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 Forum index » Other Projects » Inactive Projects » Open Tiberian Sun
Importance of deformable terrain ?
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Judeau
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Joined: 28 Feb 2004

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:39 am    Post subject:   Importance of deformable terrain ? Reply with quote

i need to know if deformable terrain is important enough to warrant a lot of effort, i'm not talking pavement-placement or something here, but the modification of terrain shape
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ORCACommander
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Joined: 14 Feb 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hell ya. And if you need help look at Scorched 3d's Source code.
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Gangster
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Joined: 11 Jun 2004
Location: Moscow, Russia

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Without doubt! But IMO there must be a way (maybe with Pavement) to rise or lower a terrain to extend building space. And IMO Pavament should be destroyable sooner or later but not with any weapon (SW only feature?)
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ChielScape
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Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Location: In ur BIOS, Steeln ur Megahurtz!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jabberwoky aka Gangster wrote:
Without doubt! But IMO there must be a way (maybe with Pavement) to rise or lower a terrain to extend building space. And IMO Pavament should be destroyable sooner or later but not with any weapon (SW only feature?)


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DeathRay2K
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Joined: 01 Sep 2002
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Totally! Deformable terrain is awesome!
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Equiredox
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Joined: 29 Jun 2005

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Would be a good feature - but, I would leave it to last. I would really (REALLY^99) like it, but there is so much more to do - AI and pathfinding, networking, basic physics engine, interfaces, sound etc. Unless you have an algorithm / method all ready in mind? Also, if there is terrain deformation, we might have to code some simple fluid simulation for water / rivers if the water is at different heights - won't be static as well.

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DeathRay2K
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't see deformable terrain being all that difficult to implement... Since you're using a heightmap, can't you simply modify it and reload it as necessary? I certainly can't see that being very difficult...
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Equiredox
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Joined: 29 Jun 2005

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DeathRay2K wrote:
I can't see deformable terrain being all that difficult to implement... Since you're using a heightmap, can't you simply modify it and reload it as necessary? I certainly can't see that being very difficult...


My major concern was to do with terrain optimisation, which as far as I am aware we are implementing. Redundant tri-faces are taken out of flat terrain as to increase performance, so it is not a simple approach of altering the existing terrain vertices, more vertices have to be added and the the existing ones changed as well. Either we add tri's to the list in real-time, or have the whole terrain unoptimised (like a grid) - have evenly spaced tri's and have an unoptimised terrain mesh for it to be done (not recommended). To do it "right" would require some effort in my opinion if performance is a goal.

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DeathRay2K
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Joined: 01 Sep 2002
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fair enough, though really, that's hardly a problem either, since you could (as long as its fast enough) run the same optimisation on the modified heightmap.

Of course if its not fast enough, I still don't think it would be that much of a problem to just use an unoptimised grid. I'm sure most video card could easily handle it.
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DragonFly
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Joined: 02 Jun 2007
Location: England

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

yes they could but if they can when theres also some 40 buildings, 80 tanks and some moving water on the screen to render is another question.

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DeathRay2K
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Joined: 01 Sep 2002
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 6:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, I'm still fairly sure that modern video cards can handle this. Lots of games have supported and are coming out that do support deformable terrain, plus lots of fancy graphics that this engine will likely never see.
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Kiith-Sa
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Joined: 26 Oct 2004

PostPosted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 12:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AFAIK, most old RTS engines(SAGE,WC3) draw every cell like a grid (without stuff like triangle strips!) and some twice (blending). Unless you want Supreme Commander-like maps, or really detailed heightmap,I think deformation should be easy with just grid terrain, and the deformation part should be more expensive than the more vertices part anyway. You can't get much more from poly optimisation imo.
Just move everything to GPU's memory, map the buffer of the deformable mesh into the client's address space to allow easy modification.
The main problem will be textures. Today's hardware can really handle really many vertices really fast. You can optimize the map mesh by, say, cutting it's vertex count to half, but you still get just some 0.5-3% speedup that allows you to maybe put in 20 more small meshes.
I use 3-time the same vertex count in my engine (no strips), and it's not much slower on 1-3 generations old hardware.
By the time you finish this, OGL2.1/DX10 hardware will be in second, or third generation. Even the first allows you to throw FAR more vertices than you'll ever need into the map and use really detailed meshes at the same time.
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