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Dropping quad-bound texturing with multiple textures

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I'm working on generating heightmaps, which is all working out quite well, except for one thing: When I use multiple textures for my terrain, it really bugs me that I have little freedom as where to place the textures. For an AxB grid of vertices, all I can do is give A-1xB-1 quads a texture, or at most the individual vertices. In the latter approach, textures will either fade out to connected vertices that don't use that texture, or not fade at all. For me, this almost always results in really straight, squared texture transitions. What I want to create is something I can shouw a million screenshots of, but lets just leave it with the one I just stumbled across, one from these forums (From the game 0AD by Wildfire Games, not trying to steal anything ;)) So here's the link to the picture: http://www.wildfiregames.com/0ad/album_image.php?pic_id=7028 To see what kind of texturing I want, look at the path. It doesn't appear to me as quad-, or even vertex-bound. It appears to have some random coordinates, with even a hint of grass in between at some spots. And at the right side of the screen, just above the path, you see some influence of another texture than the plain grassy one, leading to more variation than just a single grass texture. You can see this variation all over the screenshot, making the terrain look great instead of just dull. Well, that's the sort of thing I want to achieve. I cannot imagine it's about using a lot of different textures, since that would just make the rendering slow and the artist work immense. If anyone could give me any tips, or pointers to articles or such, I would be very grateful. Texturing is the one thing I'm really not satisfied with yet as is in my project.

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many different ways u could do it eg in quasi glsl
final_color = texture2D( grass_tex ) * texture2D( coverage_map.x ) + texture2D( dir_tex ) * (1.0 - texture2D( coverage_map.x ))

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