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Wysardry

Height map sample size?

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I apologise, but I'm not sure of the correct terminology to use for this question:-

When using a height map to create terrain in a first person game with a human sized player, what is an acceptable sample size to use. I mean, what real life measurement should each pixel/height marker represent?

I was thinking along the lines of 4 by 4 metres per pixel.

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It entirely depends on how you want the player to eb able to interact with the terrain. If this is a shooter where cover is important, you might want as many as 2-4 samples per metre. If this is a driving game (i.e. Halo's Warthog), you could get away with one every 5 metres...

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Quote:
Original post by Wysardry
It's for a fantasy RPG. Methods of transport would be similar to those in World of Warcraft (walking, mounts, slow flight).
Judging by the only wireframe video I could find of WoW, their highest LoD for terrain is about one vertex per character height, which would make it about one sample per 2 metres with human-sized characters, provided the heightmap is at a similar resolution.

Keep in mind however that WoW's graphics are very, *very* last generation. You might want to provide as much as 4-8x higher resolution terrain for a modern game.

Edit: Fallout 3 uses much higher resolution terrain - maybe 2 samples per metre, and as Tyrian says, scatters props absolutely everywhere.

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