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Should dynamics be calculated from the terrain at its highest LOD ?

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I was wondering how simulations actually code their dynamics with reference to the terrain. It seems that if the dynamics is calculated with the highest level of detail(terrain), the vehicle which is supposed to follow the terrain would not follow the terrain properly when it is moving over a part of the terrain which is being displayed at a lower LOD. But if the dynamics were to be calculated with reference to the current LOD, it would definitely lose fidelity. For example, a river might be visible in the high LOD but not in the low LOD and if the dynamics is with reference to the low LOD, the vehicle would actually move across the river when it is not supposed to. How do others do this?

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simple, you use the actual terrain that you load from disk. since low lod stuff is far away, no one should notice the differnce. up close they should be seeing high lod anyway.

though lod systems that dont change the actual terrain (ie ones that reduce vertices if its a large flat land) dont affect the simulation. so run a optimize that reduces poly count for flat areas of terrain, then use that.

for actual drawing you use the distance based lod scheme.

rivers are not something that should disappear due to lod. its a VERY important feature.

remeber, you give an adavntage to players who use the low lod (ie slower pcs) if you base everything on the current lod.

[edited by - a person on July 1, 2002 3:52:07 PM]

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Like a person said, it only matters how things look up close, where you use high LOD for drawing too. So use the highest LOD unless your dynamics system is too slow to handle it. For example, in Quake 3 the collisions with bezier surfaces were checked against the lowest LOD.. At least in the beta I played

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