Seamless patches for GPU-based terrain rendering Academic Article uri icon


  • In this paper we present a novel approach for interactive rendering of large terrain datasets. Our approach is based on subdividing a terrain into rectangular patches at different resolutions. Each patch is represented by four triangular tiles that are selected form different resolutions, and four strips which are used to stitch the four tiles in a seamless manner. Such a scheme maintains resolution changes within patches through the stitching strips, and not across patches. At runtime, these patches are used to construct a level-of-detail representation of the input terrain based on view-parameters. A selected level of detail only includes the layout of the patches and their boundary edges resolutions. The layout includes the location and dimension of each patch. Within the graphics hardware, the GPU generates the meshes of the patches by using scaled instances of cached tiles and assigns elevation for each vertex from cached textures. Since adjacent rectangular patches agree on the resolution of the common edges, the resulted mesh does not include cracks or degenerate triangles. Our algorithm manages to achieve quality images at high frame rates while providing seamless transition between different levels of detail.

publication date

  • January 1, 2009