The Delta Tree: An Object-Centered Approach to Image-Based Rendering (Abstract)

MIT AI Lab Technical Memo #1604, May 1996.

The Delta Tree: An Object-Centered Approach to Image-Based Rendering
William J. Dally, Leonard McMillan, Gary Bishop, and Henry Fuchs

This paper introduces the delta tree, a data structure that represents an object using a set of reference images. It also describes an algorithm for generating arbitrary re-projections of an object by traversing its delta tree. Delta trees are an efficient representation in terms of both storage and rendering performance. Each node of a delta tree stores an image taken from a point on a sampling sphere that encloses the object. Each image is compressed by discarding pixels that can be reconstructed by warping its ancestor's images to the node's viewpoint. The partial image stored at each node is divided into blocks and represented in the frequency domain. The rendering process generates an image at an arbitrary viewpoint by traversing the delta tree from a root node to one or more of its leaves. A subdivision algorithm selects only the required blocks from the nodes along the path. For each block, only the frequency components necessary to reconstruct the final image at an appropriate sampling density are used. This frequency selection mechanism handles both antialiasing and level-of-detail within a single framework. A complex scene is initially rendered by compositing images generated by traversing the delta trees of its components. Once the reference views of a scene are rendered once in this manner, the entire scene can be reprojected to an arbitrary viewpoint by traversing its own delta tree. Our approach is limited to generating views of an object from outside the object's convex hull. In practice we work around this problem by subdividing objects to render views from within the convex hull.