Visual Computing

University of Konstanz
IEEE Visualization, 2002. VIS 2002.

Interactive visualization of complex plant ecosystems

O. Deussen, C. Colditz, M. Stamminger, G. Drettakis
Teaser of Interactive visualization of complex plant ecosystems


Paper (.pdf, 4.7 MB)


We present a method for interactive rendering of large outdoor scenes. Complex polygonal plant models and whole plant populations are represented by relatively small sets of point and line primitives. This enables us to show landscapes faithfully using only a limited percentage of primitives. In addition, a hierarchical data structure allows us to smoothly reduce the geometrical representation to any desired number of primitives. The scene is hierarchically divided into local portions of geometry to achieve large reduction factors for distant regions. Additionally, the data reduction is adapted to the visual importance of geometric objects. This allows us to maintain the visual fidelity of the representation while reducing most of the geometry drastically. With our system, we are able to interactively render very complex landscapes with good visual quality.


  author     = {O. Deussen and C. Colditz and M. Stamminger and G. Drettakis},
  booktitle  = {IEEE Visualization, 2002. VIS 2002.},
  doi        = {10.1109/VISUAL.2002.1183778},
  keywords   = {data visualisation;natural scenes;rendering (computer graphics);complex landscapes;data reduction;ecosystems;geometrical representation;hierarchical data structure;interactive rendering;outdoor scenes;point-based rendering;polygonal plant models;whole plant populations;Computer displays;Computer graphics;Computer science;Ecosystems;Geometry;Layout;Shape;Vegetation mapping;Virtual reality;Visualization},
  month      = {nov},
  pages      = {219-226},
  title      = {Interactive visualization of complex plant ecosystems},
  year       = {2002},
  url        = {},