Graphics Engine Ideas...


I'm interested in making a graphics engine where the user can zoom out to "globe" level but zoom in to "state and city" level ...

Any interesting implementation ideas?

Any advice?

Thanks
oxygen_728Asked:
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Andrew BeersTechnology LeadCommented:
o.O;

Well the first thing you need to know i distortion at great distances.  The greater the distance the less detail that is shown.  Doing this will allow the complex zoom out that you want.  In OpenGL this is a rather simple thing to do... with a camera and moving the camera to the desired position and then scoping the camera back towards the surface of your oblique sphereoid...  

Not really an engine being what you need more or less just a simple program.

~Aqua

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oxygen_728Author Commented:
Are you basically referring to mip mapping & decreasing the number of vertices on models being shown as distance from the object increases?
Andrew BeersTechnology LeadCommented:
*nods*  The only thing your going to have to focus on in doing this with OpenGL is the clipping planes.  You'll need to adjust the far clipping plane in openGL so it allows for backing off from the surface of the sphere without starting to clip the sphere at larger distances.  In OpenGL you can create a huge sphere (or mesh to allow for city and state creation and populate it with the objects you wish, as you back away from the scene you can begin to remove things from the rendering list such as buildings, streets, etc.  and leave only the things that you can see from larger distances such as coast lines, cloud cover...  

....This is a frequent process used in MMO's with space and flight simulation where the sky height is not limited.  For instance from the moon if you render both celestial bodies the earth is visible and vice versa but with less detail than flying @ 2miles from the surface of the earth.  The sphere is still the same object just things were flagged and removed from the rendering list.

~Aqua
oxygen_728Author Commented:
Sounds like fun. Thanks for the advice =)

I'm going to go ahead and leave the question open for a few days for further input if anybody passes by.

Thanks a lot
Dushan De SilvaTechnology ArchitectCommented:
This might help for you, you can have a idea with
www.google.com/apis/maps

BR Dushan
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Game Programming

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