GPU-based ray casting of stacked out-of-core height fields

Christopher Lux, Bernd Frohlich
Bauhaus-Universitat Weimar
Advances in Visual Computing, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, Volume 6938/2011, 269-280, 2011


   title={GPU-based ray casting of stacked out-of-core height fields},

   author={Lux, C. and Fr{}o}hlich},

   journal={Advances in Visual Computing},





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We developed a ray casting-based rendering system for the visualization of geological subsurface models consisting of multiple highly detailed height fields. Based on a shared out-of-core data management system, we virtualize the access to the height fields, allowing us to treat the individual surfaces at different local levels of detail. The visualization of an entire stack of height-field surfaces is accomplished in a single rendering pass using a two-level acceleration structure for efficient ray intersection computations. This structure combines a minimum-maximum quadtree for empty-space skipping and a sorted list of depth intervals to restrict ray intersection searches to relevant height fields and depth ranges. We demonstrate that our system is able to render multiple height fields consisting of hundreds of millions of points in real-time.
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