Gardner ellipsoids sumulation (1984)
First clouds particle CGI animation, advanced terrain CGI animation
Interesting approach to CGI is attributed to Geoff Gardner at Grumman Data Systems, for the generation of terrain data and effects in simulations. Gardner presented a method to generate terrain, clouds ,smoke and other objects in a SIGGRAPH 84 paper, realistic smoke and clouds in a 1985 paper, which he extended to smoke and fire in a 1992 paper. The models he presented used quadrics or ellipsoids (which are very computationally inexpensive for things like view intersection) that were covered using a texture derived as a function of the transmittance of transparency each ellipsoid should possess. The transmittance of transparency varied from the center of the object to the edges of the ellipsoid as a mathematical function. Gardner was able to use these ellipsoids and transparent textures to model the terrain, trees, clouds, smoke, fire and other elements.