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gerarduk
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 11:47 am    Post subject: Professional vs. Standard? Reply with quote



Joined: 27 Mar 2008
Posts: 5

In the comparison between the standard and professional editions, they state the professional can have unlimited terrain color layers.

Does anyone know exactly what that signifies? Does it mean one can have unlimited textures for the terrain? I am a bit confused about it and would appreciate any input you guys have.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Fri May 09, 2008 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1327

Hi, for professional edition you can put as many texture layers as you want on top of each other on the terrain surface. Of course after 9-10 layers the performance can degrade (all depends on your video card and how do you deal with terrain rendering in your engine). For standard edition you can have only 5 layers.

For each layer you have a mask. Mask of a layer is the opacity texture that indicates where the layer diffuse color is visible and where is not (example: you have a mask to indicate where the grass is visible so it doesn't appear above a road image layer).

Also, to be noted that for standard you are limited to 512 by 512 pixels for the masks of the layer (for each terrain zone, and you can have up to 4 terrain zones). For professional you are not limited to any size but going above 2048 really affects performance. So the bigger the mask the more control you have how to place textures on terrain. Unrelaying textures (the colors of the layers) are not limited to any size and can be tiled (repeated) with any factor.

So for standard you can have only 5 masks and their underlaying textures. Example: ground, grass, rock, snow and lightmap. Each of these textures can have any resolution but are shown thru masks of maximum 512 by 512 pixels. All these for each distinct terrain zone, and you can have up to 4 zones.

There are no limits to Professional, only hardware capacity is the limit but you can safely go to 9-10 layers with 1024/2048 per mask for most cards. Also there are no limits to the number of terrain zones, but you usually cannot go over 4 by 4 of 1024 unless you use the Grome swap (which let you keep in memory only the zones you are editing).

If you are using Torque, you will be limited to 4 layers (+1 of lightmap) for standard Atlas engine. But there are modifications of the Atlas (made by community) that would allow you to have 8 or 16 layers for a terrain. Grome exporter to Torque is not limited to any number of layers.

Please refer to the Grome texturing tutorials for details.

I hope the explanation above help you better identify the differences.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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