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Very detailed terrain: how to reduce poly count?
show user profile  PaulJBis
Hi all:

I'm trying to model a very detailed terrain, detailed enough for the camera to fly over it and not look fake. I've got a NASA map of the zone I'm trying to model, converted it to B&W and applied it to my geometry as a displacement map, but the problem is that, in order to get the detail level that I need, my polygon count has to be so high that I can't really work with the scene; half of the times, when trying to open it, Max crashes with an "out of memory" error... (I've tried using it as a bump map, but it doesn't look good enough).

I vaguely remember reading here years ago a thread opened by someone with the same problem, and somebody else suggesting a piece of software/plugin/whatever that allowed you to do exactly that: from what I remember, it didn't create "real" geometry (vertices/polys/etc.) in the scene, except at render time, and allowed you to create very detailed terrains without the poly count. I've been searching for that thread here, but haven't found it, so I'm posting now in case this sounds familiar to somebody.

read 365 times
8/11/2009 8:03:36 AM (last edit: 8/11/2009 8:03:36 AM)
show user profile  Jock
I though that if you used a displacement map you dont need any subdivision of the plane, so it could be 1x1 if it wanted.
read 356 times
8/11/2009 8:22:49 AM (last edit: 8/11/2009 8:22:49 AM)
show user profile  advance-software
I wrote a 3dsmax view dependant displacement mapping modifier (*) for Matrox Graphics a couple of years ago that does exactly what you're wanting here. The tesselation is higher up close to the camera and lower further away, resulting in minimal triangulation and therefore significant acceleration of this kind of thing. It even works on skinned meshes, so we could apply true surface deformation in detail maps - not just 'fake' normal maps. Alas, Matrox canned the project and I can't use / distribute without permission. Search around, maybe someone else has written one.

* I didn't write the low level tesselator, only the max modifier & a real-time API to use it.

Shame about this, it was good work.
read 339 times
8/11/2009 8:45:52 AM (last edit: 8/11/2009 8:49:53 AM)
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