Real-Time Occlusion Culling with a Lazy Occlusion Grid

  • Heinrich Hey
  • Robert F. Tobler
  • Werner Purgathofer
Part of the Eurographics book series (EUROGRAPH)


We present a new conservative image-space occlusion culling method to increase the rendering speed of very large general scenes on today’s available hardware without time-expensive preprocessing. The method is based on a low-resolution grid upon a conventional z-buffer. The occlusion information in the grid is updated in a lazy manner. In comparison to related methods this significantly reduces the number of pixels that have to be read from the z-buffer. The grid allows fast decisions if an object is occluded or potentially visible. It is used together with a bounding volume hierarchy that is traversed in a front-to-back order and which allows to cull large parts of the scene at once. A special front-to-back traversal is used if no pixel-level query for the furthest z-value of an image area is available. We show that the method works efficiently on today’s available hardware and we compare it with related methods.


Image Area Graphic Hardware Occlusion Test Bound Volume Hierarchy Forest Scene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    M. Abrash. Inside Quake: Visible Surface Determination. Dr. Dobb’s Sourcebook January/February 1996 pp. 41–45Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. Airey, J. Rohlf, F. Brooks Jr. Towards Image Realism with Interactive Update Rates in Complex Virtual Building Environments. Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics 90 p. 41Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. Bartz, M. Meißner, T. Hüttner. Extending Graphics Hardware For Occlusion Queries In OpenGL. EUROGRAPHICS/SIGGRAPH workshop on graphics hardware 98 pp. 97-103Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    D. Bartz, M. Meißner, T. Hüttner. OpenGL-assisted Occlusion Culling for Large Polygonal Models. Computers & Graphics 23 (1999) pp. 667–679CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    N. Greene, M. Kass, G. Miller. Hierarchical Z-Buffer Visibility. SIGGRAPH 93 p. 231Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    N. Greene. Hierarchical Polygon Tiling with Coverage Masks. SIGGRAPH 96 pp. 65–74Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    N. Greene. Occlusion Culling with Optimized Hierarchical Buffering. SIGGRAPH 99 Sketches & Applications p. 261Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Hewlett-Packard. OpenGL Implementation Guide. Overview.htm I#Occlus ionExtension, 2000Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. T. Klosowski, C. T. Silva. Efficient Conservative Visibility Culling Using The Prioritized-Layered Projection Algorithm. SIGGRAPH 2000 Course Notes 4Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    D. Luebke, C. Georges. Portals and Mirrors: Simple, Fast Evaluation of Potentially Visible Sets. Symposium on Interactive 3D Graphics 95 pp. 105–106Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    T. Möller, E. Haines. Real-Time Rendering pp. 192–200, 1999Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    N. Scott, D. Olsen, E. Gannett. An Overview of the VISUALIZE fx Graphics Accelerator Hardware. Hewlett-Packard Journal May 1998 pp. 28–34Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    K. Severson. VISUALIZE Workstation Graphics for Windows NT. Hewlett-Packard product literature, 1999Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    H. Zhang, D. Manocha, T. Hudson, K. Hoff III. Visibility Culling using Hierarchical Occlusion Maps. SIGGRAPH 97 pp. 77-88Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinrich Hey
    • 1
  • Robert F. Tobler
    • 2
  • Werner Purgathofer
    • 1
  1. 1.Vienna University of TechnologyAustria
  2. 2.VRVisAustria

Personalised recommendations