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workflow questions

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workflow questions

Postby 0cme » Tue Aug 07, 2012 8:27 pm

Hi - I'm still just getting started with L3DT. I've got a couple questions about how to accomplish a few things, and am wondering if anyone has some advice.

When working on the design map, it's handy to be able to quickly change between different design map brushes. But it would also be really useful to able to switch between different design map schemes at the same time. Like, is there a way to make the "Select scheme for design map" dialog be non-modal... so it just floats the same way as the "Design map brush" dialog? Or some other way to get the ability to change brush AND view without having to go through a menu?

Image

Also, when generating maps for a game, I'm looking for some way of restricting the slope of particular areas to be compliant with a standard for player movement and navigation. For example, let's say I wanted to restrict the slope to be either less than 15 degrees *or* more than 60 degrees. In some ideal world I'd be able to just paint down areas where I wanted a slope restriction in place... like in this image, if you pretend that "lake" is actually "slope restriction":

Image

...or failing that, being able to paint slope restriction in Sapphire, or some other solution? Should I get the commercial version and investigate ZeoGraph?
0cme
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Re: workflow questions

Postby Aaron » Mon Aug 13, 2012 11:06 am

Hi 0cme,

I apologise for the delay in my reply.

I've put it on the to-do list to allow the user to more easily change the design map scheme independent of the current brush setting. Thanks for the suggestion.

I'll have to think a bit more about how the slope restriction should work. This sort of thing has been requested before, and then as now I still get caught on the problem that you can only set the terrain height or slope, but not both, since the latter is the derivative of the former. This means there will be conflict between the heights you may set, and the slope limits you set. For instance, if the user manually sets the altitude on two neighbouring pixels to be foo and bar, and then restricts the slope to be less than the amount required to get from foo to bar over the intervening distance, what should happen? Should the program ignore your specified heights, or ignore your specified slope? Should it take an average? What would this do the the surrounding pixels, which may then become steeper as a result (possibly exceeding their own slope limits)? I find it a little difficult to see how the algorithm could resolve these conflicts, but I am at times quite unimaginative. I'm open to suggestions or insights on how this might work.

Best regards,
Aaron.
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Re: workflow questions

Postby 0cme » Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:00 pm

Thanks Aaron. I know that it's not a simple problem... I've talked about it with some other people too and it's definitely a head-scratcher.

One way I've imagined it is that it could be an iterative process with an expanding selection set... where it starts with the highest point in the terrain as the sole member of the selection set. It then checks the slope its nearest neighboring points. If the slope is OK to a neighboring point, it adds those neighbor points to the selection set. After that, if there were any leftover neighbors where the slope was too steep, it moves the entire selection set down until those slope problems are gone. Then you just loop through that again and again until the entire terrain is in the selection set and there's nothing left to check against.

Of course, who knows what kind of results this would ACTUALLY produce. I have a feeling that somewhere in the "adding points to the selection set" it would need to also check against the rest of the terrain to see if there are other peaks that the selection set is encroaching on in terms of altitude, and add them as well.
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