Original Article

The Visual Computer

, Volume 27, Issue 10, pp 917-928

First online:

Geodesic-driven visual effects over complex surfaces

  • Guilherme N. OliveiraAffiliated withInstituto de Informática, UFRGS Email author 
  • , Rafael P. TorchelsenAffiliated withUFFS—Universidade Federal da Fronteira Sul
  • , João L. D. CombaAffiliated withInstituto de Informática, UFRGS
  • , Marcelo WalterAffiliated withInstituto de Informática, UFRGS
  • , Rui BastosAffiliated withNVIDIA Corporation

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Texture mapping is an important technique for adding visual details to geometric models. Image-based texture mapping is the most popular approach, but it relies on pre-computed images which often limit their use to static effects. For adding dynamic effects, procedural-based texturing is more adequate. Since it rely on functions to describe texturing patterns, procedural texturing allows for a more compact representation and control of visual effects by a simple change of parameters. In this work we describe GeoTextures, an approach that uses geodesic distance fields defined from multiple sources at different locations over a model surface to place, advect, and combine procedural visual effects over complex surfaces. The use of geodesics extends the scope of common procedural textures which are usually limited to using spatial 3D coordinates or 2D texture coordinates. We illustrate the flexibility of our real-time approach with a range of visual effects, such as time-based propagation of weathering phenomena, transparency effects, and mesh displacement over surfaces with smooth silhouettes using hardware based tessellation available in current graphics cards.


Procedural texturing Geodesics Displacement mapping Hardware tessellation Real-time