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Moe

New Idea for terrain engine?

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After looking at the many images of the day at flipcode, I noticed that quite a few people are doing landscape engines. I have heard many complaints from the people at flipcode because of the number of heightmap/landscape engines that they see on IOTD. Now I remember one time when this guy had a screenshot of his program, and people thought it could do heightmaps that had overhangs. As it turned out, it was just the way his screenshot was taken, and the perspective. Now that got me thinking - how would it be possible to do something like a heightmap, but with overhangs? So, I thought up one idea (but not a very original one, AFAIK). It would use sections of terrain that are pre-made, instead of loaded from some sort of heightmap file (.bmp, .txt, something). The pre-built sections would have overhangs and such, like arches and whatever else, because they would be modelled like any other type of level file. Now there would be a certain number of edges for the heightmaps. The edges would fit together in certain ways so it would make the terrain seem seamless, and yet be made out of different sections. The sections could be used in quadtrees/octrees, so that only the terrain that the player sees would be visible. The drawbacks to this method would be that the levels would have to be made seamless by matching the pre-built sections. If they weren''t matched properly, there would be big gaps in the level. Also the quadtree/octree wouldn''t be able to cull as much since the pre-built sections couldn''t be broken apart (as easily). What do you guys think of this?

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The usual battleplan for terrain works like more-or-less like that. You use a height map for the base level terrain, then add modeled stuff on top if it needs holes (like a mountain with a cave) - works just like a building...

Magmai Kai Holmlor
- Not For Rent

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I am not saying add the modeled stuff on top, what I mean is that the whole terrain would be modelled as a level, but broken up into chunks so it could be used in a simple quadtree.

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But then you wouldn''t be able to use LOD, so you are just about back where you started, except you are using a QuadTree for your clipping instead of an OctTree.

Z.

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