SoHeightFieldRender Class Reference

VolumeViz Heightfield rendering node. More...

#include <VolumeViz/nodes/SoHeightFieldRender.h>

Inheritance diagram for SoHeightFieldRender:
SoSlice SoVolumeShape SoLdmShape SoShape SoNode SoFieldContainer SoBase SoRefCounter SoTypedObject

List of all members.

Public Types

enum  BoundaryCells {

Public Member Functions

virtual SoType getTypeId () const
 SoHeightFieldRender ()

Static Public Member Functions

static SoType getClassTypeId ()
static SbBool isSupported (SoState *state=NULL)

Public Attributes

SoSFBool cellOutline
SoSFFloat cellOutlineWidth
SoSFColor cellOutlineColor
SoSFEnum boundaryCells

Detailed Description

VolumeViz Heightfield rendering node.

SoHeightFieldRender displays a uniform grid in the XY plane whose vertices are height (Z) values stored in 2D LDM format (any LDM data set with the Z dimension equal to 1). Adding the combination of LDM data management with advanced GPU features provides a way to handle extremely large surfaces. Just as with volume data, LDM uses tiles of data and multiple levels of resolution to enable interactive frame rates even for data sets that cannot fit in system memory.

This node is used similarly to other VolumeViz shapes, but instead of an SoVolumeData node, you use an SoHeightFieldGeometry for the data set (height values) and optionally one or more SoHeightFieldProperty nodes for property data sets. When one or more SoHeightFieldProperty nodes are used, because there are multiple data nodes, they must be children of an SoMultiDataSeparator node and the rules for multiple data sets apply (see SoVolumeData the parent class of SoHeightFieldGeometry). Otherwise, if no SoHeightFieldProperty nodes are used and only an SoHeightFieldGeometry node is present, the following rules apply:

Note that SoHeightFieldRender is derived from SoSlice and those inherited fields affect the rendering. In particular note that the alphaUse field applies to height field rendering and the default value (since Open Inventor 10.0) is ALPHA_OPAQUE. It means, for example, that the transparency in the color map will not affect rendering of the height map unless alphaUse is set to ALPHA_AS_IS.

Data set values are converted to height values in 3D space in two ways depending on the data type:

Any height value in the SoHeightFieldGeometry data set that is equal to the "undefined" value will be rendered as a hole in the mesh. The undefined value can be specified during the LDM conversion using the "-u" option to the LDM converter:

      convert -u 127 -b 1 inputFile.lst

Or by setting the undefinedValue field of the SoHeightFieldGeometry node. The default value is NaN (Not a Number).

An SoHeightFieldPropertyMask node can also be used to specify undefined cells in the mesh. An undefined cell effectively removes the four corresponding height values from the mesh. (SoVolumeMask does not apply to height field rendering.)

A lighted heightfield

VolumeViz provides default shaders that conveniently color the surface using a single property, as shown in the images. However, it is also possible to combine multiple properties using a custom shader program, in the same way that you would combine multiple volumes.

The field cellOutline enables drawing the edges of the mesh cells. BoundaryCells are cells close to an undefined value. If the boundaryCells field is set to ALWAYS, these cells must always be considered at all resolution levels to avoid artifacts. In SMART mode, the default, we don't take this into account for distant views.

Normally this node uses the OpenGL tessellation shader extension to speed up rendering and automatically adjust the number of generated triangles depending on the camera position and orientation. In this mode, to change the number of generated triangles, use an SoComplexity node. A value of 1 means a full tessellation with a maximum of 4 triangles per pixel and a value of 0.5 means a maximum of 1 triangle per pixel.

If tessellation shaders are not available, a value of 1 means full resolution data is used to generate triangles (a grid of 10x10 will then generate 10x10 x2 triangles). A value of 0 means the lower resolution will be used.

To check if tessellation shaders are supported, use the method isAvailable( "GL_ARB_tessellation_shader" ) of SoGLExtension class

When no SoHeightFieldProperty nodes are used and only an SoHeightFieldGeometry node is defined, the standard VolumeViz rules apply to the creation of a scene graph using SoHeightFieldRender. A minimal scene graph displaying a height field in this case is:


When one or more SoHeightFieldProperty nodes are used, multidata rules apply to the creation of a scene graph using SoHeightFieldRender and an SoMultiDataSeparator node must be used instead of SoSeparator. A minimal scene graph displaying a heightfield in this case is:



When used with an SoVolumeShader, a new shader function is available to compute lighting:

The following shader code will light a heightfield:

 vec4 VVizComputeFrontColor(vec3 n, vec4 col);

 void main()
   vec3 tCoord0 = VVizComputeCoordinates(OivFragmentTexCoord(0).xyz);
   vec3 normal = normalize(VVizComputeNormal(texCoord));

   float sf = VVizCombineData(tCoord0);
   vec4 col = VVizComputeFragmentColor(vox, texCoord);

   col = VVizComputeFrontColor(normal, col);

Multiple Data:

Using an SoMultiDataSeparator, it is possible to combine datasets that have different dimensions or tile sizes. For instance, an SoHeightFieldGeometry dataset can be used with an SoHeightFieldProperty even if they don't have the same dimensions or tile sizes.

Composition with VolumeData:

It is possible to color a height field according to the values of a volume data. To do such rendering, the HeightField datasets and the SoVolumeData nodes must be in the same SoMultiDataSeparator. A custom shader must also be defined to fetch values from the right datasets using their dataSetId. This is demonstrated in the HorizonInVolume example.

In addition, texture coordinates conversion functions are provided in the VolumeViz/vvizStructure.h shader include in order to help fetch the correct VolumeData values in custom shaders.
For instance,

 vec3 VVizTextureToTextureVec(in VVizDataSetId datasetSrc, in VVizDataSetId datasetDst, in vec3 texCoord);

can be used to convert texture coordinates related to one dataset to texture coordinates related to another dataset.
The conversion is based solely on the transformations applied to each dataset, which are defined by their model matrix and their extent.
Please note that the model matrix of a dataset is defined by the SoTransformation nodes that are placed before the SoDataSet node in the order of the traversal.


Similar to other geometry, SoPickedPoint can return an SoDetail object specific to the SoHeightFieldRender node. The specific class is SoHeightFieldDetail.

Only GPU picking is supported. This means that the SoRayPickAction used for picking must have its scene manager initialized using the method SoAction::setSceneManager(). SoHandleEventAction does this automatically, so it is not necessary for the application to take any action when using (for example) an SoEventCallback node and calling the getPickedPoint() method. However if the application creates its own SoRayPickAction then it must set the scene manager. If no scene manager is specified, a warning message is issued.




SoHeightFieldProperty, SoHeightFieldPropertyMask, SoHeightFieldRender, SoHeightFieldGeometry, SoMultiDataSeparator

See related examples:

HorizonInVolume, HorizonIsolines, HorizonShiftProjection, HorizonGpuCompose, SimpleHorizon, SimpleHorizonInMemory, SimpleHorizonRGBA

Member Enumeration Documentation

Boundary cells mode.


Always compute boundary cells.


Computes boundary cells according to the distance to the view.


Never computes boundary cells.

Constructor & Destructor Documentation

SoHeightFieldRender::SoHeightFieldRender (  ) 


Member Function Documentation

static SoType SoHeightFieldRender::getClassTypeId (  )  [static]

Returns the type identifier for this class.

Reimplemented from SoSlice.

virtual SoType SoHeightFieldRender::getTypeId (  )  const [virtual]

Returns the type identifier for this specific instance.

Reimplemented from SoSlice.

static SbBool SoHeightFieldRender::isSupported ( SoState state = NULL  )  [static]

Returns true if graphic card can render an SoHeightFieldRender.

GPU must support geometry shaders, floating point textures and vertex buffer objects (VBO) and tessellation shaders

Member Data Documentation

Boundary cells mode.

Setting this field to SMART will not compute boundary cells for distant views. Use enum BoundaryCells. Default is SMART.

If true, draw outline of each heightField cell (default is false).

When cellOutline is TRUE, this value specifies the cell outline color.

Default is black : (0, 0, 0).

NOTE: field available since Open Inventor 9.7

When cellOutline is TRUE, this value specifies the cell outline width in pixels.

Default is 2 pixels.

NOTE: field available since Open Inventor 9.7

The documentation for this class was generated from the following file:

Open Inventor Toolkit reference manual, generated on 12 Sep 2022
Copyright © Thermo Fisher Scientific All rights reserved.