Interactive Landscape Visualization Using GPU Ray Casting

Stephan Mantler, Stefan Jeschke
Interactive Landscape Visualization Using GPU Ray Casting
In Proceedings of Graphite 2006. November 2006.
[paper]

Information

Abstract

This paper demonstrates the simple yet effective usage of height fields for interactive landscape visualizations using a ray casting approach implemented in the pixel shader of modern graphics cards. The rendering performance is output sensitive, i.e., it scales with the number of pixels rather than the complexity of the landscape. Given a height field of a terrain and a topographic map or similar data as input, the vegetation cover is extracted and stored on top of the height field in a preprocess, enhancing the terrain with forest canopies or other mesostructure. In addition, enhanced illumination models like shadowing and ambient occlusion can be calculated at runtime with reasonable computational cost, which greatly enhances the scene realism. Finally, including the presented technique into existing rendering systems is relatively simple, mainly consisting of data preparation and pixel shader programming.

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BibTeX

@inproceedings{Mantler-06-landscape,
  title =      "Interactive Landscape Visualization Using GPU Ray Casting",
  author =     "Stephan Mantler and Stefan Jeschke",
  year =       "2006",
  abstract =   "This paper demonstrates the simple yet effective usage of
               height fields for interactive landscape visualizations using
               a ray casting approach implemented in the pixel shader of
               modern graphics cards. The rendering performance is output
               sensitive, i.e., it scales with the number of pixels rather
               than the complexity of the landscape. Given a height field
               of a terrain and a  topographic map or similar data as
               input, the vegetation cover is extracted and stored on top
               of the height field in a preprocess, enhancing the terrain
               with forest canopies or other mesostructure. In addition,
               enhanced illumination models like shadowing and ambient
               occlusion can be calculated at runtime with reasonable
               computational cost, which greatly enhances the scene
               realism. Finally, including the presented technique into
               existing rendering systems is relatively simple, mainly
               consisting of data preparation and pixel shader programming.",
  month =      nov,
  booktitle =  "Proceedings of Graphite 2006",
  keywords =   "real-time rendering, gpu ray casting",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2006/Mantler-06-landscape/",
}