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Journal Articles Computer Graphics Forum Year : 2012

Real-time Realistic Rendering and Lighting of Forests


Realistic real-time rendering and lighting of forests is an important aspect for simulators and video games. This is a difficult problem, due to the massive amount of geometry: aerial forest views display millions of trees on a wide range of distances, from the camera to the horizon. Light interactions, whose effects are visible at all scales, are also a problem: sun and sky dome contributions, shadows between trees, inside trees, on the ground, and view-light masking correlations. In this paper we present a method to render very large forest scenes in realtime, with realistic lighting at all scales, and without popping nor aliasing. Our method is based on two new forest representations, z-fields and shader-maps, with a seamless transition between them. Our first model builds on light fields and height fields to represent and render the nearest trees individually, accounting for all lighting effects. Our second model is a location, view and light dependent shader mapped on the terrain, accounting for the cumulated subpixel effects. Qualitative comparisons with photos show that our method produces realistic results.
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Dates and versions

hal-00650120 , version 1 (09-12-2011)



Eric Bruneton, Fabrice Neyret. Real-time Realistic Rendering and Lighting of Forests. Computer Graphics Forum, 2012, 31 (2pt1), pp.373-382. ⟨10.1111/j.1467-8659.2012.03016.x⟩. ⟨hal-00650120⟩
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