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Submitted by Vianney Lecroart, posted on November 19, 2001

Image Description, by Vianney Lecroart

These screenshots was taken from our game (Ryzom, a MMORPG) developed by Nevrax ( using NeL (Nevrax Library). NeL is our GNU GPL library ( used to develop our program. It contains a 3d engine, ai engine, network engine, sound engine and lot of other features. It is multiplateform and is developped under win32 and linux. For the moment, NeL uses OpenGl and OpenAl.

The 3d engine handle indoor and outdoor scene with totaly different algorithms (On screenshot, you see only outdoors scene).

Landscape features:
  • Landscape texture mapping at a constant 1.5cm/ texel, with the possibility of a second complete additive texture layer.
  • The landscape is mapped with tile textures using smooth material transitions.
  • Bezier patch landscape modeling gives NeL enormously more flexibilty than traditional height fields. NeL supports vertical faces, overhangs, and so on.
  • An incremental ROAM-like algorithm is used to provide adaptive subdivision of the landscape based on distance from the camera, steepness, etc.
  • Geomorphing is used between LODs (levels of detail) to eliminate popping. It is computed with a vertex program.
  • Landscape colouring effects include vertex colouring and application of pre-calculated shadow maps (with soft shadow and radiosity like alg).
  • Landscape is dynamicaly streamed into memory with background loading
  • Displacement maps (also known as geometric noise) is used at tesselation time. These are taken into account during lightmap generation which means that they can still be 'seen' at low levels of detail
  • A complete set of 3dsmax modifier and exporter plugins is available to edit the landscape.
  • For other 3d features, take a look on

    For other NeL features and docs:

    Nevrax Team

    Image of the Day Gallery


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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active. It is here for reference purposes. This thread was created on an older version of the flipcode forums, before the site closed in 2005. Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    November 19, 2001, 01:04 PM

    Wow, very unique looking, like a cartoon. Good work.


    November 19, 2001, 01:05 PM

    At the risk of using a cliche: Wow!

    That looks almost prerendered.


    November 19, 2001, 01:06 PM

    really nice, I like the terrain very much! trees look nice too.
    nice work keep it up!


    November 19, 2001, 01:19 PM

    reminds me of dune, somehow. Esp. the top left shot. (Okay, there would be less water on Dune, but who cares)
    Looks very promising.


    November 19, 2001, 01:35 PM

    I don't know what to add to other flipcoders comments.. very impressive indeed !

    The dune's shadows on the most bottom picture have a hard edge and seem.. umm.. unreal, not to say false.

    Anyway, truely beautiful.



    November 19, 2001, 01:49 PM

    Dude, quit hogging the IOTD page! :D


    November 19, 2001, 01:50 PM

    D*mn! That's sweeeeet!!


    November 19, 2001, 02:16 PM

    Ryzom sounds kinda like rybosome.


    November 19, 2001, 02:25 PM

    THIS IS @#$%%^# AMAZING !!!!!

    Kurt Miller

    November 19, 2001, 02:30 PM

    To anyone who viewed this image before EST 2:22pm, the wrong author name and e-mail address were being displayed. Sorry about that.


    November 19, 2001, 02:40 PM

    Is that a giant tree in the sky?
    if so i look good.

    Manuel Astudillo

    November 19, 2001, 02:41 PM


    this remembers me Starship Troopers. Really amazing. And the library is GNU and everything. Damm. I guess that a lot of us should expend more time using fine libraries like this instead of trying and trying to make them.




    November 19, 2001, 03:05 PM

    this is the first landscape engine that's impressed me :) perhaps it's just the artwork (which looks almost pixar-like), but all in all i think you've got a good thing going there.

    great job!


    November 19, 2001, 03:44 PM

    kinda cool. (i dont say that to every iotd..)


    November 19, 2001, 03:55 PM

    Something is wrong with these pictures. It took me some seconds to actually realize that there are people shown. See, I think this is very impressive and I guess it is even better when moving but on these shots I can hardly tell what belongs to which character or stone or whatever this is.


    zed zeek

    November 19, 2001, 03:57 PM

    bloody hell 1.5cm resolution it makes the detail level of mine look pretty pathetic in comparrison, definitly has a lot of character I wouldnt mine wandering around this world for a while, very impressive

    Tobias Franke

    November 19, 2001, 04:05 PM

    Very impressive work!!! I have to agree with hdmx, the guys in the mid screen are very hard to see (maybe because of the colors), but the landscape definitly looks great, espescially with that big tree-thingie (somehow surrealistic)! How did you do those overhangs in the upper right pic?

    Wim Libaers

    November 19, 2001, 04:06 PM

    Looks very nice. How big can the terrain be?


    November 19, 2001, 04:16 PM

    Very unique style and atmosphere... it's cool to see a more desert-like theme than your typical mideval fantasy motif. Great use of lighting, and that giant "thing" in the background (looks like tree trunks or some sort of rocky column) really gives it a surreal look.

    Keep it up!



    November 19, 2001, 04:22 PM



    November 19, 2001, 04:23 PM

    I don't think those are dunes, they look more like rocks coming out of the sand.


    November 19, 2001, 04:41 PM

    This is most impressive, both graphicaly, which has been said already. But also that you're a company releasing your engines under the GPL, that's admirable. Is MMORPG gonna be the only genre you'll develop? If not, wouldn't it be hard to make money on a game released under the GPL if it's not tied to a subscription?
    Anyway, great stuff, and finaly a game company supporting Linux (hell, any platform since it's GPL).

    Tobias Johansson

    November 19, 2001, 04:42 PM

    Awesome, that's all I can say.


    November 19, 2001, 05:07 PM

    This post deserves it all! Congratulation, very nice terrain engine, a good mix of multiple techniques makes it incredibly interresting. Nice graphics too, the atmosphere is indeed very nice and the colors well chosen.

    Keep up the good work it deserves it


    November 19, 2001, 05:22 PM

    'n I really mean it - it looks awesome.
    'Nuff said.


    November 19, 2001, 05:29 PM

    Really nice work! Congratulations!
    Could you explain in a little detail how you generate those landscapes? Does it work like in World Builder by defining contour lines? Do you generate the landscape's texture on the fly or is it precalc'ed. if so, how do you store that texture? At 1.5cm/texel that must be one huge file. Are you planning on releasing some tutorials explaining how it works?
    Anyway, keep up the excellent work.


    November 19, 2001, 06:03 PM

    looks sweet, you got some talented artists and programmers. Keep up the good work


    November 19, 2001, 06:12 PM

    The actors don't seem to receive shadows. The terrain shadows look good, but if for instance the actors cast shadows on their mounts or themselves, it would make them much easier to see them. As it is, they all blend together.


    November 19, 2001, 06:26 PM

    How do you do the collision detection with the bezier patches?

    Joshua A. Winn (JAW)

    November 19, 2001, 06:54 PM

    Looks nice. Water in the upper right and the bottom screen look cool. Is that monster in the upper left "coming out of" the cliff wall? Does it modify the terrain or just put a model on top of it that makes it look that way? The middle screen has some cool models , but the water there doesn't look too good. Nice work though =)

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