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Models of animated rivers for the interactive exploration of landscapes

Qizhi Yu 1
1 EVASION - Virtual environments for animation and image synthesis of natural objects
Grenoble INP - Institut polytechnique de Grenoble - Grenoble Institute of Technology, LJK - Laboratoire Jean Kuntzmann, Inria Grenoble - Rhône-Alpes
Abstract : Rivers are ubiquitous in nature, and are thus an important visual component in the simulation of natural scenes. Because rivers are dynamic in nature, it is necessary to animate their flow in these visual simulations. Realistic animation of rivers is a challenging problem because convincing simulations must incorporate multi-scale surface details and flow motion, and many of the phenomena involved have complex underlying physical causes. River animation is particularly difficult in emerging interactive applications such as Google Earth or video games that allow users to explore a very large scene and to dynamically decide whether to observe rivers at very small or large scales. Controlling the design of water simulations is another hard problem. The goal of this dissertation is to achieve real-time, scalable, and controllable river animation with a detailed and space-time continuous appearance. To achieve this realism, the river animation problem is broken down into macro-, meso-, and micro-scale subproblems ranging from coarse to fine. We propose appropriate models for each scale that capture relevant surface details and fluid motion. In the macro-scale, we propose a procedural method that can compute the velocities of rivers with curved banks, branchings and islands on-the-fly. In the meso-scale, we propose an improved phenomenological method for simulating the quasi-stationary waves that are made by obstacles. Moreover, we propose a method for constructing an adaptive and feature-aligned water surface. In the micro-scale, we propose the use of wave sprites, a sprite-based texture model, to represent advected details with stationary spectrum properties on flow surfaces. Armed with wave sprites and a dynamic adaptive sampling scheme, we can texture the surface of a very large or even unbounded river with scene-independent performance. In addition, we propose a spectrum-preserving texture advection method that has useful applications beyond river animation. We demonstrate that the combination of our models across three scales helps us incorporate visually convincing animated rivers into a very large terrain in real-time interactive applications.
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Submitted on : Friday, October 22, 2010 - 3:00:02 PM
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Qizhi Yu. Models of animated rivers for the interactive exploration of landscapes. Human-Computer Interaction [cs.HC]. Institut National Polytechnique de Grenoble - INPG, 2008. English. ⟨tel-00528781⟩

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