Real-time Photorealistic Visualisation of Large-scaleMultiresolution Terrain Models

  • Anupam Agrawal Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad
  • R.C. Joshi Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee
  • M. Radhakrishna Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad
Keywords: Digital terrain models, level-of-detail management, multiresolution modelling, real-timerendering, photorealistic visualisation, terrain-rendering algorithm


Height field terrain rendering is an important aspect of GIS, outdoor virtual reality applicationssuch as flight simulation, 3-D games, etc. A polygonal model of very large terrain data requiresa large number of triangles. So, even most high-performance graphics workstations have greatdifficulty to display even moderately sized height fields at interactive frame rates. To bringphotorealism in visualisation, it is required to drape corresponding high-resolution satellite oraerial phototexture over 3-D digital terrain and also to place multiple collections of point-location-based static objects such as buildings, trees, etc and to overlay polyline vector objects suchas roads on top of the terrain surface. It further complicates the requirement of interactive framerates while navigation over the terrain. This paper describes a novel approach for objects andterrain visualisation by combination of two algorithms, one for terrain data and the other forobjects. The terrain rendering is accomplished by an efficient dynamic multiresolution view-dependent level-of-detail mesh simplification algorithm. It is augmented with out-of-corevisualisation of large-height geometry and phototexture terrain data populated with 3-D/2-Dstatic objects as well as vector overlays without extensive memory load. The proposedmethodology provides interactive frame rates on a general-purpose desktop PC with OpenGL-enabled graphics hardware. The software TREND has been successfully tested on different real-world height maps and satellite phototextures of sizes up to 16K*16K coupled with thousandsof static objects and polyline vector overlays.
How to Cite
Agrawal, A., Joshi, R., & Radhakrishna, M. (2007). Real-time Photorealistic Visualisation of Large-scaleMultiresolution Terrain Models. Defence Science Journal, 57(1), 149-162.
Computers & Systems Studies