Fast Rendering of Complex Environments Using a Spatial Hierarchy

Bradford Chamberlain
Tony DeRose
Dani Lischinski
David Salesin
John Snyder

In Proceedings of the 22nd Annual Graphics Interface Conference (GI'96), pages 132-141, May 1996
(an earlier version of this work appeared as technical report UW-CSE-95-05-02)

Abstract: We present a new method for accelerating the rendering of complex static scenes. The technique is applicable to unstructured scenes containing arbitrary geometric primitives and has sublinear asymptotic complexity. Our approach is to construct a spatial hierarchy of cells over the scene and to associate with each cell a simplified representation of its contents. The scene is then rendered using a traversal of the hierarchy in which a cell's approximation is drawn instead of its contents if the approximation is sufficiently accurate. We apply the method to several different scenes and demonstrate significant speedups with little image degradation. We also exhibit and discuss some of the artifacts that our approximation may cause.

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