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DanG

HOM and terrain engines

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DanG    122
I was wondering what people thought of this idea for a terrain engine. If you could tesselate a heightmap into chunks that became bounding boxes, say maybe 20 or 30 on an average map, would it be possible to do rapid Heirachial Occlusion Mapping with these boxes? It seems to me that in a hilly environment the engine could find a large chunk of terrain that was very close the viewer (such as a short hill) and build an occlusion map with that. Then chunks of terrain that were behind that occluder could be rejected by the algorythm. This way something such as a mountain could have a large bounding box that made it apear most of the time. You could then implement standard level of detail algorythms on the boxes that need drawing, but you wouldn''t be drawing the things that were in the view frustum, but off the screen. Does this sound like it would work? What about level performance for situation such as were looking down into a valley and seeing a huge expanse of terrain with no real occluders? What are your thoughts on this type of a terrain engine? He who said money was the root of all evil knew little of the nature of money and less about the nature of man.

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Blueshift    122
Yep, that works well.

We use a similar technique for our current game engine. But we take meta-spheres instead of bounding boxes, since they can easily model organic shapes, such as a detailed terrain. Culling results are very good, especially if you have a highly complex town somewhere on your terrain, that is occluded most of the time by some hills. Definitely worth implementing.

A.H aka Blueshift

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