CLOD GPU Terrain

As part of my internship at ESRI I have worked on a new globe terrain rendering implementation for the ArcGIS JavaScript API. I worked on generating the terrain geometry directly on the GPU, skipping the CPU prepocesing. This allows for faster creation of terrain patches and increased responsiveness. All patches are drawn "at once" (instancing) since they share a same base grid mesh on which displacement mapping is applied: This results in increased FPS even on low-end mobile devices. Furthermore, the new implementation uses a continuous level of detail algorithm which connects all patches geometries together, eliminating the use of skirts hiding gaps between patches.

Dates:Jan - Jul 2019

Type:Internship at Esri R&D Zürich

Related skills:Typescript, JavaScript, WebGL

Comparison video of GPU Continuous Level of Detail and a CPU version of terrain implemented on ArcGIS API for Javascript and WebGL1. The GPU terrain provides higher frame rates, faster geometry loading, and offload of CPU javascript main thread that can be used for other tasks such as processing more textures.

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