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Abstract

Terrain rendering has a wide range of applications. It is used in cartography and landscape planning as well as in the entertainment sector. Applications that have to render large terrain are facing the challenge of handling a vast amount of source data. The size of such terrain data exceeds the capabilities of current PCs by far. In this work an improved terrain rendering technique is introduced. It allows the rendering of surfaces with an arbitrary basis like the spherical-shaped earth. Our algorithm extends the Geometry Clipmaps algorithm, a technique that allows to render very large terrain data without losing performance. This algorithm was developed by Losasso and Hoppe in 2004. Asirvatham and Hoppe improved this algorithm in 2005 by increasing the utilization of modern graphics hardware. Nevertheless both algorithms lack of the ability to render large curved surfaces. Our application overcomes this restriction by using a texture holding 3D points instead of a heightmap. This enables our implementation to render terrain that resides on an arbitrary basis. The created mesh is not bound by a regular grid mesh that can only be altered in z-direction. The drawback of this change of the original geometry clipmap algorithm is the introduction of a precision problem that restricts the algorithm to render only a limited area. This problem is handled by patching the whole surface with individual acting, geometry clipmap quads.

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BibTeX

@mastersthesis{fruehstueck-2008-gpu,
  title =      "GPU based Clipmaps",
  author =     "Anton Fr{"u}hst{"u}ck",
  year =       "2008",
  abstract =   "Terrain rendering has a wide range of applications. It is
               used in cartography and landscape planning as well as in the
               entertainment sector. Applications that have to render large
               terrain are facing the challenge of handling a vast amount
               of source data. The size of such terrain data exceeds the
               capabilities of current PCs by far. In this work an improved
               terrain rendering technique is introduced. It allows the
               rendering of surfaces with an arbitrary basis like the
               spherical-shaped earth. Our algorithm extends the Geometry
               Clipmaps algorithm, a technique that allows to render very
               large terrain data without losing performance. This
               algorithm was developed by Losasso and Hoppe in 2004.
               Asirvatham and Hoppe improved this algorithm in 2005 by
               increasing the utilization of modern graphics hardware.
               Nevertheless both algorithms lack of the ability to render
               large curved surfaces. Our application overcomes this
               restriction by using a texture holding 3D points instead of
               a heightmap. This enables our implementation to render
               terrain that resides on an arbitrary basis. The created mesh
               is not bound by a regular grid mesh that can only be altered
               in z-direction. The drawback of this change of the original
               geometry clipmap algorithm is the introduction of a
               precision problem that restricts the algorithm to render
               only a limited area. This problem is handled by patching the
               whole surface with individual acting, geometry clipmap
               quads.",
  month =      apr,
  address =    "Favoritenstrasse 9-11/186, A-1040 Vienna, Austria",
  school =     "Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna
               University of Technology",
  URL =        "https://www.cg.tuwien.ac.at/research/publications/2008/fruehstueck-2008-gpu/",
}