Interactive Terrain Modeling Using Hydraulic Erosion

We present a step toward interactive physics-based modeling of terrains. A terrain, composed of layers of materials, is edited with interactive modeling tools built upon different physics-based erosion and deposition algorithms. First, two hydraulic erosion algorithms for running water are coupled. Areas where the motion is slow become more eroded by the dissolution erosion, whereas in the areas with faster motion, the force-based erosion prevails. Second, when the water under-erodes certain areas, slippage takes effect and the river banks fall into the water. A variety of local and global editing operation is provided. The user has a great level of control over the process and receives immediate feedback since the GPU-based erosion simulation runs at least at 20 fps on off-the-shelf computers for scenes with grid resolution of 2048×1024 and four layers of material. We also present a divide and conquer approach to handle large terrain erosion, where the terrain is tiled, and each tile calculated independently on the GPU. We show a wide variety of erosion-based modeling features such as forming rivers, drying ?ooded areas, rain, interactive manipulation with rivers, spring, adding obstacles into the water, etc.

Proceedings of ACM SIGGRAPH/Eurographics Symposium on Computer Animation, pp. 30-39, 2008.

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