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steg

3ds and directx

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Hi all, I was wondering if any of you guys use 3ds to do outside worlds similar to the game Tribes ? At the moment I''m just doing a runtime rendered 256x256 quad map to represent terrain using a height map for the z-values. Could this have been done in 3ds ? Kind regards, Steve

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Your 256x256 map is a better way to go.. Add some level of detail and you''ll see you don''t need any 3DS code for landscapes.

You could use 3DS models to build the buildings that go on that landscape.

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Thanks Galileo,

What confuses me is the height map, my map is one I generated from a free program off the web, is it possible to have a landscape you know what it is going to look like ? I.e. In the middle there will be a huge mountain, to the north east of that another mountain ?

Kind regards,
Steve

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Hi Steg,

There are heaps of ways of creating your heightmap. To be able to have more control of what your map looks like I would suggest using a grey-scale bitmap to represent the heightmap.

Basically what happens is each pixel of the bitmap relates to a position in the heightmap. And you make it so the lighter the pixel the higher that point of the heightmap is. This allows you to create some cool environment VERY quickly using simple applications such as PSP or whatever.

The only coding required for this is to open a bitmap, read each of it''s pixels'' colours and set the height map based on these.

Personally I would at least re-write the free program you got off the web. You really need to understand how to manipulate a heightmap from the simplest level then it really is up to you what you want to do. To start with you can just add some random noise over the entire height map to get it looking nice.

The first type of heightmap I wrote just had a simple algorithm for calculating hills. I created a random amount of hills, of random size each and added these to the height map. For my 300x300 map I add 500 hills and it gives it a nice feel.

To answer your original question, there isn''t any real reason to use 3DS for your outside world (terrain). It is far to slow for someone to create an entire map in 3DS, instead you use one of the above techniques for all the land. You use 3DS for all the objects in the game world (buildings, units, weapons, trees etc).

Hope this helps you out a bit.

Doolwind

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