“Visual simulation of clouds” by Gardner

  • ©Geoffrey Y. Gardner




    Visual simulation of clouds



    Clouds present serious problems to standard computer image generation techniques because clouds do not have well-defined surfaces and boundaries. In addition, clouds contain varying degrees of translucence, and their amorphous structure can change with time. Although several approaches to cloud simulation have produced impressive results, they have relied on complex mathematical models which produce high computation costs for a single image.This paper describes a new approach to cloud simulation using simple planar and curved surfaces whose surface shading and translucence are modulated by a mathematical texturing function. This approach represents the appearance of clouds with enough realism for a wide range of visual simulation but does so at a reasonable computational cost, allowing the generation of sequences of images on small minicomputers. In addition, the cloud model can be constructed in a straightforward manner.


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