Direct volume rendering has been an active area of research for over two decades. Transfer function design remains a difficult task since current methods, such as traditional 1D and 2D transfer functions, are not always effective for all data sets. Various 1D or 2D transfer function spaces have been proposed to improve classification exploiting different aspects, such as using the gradient magnitude for boundary location and statistical, occlusion, or size metrics. In this paper, we present a novel transfer function method which can provide more specificity for data classification by combining different transfer function spaces. In this work, a 2D transfer function can be combined with 1D transfer functions which improve the classification. Specifically, we use the traditional 2D scalar/gradient magnitude, 2D statistical, and 2D occlusion spectrum transfer functions and combine these with occlusion and/or size-based transfer functions to provide better specificity. We demonstrate the usefulness of the new method by comparing to the following previous techniques: 2D gradient magnitude, 2D occlusion spectrum, 2D statistical transfer functions and 2D size based transfer functions. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.