Visualizing particle motion in 3-D

Henry C. Bland

This paper describes a 3-D representation of particle motion that addresses some of the shortcomings of 2-D hodograms. This technique uses "Rayshade", a visual ray tracing program, to render the path of particle motion with 3-D perspective. The path is represented by spheres indicating sample points, and cylinders representing the path between samples. Data from three component geophones are used to illustrate the technique, and show how 3-D representation helps in the interpretation of the particle motion. By using a number of networked computers to carry out the ray tracing in parallel, it is shown that this technique can be used when sophisticated real-time rendering engines are unavailable.