Displaced subdivision surfaces

Displaced subdivision surfaces
Aaron Lee, Henry Moreton, Hugues Hoppe.
ACM SIGGRAPH 2000 Proceedings, 85-94.
Automatic conversion of detailed mesh to displaced surface, and its benefits.
Abstract: In this paper we introduce a new surface representation, the displaced subdivision surface. It represents a detailed surface model as a scalar-valued displacement over a smooth domain surface. Our representation defines both the domain surface and the displacement function using a unified subdivision framework, allowing for simple and efficient evaluation of analytic surface properties. We present a simple, automatic scheme for converting detailed geometric models into such a representation. The challenge in this conversion process is to find a simple subdivision surface that still faithfully expresses the detailed model as its offset. We demonstrate that displaced subdivision surfaces offer a number of benefits, including geometry compression, editing, animation, scalability, and adaptive rendering. In particular, the encoding of fine detail as a scalar function makes the representation extremely compact.
Hindsights: The Curved PN triangle representation involves simple accesses to the vertex buffer. Although that surface representation is not C1, it may be "smooth enough" to be similarly used as a domain surface for displacement mapping.
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