High-Quality Rendering of Quartic Spline Surfaces on the GPU

G. Reis, F. Zeilfelder, M. Hering-Bertram, G. E. Farin, H. Hagen
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), Kaiserslautern, Germany
IEEE transactions on visualization and computer graphics, Vol. 14, No. 5. (2008), pp. 1126-1139


   title={High-quality rendering of quartic spline surfaces on the GPU},

   author={Reis, G. and Zeilfelder, F. and Hering-Bertram, M. and Farin, GE and Hagen, H.},

   journal={Visualization and Computer Graphics, IEEE Transactions on},








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We present a novel GPU-based algorithm for high-quality rendering of bivariate spline surfaces. An essential difference to the known methods for rendering graph surfaces is that we use quartic smooth splines on triangulations rather than triangular meshes. Our rendering approach is direct in the sense that since we do not use an intermediate tessellation but rather compute ray-surface intersections (by solving quartic equations numerically) as well as surface normals (by using Bernstein-Bezier techniques) for Phong illumination on the GPU. Inaccurate shading and artifacts appearing for triangular tesselated surfaces are completely avoided. Level of detail is automatic since all computations are done on a per fragment basis. We compare three different (quasi-) interpolating schemes for uniformly sampled gridded data, which differ in the smoothness and the approximation properties of the splines. The results show that our hardware based renderer leads to visualizations (including texturing, multiple light sources, environment mapping, etc.) of highest quality.
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