New huge terrain!
What's new for this month:
- Completed terrain framework (heightmap-based, 9 LODs, full LOD's geomorphing, full data streaming, normalmap support).
- Terrain module in the engine with intersection and collision support.
- Terrain editor (embedded into ResourceEditor): different brushes (normal, addition, subtract, smooth, dilate, erode) for editing heightmap and diffuse texture; normalmap brushes; undo support, maximal terrain size is 262145 x 262145, unique textures up to 262145 x 262145.
- Clipmap textures for unique mapping of the terrain.
- Improvements of material file syntax: materials use shader names from previous states.
- List of visible nodes is saved into save file now.
- XML module now disallow setting multiple arguments with the same name to a node.
- Image class can copy compressed images.
- ImageDDS now supports 2 new flags: -w (width) and -h (height).
- Improved image scalator: more quality.
- Support of mipmaps generation and scaling for odd size textures.
- Shift of textures in shaders (all 16 texture combiners are used now).
- Resolved static/dynamic libraries issue under Linux.
- Release Linux build works on almost all distributives without weird libraries dependencies.
- Fixed Maya plugins for animation exporting.
- Image class supports all TGA formats (L8, L16, RGB8, RGBA8; both compressed and not) plus indexed ones (RGB8 and RGBA8).
- "Rendering Sequence", "Simulation of Physics" and "File System" articles in "Principles of Operation" section of the manual.
- Revised "Programming" section of the manual: "Development Environment", "Console", "Mesh File Formats" articles; "Unigine C++ API", "GUI", "UnigineScript" subsections.
- Completed documentation for Core Library of UnigineScript.
- UnigineAPI documentation has been embedded into Unigine reference manual, now all the docs are gathered together.
Texture limits for terrain with 2048 x 2028 clipmap: 65536 x 65536 for diffuse and 32768 x 32768 for normal
If there is no need to support old hardware, clipmap texture size can be increased up to 4096 x 4096 pixels,
thus we can obtain maximal size of the textures (see above).
By means of TerrainEditor one can export/import parts of terrain from/to external applications.
Sorry for the programmer's art, our artists had no time to create something more pretty-looking.
However, there are some unsolved issues with new terrain:
- Terrain doesn't cast shadow from LightWorld yet.
- There are some restrictions on reflections: water and other horizontal reflactions are OK, while having slope reflection causes frequent update of terrain buffers and clipmaps.
- Rendering quality can be improved by interpolation between clipmaps, but is causes great speed drop on any GPUs except for DX10-capable ones.
Nevertheless such a huge terrain with unique mapping is something hard to imagine. But it works!
Our artists made a lot of work this month on forthcoming big demo, there are combined lighting and an almost completed new vehicle there. We hope next time we'll show you some pretty screenshots, stay tuned.