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3D tile map terrain

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Hi guys

 

Ive been experimenting with heightmaps as a base for different projects but eventually I wanted to use just a plain flat terrain in a final project , so after doing research I ran into the subject of 3D tile mapping but most of the samples and tutorials had to do with   2D tile mapping so my question is how would I go about setting up the textured  quads in a 3D version of the technique, and where does texture splatting come in at on such a project.overall my goal after creating the 3D tilemap terrain is to implement an underlying map or pattern map based on great info provided by NORMAN BARROWS , and use it as a texture collision map

my final project would be to have an animated character activate particles(grass debris, dirt debris) with every footstep taken depending on what texture is being impacted.

 

 

below is  a 2D visual of what I would like to do but switched to a 3D version

 

http://www.xnaresources.com/default.asp?page=Tutorial:ColorKeyMap

 

 

 

                            Thankyou

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What you could do is generate your 2D colour key from your heightfield image and then check for intersections of particles and what not by getting the particle's position within the heightfield to obtain the colour key value and then check the particle's y position against the heightmap's height value at that point to see if an intersection occurred. I have never done this so I am freewheeling here but IMO this would be simple to implement and would avoid the more costly and involved method of 3D collisions between more arbitrary geometry.

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