Ok. I had a post recently, talking about putting a plane over a sphere. I was going to use that idea as a skirt for a more detailed terrain. The concept depended on the plane being wrapped over the sphere in a fashion that kept each square of the terrain a constant size. This is an utter failure! It is NOT possible to do that-- there will always be a "crumpling" of the vertices at one edge or the other (at least).
My desire is to create a terrain that would move with the player as he crosses over the planet's surface. This approach would give a little detail to an otherwise smooth sphere. As the player gets closer to the planet's surface, the detail would become greater. All of this should happen in real time. I'm shooting low on the detail to keep it fast, but as I said, my earlier approach failed.
I'm looking at an article http://acko.net/blog/making-worlds-1-of-spheres-and-cubes/ to generate the terrain. The article uses a cube that is projected into a sphere. This cube is made up of 6 quad-trees. I'm slowly trying to understand how to implement a quad-tree, but I think I need to be able to convert a spherical coordinate into a plane coordinate in order to know where on the quad-tree the player is.... How would you do that?
I wasted about a week of programming before discovering my flaw; I hope I'm not going down another dead-ended road.