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Volumetric Terrain Genereation on the GPU: A modern GPGPU approach to Marching Cubes
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC).
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Volumetrisk terränggenerering på grafikkortet : En modern GPGPU implementation av Marching Cubes (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

Volumetric visualization is something that has become more interesting during recent years. It has been something that was not feasible in an interactive environment due to its complexity in the 3D space. However, today's technology and access to the power of the graphics processing unit (GPU) has made it feasible to render volumetric data interactively. This thesis explores the possibilities to create and render large volumetric terrain using an implementation of Marching Cubes on the GPU. With the advent of general-purpose computing on the GPU (GPGPU) it has become far easier to implement tradition CPU tasks on the GPU. By utilizing newly available functions in DirectX it is possible to create an easier implementation on the GPU using global buffers. Three implementations are created inside the Unity game engine using compute shaders. The implementations are then compared based on creation time, render times and memory consumption. Then a deeper analysis of the time distribution is presented which suggests that Unity introduces some overhead since copying buffers from GPU to CPU is time consuming. It did however improve render times due to its culling and optimization techniques. The system could be used in applications such as games or medical visualization. Finally some future improvements for culling and level of detail (LOD) techniques are discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Volumetrisk visualisering är en teknik som har fått mer uppmärksamhet dom senaste åren. Det har varit någonting som inte har varit rimligt att göra i en interaktiv miljö på grund av dess komplexitet i 3D rymden. Med dagens teknik och tillgänglighet till grafikkortet (GPU) är det nu möjligt att rendera volumetrisk data i en interaktiv miljö. Den här uppsatsen utforskar möjligheterna till att skapa och rendera stora terräng landskap genom en implementering av Marching Cubes på GPU:n. Med framkomsten av general-purpose computing på grafikkortet(GPGPU) har det blivit lättare att programmera på GPU:n. Genom att använda nya funktioner tillgängliga i DirectX är det möjligt att skapa en enklare implementering på GPU:n som använder sig av globala buffrar. Tre implementeringar har skapats i spelmotorn Unity som använder compute shaders. Implementeringarna är sedan jämförda baserad på tid för generering av terräng, renderings tid samt minnes konsumption. Detta följs av en djupare analys av tidsdistribueringen för skapandet som pekar på att Unity håller tillbaka systemets hastiget pga kopierande av minne från GPU:n till CPU:n. Renderingstiden blev dock bättre med hjälp av den inbyggda culling-teknikerna och optimerings tekniker. Detta system skulle kunna appliceras inom spel eller medicinsk visualisering. Slutligen diskuteras framtida förbättringar för culling-tekniker och level of detail (LOD) tekniker.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
Keyword [en]
GPGPU, Marching Cubes, DirectX, Volumetric Rendering
National Category
Computer Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-172299OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-172299DiVA: diva2:846354
Subject / course
Computer Technology and Graphic Programming
Educational program
Master of Science in Engineering - Computer Science and Technology
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2015-08-21 Created: 2015-08-16 Last updated: 2015-08-21Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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