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cone3d

how do you make beautiful terrains

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Well that engine generates its height data from a heightmap (2d grayscale image), stores all the info into a octree, generates a texture that is tiled across the terrain or stretched (dont remember) and applys a detail map to the generated texture. look up heightmapping, texture generation, and I know that you know a tad about octrees (writing the tut. && all) have fun, making a terrain engine, truly is incredibly fun.....been on my pc too much

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I would recommend the use of fractal noise, or an iterative terrain algorithm, for making a height field.... I find an iterative method can be very nice, but it can be hard to control... The method I am refering to is simple...
start with a level height field... generate a random line through it, and move one half up 1 unit, and the other half down 1 unit... This can be done very rapidly, with some simple vector maths... Fractal noise can be nice, and is better if you need a real-time infinite terrain... basically you have "octaves" of noise, by an octave, I mean noise which moves more or less rapidly... they are generated by generating noise, then moving the points you have made apart, and interpolating hte inbetween points... then once you have your octaves of noise, average them... with the octaves with the slowest moving noise, having hte highest weighting... this method may sound complex (and I have not described it well) but it can be applied to great effect. Have a look in a search engine, for more details. Either of these methods can be used to generate very realistic terrain, with macro/microscopic variations. It all depends on the speed you need, and the final use for it. anyway, hope this helps.

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