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terrain rendering basics

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i'm looking for a good approach to terrain rendering. At the moment, i have one texured quad that I render, then move, then render, etc.., but it's not very extensible, for instance, if I load a height map, there'd be gaps between quads with ajoining edges that have different heights, and when I decide to add a model to the scene, there won't be stored values to check it's collision with the terrain. Does anyone have a suggested approach, or an article or 2 on the subject? everything I find uses either indexed quads(which tend to run into texturing problems due to shared vertices), or are a bit too advanced for me at this stage(LOD, geomipmapping). preferably C++/DirectX, but i can manage with pretty much any language/api thanks

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