Theory And Practice - Issue 3
The third installment of Greg Magarshak's column, Theory And Practice is now online here on flipCode. This week Greg covers curved surfaces. Here's a clip from the introduction:
Recently there has been a lot of hype about curved surfaces, mostly due to games like Quake III and Messiah, although engines such as Crystal Space had their own curved surfaces earlier. Overall, curved surfaces provide a good structure to store information about shapes. As 3D environments get more and more detailed it becomes more important to organize information in a way that allows simple description and manipulation. You can, for example, build lots of little polygons instead of having a curved surface, but that would be much more information to store, and also not very manageable if you wanted to change the curve later on. Using curved surfaces is also better for implementing Level-Of-Detail optimizations, which I will talk about later. In a sense, curved surfaces are the vector graphics of the 3D world.
This time, I'm going to introduce curved surfaces and how to implement them. "