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hansgeorgmack
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject: Question regarding highly detailed terrains Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 3

Hello,

I am currently looking for a tool that will allow the creation of highly detailed terrains for use in a game. This is supposed to work the same as with object meshes in games, i.e. have one low-res terrain mesh and then a high-res normal map to create the illusion of detail. It is this normal/displacement map, however, that requires the tool to operate at extremely high detail levels.

My question now is: can Grome Pro be used for such a task? I have read that you can (somehow) page out individual zones and that there is no restriction as to the number of zones in a project, but all this is no good if Grome keeps so much stuff in main memory, that practical limits will be exceeded quickly.

The targeted resolution is *at least* 16384x16384. Is it possible to create a terrain of those dimensions in Grome in such a way as to always only have a bounded subset of the real dataset within the editor at any one time?

Thank you for taking the time.

-rene

By the way: how is the paging done? Can the user swap zones in and out manually?
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ALicu
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1328

Hi,

Yes the swapping is done manually. You can select individual terrain zones and swap them out or bring them back to memory. You can see this in work here:

http://www.quadsoftware.com/index.php?m=section&sec=product&subsec=editor&target=editor_create

Select first video to play.

The ideal zone size for Grome is around 512 by 512. So, for your size you can have 32 by 32 zones of 512 tiles each. Then keep in memory only a portion of it (you can have for example 6 by 6 if you have enough RAM, 2GB for example) and edit it.

Then at export you can sample down the resolution for geometry while obtaining the displacement map from the original scene resolution. Grome comes with a well documented SDK that it will allow you to browse scene zones, swap them in or out of memory and access their data. For example, the default large data sets exporter (which comes with full source code) is capable of exporting large scenes by constructing raw, jpg and png data row by row and streaming it out (while keeping the memory at minimum using Grome swap). If you need I can provide you the source code for that exporter to see how the things are done.

Regards,
Adrian L.
Quad Software
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hansgeorgmack
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 3

Thank you for your quick and informative reply!!

Please allow me two more questions:

a) Since Grome apparently allocates full data for any zone created, does it mean that a fullsize terrain that is too large to fit into memory at once, has to be built up in steps (i.e. create some tiles, swap out, create next tiles, swap out, etc.)?

b) Is it possible to increase tile resolution as you go, i.e. start out at low-resolution and then go up to work on detailing?

Thank you.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1328

Hi,

1. Yes, in general this is the working method. Add new zones (with snap to existing ones) as you construct the map.

Another possibility is to have an importer (like for example the default raw importer) create initial data by importing multiple zones (as much as you want and putting them to swapped step as they are created). So the importer will create really huge initial data but it is in swapped state (at the beginning). As you edit you bring the zones back to memory and add details to them.

2. There is no default built-in tool for that (but this will be added in the future revisions). But you can do that by creating an utility plugin. This plugin can be called from the Grome menu and increase the resolution for some zone(s) (by replacing one zone with another one with higher resolution made from filtering to a bigger size).

You can also simulate this with the existing plugins (at least for geometry) by using the raw exporter and the raw importer (and manually increasing the raw images with 3rd party programs).

Regards,
Adrian L.
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hansgeorgmack
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 01 Apr 2008
Posts: 3

Talk about top-notch support... This is crazy!

Thanks for your lightning-fast and highly useful replies.
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