GPU Surface Flow Simulation and Multiresolution Animation in Digital Terrain Models

Bruno Barcellos S. Coutinho, Gilson Antonio Giraldi, Antonio L. Apolinario Jr., Paulo Sergio S. Rodrigues
National Laboratory for Scientic Computing, RJ, Brazil
LNCC Reports, 2008


   title={GPU Surface Flow Simulation and Multiresolution Animation in Digital Terrain Models},

   author={Coutinho, B.B.S. and Giraldi, G.A. and Apolin{‘a}rio Jr, A.L. and Rodrigues, P.S.S.},

   journal={LNCC Reports},



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In this work, we focus on surface flow animation in a digital terrain model (DTM) for computer graphics applications. In this context, we propose the combination of an efficient fluid model, that does not require solution of complicated equations, with a multiresolution approach for visualization. Firstly, we describe a GPU implementation of a fluid model for simulating overland flows. The simulation method is based on a particle system, that evolve over a lattice. This lattice is defined over the terrain domain. A set of local rules determine the interaction between particles. Finally, a digital terrain model, based on a piecewise linear approximation, representing the terrain is used to guide the water movement. Then, we take a representation for time-varying image data that allows to vary spatial and temporal resolutions in the flow animation. The rendering algorithm traverses the multiresolution model taking into account geometric and visual approximation errors. In the experimental results we emphasize the fact that realistic flow phenomena can be reproduced and animated in real time by our technique with the suitable resolution both in the space and time.
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