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Waaayoff

What terrain rendering technique does the Outerra engine use?

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It's a variant of chunked LOD - though I didn't know the technique had that name, only after talking with Thatcher Ulrich about something else, and looking it up afterwards :)

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There are various papers around. Most of them I've seen that use either a quadtree or a binary tree to do the dynamic subdivision. Then you have to index the vertices (papers i've seen use space filling curves for this) and batch them for rendering (if you need texturing then it will get complicated).

 

There is also the "out of core" part of it. Which is the streaming of data. For constructing your LOD you need a fast way to load partial chunks of data from your HDD (which requires a nice format to store your heightmap), then assemble a mesh in your program.

 

It gets kinda complex since you need a lot of systems working well before mixing everything.

 

EDIT: Off the top of my head, a kinda complex one (uses various structures for batching) but used for planetary-scale visualization is ROAM 2. It looks overkill for anything of a smaller scale though.

Edited by TheChubu

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