Sign in to follow this  
Programmdude

Advanced terrain rendering

Recommended Posts

Hey, I am wondering how modern games render terrain. I am mainly interested in the texturing/rendering, though other terrain related information could be useful. Currently I send over 5 textures, and store the texture weights in a float4/vec4. It draws each texture depending on each weight, and the last texture based on the absence of weight.

I could easily extend this to 9 textures for each chunk, which would probably be enough. However, what about specular mapping and bump mapping? I would need to send over 2x/3x more textures, and graphics cards can only handle so many at a time. And I have heard about detail textures, I understand the theory behind them, but that would be even more textures.

What techniques to modern games/engines use to get it working nicely? I have googled this and will continue to do so until I get an answer, but if anyone is able to help I would be grateful.

So any modern, useful articles or anything would be very helpful. There is a lot of information out there, but that just means there is a lot to sift through.

Matthew

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dice have made some good stuff:


http://publications.dice.se/attachments/Chapter5-Andersson-Terrain_Rendering_in_Frostbite.pdf

http://publications.dice.se/publications.asp?show_category=yes&which_category=Rendering

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Halo Wars: [url="http://www.gdcvault.com/play/1277/HALO-WARS-The-Terrain-of"]http://www.gdcvault....-The-Terrain-of[/url] It is more focused in the geometry aspect.

Also GPU Pro 2 has two good articles. One it is more oriented to what you are looking for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
And sometimes you could find in the game itself information that can help you to understand different technologies and know the options that you have and what results could be obtained with the use of some specific solution.
Sometimes it is possible to find textures and even shaders and if you know how to do it you can also see the terrain geometry and draw calls.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
For your texture limit: texture arrays are an option.

Part 3 or later talks about terrain I think.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KMaL6j7Ry6c

They pretty much all use splatting still. Id Tech uses splatting under their mega textured stamps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='dpadam450' timestamp='1335538030' post='4935394']
Id Tech uses splatting under their mega textured stamps.
[/quote]

So they use detail textures along with the mega texture? Do you have a link where they describe this by any chance?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mega texture would probably be ideal to get good details, but I got a pretty good improvement doing splatting with normal maps and heightmaps (parallax occlusion mapping). You could probably replace POM with tessellation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No I tried to find the video, but didnt want to sift through them. Youtube: Id Tech 5 demo / presentation / tutorial. They show what they do, but I really didnt understand it too well. Regardless you can get good looking terrain with just splatting and proper assets like rocks, cliffs and vegetation.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this