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Work in Progress / Dark Terrain [DBPro/GDK]

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Matty H
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Posted: 4th Sep 2012 15:51 Edited at: 4th Sep 2012 15:57


Dark Terrain


Free LOD terrain plugin coming soon for DarkGDK and DBPro.

Commands:

void dtStart( );
void dtStop( );
bool dtInitTerrain( int ID, int heightmapImageID, int split );
void dtAddLODLevel( int ID, int lodSplit, float distance );
void dtAddLODLevel( int ID, int lodSplit, float distance, float edgeFoldDistance );
bool dtBuildTerrain( int ID );
bool dtBuildTerrain( int ID, int imgTexture, int imgDetail, bool blend = true );
void dtUpdate( int camID );
void dtSetFrustumCullingOn( float nearView, float farView, float FOV, float aspectRatio );
void dtSetFrustumCullingOn( float nearView, float farView, float FOV );
void dtSaveTerrain( int ID, char* name );
bool dtLoadTerrain( int ID, char* name );


Features:

LOD - Level Of Detail. Multiple versions of each terrain can be created, terrain sections are then automatically switched so the higher detailed sections are only drawn when absolutely necessary. This is what makes Dark Terrain so fast but at the expense of higher memory usage.

Frustum Culling - Terrain sections are individually culled when they are not in screen, another optimisation which will speed up your game/app.

Edge Folding - Fold the edges of the terrain sections down to cover up the gaps which inevitably appear when sections with different levels of LOD are adjacent to each other.

Multiple Cameras - Update and draw terrains on a per-camera basis, allowing the correct LOD's to be drawn to multiple cameras in multiple positions.

Save/Load - Commands to save and load terrains, avoiding the terrain creation process.

Objects - Terrains are standard objects which can be manipulated with all the standard 3D commands, including scaling, blending, effects etc.


You can see screenshots in my 'Stunt Car Racer' WIP.

3d point in space
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Posted: 4th Sep 2012 16:48 Edited at: 4th Sep 2012 16:51
matt i made a terrain editor as well maybe not like yours, but I used memblock values to define the height of the terrain. I was going to remake my terrain editor, but since you are coming up with something I guess I wont finish the one I made. Looks like yours is on your way and is better. What is different from this and blitz terrain any way.

Developer of Space Chips, pianobasic, zipzapzoom, and vet pinball apps. Developed the tiled map engine seen on the showcase. Veteran for the military.
Matty H
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Posted: 4th Sep 2012 16:58
Hi 3d point,

I have no plans to create an editor, or even add real time editing commands to this. So what you want to create is something quite different I would think.

You could build your editor over an existing terrain system such as this or Blitz Terrain. This way you get cool editing features as well as the optimised terrain at run time.

Blitz Terrain has real time terrain editing commands so creating an editor with that would be simpler. Using Dark Terrain you would manipulate the vertices, probably quicker than memblocks.

I use L3DT to design/edit my terrains, it's an awesome tool. There is no way I could create an editor which could create terrains which look as good as the ones you can easily create in L3DT, with hardly any effort

French gui
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Posted: 4th Sep 2012 17:53
Yeah! Waiting for this since you've talked about it in dbpro forum section. Thanks for making it free. Any chance for LOD spherical terrain? (I love planets )
Matty H
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Posted: 4th Sep 2012 18:21
Quote: "What is different from this and blitz terrain any way."


This works very similar to Blitz Terrain. But Blitz Terrain has more features, I have no intention of competing with Blitz Terrain or even adding much more to this.

Quote: " Yeah! Waiting for this since you've talked about it in dbpro forum section. Thanks for making it free. Any chance for LOD spherical terrain? (I love planets )"


Ha ha, not a chance sorry This is just something I needed and thought I would share. I can imagine a planetary terrain system will be very complex.

MrValentine
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Posted: 5th Sep 2012 00:03
Nice work Matty!

Hope to utilise this hopefully it can work along with other plugins

I guess we will all act as test benches

Matty H
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Posted: 6th Sep 2012 17:16
Quote: "Nice work Matty!

Hope to utilise this hopefully it can work along with other plugins "


Thanks, it works with my own plugins and since it creates objects it should work with any plugin really.

Quote: "Any chance for LOD spherical terrain?"


I could not resist looking into this, can people please stop putting ideas into my head

Anyway, it turns out that spherizing a cube is pretty simple so I have managed to create an LOD planet, it needs cleaning up and I need to write a new algorithm to add the height data which should not be too hard, but planets are a definite possibility.

TheComet
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Posted: 6th Sep 2012 17:47
Does it support multiple terrains? Oh, and what about overhangs on cliffs?

Thecomet

"if you don't understand recursion than you probably don't understand recursion." ~Jerico2day
Matty H
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Posted: 6th Sep 2012 17:56
Yeah, multiple terrains, using a cube-sphere algorithm you have 6 terrains rotated and positioned into a cube and then you can turn it into a sphere.

Overhangs, no. It gets a height-field from an image so any features such as overhangs would need to be added somehow with a custom solution.

French gui
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Posted: 6th Sep 2012 18:27
Quote: "I could not resist looking into this, can people please stop putting ideas into my head

Anyway, it turns out that spherizing a cube is pretty simple so I have managed to create an LOD planet, it needs cleaning up and I need to write a new algorithm to add the height data which should not be too hard, but planets are a definite possibility."


YEEEAH!!! You've made my day! Can't wait for it.
French gui
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Posted: 24th Sep 2012 18:28
Any progress?
Matty H
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Posted: 24th Sep 2012 19:22
Not yet I'm afraid, I am pretty busy with some other stuff but have lots of time from after 12th October.

I will be updating Dark Dynamix, this is pretty much done, just need to do some testing and add a couple of examples.

Then I will finish Dark Terrain, this is pretty much done if you don't want spherical terrains. I will document what I have done so far and release it, then consider spherical terrains.

I can then get on with my game 'Stunt Car Racer' which will utilise both tools mentioned above.

Sorry for the long delay

Duffer
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Posted: 26th Sep 2012 22:31
@ MattyH,

So will the first formal release have spherical terrains? that would be great - but if not, great still....

a long time dabbler with DBC and DBPro with no actual talent but lots of enthusiasm...
Matty H
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Posted: 27th Sep 2012 16:50
No, I will release what I have otherwise there is a small chance nothing will ever get released

After some testing I know I can add spherical terrains but I personally have no use for them, I will try to find the time to add them but I have lots of other ideas and projects to be getting on with

Duffer
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Posted: 27th Sep 2012 21:03
@ MattyH,

As I said, not to worry - happy to see any of your programming ideas reaching the forums in a downloadable form...

a long time dabbler with DBC and DBPro with no actual talent but lots of enthusiasm...
Matty H
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2013 14:09 Edited at: 2nd Jan 2013 14:11
Not sure what to do with this. I don't know if I need it or not at the moment since the game I was working on 'stunt car racer' is on hold for the time being.

But I have put a lot of work into it and it's not far off completion, I have to re-write the code that joins the terrain sections together seamlessly. I have been trying to find time here and there to get this done and release it for free, knowing it will still be around if I need it in the future, but:-

Question:

I would like to know if anyone would like to see this definitely completed and sold through TGC for around £10-£15?

I would include spherical terrains, the terrains would be DBPro objects so completely compatible with shaders and would work with multiple cameras.

I have not spoken to TGC about it so I can't guarantee they would want to sell it, there are alternatives that they currently sell but none of them currently do what I needed.

I will probably be looking for around 10 people on here who would be willing to buy it, this would probably make it worthwhile, bearing in mind it would sell more than 10 over time

If I don't get 10 then I will do my best to get a free version out there at some point, but it will not have spherical terrains and will not get as much support from me as a paid plugin, but would still be useful I hope.

Thanks

MrValentine
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2013 16:01
Vote 1 in

French gui
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2013 17:00
You know I could kill for spherical terrain so....
Chris Tate
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2013 18:22
I'd have to be honest. This is an extremely one sided opinion.

I would not vote for this because I think there would be too many terrain plugins, not enough grey areas covered. True indeed, no multicamera sphere terrain support today, but I doubt that will be true for long.

I'd vote for plugins that produce caves/paths, roads, water, better arrays, dictionaries (key-value lists), reading additional 3D file formats (such as OBJ, 3DW, BLEND, MAP, GoogleSketchup, DXF etc), more .DBO file operations (such as saving all object settings including textures, location, scale etc), 3d object queries (find all objects near here, find all objects with these parameters near there), integrated extensible world editor; the ability to export DBP applications as modules/plugins to link functionality and thus seperate project compiles into 'DLL' like domains instead of having to compile one big EXE (far fetched I think); and above all else at my number 1, a long overdue debugger similar to what is available in most other languages.

I'd buy those types of things 100 times over another terrain system.

But I do agree that Dark Terrain would be a good product; sphere terrains would be cool; skipping it might be a waste; however it would be extremely unlikely for me to need it. There is at least 5 terrain solutions out there already, and one which is being upgraded to support sphere terrains.

MrValentine
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Posted: 2nd Jan 2013 22:54 Edited at: 2nd Jan 2013 23:01
Quote: "and one which is being upgraded to support sphere terrains."


I forgot about that... no wonder why I will be buying it...

EDIT

On the other hand I am buying DarkDynamix soon!

Matty H
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Posted: 4th Jan 2013 15:51
Thanks for your input.

I know there are alternatives otherwise this would definitely have happened already.

I will put this to one side for now, if the new blitz terrain is out any-time soon then I will not even need this myself It's a pity the current version has a couple of issues which prevent me from being able to use it

If I do manage to get this to a useful state I will share with everyone of course

Chris Tate
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Posted: 4th Jan 2013 18:25
Great work by the way with your plugins! I really like using Imposters and Dynamix. If Blitz Terrain 3 does not come out; then at least you have a head start.

Matty H
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Posted: 4th Jan 2013 20:23
Thanks Chris, I was taking a look at your project a few days ago, very impressive and I really like the website

For this, there may be a twist in the tale. I am doing what should(but is not) be my final module for my degree in computing and it's a project of your own choice. One thing I am contemplating is doing a planet rendering system, this could be Dark Terrain with spherical terrains and perhaps some extras.

I am still in talks with the tutor so no decision has been made yet, we shall see

Chris Tate
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Posted: 5th Jan 2013 01:00
Quote: "Thanks Chris, I was taking a look at your project a few days ago, very impressive and I really like the website"


Thanks. Feel free to post my details to anyone wanting similar graphic design to what I use on my products; that's one of my areas of work.

Quote: "One thing I am contemplating is doing a planet rendering system, this could be Dark Terrain with spherical terrains and perhaps some extras."


Sounds like fun. Over the paste 10 years open world games have dominated; open universe might get big in the near future; although quite limited to science fiction games.

Would also be cool to see a dynamic terrain system come to think about it; as crazy as it sounds. Wouldn't it be cool to have a terrain which is affected by events, weather, natural disasters and the players in real time. A web hosted terrain which stores its state on file could download the state of a given area. There's actually quite a great deal of features DTerrain could specialize with come to think about it.

Juggernaut
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Posted: 15th Feb 2013 19:35
Has this been released ?
Matty H
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Posted: 16th Feb 2013 13:40
No, it's still sitting in my hard drive. I have done some more work on it but it's quite low a priority at the moment.

Hopefully I will get it finished in the coming months.

gwheycs62egydws
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Posted: 23rd Mar 2013 19:56
@Matty H

about Dark Terrain


how large a terrain could be made ?
give or take the resources of current computers

my current system is
4-2ghz cpu + 4 simulated cpus
8gb ram
2 gb video nvida

I know there is a better version of my system that has
2.4 ghz cpu in with the quad real and simulated
16 gb ram and I am guess the same made of video card
but with more ram

with computers getting better each year
more things can happen as long as windows 8 and up
do not get more crappy

to move side ways - is to move forward
Since a Strait line gets thin fast
Matty H
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Posted: 25th Mar 2013 15:35
Hi Resourceful, it looks like this project may never get finished.

I may complete it in the future if I need terrains again at some point, if Blitz Terrain 3 is released though, I would probably get that instead of finish this.

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