Modeling and populating virtual cities: automatic production of building models and emergency crowd simulation
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In this thesis, we present an automatic building generation method based on procedural modeling approach, and a crowd animation system that simulates a crowd of pedestrians inside a city. While modeling the buildings, to achieve complex and consistent geometries we use shape grammars. The derivation process incorporates randomness so the produced models have the desired variation. The end shapes of the building models could be defined in a certain extent by the derivation rules. The behavior of human crowds inside a city is affected by the simulation scenario. In this thesis, we specifically intend to simulate the virtual crowds in emergency situations caused by an incident, such as a fire, an explosion, or a terrorist attack. We prefer to use a continuum dynamics-based approach to simulate the escaping crowd, which produces more efficient simulations than the agent-based approaches. Only the close proximity of the incident region, which includes the crowd affected by the incident, is simulated. In order to speed up the animation and visualization of the resulting simulation, we employ an offline occlusion culling technique. During runtime, we animate and render a pedestrian model only if it is visible to the user. In the pre-processing stage, the navigable area of the scene is decomposed into a grid of cells and the from-region visibility of these cells is computed with the help of hardware occlusion queries.