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ANR funded project

JCJC : Sciences de l'information, de la matière et de l'ingénierie : Sciences de l’information, simulation (JCJC SIMI 2) 2010
Projet SimOne

Scalable Interactive Models Of Nature on Earth

The overall goal of the project is to provide representations and algorithms for the real-time navigation, on consumer hardware, in a realistic and plausible virtual Earth model. We target the rendering of terrain, vegetation, water surfaces and clouds (we exclude human artefacts), all highly detailed at all scales from ground to space, with physically based motion and illumination at all scales, and without visible transitions between scales. We do not target the best possible physical accuracy as in radiative transfer models or computational fluid dynamics methods (like for instance in remote sensing, climate modelization, meteorology, etc). Instead, we target visual quality and physical plausibility, i.e., shape, illumination and motion models that look realistic and are efficient enough for real-time applications.

These goals are ambitious, as several scientific locks must be unlocked to reach them. Solving these hard problems, even for some specific cases only, would be important scientific breakthroughs:
- Scalable shape models are hard to design, especially when they must scale on several orders of magnitude. And providing seamless transitions between scales greatly complicates the problem. These goals have been reached only in few cases.
- Scalable illumination models is an even harder problem. Indeed averaging the shapes inside a pixel is much easier than averaging the illumination contribution of all these shapes, which can have different orientation, visibility (due to self occlusions), incoming light (due to self shadowing and inter-reflections) and reflection properties.
- Scalable motion models for fluids (water and clouds) is also a hard problem, especially when seamless transitions are needed across several orders of magnitude. Although multi-resolution techniques have been proposed for grid-based and particle-based methods, providing real-time fluid motions on large domains remains difficult.

Our results will be published in scientific conferences and journals. We also plan to integrate them in the Proland [Pro09] platform, our Virtual Earth browser prototype that integrates our preliminary results on terrain, atmosphere, ocean and rivers. We made demonstrations of Proland to the public at the « Fête de la science » in 2009, and plan to do it again in the future. We also sold a license of Proland to a planetarium company and we use it in an industrial project for flight simulations. Its source code is not public, and we do not plan to release it as Open Source software.

This project involves two academic researchers of the same laboratory who work in neighbor teams, plus students hired on the project (one PhD plus short term students). The project tasks and sub-tasks are well separated and independent. The project management is therefore trivial.


LJK INRIA - Centre Grenoble Rhone-Alpes

ANR grant: 115 544 euros
Beginning and duration: - 36 mois


ANR Programme: JCJC : Sciences de l'information, de la matière et de l'ingénierie : Sciences de l’information, simulation (JCJC SIMI 2) 2010

Project ID: ANR-10-JCJC-0207

Project coordinator:
Monsieur Fabrice NEYRET (INRIA - Centre Grenoble Rhone-Alpes)


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The project coordinator is the author of this abstract and is therefore responsible for the content of the summary. The ANR disclaims all responsibility in connection with its content.