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Journal Articles Computer Graphics Forum Year : 2018

Interactive Generation of Time-evolving, Snow-Covered Landscapes with Avalanches


We introduce a novel method for interactive generation of visually consistent, snow-covered landscapes and provide control of their dynamic evolution over time. Our main contribution is the real-time phenomenological simulation of avalanches and other user-guided events, such as tracks left by Nordic skiing, which can be applied to interactively sculpt the landscape. The terrain is modeled as a height field with additional layers for stable, compacted, unstable, and powdery snow, which behave in combination as a semi-viscous fluid. We incorporate the impact of several phenomena, including sunlight, temperature, prevailing wind direction, and skiing activities. The snow evolution includes snow-melt and snowdrift, which affect stability of the snow mass and the probability of avalanches. A user can shape landscapes and their evolution either with a variety of interactive brushes, or by prescribing events along a winter season time-line. Our optimized GPU-implementation allows interactive updates of snow type and depth across a large (10 × 10 km) terrain, including real-time avalanches, making this suitable for visual assets in computer games. We evaluate our method through perceptual comparison against exiting methods and real snow-depth data.
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Dates and versions

hal-01736971 , version 1 (19-03-2018)



Guillaume Cordonnier, Pierre Ecormier, Eric Galin, James Gain, Bedrich Benes, et al.. Interactive Generation of Time-evolving, Snow-Covered Landscapes with Avalanches. Computer Graphics Forum, 2018, 37 (2), pp.497-509. ⟨10.1111/cgf.13379⟩. ⟨hal-01736971⟩
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