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Submitted by Philipp Walter, posted on April 07, 2002

Image Description, by Philipp Walter

These are two screenshots from my new OpenGL project. Features:
  • terrain with a grid of 1024x1024 using VAR to achieve throughputs up to 12 MTris/sec
  • EMBM-Water with realtime reflections
  • skybox with moving cloud layers
  • simple particle system (2nd picture)
  • MD2/MD3 models
  • projective shadows
  • The terrain uses a very simple LOD system with 64x64 patches.These patches can have 4 different LOD states which depend on the distance from the camera.(I think on today´s GPUs this is probably the best thing to do or what do you think?). The water uses the texture shaders for perturbation.But this is still a little bit buggy because when you get too close to it the texture projection fails because the Geforce3 can´t do projective offset 2d texturing and so I have to do this myself... The shadows are just simple projective shadows. (black model rendered from lightpos and projected on the floor)

    Before someone has to ask for it:
    System specs: P4 2,0 GHz, Geforce 3


    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    Archive Notice: This thread is old and no longer active.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 Please keep that in mind as you view this thread, as many of the topics and opinions may be outdated.

    April 07, 2002, 03:14 PM

    Nice water...makes me wish someone would remake that old game Terra Nova.

    Chris McArthur

    April 07, 2002, 03:18 PM

    Looks absolutely wicked man. I hope to see a demo of this bad boy soon.


    April 07, 2002, 03:24 PM

    looks damn cool, like if the sun is growing up in the morning in a hot summer day.. really bright somehow..

    and the water is cool, of course.. just why you have problems with this? just don't project the texture.. dunno why people have problems with this (i'm not very into projective texturing anyways.. so sorry;))

    but it looks cool..


    April 07, 2002, 03:31 PM

    It's beautiful.

    Makes me wish I could blow my head of with that Q3 shotgun and take a nice bath in the sparkly pool (virtually of course). Kind of like the 'Excalibur' movie (except naked women come out of that lake).

    exit now

    April 07, 2002, 03:31 PM

    Looks good, I especially like the water in these shots. Are you using a detail texture for the terrain though? It doesn't really look like it.

    Jeff Quesnelle

    April 07, 2002, 03:34 PM

    That water/sun just blows my mind. Great job. 29 FPS on a GeForce 3, though, looks like a high-end engine.


    April 07, 2002, 03:42 PM

    I think the sunlight looks great. That was the first thing I noticed in the top screenshot. A wireframe view would be appreciated though... your terrain looks like it's rendered at a very high detail level (the background mountains are perfectly smooth).


    April 07, 2002, 03:43 PM

    I really like the look of the water, and some of the lighting effects on the terrain. Though you were slightly wrong on your "I think on today´s GPUs this is probably the best thing to do" comment. Other CLOD algorithms (ROAM, Lindstrom's, quadtree, etc.) are still incredibly useful, and you have to remember, not everyone has a GF3 running yet. I don't forsee geomipmapping algorithms (which is what you are talking about) being the number 1 choice for terrain for a long time yet. Looks good though.


    April 07, 2002, 03:47 PM

    ShiningKnight. sure you^re right, but if you don't own a gf3, how do you want to run the gf3-featured water?;)


    April 07, 2002, 03:48 PM

    Looks beautiful! Excellent use of shaders! But the words OpenGL and VAR in the same sentence make my Radeon 8500 sad. : Any chance you'll be supporting ATi's extensions for shaders and vertex arrays as well?

    zed zeek

    April 07, 2002, 03:59 PM

    looking nice (the moving cloud layer looks a bit flat though)
    your grass needs a bit of detail (perhaps a detail texture or draw some friemel on it?)
    something about the textureing/lighting of the character doesnt look 100% whats up?
    water certainly come a longs ways since quake1 aye :)


    April 07, 2002, 04:22 PM

    What about making a water-like effect on the grass texture, but without the animation?

    That would make it look much more detailed, and much more like actual grass :)

    Flying Wombat

    April 07, 2002, 04:26 PM

    Very very nice. I love the water. The closeup of the land however doesn't look as good because the water is so detailed. Any plans to make a more detailed land texture? Good job.


    April 07, 2002, 04:32 PM

    flawless your idea is great!
    too bad i can't test it.. no gf3 here.. nor an atiradeon8500.. damn.. i would love to test this.. possibly even animated so that it looks like grass in the wind..:)


    April 07, 2002, 04:43 PM

    is it just me or are the reflections wrong? looks like they're rendered from the model's pov and not the camera.

    could be talking rubbish but maybe a bugfix if i'm right

    regarding decent technology on today's hardware for terrain rendering, has anyone implemented a VIPM or VDPM system? need something that twins stripability with an efficient triangle count :)

    nice water!


    April 07, 2002, 04:56 PM

    How are you calculating the viewpoint of the reflected image?
    I would have thought the reflection should be an upside down image of the terrain above it, but they don't seem to match.

    Incidently, geforce4 can do EMBM projected textures. I had the same problem with a geforce3 though and it sounds like I have the same solution to you.

    Terrain lighting is the highlight of those images to me. Very nice.
    Are you doing precalculations for that or what?
    What methods do you use?

    Nice work.

    Albert Sandberg

    April 07, 2002, 05:04 PM

    Love the water and the bright colours... not too common in todays dark scenerey...


    Colin Howe

    April 07, 2002, 05:20 PM

    Very very nice...
    Only main problem is...
    140k tris/frame. Ow.

    But still... newest hardware can cope with that and there comes a time when u have to stop allowing for slower hardware.

    Colin Howe

    April 07, 2002, 05:20 PM

    Very very nice...
    Only main problem is...
    140k tris/frame. Ow.

    But still... newest hardware can cope with that and there comes a time when u have to stop allowing for slower hardware.


    April 07, 2002, 05:43 PM reflecty.....and rippley...


    April 07, 2002, 05:48 PM

    whats a VAR?

    and it looks like the sun is set on high beem. (too strong, not natual), unless it is another planet?.

    have you put in a sun?.

    looks good else from that.


    April 07, 2002, 05:51 PM

    Maybe you could make the water polygons more transparent when the water is shallow
    now the transition between the land and the water is too sharp
    looks awesome nevertheless tough :)

    Division By Zero

    April 07, 2002, 05:54 PM

    FIELDS OF GOLD ??????
    NO !!!!!

    MOUNTAINS OF GOLD .... that sounds impressive ;p

    monster is a bit rough, though ... ;p
    water is impressive :)


    ***(((((-- IS IT WORTH A COMMENT ? --))))*******

    certainly it is ... CUZ it's TERRAIN ENGINE ! ;p

    Love terrains..

    sincerely yours ...


    April 07, 2002, 06:00 PM

    "the texture projection fails because the Geforce3 can´t do projective offset 2d texturing and so I have to do this myself..."

    What do you mean by yourself? On the CPU? You can do the projection in a vertex program.


    Lars Birkemose

    April 07, 2002, 06:03 PM

    Way to high polycount compared to what you get... only a few hills...
    Nice water, but to repetitive.
    Wrong reflections, it seems thay are projected from character not camera.
    Lack of horizon, and depth in clouds... looks like your standing on a rocks with a blue curtain behind it.
    Lores textures makes character look disattached.
    I dont know what other features you have implemented, or what kinda debug code is running, but judging from the shots alone, you should be well above 200 FPS..
    Nice lighting and colorchoice... looks Serious Samish :)


    April 07, 2002, 06:18 PM

    Touching the VB is a really bad idea on any recent card.. (gf256, gf2, gf2, etc). So you are really better of using something else than clod..


    April 07, 2002, 06:20 PM

    Yeah, it would look great (or should I say greater) with the water transparency adjusted depending on the angle you where looking at it... What was that effect called again? It was mentioned on an IOTD not long ago...


    April 07, 2002, 06:34 PM

    You mean the Fresnel term?

    Sebastian Sylvan

    April 07, 2002, 06:35 PM

    Looks great. I have to agree though that you may have to many polys compared to what you get. If you generate the heightmap at a "higher resolution". Ie the same amount of heightmap space is used to represent more terrain. You'll get slightly rougher terrain but the shots up there with 140k tris for a few hills is just unreasonable.

    Also have you meassured the optimal size for the patches? 64*64 seems a bit large (especially if you do what I suggested above). 64*64 is just too large patches, so the chances of a only a small corner of them being visible (and therefor rendering of the entire patch is needed) is bigger. Partitioning the terrain into say 32*32 may prove to yield a more accurate visible set (without increasing the amount of view frustrum culling overhead too much, if you use a hierarchial approach like quad-trees).
    Also, how are you doing the view frustrum culling? If you're currently doing a hackish approach you should consider reading Ulf Assarsson and Tomas Möller's paper on it. Also, a quick and easy sphere test might give you more "bang for buck" than the more accurate (but slower) box-test. Generating a sphere for the frustrum itself and using that for a quick first-test would probably increase the speed even further.

    Division By Zero

    April 07, 2002, 06:52 PM

    I do not need spheres nor bounding boxes to cut my terrain in pieces !
    visible pieces, I might add;p

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