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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Staggered Zone Seams Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Hi, I have been having some trouble getting the borders of my staggered zones to snap up seamlessly. I thought this was strange because I remember that I didn't have any problem when I first tested out Grome. Then I noticed that when the zones are positioned side by side in a grid formation, the borders matched perfectly. In fact, I could run a rough smudge brushes and see seams being created, but once I let go of my brush, the seams snapped seamlessly together. Good stuff!

However, when I staggered the zones, the auto-snapping didn't happen anymore. In addition I noticed that if you viewed the seams from one direction, it looks alright, but from the opposite direction you will see an extra line. This happens regardless of the formation ( grid or staggered ).

UV Stretching occurs along the border

An extra line along the border

When viewed from the opposite direction, the line disappears


My questions are:

1. Can we have the autosnapping for staggered zones as well?
2. Is the extra line a bug? It creates a UV stretched polygon in Grome, I haven't tested to see if it carries over to my engine yet.

Steps taken:
1. Create 2 zones of the same resolution, positioned side by side, corner to corner.
2. Select elevation height brush, with a rough looking mask.
3. Paint along the seams and create extreme heights.
---
1. Now create a new zone of the same resolution, but positioned halfway along the width of one of the 2 current zones.
2. Select elevation height brush, with a rough looking mask.
3. Paint along the seams and create extreme heights.
4. Use Smudge or Smooth brush to try to smooth the seams.


Thanks for reading this! Very Happy
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ALicu
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

Autosnapping is not working for staggered zones. Zones must be included completely on a side of the neighbor (you can have 1 to N neighbors on one edge as long as all N zones are included completely on the edge).

Also, there should be cracks along your border (since snapping is not functioning) but another error at the geometry generation (a bug we know about and we will fix shortly) makes that extra line.

Should be solutions for your problem though. If you need to use staggered zones, you can have one zone broken in 2, one neighbor to the previous zone and another completely outside its edge. You can merge them back at exporting time if you need a continuous zone. I'm sure other solutions exists if you let me know your exact purpose for this zones design.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Guest
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote






Thanks for the quick reply!

Good to hear that you'll be providing a fix for the extra line!

Regarding the seams along the staggered zone borders, my colleague observed that it might be a problem with the normals not displaying correctly? If I were to use a large enough smudge brush, I seem to be able to get the vertices to snap to the same height. However, in "No texture" mode, I still see distinct lines in the shading which I mistook for cracks initially.

Can I confirm with you if it indeed is merely a rendering bug?
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Sorry, that was actually me that posted above Embarassed Hadn't realised I was logged out already when I created that reply.

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ALicu
PostPosted: Wed Sep 17, 2008 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Misaligned normals means that the borders are not snapped (the geometry may appear snapped since you've smoothed to the same values for both sides, but in reality the zones are not snapped). This is because snapping doesn't work for staggered zones. You need to break the neighbor zones in multiple subpatches to have all the neighbors contained inbetween borders.

And yes, we've fixed the additional line issue (which appears for all zones when you don't have LOD activated). This is part of a change at the way we render terrain geometry without LOD that will also bring 25-35% rendering speed gain in the next patch.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

The 25-35% increase in rendering speed is absolutely fantastic! Very Happy Given how fast Grome already is, I can already hear my boss asking me to create more zones... which isn't so great Laughing

Thank you for the alternative, ALicu, it's a workable solution. I'm just wondering if you could make the borders snap irregardless of boundaries. That if patch notices another patch next to it, it knows that it should snap to it. Wink
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ALicu
PostPosted: Thu Sep 25, 2008 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Speed increase is when you don't have LOD activated (when for example, want to edit the geometry and see all the details). For next patch we will also have 64 bit support so more zones will fit in memory for 64bit operating systems.

As for the snapping, I cannot promise you anything. All I can say that in Grome 2 the zones will be completely different and use a continuous grid, with cells of variable geometry, you cannot have holes (holes can be introduced with other methods) in it but you don't have to worry about the snapping anymore. Basically the terrain will be continuous and created in a semi-automated mode as you move along with editing. This will allow easier editing and also allow us to make lots of optimizations for rendering and tools.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Hi ALicu, just wanted to check with you if the next patch ( which fixes the additional geometry ) will be out soon?

I have a question about this new system in Grome2: What will happen to all the data that we've created in the current Grome then? Will it be redundant and support for the data be discontinued? It does sound like an exciting evolution of the product but I'm worried about what it means for people who have been using Grome1 for some time.
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

This is an image of the map that I'm working on, simply to illustrate the staggered zone scenario. Smile The zones that are laid out horizontally don't have any seam problems ( except for the additional line geometry ) because they don't exceed their neightbours' boundaries. On the top and bottom of the zones, however, that's where the issue occurs, because the zone stradles 2 zones below and above them.



I've considered the option that you suggested, it's just that there's alot of work involved in merging-during-export and splitting-during-import ( the terrain may get adjusted while on the other side and needs to be updated back here in Grome ). Not to mention that discrepancies may occur when splitting the terrain alpha masks ( odd numbers 256+1 ).

I'm wondering if there could be any other options?
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ALicu
PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 8:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

For the next update we are still working on other issues before we can make the public release. If you are in a hurry due to a deadline send me an email to licu at quadsoftware.com and I will try to make a special build for you.

As for Grome 2, it will have a special import from old version and rearrange the data into the new grid format. Resampling may be involved but we will try to make the transition as smooth as possible (backward compatibility is an important issue for us).

As for your scene transformation, yes, indeed there is a lot of work if you do this manually. What I suggest is to use the SDK to create a plugin for that. A programmer should be able to create an export/import pair of plugins (or a single utility plugin) to take the current zones and broke/merge them as desired.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Jaggedge
PostPosted: Thu Oct 30, 2008 3:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 08 Jul 2008
Posts: 56

Hi, the latest update is noticably faster and the extra geometry problem is gone. Thanks guys! Very Happy
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