Submitted by , posted on 09 February 2001

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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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