Proceedings: GI 2004

Hardware accelerated per-pixel displacement mapping

Johannes Hirche , Alexander Ehlert , Stefan Guthe , Michael Doggett

Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2004: London, Ontario, Canada, 17 - 19 May 2004, 153-158

DOI 10.20380/GI2004.19

  • Bibtex

    author = {Hirche, Johannes and Ehlert, Alexander and Guthe, Stefan and Doggett, Michael},
    title = {Hardware accelerated per-pixel displacement mapping},
    booktitle = {Proceedings of Graphics Interface 2004},
    series = {GI 2004},
    year = {2004},
    issn = {0-89791-213-6},
    isbn = {1-56881-227-2},
    location = {London, Ontario, Canada},
    pages = {153--158},
    numpages = {6},
    doi = {10.20380/GI2004.19},
    publisher = {Canadian Human-Computer Communications Society},
    address = {School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada},
    keywords = {Hardware},


In this paper we present an algorithm capable of rendering a displacement mapped triangle mesh interactively on latest GPUs. The algorithm uses only pixel shaders and does not rely on adaptively adding geometry. All sampling of the displacement map takes place in the pixel shader and bi- or trilinear ltering can be applied to it, and at the same time as the calculations are done per pixel in the shader, the algorithm has automatic level of detail control. The triangles of the base mesh are extruded along the respective normal directions and then the resulting prisms are rendered by casting rays inside and intersecting them with the displaced surface. Two different implementations are discussed in detail.