Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

An Intuitive and Realistic Visualization Method for Seabed Terrain

Version 1 : Received: 6 January 2020 / Approved: 9 January 2020 / Online: 9 January 2020 (08:56:49 CET)

How to cite: Xiao, Z.; Tan, L.; Liu, H.; Jiang, B.; You, X. An Intuitive and Realistic Visualization Method for Seabed Terrain. Preprints 2020, 2020010078 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202001.0078.v1). Xiao, Z.; Tan, L.; Liu, H.; Jiang, B.; You, X. An Intuitive and Realistic Visualization Method for Seabed Terrain. Preprints 2020, 2020010078 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202001.0078.v1).

Abstract

Visualization of the seabed terrain is one of the key functions of marine geographic information system. The major challenge here is that the obtained data for seabed terrain usually consists of elevation and sediment only but does not include remote sensing images, which is important for ground terrain visualization, as they can be used as textures to reveal detailed information and achieve realistic visual results. Existing seabed terrain visualizing methods (including annotations, color-mapping, and texture-mapping) have limitations in reality and intuition, as they are inadequate to express the physical characteristics of sediment accurately. This paper presents a novel and advanced 3D visualization method of seabed terrain, which introduces the Physically Based Rendering (PBR) theory into the field of geographic visualization. We analyze the main categories of seabed sediments and their optical features respectively, then develop a procedural method to generate physically based rendering materials for different sediments. Then an enhanced bidirectional reflectance distribution function is employed to achieve accurate and intuitive terrain rendering. We also refine the texture sampling method and propose a procedural seabed objects generation method to construct a more natural and realistic undersea environment. Experimental results reveal our method can make good use of the limited seabed terrain data and get significant improvements in visual effect, which can help users to cognize and analyze the seabed geographic environment more accurately and intuitively.

Subject Areas

seabed; sediment; terrain; visualization; physically based rendering; realistic

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