Virtual World Creation

Aryamaan Jain


Synthesis, capture and analysis of a highly complex 3D terrain structure are essential for critical applications such as river/flood modelling, disaster mitigation planning, landslide modelling and flight simulation. On the other hand, synthesis of natural-looking 3D terrains finds its applications in the entertainment industry such as computer gaming and VFX. This thesis explores novel learning-based techniques for the generation of immersive and realistic 3D virtual environments, catering to the needs of the aforementioned applications. The generation of virtual worlds involves multiple components, including terrain, vegetation, and other objects. We primarily focus on three key aspects for virtual world generation: 1) develop novel AI-enabled 3D terrain authoring solutions based on real-world satellite and aerial data using a learning-based framework, 2) L-systems grammar-based 3D tree generation and 3) rendering techniques that are used to create high-quality visualizations of the generated world. Terrain generation is a critical component of 3D virtual world generation, as it provides the foundational structure for the environment. Traditional techniques for 3D terrain generation involve procedural generation, which relies on mathematical algorithms to generate landscapes. However, deep learning techniques have shown promise in generating more realistic terrain, as they can learn from real-world data to produce new, varied, and realistic landscapes. In this thesis, we explore the use of deep learning techniques for 3D terrain generation, which can produce realistic and varied terrains with high visual fidelity. Specifically, we propose two learning-based novel frameworks for Interactive 3D Terrain Authoring & Manipulation and Adaptive Multi-Resolution Infinite Terrain Generation. In addition to terrain generation, vegetation is another important component of virtual world generation. Trees and other plants provide visual interest and can help create a more immersive environment. L-systems are a popular technique for generating realistic vegetation, as they are capable of generating complex structures that resemble real-world plants. In this thesis, we propose a variant of the L-systems for 3D tree generation and compare the results to traditional procedural generation techniques. Finally, rendering is a critical component of 3D virtual world generation, as it is responsible for creating the final visual output that users will see. In addition to terrain and tree generation, this thesis also covers rendering techniques used to visualize the generated virtual world. We explore the use of real-time rendering techniques in conjunction with terrain generation to achieve high-quality visual results while maintaining performance. Overall, the research presented in this thesis aims to advance the state-of-the-art in virtual world generation and contribute to the development of more realistic and immersive virtual environments. We performed extensive empirical evaluation on publicly available datasets to report details qualitative and quantitative results demonstrating the superiority of the proposed methods over existing solutions in the literature.

Year of completion:  July 2023
 Advisor : Avinash Sharma, Rajan Krishnan Sundara

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