Title page for ETD etd-10142002-145150

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Malhotra, Priya
Author's Email Address pmalhotr@vt.edu
URN etd-10142002-145150
Title Issues involved in Real-Time Rendering of Virtual Environments
Degree Master of Science
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Jones, Dennis B. Committee Chair
Lockhart, Jason Committee Member
Schubert, Robert P. Committee Member
  • Real-time rendering
  • photo-realism
  • optimization
  • virtual environments
Date of Defense 2002-07-19
Availability unrestricted
This thesis explores the issues involved in modeling and rendering virtual environments with special emphasis on photo-realistic visualization and optimizing models for real-time applications.

Architectural walk-through systems are expected to give convincingly realistic interactive visualizations of complex virtual environments (Brooks, 1986). This pursued high degree impression of reality enhanced by interactivity, leads the user into a state of immersion, or the suspension of disbelief. The use of these systems ranges from virtual prototyping of building designs, stage and set lighting design, and architectural design reviews where the demands for greater realism and higher frame rates are always increasing. Until recently, the major focus has been on quickly rendering a complex model, rather than on photo-realism. The primary goal was reducing the number of graphics primitives rendered per frame without noticeably degrading image quality.

The aim of this research is to study some of the real-time rendering and illumination techniques, bringing out the limitations and advantages of each. In addition the study investigates the extent of inclusion of standard 3 Dimensional modeling packages in the methodology pipeline, providing architects and designers with some guidelines for photo-realistic visualization and real-time simulation of their models.

This is demonstrated through an example model of Tadao Ando's Church on the Water. A 3D photo-realistic reconstruction and real-time simulation is attempted, using widely available standard tools. The aim is to develop a methodology for building a compelling, interactive and highly realistic virtual representation. The whole methodology is based not on proprietary commercial 3D game engines, but on international open standard programming languages and API's, while leaving the user to freely select and use his/her 3D character-modeling package of choice. However, several shortcomings in both hardware and software became apparent. These are described, and a number of recommendations are provided.

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