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Collision with Terrain

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I was just toying with a new collision detection system with my terrain, which is calculated from a heightmap. I was wondering, for those of you who have done this, which of the following 2 systems works better. 1. Keeping the heightmap in system memory, and calculating an approximate collision based on the Y value. 2. Keeping the mesh in system memory, and calculating an actual collision based on a subdivision of the heightmap.

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