Ecologically sound procedural generation of natural environments

Benny Onrust, Rafael Bidarra, Robert Rooseboom, Johan van de Koppel
International Journal of Computer Games Technology, Volume 2017, Number 7057141 - 2017
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Current techniques for the creation and exploration of virtual worlds are largely unable to generate sound natural environments from ecological data, and to provide interactive web-based visualizations of such detailed environments. We tackle this challenge and propose a novel framework that (i) explores the advantages of landscape maps and ecological statistical data, translating them to an ecologically sound plant distribution, and (ii) creates a visually convincing 3D representation of the natural environment suitable for its interactive visualization over the web. Our vegetation model improves techniques from procedural ecosystem generation and neutral landscape modeling. It is able to generate diverse ecological sound plant distributions directly from landscape maps with statistical ecological data. Our visualization model integrates existing level-of-detail and illumination techniques to achieve interactive frame rates and improve realism. We validated with ecology experts the outcome of our framework using two case studies, and concluded that it provides convincing interactive visualizations of large natural environments.

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BibTex references

@Article { OBRK17,
  author       = "Onrust, Benny and Bidarra, Rafael and Rooseboom, Robert and Koppel, Johan van de",
  title        = "Ecologically sound procedural generation of natural environments",
  journal      = "International Journal of Computer Games Technology",
  number       = "7057141",
  volume       = "2017",
  year         = "2017",
  url          = ""

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» Benny Onrust
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» Johan van de Koppel