Interactive Rendering of Trees with Shading and Shadows

  • Alexandre Meyer
  • Fabrice Neyret
  • Pierre Poulin
Part of the Eurographics book series (EUROGRAPH)


The goal of this paper is the interactive rendering of 3D trees covering a landscape, with shading and shadows consistent with the lighting conditions. We propose a new IBR representation, consisting of a hierarchy of Bidirectional Textures, which resemble 6D lightfields. A hierarchy of visibility cube-maps is associated to this representation to improve the performance of shadow calculations.

An example of hierarchy for a given tree can be a small branch plus its leaves (or needles), a larger branch, and the entire tree. A Bidirectional Texture (BT) provides a billboard image of a shaded object for each pair of view and light directions. We associate a BT for each level of the hierarchy. When rendering, the appropriate level of detail is selected depending on the distance of the tree from the viewpoint. The illumination reaching each level is evaluated using a visibility cube-map. Thus, we very efficiently obtain the shaded rendering of a tree with shadows without loosing details, contrary to mesh simplification methods. We achieved 7 to 20 fps fly-throughs of a scene with 1000 trees.


Real-time rendering natural scenes forests IBR levels of detail billboards 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alexandre Meyer
    • 1
  • Fabrice Neyret
    • 1
  • Pierre Poulin
    • 2
  2. 2.LIGUMCanada

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