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Submitted by Phil Carlisle, posted on February 09, 2001

Image Description, by Phil Carlisle

Myself and Alex C. have this little thing going about landscapes and ROAM and what have you. So I thought I'd submit an early test shot of a landscape system I am playing with as part of my landscape adventures :)

My contention was, that texture and lighting are ALL thats important to a nice landscape. Not fancy shmancy level of detail ROAM implementations or other insanity.

So. Here is a test image I took.

A brief description of whats going on:

1) The texture is generated from a base set of textures (hand drawn by me :)), it uses a simple alpha blend with noise added, and is about right apart from its pretty uncontrollable and needs some changes based on slope angle.

2) There is a seperate "light" map, which is basically a colour per vertex byte image produced from the heightmap.

3) The heightmap is either taken from an image or is generated with a FBM or other fractal algorithm (its pretty unimportant).

4) I added a detail texture, which is applied using multitexturing via the second tmu.

The heightmap is broken into "patches", and each patch is placed into a quadtree, the quadtree nodes (and contained patches) are coarsly (sp?) culled against the view frustrum (nothing complex there).

Without the incredibly shoddy LOD system I am putting in place, I can get between 30 and 70+ fps at full detail (dependant on how your view frustum falls against the quadtree). WITH the isLs I should be able to double that (at least). Patches are rendered as quad strips, using nothing fancy at all.

I am still unsure wether to call this landscape system "BRUTAL" (because its as brute force as you can get) or YALE (yet another landscape engine). :)) Suggestions on a postcard please!


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