Relief impostors have been proposed as a compact and high-quality representation for high-frequency detail in 3D models. In this paper we propose an algorithm to represent a complex object through the combination of a reduced set of relief maps. These relief maps can be rendered with very few artifacts and no apparent deformation from any view direction. We present an efficient algorithm to optimize the set of viewing planes supporting the relief maps, and an image-space metric to select a sufficient subset of relief maps for each view direction. Selected maps (typically three) are rendered based on the well-known ray-height-field intersection algorithm implemented on the GPU. We discuss several strategies to merge overlapping relief maps while minimizing sampling artifacts and to reduce extra texture requirements. We show that our representation can maintain the geometry and the silhouette of a large class of complex shapes with no limit in the viewing direction. Since the rendering cost is output sensitive, our representation can be used to build a hierarchical model of a 3D scene.
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