GPU Simulation and Rendering of Volumetric Effects for Computer Games and Virtual Environments
Jens Krüger, Rüdiger Westermann
Computer Graphics and Visualization Group,Technical University Munich, Germany
As simulation and rendering capabilities continue to increase, volumetric effects like smoke, fire or explosions will be frequently encountered in computer games and virtual environments. In this paper, we present techniques for the visual simulation and rendering of such effects that keep up with the demands for frame rates imposed by such environments. This is achieved by leveraging functionality on recent graphics programming units (GPUs) in combination with a novel approach to model non physics-based, yet realistic variations in flow fields. We show how to use this mechanism for simulating effects as demonstrated in the images below. Physics-based simulation is performed on 2D proxy geometries, and simulation results are extruded to 3D using particle or texture based approaches. Our method allows the animator to model and to flexibly control the dynamic behavior of volumetric effects, and it can be used to create plausible animations of a variety of natural phenomena.