Terrain Tiles

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Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:10 am

I like that tileset YD - it has really good shoreline shapes. Unforunately, I don't know how much it will do for us as it's a different color from our base, and it's orthogonal which means we'd need to reorganize shapes for our staggered tile system.

I can certainly use it as a guide though. Thank you.

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Tue Apr 08, 2014 9:58 am

I had a thought or two about terrain lately and I remember the continuous terrain not looking that good still because:
a) the symmetry conditions that the tiles have to fulfill to allow continuous tiling
b) periodicities in the resulting pattern that unfortunately always remain to some degree and that the human eye is particularly good in detecting

Now I would like to try a bit different, a bit more procedurally created terrain. I would like to:
a) make flat terrain like plain, desert, tundra, swamp, sea from much larger textures spaning several tiles
b) spiky points like mountains, hills, trees, fields are placed randomly but clustered
c) draw order is flat terrain first, then spiky terrain from top to bottom to create the illusion of 3D

That should in principal address the issues of periodicity and symmetry, even simply the artwork creation, but might introduce other problems. And this is still 2D graphics because nothing is rendered, there aren't shades or the ability to rotate and anything.

I'm not sure how good it will work but I will experiment in a small Python script in the next days based on Ven's tiles. Currently I'm optimistic about it.

Veneteaou
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Veneteaou » Tue Apr 08, 2014 5:38 pm

That sounds confusing. For whatever reason (probably a lack of coffee) I'm not understanding it. I like the idea of randomly generating tiles by pulling pieces from larger images. It's John Carmack's super textures applied to terrain art.

Anyway, give it a shot and show it to us, I'm always excited to see stuff like that.

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Trilarion
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New ideas about Terrain (1/2)

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 09, 2014 5:34 pm

Just wait until I have finished it. I hope it will be clear when I show it.

I lately investigated a bit of research into how other people display their terrain and I compiled a list of possible alternatives:
  • (A) 2D terrain tiles like we use them currently with clever kind of continuity rules
  • (B) 2D terrain tiles and some kind of procedurally placed content on connected tiles of same type
  • (C) External programm (blender, ...) 3D rendered terrain rendered once from a fixed zoom and position and then stored as background image
  • (D) Python 3D rendered terrain rendered once from a fixed zoom and position and then stored as background image
Don't get me wrong. I don't want to introduce 3D graphics because I think that in a strategy game graphics is not the most important point and it would require more programming and more artist works to make everything 3D.

Basically the zoom and the perspective is fixed. However one could do C and D from the list above which mean that part of the graphics are rendered in 3D once and then stored as image. Then you either need access to the 3D graphics library (of course there is: Panda 3D or PyOgre) or we could even say that you can do it with an external programm like Blender or even Povray which must be used by players who also want to play random scenarios.

The 3D graphics only needs textures and the shadow and lightning effects are quite good nowadays. However you need a bit of time to come to nicely looking results. Currently I only see it as an option and would stick to 2D.

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Trilarion
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New ideas about Terrain (2/2)

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:51 pm

Here I just dump a list of websites I come across while looking for terrain/landscape graphics with some comments. A lot of links and I didn't follow them all thoroughly.

Automatic terrain creation

Perlin noise, Diamon square algorithm, Plasma Fractal, Delaunay Triangulation in Unity (see also here), Terraineer

Aggregate sites about 3D Rendering, discussing software and their use

Virtual Terrain Project (also their own software, free?) has a huge(!) collection of links, Shaded Relief, Graphics Programming course including terrain rendering in OpenGL,

3D terrain rendering outside of Python

InnerWorld in Blender, Terrain creation tutorial in the Unreal Engine?, Discussion about 2D/3D? terrain generation in Commandos, Terrain Creation using World Machine and Maya, Example including sky and fog in Ogre, Artifex Terra 3D, Nem, Terrain Generator, Example using PovRay,

3D terrain rendering in Python

GeoExamples

3D rendering libraries in Python

List of 3D engines (partly outdated), Mayavi, VPython, Panda3D with some terrain rendering discussiongs(here, here orhere or here, PyOgre,

Commercial software for landscape rendering

Among others: Natural Graphics, Visual 3D, TerraGen

Procedureal 2D terrain creation

Example using OpenGameArt

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Trilarion
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Tiled maps vs pre-rendered maps

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:55 pm

There is an interesting blog entry from Panzer Division, another strategy game in the making. What I like is the look of their prerendered terrain. To me it looks good (enough).

Find it at Norway.

I will sent them a message asking how they did it, once I found out how to contact them.

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Trilarion
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The different ways

Post by Trilarion » Wed Apr 09, 2014 6:59 pm

So I see the following ways and we should try them all and then select the best:
  • Continueing with 2D tiles which is fine by me
  • 3D pre-rendered tiles in the external application Blender using a Python-Blender plugin
  • 3D pre-rendered tiles using 3D library Panda 3D and a mixture of existing Python scripts
All of these methods I can quickly iterate in Python and can display results in the next days which is the really good thing about it.

Veneteaou
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Re: Tiled maps vs pre-rendered maps

Post by Veneteaou » Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:22 am

Trilarion wrote:There is an interesting blog entry from Panzer Division, another strategy game in the making. What I like is the look of their prerendered terrain. To me it looks good (enough).

Find it at Norway.

I will sent them a message asking how they did it, once I found out how to contact them.
It's probably done in something like Terragen, World Machine, Artifex Terra 3D (open source), or even directly in Unity with plugins. I've used Terragen and World Machine before, although there are some pretty severe limitations unless a license is purchased.

http://vterrain.org/Packages/Artificial/ is a great place to read up on options.

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Trilarion
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by Trilarion » Fri Apr 11, 2014 11:34 am

I got an answer: Link

Summarized version:
  • Create logical map depicting terrain type and river
  • Manually add randonmess of borders of neighboring terrain types
  • Use as mask for Terragen to render terrain in terragen
  • Photoshop for adding cities and airports as well as balancing the colors
  • Add forest manually with a custom brush containing tree images

pikovich
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Re: Terrain Tiles

Post by pikovich » Wed Jul 23, 2014 5:11 pm

Terrain looks good so far.


Why not using scaled Real images for Trees etc...? The resolution would work.

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