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Improving terrain textures

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Ysaneya

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So, i have improved by a lot the way the color table is generated.

It's similar to texture splatting; i have a set of layers (12 here), that each contain some conditions on the altitude and slope, an interpolation power, and a color. In the color table, for each texel i get the slope and altitude, and determine the layers affecting it. These layers are then blended together.

Don't forget that the generation of this color table is done once per planet, at construction time. So, i do not really care if there are 12 or 100 layers. In theory this allows me to make some planets with extremely varied terrain, although with "only" 12 layers, i think the results are starting to look good..

I can't decide which of the two textures is the best:





The first texture uses the layer which has the best weight, while the second one blends all the layers which have a weight > 0. The second one has smoother colors, but i'm not sure i really want this, as it'll make the textures less precise when appearing on the whole planet.

Opinions ?
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12 Comments


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Guest Anonymous Poster

Posted

Nice! I also think the second one looks better!

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I like the second one too, the hard edges on the first make it look less realistic. But I also don't know how they would look in the game, with whatever lighting and effects you may have going on.

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I'm with Rixtor. I like the second one too, the hard edges on the first make it look less realistic.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Posted

Vote for the second - but:
When you assign the weights in dependency of altitude, is it always a linear function? Maybe you can use a function thats somewhat like this (some ascii art - how to use courier-style text?):

/
/
|
|
___|
0 1

so the snowline eg. pops in at an altitude of, say 2000m.
Sorry for my english :-)
André

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I vote for the second one.
First one does indeed have more detail, as you already mentioned yourself, but it makes me think of having a very nice 24 or 32 bit background and setting it to 256 colors.

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From all the people i've been asking so far, not a single one prefered the first texture. So i guess the majority has spoken :) Thank you.

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The second one looks really good.

How do you plan to do the detail texturing? If you plan to do 100 layers for the global terrain, it does not matter, I agree. But if you plan to do one genuine detail texture for each global layer, it makes things more complicates since you can't blend 100 textures. You could solve this by storing per patch the four/eight layers with the greatest weights, though...

Moreover, from my experience, the resolution of a global weight texture (i.e. a map that tells you "here is rock and there is sand") won't be high enough if you go to ground level - even if it's 1km per pixel. You could disturb the layer weights by noise, but the result won't look very good since for example the rock at steep slopes will "bleed" into the low-slope regions. Also, the detail texturing won't fit to the "Perlin-noisy" landscape.

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Guest Anonymous Poster

Posted

So this is probably late and redundant, but I only just discovered this project :)

I agree with everyone that the second one looks best, BUT I'm posting because the same thing occurred to me as clearly occurred to Rixter: If this was an in-game screenshot, I think you'd want it to look more like option 2, however as I understand it this is purely a texture with none of the atmospheric effects that the player will see when looking around in the final game, and if those atmospheric effects and filters would cause the first texture to wind up looking not unlike the way the second texture looks now, then maybe you actually want to go with that.

I think that made sense :)

That aside, I just want to say that I've thoroughly enjoying reading through this dev diary! Exciting work, I think, and all very impressive. The best of luck to you!!!

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