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Terrain rendering

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hi all friends I'm going to start a little demo showing a terrain with some trees, bushes and perhaps mountains sourrunding the scene, my question is mainly about the terrain, I want to have it rendererd as neat and nice as possible; what's the best technique for rendering a terrain? a RAW file? a shader code? a mesh representing a terrain? or any other way enabling me to show a good terrain? how can I find a program specifically designed for making, texturing and rendering terrains? is there such a program at all? thanks in advance www.galaxyroad.com

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I think the best way is to do with height maps. Basicly it is a texture with pixels made with values 0-FF which represents the height of map cells.
Do some google search, net is full off height map source codes.

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There are many ways to do it good, what is best depends on what the terrain is used for. If I understood your question correctly, you want to do it for the scenery, just let it look good. If so, I suggest the following:

-The terrain geometry itself should be an optimizable mesh. Flat planes don't require many triangles, but steep slopes or rough terrain should have many triangles cause it should look as detailed as possible.

-The textures and lighting could be done with shaders. Shaders let you get cool effects more easily, so effects are advised here.

If someone says otherwise, take there word for it, I ain't a guru with this :(

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