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3D Terrain

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Well, believe it or not, 3D terrain tutorials are somewhat difficult to come by, because it seems that alot of people don't want to share how they made it. :-)

But, there's an article here on GDNet at http://www.gamedev.net/reference/programming/graphics3d/article678.asp that discusses only one of the many ways of doing terrain. As you get more advanced and consider doing your own 3D terrain stuff, there are a bunch of papers on mesh optimizations, visibility, landscape creation, etc available around the web. I'd actually like to get all the ones I've collected put on GDNet, but I don't know if our server has the space. ;-)

Anyways, check out that article for a little insight into the whole 3D terrain thing. It's definitely not the only way of doing things and most likely not the way a game like Battlezone renders terrain, but it's a start.

Kevin

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Battlezone uses a "heightfield" for its 3D terrain, meaning it uses a 2D array with the heights of each map point to represent the terrain, which is drawn as polygons between the points. I'm not sure if there are any webpages dedicated to them, but it's a very simple concept.

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That was a very helpful article, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for. I'm thinking more along the lines of collision detection. How do you get your objects to go on slants? I'm more of a strategic guy, and I'm thinking SimCity or Pharaoh or even Civilization on a real landscape. Still, being able to draw it will help...
Thanks!

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Welcome...like Painless said, games like Battlezone that use polygons use a heightfield for the 3D terrain data. But just that alone isn't enough for speed and quality in the world. You have to do all the other 3D visibility determination, texturing, etc to make it more realistic.

Along the lines of collision detection and getting objects on slants...that deals with 3D math, which means if you're interested in that, I'm sure there are some articles in the 3D Math section that can help you out. Just start from the beginning and learn your way through. :-) Objects on slants deal with cross products and normals, so I guess there's a little hint to get you started.

Kevin

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You might also want to read through the archives on the Longbow Digital Arts Programming Forum, which has had quite a bit of terrain rendering discussion, focusing on Tread Marks' engine. Select to Show All Topics, or use the Search function, since a lot of the discussion is from a few months back.
http://www.longbowdigitalarts.com/ubb-cgi/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&number=3&start=here

Cheers,

-- Seumas McNally

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Does anybody have any idea of how to do 3D terrain, like in Battlezone? I'm still a very beginning programmer and on my first 2D game, but I've always been curious as to how this works. Maybe a good web page or book?

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