Bilkent University
Department of Computer Engineering


Representation, Editing and Real-Time Visualization of 3D Terrains via Exploiting GPGPU Concept


Ali Özer
MSc Student
Computer Engineering Department
Bilkent University

In real-time applications terrain representation is one of the most challenging parts. The most popular terrain representation is heightmap representation which is a regular 2D grid, where the vertices are displaced in a third dimension by a displacement map. This is the simplest way to process a terrain fast whereas it diminishes expressiveness of the terrain in terms of representing volumetric features, i.e. caves, overhangs, cliffs. The second most common representation model is volumetric approach which samples the 3D space by subdividing it into a 3D cubes called voxels. In contrast with the heightmap representation, volumetric approach is capable of representing volumetric features. Yet it requires computationally intensive algorithms and memory for rendering. We propose hybrid representation of volumetric and heightmap approaches, which is as expressive as volumetric representation and as efficient as heightmap representation. This novel hybrid model is also capable of present real time editing and rendering of terrains which. In order to decrease the memory requirements and also computation time of both rendering and initialization of such a hybrid model GPU is extensively exploited by the means of both GPGPU and shader concepts.


DATE: 20 April, 2015, Monday @ 16:15