Water Rendering with Projected Grid

August 25, 2007 at 10:25 pm (Demos, Papers)

Proj grid thesis


This thesis will examine how a large water surface can be rendered in an efficient manner using modern graphics hardware. If a non-planar approximation of the water surface is required, a high-resolution polygonal representation must be created dynamically. This is usually done by treating the surface as a height field. To allow spatial scalability, different methods of “Level-Of-Detail” (LOD) are often used when rendering said height field. This thesis presents an alternative technique called “projected grid”. The intent of the projected grid is to create a grid mesh whose vertices are even-spaced, not in world-space which is the traditional way but in post-perspective camera space. This will deliver a polygonal representation that provides spatial scalability along with high relative resolution without resorting to multiple levels of detail.

This thesis was written in 2004 but never ended up getting published anywhere. I’ve seen it referenced a few times on message boards, etc. and in fewer papers, most recently the Wave Particles paper at SIGGRAPH 2007. It’s a great idea that I’ve come back to a few times, but I always have trouble dredging up the paper because of the vague title “Real-time Water Rendering”. For my own reference, and maybe yours too, I’m posting the link here.

Johanson, C. “Real-time Water Rendering” Paper + images + demo + source



  1. GwangSu said,

    I’m studying your thesis through the website but

    currently I’m stuck with controlling the height of sea water.

    When I thy to control the height of the water then it gives the texture mapping problem.

    So I need your help.

    Is there any way to control the height of the water?

    If you know the answer, please let me know.

    Thank you.

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