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angelmu88

Fixing environments too flat

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Hi!
I'm working on a 3d outdoor scene. I used a Heightmap for generating the terrain, and then I mapped some textures onto it with a masking map. The problem is that everething seems too flat to me, I've been thinking of normal mapping or even parallax mapping, at least for the mountains, but I don't want to abuse this effects.
Then I see current generation games like Skyrim and I ask myself which part of mountains (for instance) is geometry and which part is generated throughout some kind of effect like normal mapping o something else.
I would like to know some tricks, so if anyone has some experience with this topic, or someone knows about a good article, let me know please.

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Hi again! I've been searching and I've found some info about using parallax mapping with grass, is it the better way for rendering a realistic static grass? I mean a grass without movement because of the wind

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Hi again! I've been searching and I've found some info about using parallax mapping with grass, is it the better way for rendering a realistic static grass? I mean a grass without movement because of the wind

You are probably lacking the composition of several terrain elements. When you strip everything but the sole terrain surface from games like skyrim or battlefield3, it would look flat too. You need to populate the terrain with large and small details, i.e. trees and rocks (large details) and grass and flowers(small details). This will break up the monotonous surface.

Normalmapping,parallax mapping etc. will increase the overall quality of the rendered surface, still it will look flat when you watch a far away mountain.

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if you had any pics that would be useful, then I might be able to suggest something, but normal mapping isnt always the answer, you should literally put a decent amount of points in first.

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This is a picture of the current version:


engineiu.jpg

Uploaded with ImageShack.us

The texture tiling in the image is very low, sorry about this. Also tree-pine geometry has been extracted from source engine.

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[quote name='angelmu88' timestamp='1324293612' post='4895255']
Hi again! I've been searching and I've found some info about using parallax mapping with grass, is it the better way for rendering a realistic static grass? I mean a grass without movement because of the wind

You are probably lacking the composition of several terrain elements. When you strip everything but the sole terrain surface from games like skyrim or battlefield3, it would look flat too. You need to populate the terrain with large and small details, i.e. trees and rocks (large details) and grass and flowers(small details). This will break up the monotonous surface.

Normalmapping,parallax mapping etc. will increase the overall quality of the rendered surface, still it will look flat when you watch a far away mountain.
[/quote]
Yes, If you look at the picture I've just posted I am lacking in elements. I will add some vegetation with billboards and probably wind effect. Do you know some article or book with a few tricks on adding such details to the terrain?
In addition, wouldn't it be so heavy for the gpu a parallax mapping grass or a mountain with normal map (for nearby mountains)?

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my suggestion is definitely it looks like it needs some volumetric grass, that would help "naturalize it" so my advice -> look up some good grass techniques, that texture just doesnt look that professional, hey. :) then a few stones here and there, but just grass by itself would be a huge improvement. (i like the tree, btw) grass will also help scale the mountains.



highdetail.png this kind is real easy, its just parallax mapping (with a fair few samples so it sorta puts older cards obsolete, so maybe you wouldnt want to do it this way) plus self shadows, and it looks ok. you definitely can tell how big a man is supposed to be when hes on it. it simply enhances the grass texture, so yeh, i guess your right - try a bit of parallax mapping - indeed.



billboards are just as good tho.

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my suggestion is definitely it looks like it needs some volumetric grass, that would help "naturalize it" so my advice -> look up some good grass techniques, that texture just doesnt look that professional, hey. :) then a few stones here and there, but just grass by itself would be a huge improvement. (i like the tree, btw) grass will also help scale the mountains.



highdetail.png this kind is real easy, its just parallax mapping (with a fair few samples so it sorta puts older cards obsolete, so maybe you wouldnt want to do it this way) plus self shadows, and it looks ok. you definitely can tell how big a man is supposed to be when hes on it. it simply enhances the grass texture, so yeh, i guess your right - try a bit of parallax mapping - indeed.


Nice grass shader! Where can I find a shader like that, or at least a tutorial. I've been loking on the Internet, but I only found some videos like this one:
http://www.youtube.c...h?v=7OVNG9a5bnk
This video shows a grass less pretty, but I think it has a good framerate.
P.D. I know there are plenty of parallax samples (for rock walls and things like that) but I don't know if I can just use them for grass or if I have to add something else(like when you use an anisotropic filter for textures on the ground)


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that grass in that video is fine, you just got to cast a pack of secondary rays out for shadows, if you use the heightmap of the terrain with the grass noise map you could even get the parallax shadows to capture divots and small hills, thats whats happening in that shot I showed you... that must be the only difference. Its actually not very hard, what about it dont you understand? (but yeh its heavy on samples or you get a noisy output)

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that grass in that video is fine, you just got to cast a pack of secondary rays out for shadows, if you use the heightmap of the terrain with the grass noise map you could even get the parallax shadows to capture divots and small hills, thats whats happening in that shot I showed you... that must be the only difference. Its actually not very hard, what about it dont you understand? (but yeh its heavy on samples or you get a noisy output)

I think I get your point. But I think I will go fo ar less heavy effect without self shadowing, at least int he beginning. Thanks for your help.


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