Real-Time, Continuous Level of Detail Rendering of Height Fields
Hodges, Larry F.
Faust, Nick L. (Nickolas Lea)
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We present an algorithm for real-time level of detail reduction and display of high-complexity polygonal surface data. The algorithm uses a compact and efficient regular grid representation, and employs a variable screen-space threshold to bound the maximum error of the projected image. The appropriate level of detail is computed and generated dynamically in real-time, allowing for smooth changes of resolution across areas of the surface. The algorithm has been implemented for approximating and rendering digital terrain models and other height fields, and consistently performs at interactive frame rates with high image quality. Typically, the number of rendered polygons per frame can be reduced by two orders of magnitude while maintaining image quality such that less than 5% of the resulting pixels differ from a full resolution image.