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i have created my CTERRAIN class and all the functions that i will need. I wasn't able to find a site that would give me good information. my problem is, my computer is slow, so what is the fastest realistic way to generate terrain and level of detail? [Edited by - baddogj on October 23, 2004 9:05:40 PM]

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You could just use a heightmap(s) that was randomly generated pre-runtime. That would be the fastest way to do it.

Or you could hack something together with naturally curvy things - sine functions. Just use a lookup table and some complex functions:
 // x = x-value; z = z-valuethis.y = const1 * sine(const2*x + const3) + const4 * sine(const5*z + const6) + etc

This is basically just assigning a sine function to each of the x and z axises, and making the y-value their summation. Where the constants are randomly generated. This also makes it easy to re-create the same map.

The downfall of this is that it will produce "repeating" maps - thus you need to have quite a few different sine functions at once for both the x and z axises for a more random feel. More complex equations for the axises yields more complex landforms.

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thanks for the comment. i will try and do that when i get more experience. now i have two questions.
is roam or geomipmapping a faster method for level of detail?

also, are there any other fast methods of generatin terrain?

[Edited by - baddogj on October 23, 2004 7:19:11 PM]

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ROAM and GeoMM don't generate terrain...they are just algorithms for adjusting the level of detail of your terrain on the fly. IE: Not drawing unneccesary triangles.

For Generating terrains google the following:

Perlin Noise
Fractal Brownian Motion
Fault Algorithm
Diamond Square Algorithm

Those are just a few methods out there to generate terrain.

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sorry for the misunderstanding. i mixed up terrain generatin and level of detail.

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Well, the speed of GeoMM or ROAM depend alot on how you implement them :p

However, these days, GeoMM is probably faster due to the fact that it is alot more hardware friendly. Basically all you need to do is use a different Index Buffer for each level of Detail. (If you don't care so much about cracks).

Roam is alot more precise, but requires the CPU to diddle with every vertex, which is not a good thing these days.

ROAM 2.0 should be out soon..(might be already?) and it is supposed to be alot more hardware-friendly.

Also google for "Geometry Clipmaps" a Level of detail method developed by a guy at Microsoft. pretty impressive demo.

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