UCT CS Research Document Archive

Parallel, Realistic and Controllable Terrain Synthesis

Gain, James, Bruce Merry and Patrick Marais (2015) Parallel, Realistic and Controllable Terrain Synthesis. Computer Graphics Forum 34(2):105-116.

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The challenge in terrain synthesis for virtual environments is to provide a combination of precise user control over landscape form, with interactive response and visually realistic results.

We present a system that builds on parallel pixel-based texture synthesis to enable interactive creation of an output terrain from a database of heightfield exemplars. We also provide modelers with control over height and surrounding slope by means of constraint points and curves; a paint-by-numbers interface for specifying the local character of terrain; coherence controls that allow localization of changes to the synthesized terrain; and copy-paste functionality to directly transplant terrain regions.

Together these contributions provide a level of realism that, based on user experiments, is indistinguishable from real source terrains; user control sufficient for precise placement of a variety of landforms, such as cliffs, ravines and mesas; and synthesis times of 165ms for a 1024^2 terrain grid.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
Keywords:terrain synthesis, constraints, sketching, DEM
Subjects:I Computing Methodologies: I.3 COMPUTER GRAPHICS
ID Code:1059
Deposited By:Marais, Patrick
Deposited On:26 January 2016