Doctor's Theses (authored and supervised):

R. Habel:
"Real-time Rendering and Animation of Vegetation";
Supervisor, Reviewer: M. Wimmer, O Deussen; Institut für Computergraphik und Algorithmen, TU Wien, 2009; oral examination: 2009-03-06.

English abstract:
Vegetation rendering and animation in real-time applications still pose a significant problem due to the inherent complexity of plants. Both the high geometric complexity and intricate light transport require specialized techniques to achieve high-quality rendering of vegetation in real time. This thesis presents new algorithms that address various areas of both vegetation rendering and animation.

For grass rendering, an efficient algorithm to display dense and short grass is introduced. In contrast to previous methods, the new approach is based on ray tracing to avoid the massive overdraw of billboard or explicit geometry representation techniques, achieving independence of the complexity of the grass without losing the visual characteristics of grass such as parallax and occlusion effects as the viewpoint moves.

Also, a method to efficiently render leaves is introduced. Leaves exhibit a complex light transport behavior due to subsurface scattering and special attention is given to the translucency of leaves, an integral part of leaf shading. The light transport through a leaf is precomputed and can be easily evaluated at runtime, making it possible to shade a massive amount of leaves while including the effects that occur due to the leaf structure such as varying albedo and thickness variations or self shadowing.

To animate a tree, a novel deformation method based on a structural mechanics model that incorporates the important physical properties of branches is introduced. This model does not require the branches to be segmented by joints as other methods, achieving smooth and accurate bending, and can be executed fully on a GPU. To drive this deformation, an optimized spectral approach that also incorporates the physical properties of branches is used. This allows animating a highly detailed tree with thousands of branches and ten thousands of leaves efficiently.

Additionally, a method to use dynamic skylight models in spherical harmonics precomputed radiance transfer techniques is introduced, allowing to change the skylight parameters in real time at no considerable cost and memory footprint.

Related Projects:
Project Head Michael Wimmer:
Realistische Echtzeitbeleuchtungssimulation von Bäumen

Created from the Publication Database of the Vienna University of Technology.