Interactive visualization of large forest scenes is challenging due to the large amount of geometric detail that needs to be generated and stored, particularly in scenarios with a moving observer such as forest walkthroughs or overflights. Here, we present a new method for large‐scale procedural forest generation and visualization at interactive rates. We propose a hybrid approach by combining geometry‐based and volumetric modelling techniques with gradually transitioning level of detail (LOD). Nearer trees are constructed using an extended particle flow algorithm, in which particle trails outline the tree ramification in an inverse direction, i.e. from the leaves towards the roots. Reduced geometric representation of a tree is obtained by subsampling the trails. For distant trees, a new volumetric rendering technique in pixel‐space is introduced, which avoids geometry formation altogether and enables visualization of vast forest areas with millions of unique trees. We demonstrate that a GPU‐based implementation of the proposed method provides interactive frame rates in forest overflight scenarios, where new trees are constructed and their LOD adjusted on the fly.
Computer Graphics Forum – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ;
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