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Unpopping: Solving the Image-Space Blend Problem for Smooth Discrete LOD Transitions

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This paper presents a new, simple and practical algorithm to avoid artifacts when switching between discrete levels of detail (LOD) by smoothly blending LOD representations in image space. We analyse the alternatives of conventional alpha-blending and so-called late-switching (the switching of LODs ‘far enough’ from the eye-point), widely thought to solve the LOD switching discontinuity problem, and conclude that they either do not work in practice, or defeat the concept of LODs. In contrast we show that our algorithm produces visually pleasing blends for static and animated discrete LODs, for discrete LODs with different types of LOD representations (e.g. billboards and meshes) and even to some extent totally different objects with similar spatial extent, with a very small runtime overhead.
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Keywords: I.3.7 Computer Graphics: Three-Dimensional Graphics and Realism; LOD switching; levels of detail; popping; real-time rendering

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Institute of Computer Graphics and Algorithms, Vienna University of Technology {giegl,wimmer}

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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