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 Unlimited Terrain Zones? « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
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Arthr702
PostPosted: Fri Feb 27, 2009 8:19 pm    Post subject: Unlimited Terrain Zones? Reply with quote



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 5

Hey guys,

this is my first post here, so I have to start with a question Sad .
I think I have a little Problem with my Terrain Zones in my new Project. Every time, when I want to create a new Terrain Zone I became an Error: "Error creating a Terrain Zone". This happend after creating the 34 Zone. I guess, the Professional Version hasn't any Maximum of Terrain Zones. I tried to save my Scene again and reload it. After that, I could create 1 Zone more, then I became this Error. And this happened every time.
Secondly I become the Error: "Error allocating the lod index buffer.". Is this my problem of all?
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ALicu
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1328

Hello,

There is no limit to terrain zones one can create in a scene but of course they cannot fit in memory all at once. For this you need to use the Grome swap. The swap will let you send to disk the zones you are not currently working on. You can have, let's say, 4 by 4 of 1024 in memory. Then when you need to work on another area you need to select some zones (you are not gone to work at the moment on) to swap out to disk (select zone, right click on viewport + control key pressed and select Swap selected from the context menu). Then select the zones you want to work on and select Unswap selected from the same context menu. Swapped zones appear as transparent boxes and you cannot operate on them (they are not in memory), first you need to unswap them.

This method is very similar with some engines do in real-time. But instead of loading only the zones around camera, Grome, because it is an editing application, let you choose which zones to have in memory and which to have on disk.

Using this mechanism you are not limited to the RAM amount but by the hard disk space (we've created zones as big as real world countries, containing tens of GB of data).

Of course the disadvantage is that you cannot operate on all zones at once (you can actually do that by creating plugins or Grome scripts which automatically swap/unswap zones as they apply tools).

We are currently working in implementing 64bit version of Grome which will allow you to have more zones at once in memory. But of course, in the end, you cannot have unlimited number of zones in memory all at once.

Let me know your final scene size, the resolution (number of tiles per zone, number of zones) and I will try to tell you the optimum working methods.

Regards,
Adrian L.
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Arthr702
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 5

That sounds clear. Okay, I would try this later and look what will happened.
At the moment I make some experiments with the Editor, for choosing the right size for my world. Now I try it with 16 x 16 Zones for an RPG with an number of 5120 edges per zone. I looked at your Map "MaountainMap" and theres a resolution of 2560 edges per zone. Looks really great, but I'm a little bit scared of the texture details of your Mountians. If I come closer to them, it looks contorted.
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ALicu
PostPosted: Sat Feb 28, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1328

Hi, for the mountains scene the resolution is 256 tiles per edge (with 10 units per edge). A tile is a small patch made of 4 vertices (a square in the heightmap geometry). I recommend using zones of 256x256, 512x512 or 1024x1024 tiles. The size of the tile doesn't matter but most of the default presets work best with 10 or 100 units per tile.

As for the resolution it can be greatly improved by using more layers, and especially using "Masked Detail" and "Masked Bright Detail" layers on top of "Masked Texture" layers (the detail layers usually contain black and white textures that are multiplied with the layers beneath to create the illusion of more detail, since they are used with higher tiling (repeat) values). If you are to use the masked textures with higher tiling, the repeating pattern is visible. Instead you need to use a combination of layers, some masked but with tiles of, let's say, 10 repeat steps, and on top of that the detail textures with tiling of 100 or more. Please refer to this tutorial for details:

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

You can see how the artist combined these layers, so big detail look just right from far above, while going up-close the detail textures do their job to add the cracks in the terrain. The mountain scene was one of the first we've created. We will add more scenes with time.

Of course your engine must support all these types of layers, too. They are actually described in the SDK documentation (in advance section).

Regards,
Adrian L.
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