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Monday, October 29, 2012

Snow, Biomes

Last week's video was about adding variety to foliage.

Here are three new videos that show something similar but at a larger scale. The first two show transitions from snowy terrain to green terrain. The last one goes from green to some kind of rocky desert.








Do not pay too much attention to the sound, you will hear chipping birds no matter if it is snow or desert.

I did some improvement on the LOD switches. They are still happening pretty much on your face, but in general should be smaller.

29 comments:

  1. I just watched half an hour of somebody just walking around in virtual world and would watch another if there was more. My point is, this is already pretty epic just to watch and can't wait until you release something to actually play :P

    The LOD transitions are much better now, altough trees and plants still change in very irritating fashion.

    On the snowy side of things, I hope you won't do it the industry standard way; just slap snow texture on terrain and call it a day (which is pretty much it seems to be currently). Snow is much more than that: there's of course something under snow and for scenery like in your vids, there could be as much as multiple meters of snow from ground (i.e. rocks should have only peak visible & covered in snow, snow cover comes thinner under trees, no grass is visible). Also, white leafless trees!

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    1. Maybe I should clear this controversial comment a bit. If there's that much snow I'm suggesting there would be no rocks visible at all and trees are nonexistant. Latter sentences apply for thinner snow cover (like up to ½ meter).

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  2. Amazing, best terrain i've ever seen. How long have you been working on computer graphics? I've only recently started, inspired by such things as this.

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  3. Cool a usual.
    This time the camera was nearer to the ground, more like a wolf-cam !

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  4. "I just watched half an hour of somebody just walking around in virtual world and would watch another if there was more."

    Couldnt have said it better. Knowing it is not hand-made, but generated, and imagining how this would introduce scouting and exploring as a player-skill (that you -beside "learn the map"- dont have at all in handmade maps) is very exciting. How many screens of parameters do you need to finetune until you hit "Ok give me world" button? And is there a "full random" button as well? And, last question, how is the rate of good to bad worlds? (Bad as in: "I wouldnt use that for a video")

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    1. Thanks.

      It is only a few parameters for the large features. For the trees around 20 for each class, and for the each material around 10. It is not much.

      This thing is fully random, but within the parameters specified by the different classes. It would be fun to randomize even the classes, but I guess most of the stuff would be very very silly.

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    2. "And, last question, how is the rate of good to bad worlds?"
      This, and also, are those videos from the same or 3 different worlds?

      I guess since it takes quite a time to generate these worlds, you won't get too picky about it (*generates world* after 2 mins of exploring: "nah, dis isn't good" *generates another world*) :D

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    3. I see what you did there not answering my post! :D

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  5. It really is coming along quite nicely, it's been fun watching it progress. I do find the LOD switches pretty annoying still. I wonder if they were phased in over a longer time period if it would be less noticeable?

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    1. Maybe slowing them down will help. It also feels different when you are in control of the view. It is like when you drive, the passenger gets sick but never the driver. I guess you all will have to try this thing to figure it out :)

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    2. Do you, after recording, watch your own videos? This could show you more clearly about the changes, because you cant expect people to only be in the drivers seat with this (when you release it), since people will make videos, and maybe even other people will just look at the screen to see whats happening, and point out the problems, then the driver will also notice =S.

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    3. OK, no driving for you. Just videos.

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    4. Hmm... what tone did you read my message with? I did not mean it as a negative one =/ The initial question was a genuine one... This too, is just a reply to make sure we are on the same page (tone is hard to purvey through text =3)

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    5. No worries. The LOD is a tough issue. There is no good solution for now, unless hardware requirements go up. It may be less of an issue when you are interactively playing in the game, that's all.

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  6. Selfish request: could you post a video of snowy ruins next? I'd love to see how they go together.

    Will you be modeling south-facing melt at all? As in, trees in my part of the world a currently covered in a thin crust of snow and ice on their north side, but their south side (facing the sun) is usually bare. I find that this effect really helps to smooth the transition between winter and spring (at least, it does in film projects :P ).

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    1. Note: This could also be on the North side, since every planet has two hemispheres =3. It would be an interesting way to tell which hemisphere you are on, or which direction the equator is XD.

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    2. I did not think of south-melt, thanks for the suggestion.

      Ruins maybe in a month from now. It is coming for sure.

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  7. I love what you're doing and can't wait to see more.

    That said, I wish the snow texture was more realistic. Most games tend toward incredibly bumpy snow, but in real life it's generally pretty smooth (unless you've recently thrown shovel-fulls of snow into the area). I can understand why you'd want some definition in your textures, though. Maybe you should increase the "spread" of the bump map (ie. larger, less defined bumps).

    Do you plan on making snow placement more realistic, with more sheltered areas potentially showing some grass beneath the snow?

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  8. I love your work. I agree with other comments about altering the texture based on north or south facing sides. There is a good photo of "Sassafras Mountain" on Google showing snow melt leaving behind a mud transition between the snow and grass - basically where it is very difficult for anything to take root and live very long.

    I guess it depends on the mountains but I noticed a lot of rocks with peaks which I believe are possible on extreme slopes (e.g. 89 degrees) but especially on walkable slopes erosion tends to leave everything more rounded.

    I think you could get away with making the landscapes much smoother except at extreme slopes and save a lot of rendered vertexes and actually gain more realism. It is the trees and water runoff paths that introduce bumpiness in to a scene at close distance. I'm just saying if something is walkable its likely to be much smoother.

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  9. I agree with someone above that the snow needs to be more smooth and less textured.

    Something I noticed that I don't remember seeing a lot of previously was repeating textures -- particularly on some of the cliffs and rocks. Has anything changed that would cause that to be more visible?

    Regardless, grand vistas and beautiful sights! Great work!

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    1. Yes, you are right. This is a new set of materials, I did not have time to mask texture repetition yet.

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    2. Ah, as simple as that. Neat-o!

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  10. You know, I got kinda reminded of your work when I saw this TM2:Valley screenshot:
    http://static.maniaplanet.com/web/www.trackmania.com/uploads/screenshots/trackmania2-valley-2.jpg

    Just wanted to post this, maybe it'll inspire you.

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  11. It is very good so far i recon it'll get so much better and will keep getting better
    especially wiht the amount of time you put into it

    have you ever thought of doing a croud funder it was a site that you post your amount in $ or pounds and if it is reached the money goes through to you if not it gets refunded to them if it wasn't met by the end date

    like if you were to work on this for a month of full time work as you would normally, put the required amount the same as youd get per work a normal months plus a little more for hardware upgrades and then if you get that much through croud funder work on this primarily as if your job

    excuse that i repeated myself a little and my explanation skills u.u :)

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  12. Now this game needs snowboards.

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  13. stunning - amazing what one man can do even compared to some teams of people

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  14. I presume youve seen the infinity tech demo.http://www.youtube.com/user/InfinitySupport
    its lovely to see all these procedural worlds

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