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Submitted by Sven Forstmann, posted on August 07, 2003

Image Description, by Sven Forstmann

Here are some screenshots, which show the project I'm currently working on. It's a first preview of a Landscape Engine with Hierarchical Voxel Spacing.

The main idea is to put voxel boxes of different resolutions around the observer; all with same resolution, but different scale. So, here on the images, the volumes are all 64x64x64, whereas the next higher scaled one is always twice the lower one. I used 4 of this boxes in the two upper images; so the size of the displayed Volume is (64 * 2 ^ 4)3 = 512x512x512. The inner (smallest) Box has to be updated most often, the higher sized ones only if necessary. So because the farer ones are rarely updated, they could be stored in the graphic-card memory as displaylists; currently all triangle-data is just stored in vertex-arrays.

It might look like Peter Venis Iehova-Engine, but it does not require to have highest detail-level polygons between the different voxel resolution stages. (middle image on the right side) Also is it possible to update the voxelvolumes while runtime; the update is too slow for animations, but it will be possible to walk through fractal landscapes with infinite size without any preprocessing. updating of the voxelboxes is therefore done in an extra thread.

Another advantage of this design is that almost all data, of the voxel-volumes and the geometry, can be reused, if a box needs to be recalculated. The current implementation is a little bit slow, because it is not yet optimized for speed.

The calculation for transforming the voxels in polygons is done very simple (middle image on the right side), so no marching cubes was necessary for this. Afterwards, the mesh is smoothed several times to remove the Lego-Look, and connected Triangles are searched to generate Strips for faster rendering. All Screenshots were taken on an AMD 1500+,GF4 4400, Linux/Debian

I've put some more screenshots on my homepage, but it's too early for a Demo, so stay tuned

- Sven Forstmann - -

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