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3d landscape - sense of scale?

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Greetings once again, I''ve been working on a 3d landscape program and it has gone great so far. Now what I''m wondering about is scale. Right now, I can load in a 1024x1024 height map, but it seems really small. I was wondering if I could get some pointers on how to make the landscape appear bigger? I''ve tried simply using glScale(), but that doesn''t seem to really do the trick. Maybe I just haven''t hit the right numbers yet? Any advice? Thanks! --Ryan

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Using glScale() is probably not a good idea, as it will affect your lighting, and also make it hard for you to use the landscape data for other things like physics/collision detection (as it will have to scale the landscape manually anyway for the calculations to look correct).

I would recommend just multiplying the X and Z components (assuming Y is up) by some magic scale constant as you create the vertex data from your heightmap. Note: you could also apply this technique to the Y axis to create a greater scale/difference in height values.

Finding the magic number is just a matter of taste I guess
These scale constants could conceivably be different for each map (and even each axis), so it would be wise to store them somewhere along with your map and read them in at runtime.

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Also remember that your FOV (Field of View) angle can have a significant impact on the sense of scale.

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The wise use of distance haze (fog), a great sky, and putting objects with known size onto your terrain (trees, humans, houses) will do incredible things to your feeling of scale. It gives the brain some hints to interprete scale.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Detail textures are a must.

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> Detail textures are a must.

Absolutely. And good detailed shadows/lighting also helps very much. And add clouds in the sky, they will directly increase your sensation of scale. At night, add stars, but not cheesy textured skybox stars, real GL_POINT ones. Again, all those details give the brain additional scale hints.

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I did a minimal mesh terrain in my PhysicZ app, on just a 30x30 grid scaled to 1 km. square, it took me 2 minutes to walk across it.

What about your system is small? The look, your movement? how it looks in the distance?

zin

zintel.com - 3d graphics & more or less

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