Compressed facade displacement maps

Saif Ali*, Jieping Ye, Anshuman Razdan, Peter Wonka

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


We describe an approach to render massive urban models. To prevent a memory transfer bottleneck we propose to render the models from a compressed representation directly. Our solution is based on rendering crude building outlines as polygons and generating details by ray-tracing displacement maps in the fragment shader. We demonstrate how to compress a displacement map so that a decompression algorithm can selectively and quickly access individual entries in a fragment shader. Our prototype implementation shows how a massive urban model can be compressed by a factor of $85$ and outperform a basic geometry-based renderer by a factor of $50$ to $100$ in rendering speed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4585376
Pages (from-to)262-273
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2009


  • Compression
  • Displacement mapping
  • Massive urban models
  • Real-time rendering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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