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Interactive Visualization of Flood and Heavy Rain Simulations

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Computer Graphics Forum

Abstract

In this paper, we present a real-time technique to visualize large-scale adaptive height fields with C1-continuous surface reconstruction. Grid-based shallow water simulation is an indispensable tool for interactive flood management applications. Height fields defined on adaptive grids are often the only viable option to store and process the massive simulation data. Their visualization requires the reconstruction of a continuous surface from the spatially discrete simulation data. For regular grids, fast linear and cubic interpolation are commonly used for surface reconstruction. For adaptive grids, however, there exists no higher-order interpolation technique fast enough for interactive applications. Our proposed technique bridges the gap between fast linear and expensive higher-order interpolation for adaptive surface reconstruction. During reconstruction, no matter if regular or adaptive, discretization and interpolation artifacts can occur, which domain experts consider misleading and unaesthetic. We take into account boundary conditions to eliminate these artifacts, which include water climbing uphill, diving towards walls, and leaking through thin objects. We apply realistic water shading with visual cues for depth perception and add waves and foam synthesized from the simulation data to emphasize flow directions. The versatility and performance of our technique are demonstrated in various real-world scenarios. A survey conducted with domain experts of different backgrounds and concerned citizens proves the usefulness and effectiveness of our technique.

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