Terrain faces ?

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cafufu
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Terrain faces ?

Postby cafufu » 2017-08-01, 17:18

I may be missing something pretty obvious but I can't seem to select individual terrain faces in the Selection Tool.
Apparently I can only select the terrain as a whole and I can't find an "ungroup" option anywhere, not even in the "General" tab of the CaWe configuration menu as mentioned in the docs. I don't want to change the geometry of the terrain (that's done with the Edit Terrain tool and affects a group of faces or the whole terrain at once obviously), I want to start changing the surface of individual faces.

Thanks.
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Carsten
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Re: Terrain faces ?

Postby Carsten » 2017-08-02, 14:12

Unfortunately, that it not possible.

The core feature of terrains is their level of detail implementation. Specifically, we use the SOAR algorithm, see
for details.

That is, the entire terrain is inherently "one". The individual faces that you see are dynamically computed and only valid for a certain level of detail. If you move closer or farther away, their shape and number will change.

The SOAR algorithm is very good, but also comes with limitations. It is of times when GPU acceleration was not available. Today there a probably better options, e.g. geomipmapping, clipmaps (see e.g. this or this page), skinned instancing (see e.g. this page).
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Carsten
cafufu
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Re: Terrain faces ?

Postby cafufu » 2017-08-02, 20:25

So you can't "paint" different parts (i.e. groups of faces) of the terrain with different surface material patterns (vegetation, rock, sand etc.) ?
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Carsten
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Re: Terrain faces ?

Postby Carsten » 2017-08-03, 07:10

No, not directly.
All parts of the terrain must be covered in the material that is used to paint it, as is shown in the terrains that ship with Cafu (TechDemo, ReNoEcho).

This was/is intended to be used with a texture-generation tool such as Terragen (there are more, I have to look up their names), possibly in combination with texture blending, where a single material consists of several, possibly semi-transparent layers (texture images).

A trick to circumvent this is to combine several terrain entities such that they look as one. This is relatively simple, but comes with limits of its own.

Ideally, some programming effort would be spent in order to improve this or replace or complement with a better technique.
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Carsten
cafufu
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Re: Terrain faces ?

Postby cafufu » 2017-08-03, 10:11

Carsten,

I suspect you're referring to the "Island-BaseTex.jpg"-method of overlaying the entire terrain with one big prefabricated "painting"?... and your software correcting for escarpments (areas with lots of vertical faces)?

With "combining terrain entities" you mean "glueing" (grouping?) them together at their edges?

BTW, is there a CaWe tool to "spray" a surface (of a terrain or other type of entity) with individual brushes such as rocks, moss, epiphytes, plants, simple man-made structures or even non-static entities (cattle)?

Thanks.
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Carsten
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Re: Terrain faces ?

Postby Carsten » 2017-08-04, 11:52

Hi,

cafufu wrote:I suspect you're referring to the "Island-BaseTex.jpg"-method of overlaying the entire terrain with one big prefabricated "painting"?

Yes.

... and your software correcting for escarpments (areas with lots of vertical faces)?

Yes, although there really isn't much to correct. Some distortion cannot be avoided, and many too steep faces, while technically handled as gracefully as plain ones, should not be used excessively anyways (it is not possible to create caves with the given implementation).

With "combining terrain entities" you mean "glueing" (grouping?) them together at their edges?

Either that (care must be taken because seams along the edges of neighboring terrains may occur), or just as in a deck of cards, stack multiple terrain surfaces above each other. Then just make sure that the terrain with the desired surfaces is the highest at the desired locations. These two techniques may also be combined: Stack terrains, but with overlaps only near the edges. I don't want to mislead you though: I've not tried any of these approaches, and while I believe that they work, they may as well don't work at all.

At this time, the best that I can suggest is using an program such as Terragen to prepare the terrain, then import it into CaWE.

Note that even if we modernized the terrain rendering technique – even then I guess that preparing the terrain externally, with a program that is separate from CaWE, will always be the dominating technique.

BTW, is there a CaWe tool to "spray" a surface (of a terrain or other type of entity) with individual brushes such as rocks, moss, epiphytes, plants, simple man-made structures or even non-static entities (cattle)?

That was and still is the intention, e.g. for creating forests. Unfortunately, I'm sorry to say that this is not yet implemented.
Best regards,
Carsten

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