Simulation and rendering of open water surfaces

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Dr. Szécsi László
Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology

The water surface simulation, visualization is a big challenge in computer graphics. Its goal is obviously to imitate the natural behavior of water, but in real time. The physical equation of the wave is a complex nonlinear partial differential equation, therefore real time simulation can be realized only with approximate algorithms. But there are simulations which use statistical wave model instead of realistic, physics based model, so they approach the problem from another way.

Nowadays, by the progression of computers and the graphics hardware computing capacities we can achieve a very spectacular and highly detailed wave simulation in real time. There are various methods to implement the simulation, the choice depends on the goal of the application.

The thesis reviews the equations that describe the movement of water and also represents two real time wave models that can provide a spectacular, real time simulation on today’s graphics hardware. Then it represents the shading possibilities of water and its implementations. The thesis also deals with the visualization of reflection and refraction as the most important parts of the water shading, it introduces two alternative methods to visualize objects’ reflection and refraction on the water surface. Finally all represented technics’ implementation will be described step by step shortly.


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