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3D Terrain....

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Hello all, I''m new to 3D programming, so please bear with me. I''m not even sure if this is the right forum but.... We''ve implemented a very simple plasma fractal generator to generate a terrain. It generates a 256x256 array of points. I''m ready to turn this array of points into a terrain. My question is ''Are we approaching this the correct way?'' If each point represents one corner of a square, and I use triangle strips in the following fashion:
1------2,5------6
      /        /
     /        /
    /        /
   /        /
  /        /
 /        /
3------4,7------8

[/CODE]

I''m going to end up with 65,000 squares, twice that many triangles, to represent the terrain.  It seems that this is too many.  How do people handle this instead?  Lower resolution (say 128x128 or even 64x64?) or are there ways to approximate the fractal?  

I''m obviously not looking for code to make it all work, but some pointers in the right general direction that might address my complete and utter lack of knowledge of this subject. 

Thanks,

-Ben
    

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Well.. yes. I have to admit that''s a pretty big step from where I am right now, but of course we will.

For information, at some future point it''s going to be a 3D artillery game (ala Scorchted Earth) so the entire terrain *could* be visible and we need to assume that is so from any point on the map.

Thanks,

Ben


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well if you use a good enough LOD algorithm, your polycount becomes less important (since the high counts are going to be closest to the camera, and everything in the distance will become less tesselated). 120k tris sounds like alot but i''ve seen more in complex terrain scenes. you might look into something like geo-mipmapping or ROAM and see what kind of results you get there before sacrificing the way your terrain looks.

-eldee
;another space monkey;
[ Forced Evolution Studios ]


::evolve::

Do NOT let Dr. Mario touch your genitals. He is not a real doctor!

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dont use the classic roam approach if you have a good 3d card. you will waste a lot of cpu time to build the terrain (a lot more than you would with just rendering it at high detail). if you have just one 256*256 piece of terrain i wouldnt bother with lod at all. divide it into pieces of say 16x16, do frustum culling and thats it. lod will cause a lot more problems (make different lods fit, or use cpu intensive stuff like roam.. popping if you dont use geomorphing, etc.)..

also: tri strips might not be worth the headache of building them. a cache optimized indexed triangle list might be faster (in fact i tried a list without optimizing and it was just as fast).

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