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yo-chen

grass from above

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Hi, for realistic looking grass in first or third person 3d games, there is a lot of coverage (like GPU Gems 2 first article for example). But looking from above, one can see the disadvantage of this technique, with a lot of "ground" between the grass tiles. Is there any strategy, that creates realistic looking grass viewed from above or 2.5d? cheers, yo-chen

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You bet! The shells and fins approach works well for this. The idea with shells is to extrude the geometry along the normal and then use a texture on the extruded geometry that looks something like a collection of dots. Depending on the number of shells you can get something that looks pretty good. This is used for fur rendering as well. You can find an example of this in the ATI RenderMonkey sample shaders.

This approach can be used as one level of detail in addition to 3D geometry. You can generate the shell texture by rendering 3D grass with the camera directly above the grass and adjusting the clip planes to give you slices of the grass. This is described in Rendering Grass Terrains in Real-Time with Dynamic Lighting.

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