Proceedings: GI 2002

Efficient Bounded Adaptive Tessellation of Displacement Maps

Kevin Moule , Michael McCool

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2002: Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 27 - 29 May 2002, 171-180

DOI 10.20380/GI2002.20

  • BibTeXex

     title = {Efficient Bounded Adaptive Tessellation of Displacement Maps},
     author = {Kevin Moule and Michael D. McCool},
     booktitle = (Proceedings of the Graphics Interface 2002 Conference, May 27-29, 2002, Calgary, Alberta, Canada},
     url = {},
     year = {2002},
     month = {May},
     location = {Calgary, Alberta},
     pages = {171--180}


Displacement mapping is a technique for applying fine geometric detail to a simpler base surface. The displacement is often specified as a scalar function which makes it relatively easy to increase visual complexity without the difficulties inherent in more general modeling techniques. We would like to use displacement mapping in real-time applications. Ideally, a graphics accelerator should create a polygonal tessellation of the displaced surface on the fly to avoid storage and host bandwidth overheads. We present an online, adaptive, crack-free tessellation scheme for real-time displacement mapping that uses only local information for each triangle to perform a view-dependent tessellation. The tessellation works in homogeneous coordinates and avoids re-transformation of displaced points, making it suitable for high-performance hardware implementation. The use of interval analysis produces meshes with good error bounds that converge quickly to the true surface.