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Journal Articles Computer Graphics Forum Year : 2016

Sparse representation of terrains for procedural modeling


In this paper, we present a simple and efficient method to represent terrains as elevation functions built from linear combinations of landform features (atoms). These features can be extracted either from real world data-sets or procedural primitives, or from any combination of multiple terrain models. Our approach consists in representing the elevation function as a sparse combination of primitives, a concept which we call Sparse Construction Tree, which blends the different landform features stored in a dictionary. The sparse representation allows us to represent complex terrains using combinations of atoms from a small dictionary, yielding a powerful and compact terrain representation and synthesis tool. Moreover, we present a method for automatically learning the dictionary and generating the Sparse Construction Tree model. We demonstrate the efficiency of our method in several applications: inverse procedural modeling of terrains, terrain amplification and synthesis from a coarse sketch.

Dates and versions

hal-01258986 , version 1 (24-05-2017)





Eric Guérin, Julie Digne, Eric Galin, Adrien Peytavie. Sparse representation of terrains for procedural modeling. Computer Graphics Forum, 2016, 35 (2), pp.177-187. ⟨10.1111/cgf.12821⟩. ⟨hal-01258986⟩
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