Texture splatting and LOD

Topics: Feature Request Forum
Feb 4, 2007 at 11:24 PM
Clyde, noticed in the forums some time back you were working on some slatting techniques and LOD inprovements, woundered how you were getting on with that?

Rgds
Darkside
Coordinator
Feb 6, 2007 at 4:37 AM
I am still trying to decide whether to use texture splatting or normal maps. I'm considering the normal maps since it can be done in a single pass with the large texture (I have done a second grit detail texture in the past for terrains).
What is your input on this?

For LOD, I'm working on it along with the Octtree project (and some contract jobs, and finish building my house:)
For LOD, I am initialy using the index buffer technique (where the vertex buffer is the same but the index buffer only references vertices it needs, no geomorphing).
Feb 19, 2007 at 11:56 AM
I think for best effect, it's probably going to be a mix of the two.
Normal(bump) mapping to smooth the terrain and deform the terrain
Splatting for effect, like grass and snow (all splatted on top of the existing map)

Although the latter can be performed with higher res-pictures for the map image, this would decrease performace when transfering the texture to the GPU, a lower grade (or even flat) ground texture and some small (or even point or procedural) textures for coverage.
Maybee even using some Perlin noise on the terrain to increase the gainy effect on the terrain.

Not too worried about the multiple passes as several low texture passes shouldn't cost too much.

Researhing into this myself, but life makes things slow!!, lol
Feb 19, 2007 at 12:07 PM
Starting to feel like a bus now (1 month nothing then two posts at once)

Also been looking into Parallax Mapping - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallax_mapping

More detail at http://cowboyprogramming.com/?p=34
Coordinator
Feb 23, 2007 at 5:40 PM
Darkside,
What's a good way to make a normal map? I have been thinking I'm going to have to write a program to do it......
Feb 26, 2007 at 3:08 PM
Depends.
From what I've read one of the best ways is to create a high poly model, textured and ready and export the normal and bump map from the 3D app. (did have a link for this but can not find it again, damn, will keep looking)

other that that I have seen some tool arround for exporting bump maps but not normals, try http://www.riemers.net site (saw some exporting tools there)

I'll keep an eye out (and search google code / blogs) for anything else that might help
Feb 27, 2007 at 1:50 PM
Just noticed that Riemer is doing an advanced terrain tutorial using hlsl for some extra terrain effects, not much there yet but shouldn't be long now
http://http://www.riemers.net/eng/Tutorials/XNA/Csharp/series4.php

he's going to be covering
----
Multitexturing with high resolution textures close to the camera
Realistic water with reflections-refractions
Bump mapping
Specular reflections
Perlin noise
Shape-changing clouds
True billboarding
Region growing
Picking
----
Feb 27, 2007 at 2:46 PM
Very impressive. Waiting for the next week.
Mar 19, 2007 at 12:54 PM
Looking at what Riemer has done so fat, it looks great.

Starting to read the ShaderX series of book as well now, which give even more detail, there are 5 books currently with a 6th on the way
http://shaderx.com