I continued working on the grass, removing the grid and adding real terrain underneath:
So if you suspect that something is wrong, try this! Somebody has got to pay for the time wasted tracking this down!
This is the result of my efforts:
Now this looks decent, is less buggy and performs a lot better than previous versions (ignore the massive FRAPS snag in the middle of the video). With single pass grass and lower quality terrain it should work on anything. But there are still tons of problems with it:
- While grass is chunked, terrain is not chunked yet, so it has pretty poor resolution. You can see how square hill tops are. I'll chunk terrain and then maybe I can get it larger, but for now I want to avoid really large pieces of terrain. Both as a design decision and a way to reduce work load. Implementing terrain LOD switching is a 2-6 week task depending on the quality of the switch.
- Getting a texture tiling factor that looks good is almost impossible.
- Getting one for distant terrains is very hard because if you set it too low, your textured will look detailed and non-repeating, but it will create the illusion of closeness. Those mighty hills in the distance will appear closer and smaller. Setting it too high will create and obvious repeating pattern. I did not set it to the optimal value, I had to compromise because of the next point.
- Your distant texture tiling factor is the same to your close factor, and pretty much any value you select that makes distant lands look good will make the land under your feet look like shit. Selecting a tiling factor that makes close land look good is so high, that it will eliminate all detail from distant lands, making them look like smooth colored and shaded surfaces.
- Grass does not look good in the distance unless it is scaled up to a ridiculous degree: about 30 times. So I had to scale it all up. A real solution would be to chunk it (already done) and scale it based on distance.
- Distant grass should really be unanimated billboards.
- The scale of the land is 128000x128000x20000. Pretty big. In the video you are walking/flying at greatly increased move speed, but even without this the land seems tiny. Scaling is all wrong. Partially because of grass. When I got the grass so high that it looked good in the distance, you couldn't see anything from the grass in first person mode while on the ground. It was a lot taller than you, so I had to raise the camera. Another reason is close land tiling factor. Raising the camera also makes close textures look less blurry and stretched.
So this week: primordial procedural cities and physics!