13 votes
Accepted

What's the current state-of-the-art algorithm for ray-tracing height-fields?

For the current state-of-the-art, look for this paper: "Maximum Mipmaps for Fast, Accurate, and Scalable Dynamic Height Field Rendering", Tevs et al. 2008 The basic idea is to skip a lot of space by ...
Rama's user avatar
  • 146
4 votes
Accepted

Method for rendering heightmap from a 3D scene

The easiest way to do this is by rendering the 3D scene the way you usually would through OpenGL, using whatever 3D Python library you already have loading the scene. Instead of the perspective camera ...
Dan Hulme's user avatar
  • 6,810
4 votes

Method for rendering heightmap from a 3D scene

Using OpenGL, or any such library, you could transform your scene with an orthogonal matrix and move your camera view point to be looking above (and parallel to) the scene (in a vertex shader) and ...
CpCd0y's user avatar
  • 176
4 votes

What's the current state-of-the-art algorithm for ray-tracing height-fields?

Cone Step Mapping and Relaxed Cone Step Mapping appear to be very decent algorithms. These rely on a bit of preprocessing of the height field to create a 2D map used for more efficient lookups. http:/...
cbuchner1's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

Finite difference wave equation shown in paper is wrong?

Yes, it looks like a sign error in the paper. It looks like it was introduced in equation (4) and then carried through the following ones. Probably the authors wrote the source code first and the ...
Nathan Reed's user avatar
4 votes
Accepted

How to approximate the heightmap of processed wood?

A sine wave remapped to [0, 1] and raised to a power will give you periodic ridges: (Desmos graph) That could be a good place to start. It will make perfectly straight, even ridges; but you could ...
Nathan Reed's user avatar
1 vote

How is this normals map supposed to work?

Yeah, that doesn’t look like any bump, height, or normal map I’ve ever seen—as you’ve identified, there’s only information about the surface contour along a single axis. If anything, it looks like it’...
Noah Witherspoon's user avatar

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