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Dovyman

randomly generated worlds

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Theres been increased talk on voxels lately on some of the graphics boards, and I''ve been interested for some time in how you might go about randomly generating 3D environments that would be relatively complex. Would the use of voxels provide advantages over polygon based systems, i.e., the building blocks are much smaller, and complex objects are likely more easily generated?

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Technically a voxel representation would be no different than a polygon representation.

If what you''re really talking about is height-maps then sure it would be more simple.

Cheers,
Will

P.S. This might get better responses in one of the other forums.

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If I am correct in my understanding of voxels, wouldn't having these 3d pixel building blocks, so to speak, make some things easier as far as object generation, vs using polygons where to generate objects you would have to generate the faces?

One example that springs to mind would be objects of fractal nature, or things that can/could be generated by automata of some sort. Also when I talk about generated objects, we are referring to situations where the computer computes a model for an object based on some sort of set of characteristics, as opposed to loading human-modelled objects from file.

To a end user or a programmer the technical differences between a voxel or polygon implementation wouldn't be noticeable, but if you are generating objects or environments in code on a low level, it would have to be taken into account.

And I can see height maps as useful for terrain generation, but how could the be put to use in the generation of any number of other objects?

note: im not sure if this is better suited to another forum, however I'm mainly interested in the methodology of random generation using this technology, not the technology specifics.

[edited by - dovyman on May 10, 2004 10:18:31 PM]

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Wouldn''t CSG give you basically the same building blocks as voxels, with potentially more power as you could perform set operations on them?

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BrianL: interesting idea, I hadn''t thought about using CSG for a system like this, that may very well provide more advantages

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I had some ideas for automatic generation of cities and buildings several years ago, and they work very nicely. I used volumes described as a polygon and a range of heights, which are refined into smaller volumes. In the end the procedure generates polygons. The results are quite believable, and it runs near real-time.

I don''t see how voxels or CSG could have helped me. What type of scenes are you thinking of generating?

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I''d be very interested to see some examples of your work or a paper or something if you have anything!

I''m interested in generation on a detailed level, such that a player could walk through the world and view the objects/buildings/landscapes

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Guest Anonymous Poster
CSG will not help with 3D Julia objects unless you are using voxel-enabled CSG. This can be seen in PovRAY which uses voxel-style sampling (raycasting until volume is hit) of Quaternion Julias.

3D voxels (not the heightfield variety) are very useful whenever its easier to sample the volume of an object than it is to trace its surface (in order to construct a polygon representation)

Due to the memory requirements of precomputed 3D voxel data, voxelization in computer rendering has often been limited to either small data sets (512^3 or smaller) or analytical (point sampling) methods.

True high detail 3D voxels in games, except in a few special cases, is not really practical at this time.

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quote:
Original post by Dovyman
I''d be very interested to see some examples of your work or a paper or something if you have anything!

http://www.binaryworlds.com/products.html

That was done using my ideas and a basic skeleton that I wrote, although most of the work was done by another guy.

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