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Author Topic: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size  (Read 5241 times)

AWW_boss

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[Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« on: Nov 04, 12, 04:10:10 PM »

Hi!
I was wondering...
Is the maximum heightmap size 256x256 vertices or i don't know how to make it bigger?
If it is, why?

(I am talking about one and only one heightmap here, not a tile of heightmaps.)
« Last Edit: Nov 04, 12, 05:00:34 PM by AWW_boss »
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HE-Cooper

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Re: heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #1 on: Nov 04, 12, 04:20:34 PM »

You can place as many heightmaps as you'd like in an area, you would never want a single heightmap asset to be larger than 128 by 128 as it would be a hit to physics processing, rendering, and culling.
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AWW_boss

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #2 on: Nov 06, 12, 12:39:11 AM »

On a side note, i have started importing some real life dem data from this site http://gdex.cr.usgs.gov/gdex/ . I've read your warning about not diving into external massive procedural world generation, but i'm confident that my project is in a state where i can start thinking about terrain layout.

Considering that it is a ww2 game with airplanes, can you give me some recommendation about heightmap size and number of heightmaps in one area (i will be using seamless 2)? Just some number that i could use as a starting point and tweak it later.

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Ineedcash12

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #3 on: Nov 06, 12, 09:37:29 AM »

You should be making areas of 256 and smaller, linking them up with seamless 2. 

If your using World Machine, there is a tiling option export in the Pro version (200$) that lets you export terrain into any size you want, Id reccomend 256, since you'll most likely have more turned on due to the planes height, clear skys, and other things, compared to your typical game where you walk around and ahave views blocked by mountains and buildings.

It is a painstaking process and no shortcut, but you will have to import each area 1 at a time, at 256, a 5km by 5km area is roughly 400 pieces, about a week to import and set up with one person.


When you export, it names it on a X and Y axis naming system, so you start at X00_Y00 and go to what ever your size is.



You'll also want to wait for saphire release and Raw16 default import, since the leveler format messes up when importing using the tiled function.


You can edit the sizes of heightmaps with the button next to create heightmap I believe, been awhile since I played with it, but DON'T GO HIGHER than 256!
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Prometheus2012

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #4 on: Nov 06, 12, 11:43:30 AM »

wow, so our city of 20 km across is going to be a crap ton of heightmaps. Good to finally have a definative answer as to how big a heightmap can be before impacting on performance.

HE-Cooper

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #5 on: Nov 06, 12, 12:15:49 PM »

There is no definitive answer, and this is talking about amount of simulation per area. The seamless 2.0 page specifically recommends not going over 256 by 256 unless you know what you are doing. But again, this is talking about average server simulation per area, heightmaps are just an arbitrary asset loaded in an area.

Making a 20km square city is the craziest thing I've ever heard in all of game development. :-)
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AWW_boss

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #6 on: Nov 07, 12, 05:32:28 AM »

I have just one more question about heightmap distance culling. I noticed that when i move my camera far enough the culling kicks in. How do i turn that off, for debugging purposes?
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Prometheus2012

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #7 on: Nov 07, 12, 06:13:21 AM »

There is no definitive answer, and this is talking about amount of simulation per area. The seamless 2.0 page specifically recommends not going over 256 by 256 unless you know what you are doing. But again, this is talking about average server simulation per area, heightmaps are just an arbitrary asset loaded in an area.

Making a 20km square city is the craziest thing I've ever heard in all of game development. :-)

Heh maybe 20km is a little overestimation of how big our city will be. It may come down to the point of being a lot smaller but "seems" to be 20km or more in size. Making smaller play areas seem massive is all about good illusion and fooling people into thinking the world is huge.

Take ToR for example. Their coruscant map look huge because of all the travel areas and non play areas scattered inbetween the actual playable sectors. It was actually quite small.

But we have allready created several square KM worth of unique buildings and playable areas. The more grand in scope our city becomes, the better it will feel and look as a massive metropolis. We are also keeping the models we create to a bare minimum of detail when possible to help with loading times etc.

AWW_boss

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #8 on: Nov 07, 12, 03:27:57 PM »

I've been searching through forums and wiki and i cannot find the option to turn off the distance culling for heightmap (i need it off for debugging). This video shows what i am talking about. Anyone knows?

http://youtu.be/nBY6WXxgoe0
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PN-Dwight

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #9 on: Nov 07, 12, 05:01:27 PM »

Turn off the fog for the area in the Environment panel. What you see there is the fog getting to the camera.

Maximize the distance to the camera, and set max visibility to 0.

HE-Cooper

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #10 on: Nov 07, 12, 06:18:01 PM »

Search for far clip plane.
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AWW_boss

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #11 on: Nov 08, 12, 12:53:42 AM »

Hehe i love it how the videos make it so much easier to describe a problem :)

But, it seems that the default value for the FarClipDistance is 180, and the maximum i can set it to is 200, and i would like it to be around 800. Is there some special reason there is a limit of 200, and how can i work around it?


<the code i used>
remote function myFarClipDistance (value as Float)
  SetGraphicsOptionValue("FarClipDistance",value)
  farClipDistance as Float = GetGraphicsOptionValue("FarClipDistance")
  println (farClipDistance)

.
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HE-Cooper

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #12 on: Nov 08, 12, 06:35:15 AM »

I suspect you are being too literal with your thinking. Using tricks of speed, relative position and scale would be how you would want to display objects hundreds of miles away, not actually displaying hundreds of square miles of height maps dozens of miles away beneath the aircraft.
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Stadi_Thompson

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #13 on: Nov 08, 12, 10:24:04 AM »

Just a few things to help, basically what Cooper said, but I have a few tips for those doing seamless. There are no set rules on how to create a seamless world. You need to think out of the box, understand how much resources you have available and the best way to spread them for your game. Also  saying things are and are not possible in the engine, is very misleading and not true in some cases. You do not have to do each seamless piece by hand as mentioned above. You also can make areas larger the 256x256. Our programmer created a series of scripts that breaks up a large heightmap into small areas, moves them to the areas, and seamlessly links them, takes 20 minutes to do a 4km area, not weeks. Also you can use HALF or QUARTER terrain resolution, making a smaller 256 area quadruple in size, HALF resolution still looks nice and uses the same amount of resources.
« Last Edit: Nov 08, 12, 10:32:33 AM by Stadi_Thompson »
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AWW_boss

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Re: [Resolved] heightmap (terrain) size
« Reply #14 on: Nov 08, 12, 11:01:05 AM »

I had a plan to start testing with QUARTER resolution and 512x512 heightmap in one area simulation, since i hope my game design can handle it, but the problem is in farclipdistance limitation which makes it too hard to work with :(

That would be very convenient since i could keep the models in their natural size and get an area of more then  4x4 km.

I will have to find another way (most likely reimport my models 10 times smaller). Thanks for your suggestions.

« Last Edit: Nov 08, 12, 11:32:16 AM by AWW_boss »
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