Abstract : The display of space filling data is still a challenge for the community of visualization. Direct Volume Rendering (DVR) is one of the most important techniques developed to achieve direct perception of such volumetric data. It is based on semi-transparent representations, where the data are accumulated in a depth-dependent order. However, it produces images that may be difficult to understand, and thus several techniques have been proposed so as to improve its effectiveness, using for instance lighting models or simpler representations (e.g. Maximum Intensity Projection). In this paper we present two perceptual studies that question how DVR meets its goals, in either static or dynamic context. We show that a static representation is highly ambiguous, even in simple cases, but this can be counterbalanced by use of dynamic cues, i.e. motion parallax, provided that the rendering parameters are correctly tuned.