Generic Polygon Animation Tool

Copyright (c) 1990 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Reprinted from IEEE Computer Society Press, Visualization in Scientific Computing. "Visualization Idioms: A Conceptual Model for Scientific Visualization Systems". Tensor field visualization using the RIVERS polygon animation tool. From Chen Sheng, Hyun Koh,Hae Sung Lee, Creto Vidal, and Robert Haber, Department of Theoretical & Applied Mechanics an Civil Engeneering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Steve Chall, Ray Idaszak, and Polly Baker, NSCA.

Haber et al. visualize symmetric second order tensors by determining its eigenvectors. In the above picture a stress tensor field is visualized. For any tensor the authors draw a cylindrical shaft in the direction of the major eigenvector with color and length indicating sign and magnitude of the stress in that direction. The middle and minor eigenvector of the tensor define a cylindrical disk around the shaft. The color distribution on the disk indicates the stress magnitude in each direction. The above visualization idiom can be animated. The tensor display objects then reveal the stress content of elastic waves by rotation and changes in size, shape, and colour.