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Large-Scale Physics-Based Terrain Editing Using Adaptive Tiles on the GPU
Nov.-Dec. 2011 (vol. 31 no. 6)
pp. 35-44
J. Vanek, Dept. of Comput. Graphics & Multimedia, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA
B. Benes, Dept. of Comput. Graphics Technol., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA
A. Herout, Dept. of Comput. Graphics &Multimedia, Brno Univ. of Technol., Brno, Czech Republic
O. Stava, Dept. of Comput. Graphics, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, IN, USA
Physics-based approaches could simplify terrain modeling by increasing its realism. However, most simulations provide only a low level of user control because they fail on large-scale phenomena or focus only on the modeling of limited effects. A new physics-based system for digital terrain editing is suitable for digital-content authors such as game designers, artists, and 3D modelers. It doesn't assume in-depth knowledge about physics-based simulations. Users can load large terrains from external sources, generate them procedurally, or create them manually, and they can edit them at interactive frame rates on a GPU. To allow large-scale editing, the system divides terrain into tiles of different resolutions according to the terrain's complexity, and it stores each tile as a mip-map texture. In addition, the physics-based simulation uses different levels of detail, depending on the terrain-change dynamics. Compared to nonadaptive computation, this approach can achieve 50 percent speedup and use 25 percent less memory. The Web extra is a video that shows how physics-based approaches to modeling can process terrain sizes larger than what was previously possible.

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Index Terms:
Graphics processing unit,Computational modeling,Terrain mapping,Adaptation models,Image resolution,graphics and multimedia,digital content,digital-content authoring,large-scale terrain,physics-based simulation,terrain editing,mip-map,hydraulic erosion,GPU,computer graphics
J. Vanek, B. Benes, A. Herout, O. Stava, "Large-Scale Physics-Based Terrain Editing Using Adaptive Tiles on the GPU," IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications, vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 35-44, Nov.-Dec. 2011, doi:10.1109/MCG.2011.66
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