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Advanced Graphics Programming Using OpenGL by David Blythe, Tom McReynolds

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CHAPTER 18

Natural Detail

Many phenomena found in nature don’t conform well to simple geometric representations. Many of these objects, such a fire and smoke, have complex internal motions and indistinct borders. Others, such as a cloud layer and a lake surface, can have boundaries, but these boundaries are constantly changing and are complex in shape. This chapter focuses on these amorphous objects, extending OpenGL’s expressive power by harnessing techniques such as particle systems, procedural textures, and dynamic surface meshes.

Given the complexity in detail and behavior of the objects being modeled, tradeoffs between real-time performance and realism are often necessary. Because of this, performance issues will often be considered, and ...

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