Döllner, Jürgen; Walther, Maike
Proceedings of the IEEE Information Visualization
City models have become central elements for visually communicating spatial information related to urban areas and have manifold applications. Our real-time non-photorealistic rendering technique aims at abstract, comprehensible, and vivid drawings of assemblies of polygonal 3D urban objects. It takes into account related principles in cartography, cognition, and nonphotorealism. Technically, the geometry of a building is rendered using expressive line drawings to enhance the edges, two-tone or three-tone shading to draw the faces, and simulated shadows. The edge enhancement offers several degrees of freedom, such as interactively changing the style, width, tilt, color, transparency, and length of the strokes. Traditional drawings of cities and panoramas inspired the tone shading that achieves a pleasing visual color effect. The rendering technique can be applied not only to city models but to polygonal shapes in general.