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 Post subject: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 11:30 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:36 pm
Posts: 27
Hi, just wanted to show the first screenshot of my 3ds max voxel terrain plugin. The terrain here is 64x64x64 voxels in size. Although I use large volume there I don't make use of it yet because it is quite tricky to manage this in 3ds max. The final plugin will support possibly infinite terrains.

Image

Also the LoD simplification is done already it works(perfectly) by "crawling the border edges" of an extracted mesh and it basically moves each vertex of those border edges to the position of the next one merging these vertices in the process. When you look closely at the borders you see the simplified geometry. Sometimes(scarcely) this introduces some artifacts, some sort of overlapping of nearby geometry. But I believe this can be fixed by moving the moved vertices a little in direction of the deleted vertex instead of placing them directly on the position of the next vertex.

Image

That's all for now I will update this thread with further development of this project so stay tuned.
Regards,
Syphorlate


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 9:28 pm 
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Good stuff - it's really nice to see this coming together. Have you seen Acropora by the way? It's a stand alone voxel modeling application so you might be able to get some ideas from it. I think you should be able to push the terrain size higher than them though. Good luck with it!


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:54 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:36 pm
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Yes, I tried out acropora too. It has some cool features although I find it's painting/sculpting functions pretty lousy.
The next thing I'll do to figure out how
to best make use of the largevolume. I believe I need several 3ds Max Meshes for that...

In the end this whole thing was planned as a terrain editor for my graphics engine. So when this is done I will post
some realtime demo here... although this will take some time till that happens...


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:08 pm 
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Syphorlate wrote:
Yes, I tried out acropora too. It has some cool features although I find it's painting/sculpting functions pretty lousy.

Yeah, I didn't use it for the editing features much, just as a tool for converting some polygon meshes to voxels. I'm sure you can come up with something better ;-)


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 9:36 am 

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:36 pm
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New screenshot with some better lighting:
Image


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:03 pm 
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Very nice, so how did you do the texturing in the end? Did 3DS Max unwrap the mesh for you as you suggested?


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 12:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:36 pm
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In this particular case no.Here I used 3ds max UVWmap boxed modifier which I think applies triplanar UV.
But I am not sure anymore whether I want to unwrap the mesh at all. Since it will be difficult to maintain
the same texturing for different LoD levels. So probably I'll use triplanar mapping a long with procedural
texturing.

The reason I wanted to unwrap the mesh was because I wanted to be able to paint ways and such stuff
directly onto the terrain. I know you can use vertex blending for that but the problem with vertexblending
is that if you paint stuff on your terrain and LoD discards a vertex then your painted stuff will be gone too.
That kind of sucks. but probably I just have to live with that :-P


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:10 pm 
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Syphorlate wrote:
The reason I wanted to unwrap the mesh was because I wanted to be able to paint ways and such stuff
directly onto the terrain.

I've also though about using octree textures as a way of painting on the terrain: http://http.developer.nvidia.com/GPUGem ... ter37.html

It won't be high resolution, but the octree texture which the user paints on could just be treated as a blend map, which dictates which real textures are then applied (triplanar texturing would be used for the real textures). No idea how well it works and you would still be limited in terms of size. But it's an interesting idea.


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:40 pm 

Joined: Thu Sep 01, 2011 2:36 pm
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Thanks for the link. Yeah it's interesting but I find the fragment shader a little bit expensive in terms of per pixel texture lookups.
It might be okay if you don't do any other effects(like shadowing and/or virtual displacement mapping) but for dsiplaying huge
terrains I find it a little bit heavy.


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 Post subject: Re: 3DS MAX VOXEL Terrain Editor
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 3:36 pm 
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The other problem is that it would be difficult for your users. If the data was were output in a strange octree format then your uses would need in-game shaders to handle that.

So yeah, I don't think it's great for your current application, but as megatexture/SVO technology develops it might be interesting in the future.


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