann