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soconne

ridged fractal heightmap generation

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Anyone know of any sites or tutorials showing how to generate ridged mountain looking terrain? I've seen terrain apps that generate this type of fractal terrain but I cannot find an explanation or source code doing it.

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There are many ways of creating such terrains, from simple to extremely complex. It all depends on what exactly you are expecting as a result, and how much control you want over the process.

For simple fractal terrain generation without much control (except a seed value), Google for "midpoint displacement" and/or "fractal Brownian motion". If you need more control over the process, then noise functions can be worth a look: Perlin noise, multi octave turbulance noise, etc.

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Actually seeing the subjectline reminds me of something I was wondering recently. In terragen, what function do they use for the "ridged perlin" method of heightmap generation?

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Probably an absolute value function on the noise. That's a common method to introduce discontinuities into the noise function. Can be used for terrains, to generate marble, wood, etc.

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One thing you want to watch out for is the 'tin-foil effect' where a randomly generated surface has roughly the same surface characteristics right-side-up as up-side-down.

That may look fine for surfaces well above the tree line, but in general most terrain is concave-down toward a gully. The absolute-value noise function is a way of avoiding the tin-foil effect, but it biases terrain upward so that if you tried to stitch together patches that were independently generated like this, there would be notable dips at the borders.

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