Realistic terrain generation with hydraulic and thermal erosion on GPU.

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Dr. Tóth Balázs György
Department of Control Engineering and Information Technology

Computer games, simulators, movies, and TV series, and many other computer graphics applications are often using external scenes where a realistic looking terrain is a vital part of the view. Terrains like this can be made by using real geological data or artifically generated sets or by the combination of these two. There may be some requirements about the features of the created terrain model, like mountain heights, frequency of ridges and valleys, etc.

Manually creating terrains like these is a time consuming task, special skills needed to achieve realistic looking results. To accelereate this process there is a need to lay down the basics of a software tool that can effectively generate virtual terrain models by simulating the most frequent terraforming forces in nature: thermal and hydraulic erosion.

High performance and availability for general purpose application of modern graphics processors on current videocards makes possible to run parallel algorithms effectively on them. The current erosion models can be implemented in parallel thus they can be executed on GPUs.

The goal of this thesis to design and implement a software tool that can generate realistic virtual terrains by simulating hydraulic and thermal erosion interactively on GPU. With this software we can generate terrains with features observable in natural landscapes, interactively controlling simulation by its parameters. The software should export the generated data set to make it available to other applications.

The software sholud be implemented in a game engine to demonstrate the possibilities of interactive use the generated terrain in a real game.


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