Links and Further Reading

I've gathered together here some links to online resources, projects, papers and
other publications that I think are interesting and relate to my main areas of interest.
They vary from massive projects to tid-bits of information but I collect them here
for my reference and maybe you will find them useful.

If you know of some resource out there that you think I would find useful and are
not shown here feel free to post to the forum to let me know.

Online Projects

These links are to some of the many other projects out there on the web where people
are conducting their own research and development into procedurally generated world
content. The variety is a testament to the popularity of the subject while the quality
of many of them is truly impressive given the spare-time nature of most of their
development. If anyone involved in any of these projects finds this page and wants
to link back to my own site please feel free
  • Infinity - An impressive
    project to create a massively multiplayer online game largely from procedurally
    generated content. From their welcome page: "Infinity features an advanced procedural
    engine allowing for a seemingly infinite galaxy of unique star systems and planets
    to discover and explore, including seamless planetary landing"
  • Outerra - Nice looking planetary engine that takes
    real world elevation data and interpolates high resolution detail using fractals.
  • Virtual Terrain Project - Large
    collection of online resources under the VTP banner who's stated aim is "To foster
    the creation of tools for easily constructing any part of the real world in interactive,
    3D digital form"
  • EarthSim - Freely downloadable high quality
    earch and solar system simulators well worth a look even if it's just to check out
    their gallery
  • Pangea - The New Beginning - Pangea
    is a online space-based adventure game project set in a vast, procedurally generated
  • Dmytry Lavrov -
    Various procedural voxel landscape and cloud rendering technologies amongst other
    things. Well worth a look with plenty of nice screenshots but very light on information
    on how any of it works.

Papers and Publications

The internet is a truly great resource for research but the sheer scale of it can
be a problem. I've linked here a collection of what I consider to be some of the
more interesting papers and articles on procedural content related topics. There
are bound to be many more out there I've not come across, but if you know of any
you think I would like feel free to post on the forums.

General Procedural Work

  • Eric Bruneton - Part of
    the Evasion team working on virtual environments for animation and image synthesis
    of natural objects, there are many screenshots, videos and especially papers on
    all sorts of interesting subjects to be found here.



Commercial Products

This is a selection of the commercially available (i.e. not free) packages related
to procedural content generation that I've come across which have interested me.
I've not used most of them but the ideas and type of functionality on offer makes
them worth investigation.
  • Terragen - Now in it's second major version,
    Terragen is capable of producing truly exceptional procedurally generated landscapes
    and is well worth investigating - especially as there is a slightly restricted free
    version you can download from their site to try out!
  • CityEngine - What started out as a research
    project but is now a commercial product, CityEngine procedurally generates both
    street plans and the buildings themselves and has been used in the movie industry
    amongst others.
  • World Machine 2 - Virtual
    world editing and rendering solution
  • Simul Weather & CloudWright - Realtime
    and offline cloud generation
  • Sundog Software - Commercial real time
    cloud and atmospheric lighting solution
  • Pandromeda MojoWorld 3 - High
    quality virtual world editing and rendering solution. Demo available on website.

Miscellaneous Developer Links

This section is a grab-bag of links to resources I've come across that I think may
be useful for developers working with real time graphics, GPUs and related technologies.
They are not presented in any particular order of quality or relevance, I just thought
they may be useful...
  • CG Textures - Extensive library of free textures
    that can be useful for non-commercial development projects
  • CodePlex - CodePlex is Microsoft's open source
    project hosting web site. You can use CodePlex to create new projects to share with
    the world, join others who have already started their own projects, or use the applications
    on the site and provide feedback.
  • - General game development
    and news site with some interesting articles


There are surprisingly few books dedicated to the subject of procedural world generation
(although I would of course like to help remedy that) especially considering the
popularity of the subject with graphics and simulation programmers, but I've listed
here some of the books I've read or referred to that I think may be of interest
to others working in this area. Most are only related to some aspect or other -
frequently just the actual rendering of content - but as with all the other sections
on this page feel free to post on the forums if there are others you think should
be recommended.

General Graphics:
    Programming Guide
    - The NVIDIA GeForce 8 and 9 Series GPU Programming Guide
    provides useful advice on how to identify bottlenecks in your applications, as well
    as how to eliminate them by taking advantage of the GeForce 8 and 9 Series’ features.
    In addition, a special section on DirectX 10 will inform you of common problems
    encountered when porting from DirectX 9 to DirectX 10
  • Programming Vertex,
    Geometry, and Pixel Shaders
    - This is a high quality full wiki based online
    book on shader programming and appears to be well worth a look]

  • The CG Tutorial
    - With the CG language being replaced by HLSL this book is not
    as relevant as it once was, but is still interesting and available free online.

  • Real-time Rendering
    - Well regarded, technical and thorough description of many
    essential real time graphics techniques.

  • Texturing and Modeling: A Procedural Approach
    - Almost de-facto book on procedural
    texture and effect generation now in it's third edition.

  • GPU-based Techniques for Global Illumination Effects
    - Discusses use of GPU
    techniques for effects such as mirror reflections, refractions, caustics, diffuse
    or glossy indirect illumination, radiosity, single or multiple scattering in participating
    media, tone reproduction, glow, and depth of field.

  • 3D Math Primer for Graphics and Game Development
    - This book covers fundamental
    3D fundamental maths concepts that are especially useful for computer game developers
    and programmers.
GPU Gems Series
Shader X Series
Landscapes and Terrain