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Conference Papers Year : 2017

Crest: Novel Ocean Rendering Techniques in an Open Source Framework

Huw Bowles
  • Function : Author
Beibei Wang


We present Crest, an open source ocean renderer implemented in Unity3D which showcases a number of novel techniques in mesh generation, shape representation and surface shading. To generate the geometry we extend clipmapping with continuous level of detail, and a strip of skirting geometry to extend to the horizon. The surface is composed of non-overlapping tiles which support frustum culling. To maintain screen space mesh density, we show how to scale the mesh horizontally when camera changes height, without noticeable pops. We also implement a simple heuristic for placing the detail center in front of the viewer which is robust to all view positions and directions. We render ocean shape on the GPU into displacement textures, arranged to match the density and placement of the geometry LODs. We limit the number of Gerstner wavetrains added if the wavelengths are too short for each shape texture to avoid aliasing and unnecessary work. We also use ping-pong render targets to simulate the wave equation to add a dynamic layer of motion. For shading, we show that normal map UVs can be scaled with the geometry LOD rings to achieve detail close to viewer, as well as preventing the glassy flat appearance of insufficient detail in the mid to far distance, and eliminating visible repetition. For foam we add additional render targets alongside the shape textures and use feedback render passes to emulate dissipation. Finally, we'll show results from applying depth peeling to achieve non-trivial light transport paths through multiple surfaces.
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Dates and versions

hal-01572290 , version 1 (06-08-2017)


  • HAL Id : hal-01572290 , version 1


Huw Bowles, Daniel Zimmermann, Gioacchino Noris, Beibei Wang. Crest: Novel Ocean Rendering Techniques in an Open Source Framework. Siggraph 2017 Advances in Real-Time Rendering in Games, Jul 2017, Los angeles, United States. ⟨hal-01572290⟩
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