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Damon Clavuis

Terrain Textures....is this possible

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I''ve being playing around with developing some terrains/maps for an rpg that I am working on. I have found that no matter how hard I try I cannot generate realistic looking terrain without spending hundreds of hours in photoshop (and I''m no artist). So I got to thinking, there has to be a better way. Which lead me to two questions. 1) Is there a shareware or inexpensive program out there that can generate terrain textures? 2) If I generate the terrain texture using a heightmap and blending of individual textures can I output the whole texture (more 1 screens worth) to a tga file (or bmp)? Basicaly take the individual pixels on the screen and write their values to a file. I don''t want to generate these maps at run time, I would rather save the fps for other things. (Any pointers as to where I can learn about this). Hopefully I am making sense here. I would love to here how other people have accomplished this terrain texturing. Thanx, P.S.: I don''t want to use tiles.

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I''m not working on the terrain part of my engine at this time but I can point you to the Outcast game engine, which if you played it is really nice.

Notice that their height based color is easy to do with opengl automatic texture coordinate generation.
http://www.opengl.org/developers/code/tutorials.html
(see advanced texture mapping at the bottom)

Their other blending and texturing technic shouldn''t be a problem too.
(Not sure but at first sight it looks not that hard to implement)


GRrrr !
I cannot find back the game conference html page on appeal.be !
I hope you''ll find them yourself.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
>2) If I generate the terrain texture using a heightmap and >blending of individual textures can I output the whole texture
>(more 1 screens worth) to a tga file (or bmp)? Basicaly take >the individual pixels on the screen and write their values to a >file. I don''t want to generate these maps at run time

You could write a small program to load your height map file and the textures to blend, process them, then have it write out a bmp file. Then you can make it as large as you can fit in memory.

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theres a lot of textures on the web 2 good sites are www.3dcafe.com and http://www.swin.edu.au/astronomy/pbourke/texture/

btw what game out there has the best looking terrain, ppl have mentioned black + white which to me looks ok but not that great.
what else is there?



http://members.xoom.com/myBollux

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Guest Anonymous Poster
> btw what game out there has the best looking terrain

Black and white does a great job with the texturing as they really mix it up and no parts of the terrin look the same.
The terrain itself is rather ordinary but with all the things
they will have going on in that game they need to reduce the
quality of the terrain. CLOD can zap a lot of frame time if the quality is too high.

Sacrifice and Starship Troopers do a good job of terrain but their cameras are much lower to the ground than B&W so they can put more detail into a smaller space (They don''t draw too far into the distance).

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Could someone point me in to some resources where I might learn about pulling the image data from memory and saving it to a file?

On thing I''ve noticed with terrain is that an "all natural" terrain looks pretty good. As soon as you throw roads or trails in there some engines show their weaknesses. A really good terrain engine blends artificial features just as well as it does natural. You could probaly run another map for this, kinda like an artifact map with its own set of textures to blend with the height map textures. Or am I just rambling:-)

Thanx

Yes, everyone is out to get you!

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sacrific looks the best of the bunch terrain wise.
black and white & starship troopers the terrain is washed out/blurred way to much.
(though maybe theyve just got it set on low detail)
btw those trees in black & white are fantastic. why aint there models/textures on the net like those

http://members.xoom.com/myBollux

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Guest Anonymous Poster

If you build your own texture from the height data and some textures it shouldn''t be to hard to bake roads into the texture.
Heck draw the road in a paint program first then combine it with
your texture that you saved. Now if you''re doing CLOD then the road might pop up and down so you will need a mechanism in your engine to increase the detail around the road. This isn''t to difficult to create. Maybe use a detail modifier map (I made that up) that you overlay over your height map. Then your CLOD algo can see the detail should increase around this area.

About having code so save your image data. Just save it in RAW format at 24bpp. Photoshop can open RAW images just fine. In case you don''t know what RAW is it''s just the RGB''s for your mxn
texture saved to disk...nothing more

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