Submitted by , posted on 17 July 2001

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Greetings - yep... its an ATR - Another Terrain Renderer.

- this is my claim to fame :) my post-graduate research focusses on developing a new continuous level-of-detail algorithm for terrain - the pictures above demonstrate the algorithm in action.

Ignore the abysmal frame-rates... my PC and graphic hardware was new back in 1996. On more up-to-date PCs the frame rates are on average in the range of 60 to 120. (The terrain data is a 1024x1024 heightfield, no far-clipping is performed.)

The algorithm utilizes split/merging (ala ROAM) - but ignores the idea of priority queues in favour of 4 constant-time LIFO queues; additionally the underlying mesh structure is completely different to ROAM's RTIN approach in favour of a form of ETRN (equilateral triangle regular network). This mesh structure tesselates faster and requires less work from top-most to bottom-most LOD compared to other approaches.

Additionally the mesh structure varies quicker from high to low detail. And it is extremely hardware friendly (in the sense that it can be used to generate long triangle strips).

Note from the screenshots: on average there are only about half as many vertices that require processing as there are tris in the scene.

The executable and (surprisingly short) source and a basic description of the algorithm are available here:

Press "v" a couple of times when executing to texture the terrain.

The official theoretical paper will only come in a couple of months... so don't wait up for that one. ;)

I'd love some (constructive) feedback... so go and gimme some.

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