Przemyslaw Musialski

Multiresolution Displacement Mapping on Subdivision Surfaces

Diploma Thesis concluded at the Bauhaus-University Weimar


In computer graphics subdivision surfaces is a technique to create smooth surfaces out of coarse polyhedral nets. Moreover it is capable of creating excellent high-density tessellations  on todays' hardware in real-time. Additionally, due to the recursive generation nature it is also ideally suited for adding geometric detail in different resolutions.

When modeling real world surfaces it is possible to use image samples to recover wrinkled characteristics of a material and apply these on dense discrete meshes in the form of vertices displacement. Material characteristics are a mixture of features of different sizes which can be recovered by a frequency decomposition of an input height map. These sub-bands can be successively applied on different resolutions of the subdivision evaluation process in order to achieve naturally looking objects.

Although this can be done in software, the resulting amount of data and the processing time are prohibitively large. This thesis presents a method for computing displaced subdivision surfaces on the GPU  that can render overlapping patches of the surface independently from each other without loss of mesh coherence. Thus, this method is ideally suited for on-the-fly generation of geometric detail as demanded by the viewing position of a rendering application.

[PDF 150dpi, ~3.5 MB]
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last update: 24.01.2011