Asynchronous occlusion culling on heterogeneous PC clusters for distributed 3D scenes
We present a parallel rendering system for heterogeneous PC clusters to visualize massive models. One single, powerful visualization node is supported by a group of backend nodes with weak graphics performance. While the visualization node renders the visible objects, the backend nodes asynchronously perform visibility tests and supply the front end with visible scene objects. The visualization node stores only currently visible objects in its memory, while the scene is distributed among the backend nodes' memory without redundancy. To efficiently compute the occlusion tests in spite of that each backend node stores only a fraction of the original geometry, we complete the scene by adding highly simplified versions of the objects stored on other nodes. We test our system with 15 backend nodes. It is able to render a 350 M polygons ( 8.5 GiB) large aircraft model with 20, to 30,fps and thus allows a walk-through in real-time.