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Modelling Cumulus Cloud Shape from a Single Image

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Abstract

Clouds are important components of the fascinating natural images. However, extracting cloud shapes from images remains a challenging task. This paper presents a calculation method for estimating the shape of a cumulus cloud from a single image suitable for flight simulations and games. The shape of the cloud is assumed to be symmetric. Based on this assumption, the intensities of pixels are correlated with the geometry of a cloud's surface via a simplified single scattering model. A propagation scheme is designed to derive the surface progressively, and mesh editing techniques are used to improve the surface. Finally, the cloud is represented by a particle system. The results show that the proposed method can generate realistic cumulus clouds that are similar to those found in the images in terms of the shape distribution.

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