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Cribs

Terrain Mapping

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Hi, Im planning on making a very simple terrain engine and i was wondering what the best way to map the terrain would be. A)Heightmaps B)Hard coded veticies C) other If other what is it. Regards Cribs

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Each have their own benefits.
Using a heightmap is simple, and it takes virtually no time to make the actual heightmap. "Hard coded vertices", (I'm assuming this means a model created in e.g. Blender and loaded from a file), gives you the opportunity to do certain things which you couldn't have easily done with a simple heightmap. For instance, it's trivial to model in overhangs, cliffs, and caves. Though, creating the actual map might take longer than just a basic heightmap.

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Use a heightmap to lay the general land, and output it to some sort of model format so that it's in 'hardcoded vertice' format. Then from there tweak it, add caves and cliffs and what have you, and vwahlah.

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Couldnt i make it so that models clip the heightmap ingame so that i can make the caves models and just have the terrain heightmap always? I believe that Delta Force did this (old game that most of you probably know of). Im not sure if that would be a bad way to do it but seems more logical than making it a model. Also, arnt heightmaps easier to tweak ingame so i could make it so when i add stuff the land forms to the object?

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the very best thing to do is write you own gridclass in which you make sure that a grid can be filled according to a width, length, and the number of quads/triagles in the width and length.
Also make sure you can easily access coordinates in the form of (3,2) (meaning point 3,2, in the grid, from which you can now get the XYZ values.

When you've got this, it as easy to load in a heightmap to the class, as to define the points in whichever way you want.

You can just say
getCoord(x,y)-Y = HeightMap->Read(X,Y)
or
getCoord(x,y)-Y = some value;

After the heightmaps you'll probably make it into an editor, and also here this grid-class will serve all your purposes

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