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Terrain rendering engine

Posted on 2003-10-24
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Last Modified: 2013-12-26
Looking for a terrain rendering engine that will take a heightmap (eg 2 dimensional array of height values) and either render them itself or return a set of triangles to be rendered by myself.

Conditions:
- Full source code
- Free
- Working
- DirectX (if it renders itself)
- Optimised, ie LOD-style triangle reduction

If one can be recommended that uses Delphi in C++, that will be a bonus!

I've read loads of tutorials on ROAM and the like but most are theoretical rather than practical.

Thanks

Geoff M.
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Question by:gmayo
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by:pvvvp
ID: 9625620
The SOAR alg is a _very_ nice one; I have found it following the links from http://web.interware.hu/bandi/ranger.html (that's an optimized version). However, it is OpenGL :( . Still, this fact is compensated by a thorough mathematical explanations in the papers. It is at the http://www.gvu.gatech.edu/people/peter.lindstrom/papers/tvcg2002.
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by:gmayo
ID: 9625696
Thanks, but OpenGL is no good to me. Nor the maths explanations! I have since found one, in Delphi no less, but based on ROAM with optimisations for triangle strips.

Geoff M.
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pvvvp earned 500 total points
ID: 9625796
Hmm. I look at the sources and see a few GLtypes scattered in h-files, GL/GLUT initialization code in "main.c" and some GL commands in "render.c". Those are quite suitable for just-a-technical-replacing, I think. What with originally-D3D versions... I can't recall any algorithm as good as this in my earlier search attempts, be it OGL or D3D. They all seemed to be nothing but variations on the same old themes. Don't be afraid of maths! (Or OGL :) ). The alg clearly overweights those difficulties.
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by:gmayo
ID: 9625831
I understand your point, but to be honest, I've gotten a bit fed up with the swathes of code that I've tried to convert which doesn't work, or only partially works, or doesn't compile properly.

It's one thing understanding the theory *or* the programming conversion. It's quite another to learn *both* at the same time! I will have a look at the stuff you've suggested tonight though.

Cheers

Geoff M.
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Expert Comment

by:Bonneel
ID: 11290617
Hi,

You should look at fBm, and multifractals explained in "Texturing an Modelling, a procedural approach" by K.Perlin, K.Musgrave, D.Ebert, Peachey... You can also look a Fourier synthesis.  That is for generating the heigfield (if it isn't done yet).
For rendering tips, you can look at http://www.vterrain.org : there are a lot of ressources for landscapes generating/rendering.

Nicolas Bonneel
http://www.byosphere.com (rendering landscapes too !)

ps : ...it's my first post here... hope it will help ! :))
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