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Virtual Forest

I created a realistic, virtual loblolly pine forest based on LIDAR measurements and worked collaboratively with the College of Forestry to develop and run a user study validating forest management measurements in the CAVETM.  I worked as part of a team of four visualization researchers and three forestry researchers. 

For the first phase of the study, we recreated a virtual forest from stand measurements.  I used OpenGL to render frames of the virtual forest that were then stitched together to create a video.  Off-line rendering allowed for greater detail including increased tree branches and thicker understory.  Markers, such as flags and ribbons at breast-height, were included in both forests to aid forest managers in their stand surveys.  Side-by-side comparisons of the forests are show below.  User study participants were shown one type of forest video (real or virtual) to make stand estimates.  Stand estimates were compared to determine differences.

For the second phase of the study, we created a virtual forest from tree characteristics extracted from LIDAR data.  This work required real-time interaction so a user could navigate the virtual forest in our immersive CAVETM.  We employed various methods, including level-of-detail and simplified tree models, to ensure we maintained a minimum frame-rate.

  • Fujisaki, I., Evans, D.L., Moorhead, R.J., Irby, D.W., Mohammadi-Aragh, M.J., Roberts, S.D. and Gerard, P.D. (2008). Lidar-based forest visualization using immersive virtual environment technology. Forest Science Journal, 54(1), 1-7.

  • Fujisaki I., Mohammadi-Aragh, M.J., Evans, D.L., Moorhead, R.J., Irby, D.W., Roberts, S.D., Grado, S.C., and Schultz, E.B. (2007). Comparing forest assessment using computer visualization and videography.  Journal of Landscape and Urban Planning, 81, 146-154.

  • Mohammadi-Aragh,M.J., Fujisaki, I., Irby, D.W., Evans, D.L., Moorhead, R.J., and Roberts, S.D. (2005). Visualization of computer-modeled forests for forest management.  Eurographics – IEEE Symposium on Visualization, Leeds, United Kingdom, June 1-3, p. 183-190.

  • Mohammadi-Aragh,M.J. (2004). Visualization of computer-modeled forests.  Masters Thesis, Mississippi State University.

  • Fujisaki, I., Evans, D.L., Moorhead, R.J., Mohammadi-Aragh,M.J., Irby, D.W., and Roberts, S.D. (2004).  Human factor integration into the development of a realistic tree rendering system based on LIDAR remote sensing.  IS&T/SPIE 16th Annual Electronic Imaging Symposium, vol. 5291, San Clara, CA, January 18-22.

  • Mohammadi-Aragh,M.J., Moorhead, R.J., Irby, D.W., Evans, D.L., Fujisaki, I., Roberts S.D. (2003).  Rendering realistic pine trees from LiDAR data in a virtual forest.  Proceedings of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Anchorage, AK, May 2003.

  • Fujisaki, I., Evans, D.L., Moorhead, R.J., Irby, D.W., Mohammadi-Aragh,M.J., Roberts, S.D. (2003).  LiDAR based forest visualization: Modeling forest stands and user studies.  Proceedings of the American Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Anchorage, AK, May 2003.