Real-time Rendering of Urban Environments

Project start:1999
Funding: Austrian Science Foundation under contract no. P-13867-INF
Contact:Michael Wimmer, Peter Wonka
Cooperations: iMAGIS-GRAVIR/IMAG, Grenoble

General Information


This project aims at the creation of an integrated solution for modeling and real-time visualization of large and medium-scale urban environments. This system can be the basis for applications like traffic and driving simulation, architectural simulations, information visualization and computer games. In the planning process it is useful to simulate the environment before changes in the real city are made. In this context three-dimensional computer simulation gained immense popularity, not only because it produces appealing graphics, but it is a more adequate representation for a three-dimensional environment and easier to understand than conventional 2D plans. Traffic simulation, visual impact analysis and information visualization for urban information systems are applications in the local planning area that would all profit from our framework.


The main scope of the project is:
  • Modeling of large-scale urban environments for real-time rendering
  • New rendering algorithms for urban walkthroughs based on visibility culling and image-based rendering


Light Space Perspective Shadow Maps
Michael Wimmer, Daniel Scherzer, Werner Purgathofer. Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2004, to appear. [Paper]

Coherent Hierarchical Culling
Jiri Bittner, Michael Wimmer, Harald Piringer, Werner Purgathofer. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics 2004) 23(3):615-624, September 2004. [Paper]

Instant Architecture
Peter Wonka, Michael Wimmer, François Sillion, William Ribarsky. Siggraph 2003. [Paper]

Visibility in Computer Graphics
Jiri Bittner, Peter Wonka. journal of environment and planning B, accepted for publication. available as technical report [TR-186-2-03-03]

Rendering Time Estimation for Real-Time Rendering
Michael Wimmer, Peter Wonka. In Rendering Techniques 2003 (Proceedings of the Eurographics Symposium on Rendering 2003), pages 118-129. June 2003. [Paper]

Visibility in Computer Graphics
Jiri Bittner, Peter Wonka. journal of environment and planning B, accepted for publication. available as technical report [TR-186-2-03-03]

Visibility Preprocessing in Urban Scenes using Line Space Subdivision
Jiri Bittner, Peter Wonka, Michael Wimmer, In Proceedings of Pacific Graphics (PG'01), pages 276-284, Tokyo, Japan, October 2001. [Paper]

Textured Depth Meshes for Real-Time Rendering of Arbitrary Scenes
Stefan Jeschke, Michael Wimmer, Eurographics Workshop on Rendering 2002, Pisa, June 2002 [Paper]

Layered Environment-Map Impostors for Arbitrary Scenes
Stefan Jeschke, Michael Wimmer, Heidrun Schuman, Graphics Interface 2002, Calgary, May 2002 [Paper]

Point-based Impostors for Real-time Visualization
Michael Wimmer, Peter Wonka, François Sillion. Rendering Techniques 2001 (Proceedings of the Eurographics Workshop on Rendering 2001). pages 163-176. June 2001. [Paper]

Instant Visibility
Peter Wonka, Michael Wimmer, François Sillion. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics 2001), 20(3). September 2001. [Paper]
Günther Enderle Award for the best paper at Eurographics 2001

Visibility Preprocessing with Occluder Fusion for Urban Walkthroughs
Peter Wonka, Michael Wimmer, Dieter Schmalstieg. Rendering Techniques 2000 (Proceedings of the Eurographics Workshop on Rendering 2000). pages 71-82. June 2000. [Paper]Extended version available as TR-186-2-00-06 [Extended Version]

Fast Walkthroughs with Image Caches and Ray Casting
Michael Wimmer, Markus Giegl, Dieter Schmalstieg 1999 Eurographics Workshop on Virtual Environments [Extended Version TR-186-2-98-30]

Occluder Shadows for fast Walkthroughs of Urban Environments
Peter Wonka, Dieter Schmalstieg. Computer Graphics Forum (Proc. Eurographics 99), 18(3):51-60, September 1999. [Paper]


Images and Screenshots: Take a look at some images from our models
Geometry and Textures: Download urban models