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Evaluating Realism in Example-Based Terrain Synthesis

journal contribution
posted on 23.06.2022, 04:45 by Joshua J Scott, Neil DodgsonNeil Dodgson
We report two studies that investigate the use of subjective believability in the assessment of objective realism of terrain. The first demonstrates that there is a clear subjective feature bias that depends on the types of terrain being evaluated: our participants found certain natural terrains to be more believable than others. This confounding factor means that any comparison experiment must not ask participants to compare terrains with different types of feature. Our second experiment assesses four methods of example-based terrain synthesis, comparing them against each other and against real terrain. Our results show that, while all tested methods can produce terrain that is indistinguishable from reality, all also can produce poor terrain; that there is no one method that is consistently better than the others; and that those who have professional expertise in geology, cartography or image analysis are better able to distinguish real terrain from synthesised terrain than the general population but those who have professional expertise in the visual arts are not.


Preferred citation

Scott, J. J. & Dodgson, N. A. (n.d.). Evaluating Realism in Example-Based Terrain Synthesis. ACM Transactions on Applied Perception. https://doi.org/10.1145/3531526

Journal title

ACM Transactions on Applied Perception


Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)

Publication status

Published online

Online publication date








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