Creating landscapes with simulated colliding plates

Alex Jarocha-Ernst

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: QA76.9.C65 J37 2006


The creation of realistic virtual terrain has been a longstanding computer graphics problem, as terrain will form the backdrop of any virtual world. Approaches to this problem to date have taken one of two approaches: either fractally generating landscapes, or simulating the processes of water and thermal erosion. I have developed a new method to synthesize virtual landscapes, by simulating some of the geological forces that create real-world landscapes - I model the collision and deformation of simulated tectonic plates, and create features that mimic those found along real-world plate boundaries. This is achieved through the use of a meshless object representation subjected to physically-based forces, using existing techniques for accurately modeling stress and strain in solid objects.