Multiresolution Terrain Database Modeling for Synthetic Environments

Period of Performance: 04/15/1998 - 04/15/2000


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Coryphaeus Software, Inc.
985 University Avenue, Suite 31
Los Gatos, CA 95030
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


Coryphaeus Software, Inc. proposes to research and develop an extensible software library for use in the production of 3D synthetic environments. We propose a new paradigm for terrain database modeling based on a Progressive Mesh Terrain (PMT) representation - one that will enable rapid generation, incremental editing and reuse of synthetic databases. The PMT library will serve as a kernel for the development of next-generation terrain database generation and visualization tools. PMT is a continuous multiresolution mesh representation that supports real-time, view-dependent refinement and morphing for visual simulation. The PMT kernel will provide a software API to build, edit, store, and display PMT databases, complete with integrated (i.e., cut-in) features, feature attribution and accuracy encoding. The modeling API will accept input of terrain elevation data, 2D/3D vector feature data, and photo-imagery. PMT has unique properties that we will exploit to develop innovative modeling capabilities. PMT can represent arbitrary 3D triangle meshes with integrated features. This will enable reuse, compositing and reuse of existing terrain databases to an extent not possible with other representations. The main focus of our research will be feature modeling. PMT can propagate integrated features geometry, attribution, and accuracy encoding across all levels of detail in its multiresolution representation. We will develop methods for incremental feature modeling and rapid editing of the attributed terrain skin --- things that are not possible with any existing approach. BENEFITS: The PMT modeling kernel will enable the development of a new generation of terrain database modeling tools. CSI plans to design and develop a new version of its EasyT terrain database generation system using this kernel. The design and development will be done in parallel. The PMT-based modeling system will have unrivaled flexibility to address a wide range of world building applications in both government and industry.