Shaded Perspective Images of Terrain

Unknown author (1978-03-01)

In order to perform image analysis, one must have a thorough understanding of how images are formed. This memo presents an algorithm that produces shaded perspective images of terrain as a vehicle to understanding the fundamentals of image formation. The image is constructed using standard projection equations along with an efficient hidden-surface removal technique. The image intensity is calculated using the reflectance map, a convenient way of describing the surface reflection as a function of surface gradient. Aside from its use as a tool toward understanding image analysis, the algorithm has several applications of its own, including providing video input to a flight simulator.