Department of Computer Science and Technology

Technical reports

Selective mesh refinement for interactive terrain rendering

Peter J.C. Brown

February 1997, 18 pages

DOI: 10.48456/tr-417


Terrain surfaces are often approximated by geometric meshes to permit efficient rendering. This paper describes how the complexity of an approximating irregular mesh can be varied across its domain in order to minimise the number of displayed facets while ensuring that the rendered surface meets pre-determined resolution requirements. We first present a generalised scheme to represent a mesh over a continuous range of resolutions using the output from conventional single-resolution approximation methods. We then describe an algorithm which extracts a surface from this representation such that the resolution of the surface is enhanced only in specific areas of interest. We prove that the extracted surface is complete, minimal, satisfies the given resolution constraints and meets the Delaunay triangulation criterion if possible. In addition, we present a method of performing smooth visual transitions between selectively-refined meshes to permit efficient animation of a terrain scene.

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BibTeX record

  author =	 {Brown, Peter J.C.},
  title = 	 {{Selective mesh refinement for interactive terrain
  year = 	 1997,
  month = 	 feb,
  institution =  {University of Cambridge, Computer Laboratory},
  address =	 {15 JJ Thomson Avenue, Cambridge CB3 0FD, United Kingdom,
          	  phone +44 1223 763500},
  doi = 	 {10.48456/tr-417},
  number = 	 {UCAM-CL-TR-417}