Real-time rendering of synthetic terrain

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dc.contributor.advisor Hardy, Alexander, Dr. en_US
dc.contributor.author McRoberts, Duncan Andrew Keith
dc.date.accessioned 2012-06-07T13:36:38Z
dc.date.available 2012-06-07T13:36:38Z
dc.date.issued 2012-06-07
dc.date.submitted 2011
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10210/5084
dc.description M.Sc. en_US
dc.description.abstract Real-time terrain rendering (RTTR) is an exciting eld in computer graphics. The algorithms and techniques developed in this domain allow immersive virtual environments to be created for interactive applications. Many di culties are encountered in this eld of research, including acquiring the data to model virtual worlds, handling huge amounts of geometry, and texturing landscapes that appear to go on forever. RTTR has been widely studied, and powerful methodologies have been developed to overcome many of these obstacles. Complex natural terrain features such as detailed vertical surfaces, overhangs and caves, however, are not easily supported by the majority of existing algorithms. It becomes di cult to add such detail to a landscape. Existing techniques are incredibly e cient at rendering elevation data, where for any given position on a 2D horizontal plane we have exactly 1 altitude value. In this case we have a many-to-1 mapping between 2D position and altitude, as many 2D coordinates may map to 1 altitude value but any single 2D coordinate maps to 1 and only 1 altitude. In order to support the features mentioned above we need to allow for a many-to-many mapping. As an example, with a cave feature for a given 2D coordinate we would have elevation values for the oor, the roof and the outer ground. In this dissertation we build upon established techniques to allow for this manyto- many mapping, and thereby add support for complex terrain features. The many-to-many mapping is made possible by making use of geometry images in place of height-maps. Another common problem with existing RTTR algorithms is texture distortion. Texturing is an inexpensive means of adding detail to rendered terrain. Many existing technique map texture coordinates in 2D, leading to distortion on steep surfaces. Our research attempts to reduce texture distortion in such situations by allowing a more even spread of texture coordinates. Geometry images make this possible as they allow for a more even distribution of sample positions. Additionally we devise a novel means of blending tiled texture that enhances the important features of the individual textures. Fully sampled terrain employs a single global texture that covers the entire landscape. This technique provides great detail, but requires a huge volume of data. Tiled texturing requires comparatively little data, but su ers from disturbing regular patterns. We seek to reduce the gap between tiled textures and fully sampled textures. In particular, we aim at reducing the regularity of tiled textures by changing the blending function. In summary, the goal of this research is twofold. Firstly we aim to support complex natural terrain features|speci cally detailed vertical surfaces, over-hangs and caves. Secondly we wish to improve terrain texturing by reducing texture distortion, and by blending tiled texture together in a manner that appears more natural. We have developed a level of detail algorithm which operates on geometry images, and a new texture blending technique to support these goals. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject Digital elevation models en_US
dc.subject Computer graphics en_US
dc.subject Real-time rendering (Computer graphics) en_US
dc.title Real-time rendering of synthetic terrain en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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