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terrain texturing: tile vs single big texture

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What is better? Tile based terrain texturing or single big image? Tiles: easy to edit map, less space needed for textures, high resolution, allows very big maps. Single image: unique terrain texturing, allows static lighting be mixed into texture, allows to generate texture which exactly corresponds to hightmaps. What another advantage/disadvantage? Thanks vlad

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if your landscape is big enuf u can''t use a single texture , well u could but it''ll look shit. with my landscape see conQuest http://members.xoom.com/myBollux/home.html its pretty small at 64x64 i tried a 2048x2048 texture spread over it but it looked like shit. note the shadow is a in them shots a 1024x1024 texture spread over the whole map.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
>if your landscape is big enuf u can''t use a single texture

I use not single texture, but one big image (4096x4096) splitted into 128x128 blocks. It takes only 10M on disk in s3tc format.
Problems begins only with bigger images. (editing, generating)
Tiled terrain has so many limitations. Tiling do not allow exact conformity between texture and hightmap. Maybe it''s possible to use hightmap tiles in conjunction with texture tiles?

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>if your landscape is big enuf u can''t use a single texture

I use not single texture, but one big image (4096x4096) splitted into 128x128 blocks. It takes only 10M on disk in s3tc format.
Problems begins only with bigger images. (editing, generating)
Tiled terrain has so many limitations. Tiling do not allow exact conformity between texture and hightmap. Maybe it''s possible to use hightmap tiles in conjunction with texture tiles?

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You could use both. I use a detail texture for all the terrain and some unique texture for height block(64x64 or 32x32). Remember that the TNT cards have a texture liimt of 2048x2048.

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vladimir 10mb is a heap to use for texturing the lanscape. what happens when the whole landscapes in view and someone whoose card is like mine a tnt2 16mb ( ain''t that old) which doesn''t support s3tc, what happens frame rate drops to 0

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Yoshi,

>You could use both. I use a detail texture for all the terrain
>and some unique texture for height block(64x64 or 32x32).

So you have same detail texture on the ground, on the grass and snow? Not very good too.

>Remember that the TNT cards have a texture liimt of 2048x2048.

I don''t use such big texture blocks, even on geforce uploading big textures works slow.

vlad

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zedzeek,

>vladimir 10mb is a heap to use for texturing the lanscape.
>what happens when the whole landscapes in view and someone

I use low resolution textures for far distances. So it''s works on most cards.

vlad

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There is a _big_ difference in using tiles (in my opinion, they''re better) and a big texture. Say your terrain was 256x256 tiles big, and each tile was 32 units width and height. Then, you''d have a texture that is (256*32)x(256x32)x(24|32), making it easily 2,147,483,648 bytes of memory just for the texture.

If you used tiles, even if you had 256 tiles all together, you''d have an advantage in that they''re re-usable on different height field (a BIG performance plus).

So, using one texture is just as silly as using one BIG texture in making a 2D game instead of using tiles.

G''luck!
OldManDave.

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Ok, but how to make tiles looks unique like one big texture?
Perhaps first generate one big texture as usual and then use tile processor to find repeats. But here again we will have same editing generating problems.

vlad

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Vladimir: That''s something I can''t help you with... that''s artist''s business. The tiles are drawn to be "seamless" (border less). So they fit in perfectly... like a puzzle with pieces that make a big picture.

OldManDave.

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I am a person of theory, so when I was thinking of a way to texture a landscape (terrain), I came up with this idea.

It involves making a texture generator type editor, so not everyone may like the idea, then again, it might not be that much of a problem.



Above is an image of your texture map. This is NOT the texture that would be mapped onto the terrain itself, but rather a point of reference that would tell the engine where to put the real textures. White is snow, green is grass, dark green is swamp, light green is lighter grass, yellow is sand, and brown is dirt roads.

First, the editor would look thru the whole texture map, picking out all of the pixles that are next to a pixel of a different terrain type, and create an index of this. Then, it would look thru the index, grouping all like-pixels, in other words, it would look for patterns in the pixels. (look at the red circles to see what like-pixels are). Flat edges between one terrain type and another could be concidered like pixels.

After it has grouped all of the like pixels, it would then generate a number of textures for each group (since one texture made for a group of 10000 like pixels would look like crap). It would, say, generate 3 or 5 textures per like pixel, or whatever the user wants it to make.

The blending of 2 terrain textures could be done in a "paint spatter" method, where rather than just bluring the two terrain types together, you spatter some of one texture onto the other. Think of it like this, you have a sheet of white paper, and a sheet of black, and place them next to eachother so they touch. Then, where they touch, you spatter some white paint on the black paper, and black paint on the white paper.

This effects can be seen in Asherons Call in many places. Though it may not be how real terrain goes from one type to another, it works for what we need.

Now, many of you may think that alot of textures would be generated because of this, and you may be right. To limit the number of textures created, you should remember the following...

1: Try to keep the transitions between terrain types to the bare minimum. Heavy snow turning into rock is realistic. Heavy snow turning into desert isn''t. Same goes for swamps and deserts.

2: Try not to have more than 2 or 3 different terrain types touching eachother.


Also, roads shouldn''t be added to the texture map, but should rather be done as lines and points with different widths. After all, you might want a road smaller than a pixel in the texture map (a small foot path of some kind).

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Vladimir,
>So you have same detail texture on the ground, on the grass and snow? Not very good too.

I use the detail texture just to mask the fact that my terrain textures have a lousy resolution. With texture filtering on this looks much better.My problem with detail and large texture is that the TNT cards can only multitexture two textures at once. So if you have a)detail b)terrain c)lightmap you will have to use multipass rendering.
So if you can achieve good results with only one texture this is the way to go.

The last truth is that there is no magic(Feist)

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quote:
Original post by GreyDigger
Heavy snow turning into rock is realistic. Heavy snow turning into desert isn''t.




GreyDigger,
A good presentation.

However, Heavy snow turning into desert IS realistic. Heavy snow turning into lowland tropical swamps is not.

The deserts get snow, and plenty of it. The Great Basin, the Colorado Plateau, The Mojave, even the Sonoran.

Sorry for the lecture...


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Yoshi wrote: "So if you have a)detail b)terrain c)lightmap you will have to use multipass rendering."


Not unless you don''t want to combine terrain texture and lightmap, for sake of dynamic lightning or something.

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