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battle with the near and far planes.... of death

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ive got a little problem ive finally reached the point where i can actually render large landscapes (up to 9 now) at one time, and im really wanting to get this feeling of being in a true world, you know, where you can see those distant mountains and things. Im having a battle with the clipping planes though. If i set the far plane to something like 100000, the near plane has to be at least 100 to get rid of z fighting i want to be able to zoom out FAR from the world, as well as be right up to the smallest detail (such as a character''s eye or something). The z planes are really giving me troubles with this right now im using 16 bit, for compatibility with other cards. How do commercial games accomplish that really far sight effect? Has anyone seen dark and light? You can be on a mountain and see the world curve, now thats some distance. Now i dont necesarily need an effect that complex, but i do need to be able to see the next hill in front of me right now, my system uses 1024 64x64 height maps. they are rendered to scale at 1600 times larger, each quad being 10 meters by 10 meters. When i place 9 maps in a square formation, and stand at one edge, the far clip plane cuts off before i can even see the other side of the map, i think i have it set to 1000000. Yes, and thats not far enough! What do you suggest? I''ve messed with fog, and other things, and i cant seem to get the effect im looking for, i really dont know what else to do... Maybe my land features are too big? I never would have thought that it would ever be too big..

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Well, first of all, you''re unlikely to see more than 10,000 meters in the real world, because of haze. Thus, a ligth fog starting 2000 meters out might help you.

Second, 24-bit Z buffers are available on pretty much all cards these days. Use it, if that makes your life simpler.

Third, you can do the old-school trick of clearing Z, drawing the range from [500,100000], clearing Z again, and then drawing the range from [0.5,550] (you want a little overlap).

Also, if you have lots of heightmaps, you need some pretty heavy LOD support to render very far terrains. Hardware transform and lighting is much less widespread than 24-bit Z buffers.

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what kind of fog do you suggest? ive been playing with exp2 and i dont like the results, not enough control (fog start position does nothing, only density)

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