Geometry Splitting: An Acceleration Technique of Quadtree-Based Terrain Rendering Using GPU

Eun-Seok LEE  Byeong-Seok SHIN  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E94-D   No.1   pp.137-145
Publication Date: 2011/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.E94.D.137
Print ISSN: 0916-8532
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Computer Graphics
Keyword: 
hierarchial data structure,  terrain rendering,  level of detail,  real-time rendering,  quadtree,  

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Summary: 
In terrain visualization, the quadtree is the most frequently used data structure for progressive mesh generation. The quadtree provides an efficient level of detail selection and view frustum culling. However, most applications using quadtrees are performed on the CPU, because the pointer and recursive operation in hierarchical data structure cannot be manipulated in a programmable rendering pipeline. We present a quadtree-based terrain rendering method for GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) execution that uses vertex splitting and triangle splitting. Vertex splitting supports a level of detail selection, and triangle splitting is used for crack removal. This method offers higher performance than previous CPU-based quadtree methods, without loss of image quality. We can then use the CPU for other computations while rendering the terrain using only the GPU.