We present algorithms for rendering realistic images of large terrains and their implementation on a parallel computer for rapid production of terrain-animation sequences. "Large" means datasets too large for RAM. A hybrid ray-casting and projection technique incorporates quadtree subdivision techniques and filtering using precomputed bit masks. Hilbert space-filling curves determine the imagepixel rendering order. A parallel version of the algorithm is based on a Meiko parallel computer architecture, designed to relieve dataflow bottlenecks and exploit temporal image coherence. Our parallel system, incorporating 26 processors, can generate a full color-terrain image at video resolution (without noticable aliasing artifacts) every 2 s, including I/O and communication overheads.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
- Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
- Flight simulation
- Parallel processing