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Lethal Raptor Games

Advanced Terrain

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A terrain system with more flexibility would be nice, like;

 

An increased number of LOD levels,

Being able to control what the maximum / minimum LOD level is,

A map which will set certain quads to not update past a certain LOD level, or to stay a certain LOD level (useful for buildings in the distance, so when you zoom in the building isn't floating or buried),

Being able to set which areas are visible by a command, instead of just by the editor,

Cave maps, River maps, Road maps,

Increased amount of textures....which I think is already planned,

 

 

Do I dream too big? :)

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A terrain system with more flexibility would be nice, like;

 

An increased number of LOD levels,

Being able to control what the maximum / minimum LOD level is,

A map which will set certain quads to not update past a certain LOD level, or to stay a certain LOD level (useful for buildings in the distance, so when you zoom in the building isn't floating or buried),

Being able to set which areas are visible by a command, instead of just by the editor,

Cave maps, River maps, Road maps,

Increased amount of textures....which I think is already planned,

 

 

Do I dream too big? :)

That sounds reasonable. Terrain isn't going to be in the initial release, because it's something I want to devote about two months to.

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What's your intended approach regarding additional terrain textures Josh. I find this is the most limiting factor in the current engine and can't begin to think how fantastic levels would start to look if we were able to use say 30+ textures.

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Besides more textures I miss one thing and thats some erode functions and image based brush.

Maybe simple things, but that would make a difference to me.

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Besides more textures I miss one thing and thats some erode functions and image based brush.

Maybe simple things, but that would make a difference to me.

I agree, I recently tried an old version of Sandbox in order to play around with the erosion and deformation type functions and I really liked them, got very realistic results. I'd love to see these type of functions re-instated.

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Voxel based terrains would be awesome. Especially if they allow dynamic changes like digging into it. I've rarely seen something like this in games yet - obviously for good reasons I guess...

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What we need is a texture brush!

 

I threw a quick render of the types of brushes you can use in Blender using 'Distorted Noise'.

(Drag / Tile / 3D ascending order)

 

What do you guys think?

post-214-0-63906200-1307759400_thumb.jpg

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I'd like to be able to plug in a terrain system that deals with scale and accuracy issues.

Like the one dicussed in this book... http://www.virtualglobebook.com/

 

Slideshow presentation...

http://www.virtualglobebook.com/Under_the_Hood_of_Virtual_Globes.pdf

 

Example chapter...

http://www.virtualglobebook.com/3DEngineDesignForVirtualGlobesChapter1.pdf

 

I've been playing with some of the example code and it's very efficient. Itching to try some flight physics with this.

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Generally, we make our own IP. I don't like relying on third parties unless it is necessary.

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Understandable. The techniques however are solid and used in other engines (OpenScenegraph, Infinity and Outerra) and games (FSX, X-Plane) all these are referenced in the text. Elliptical clip-maps and camera relative rendering (they call it Rendering Relative to Eye) is used in all manner of simulations where any large scale world is required.

 

What's new are the techniques to do it on the GPU and code you can play with instead of read about in research papers. But if you're looking to create some really advanced terrain that can go from ground zero to outer space this is a good place to get a broad view of how it's done in Google Earth and NASA World Wind.

 

I know some of the references used in the book, we were in negotiation with one source, small community. I dare say it could all be optimised and improved for even better game performance. Google Earth runs fine on the iPhone so it must be pretty efficient.

 

On the whole, it would be nice to to choose what kind of terrain rendering to have, like Ogre3D, might be an option. From SimpleTerrain to VoxelTerrain to LargeTerrain supporting elliptical worlds, huge co-ordinate systems and streaming. We get all the benefits of the Leadwerks pipeline and code the way we want. Just something to consider since everyone seems to have their own ideas on what they want to do. Not everyone needs terrain so a separate plugin/DLL, this would reduce the disk footprint too.

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I sent an email to the author of the above book regarding performance of his code which is C# managed + GLSL (throught OpenTK) and here's the reply

 

"The performance of our C# code is pretty good since most of the heavy rendering tasks are pushed onto the GPU. I don't have the exact numbers, but I want to say our clipmapped terrain example gets around 200 million triangles per second on my laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce 260M. "

 

So I guess a Native C++ implementation of this (while using the freely available shaders that come with the code) could even improve that.

 

 

Fred

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I sent an email to the author of the above book regarding performance of his code which is C# managed + GLSL (throught OpenTK) and here's the reply

 

"The performance of our C# code is pretty good since most of the heavy rendering tasks are pushed onto the GPU. I don't have the exact numbers, but I want to say our clipmapped terrain example gets around 200 million triangles per second on my laptop with an NVIDIA GeForce 260M. "

 

So I guess a Native C++ implementation of this (while using the freely available shaders that come with the code) could even improve that.

 

 

Fred

The number of triangles drawn is pretty irrelevant. C# isn't doing the work, the graphics driver is, which is most likely coded in assembly. On the C# side, it would take the same amount of time to draw 1 or 1,000,000 polys.

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I don't think more tahn 10 textures passes is really needed ?

You can use chuncks of terrain perhaps , each chunck having is own set of textures !

Like lava terrain chunk with a texture that is common to neighbour jungle terrain chunck to make the transition.

Even big commercial games don't uses so much textures number per terrain (perhaps i'm wrong and tere are some examples !)

 

I think for terrain the next needed thing could be good would be normal map and/or specular map !

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