Jump to content

Procedural terrain in DCS?


jackmckay
 Share

Recommended Posts

Is there any effort regarding ED team to advance terrain generation and mapping as in example: http://www.outerra.com/procedural/demo.html.

 

Other sims are already implementing this feature in game engines.

 

Another question: Is there any way to vary tree height according to base elevation. Could there be some way to add forestation layer random height bias?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
Hmm, not sure randomly created terrain makes sense in a simulator, when they are mapping whats actually there instead.

 

Procedural generation is not random. On the contrary, it is completely deterministic.


Edited by sobek

Good, fast, cheap. Choose any two.

Come let's eat grandpa!

Use punctuation, save lives!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Procedural generation is not random. On the contrary, it is completely deterministic.

 

I can't agree... procedural generation is based on algorithms that generate the terrain, so you can't generate the real terrain, and is useless in a sim where you want to recreate the real world, but useful in a space simulator where you can generate new planets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't agree... procedural generation is based on algorithms that generate the terrain, so you can't generate the real terrain, and is useless in a sim where you want to recreate the real world, but useful in a space simulator where you can generate new planets.

 

Not necessarily. You don't have to create every LOD procedurally. Instead you take a mesh from radar elevation data or what have you and once you're zoomed in far enough, you blend procedurally created details into that height map. That way, you can have reasonably close to RL geographic features combined with small scale noise resolution that would make your file size explode if you were to use conventional techniques.

 

This is exactly what engines like outerra do.


Edited by sobek

Good, fast, cheap. Choose any two.

Come let's eat grandpa!

Use punctuation, save lives!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If nothing else, I'd love to see this as a compromise to having so much blank landmass on the caucuses map. Turkey, Armenia, and Ukraine are just empty. Especially since Ukraine's mass seems to have a lot of those beacons for it to be empty.

 

This could be useful for instant missions too at some lwvel.

Owned: Ryzen 3900x, MSI AMD 470x mobo, 32gb 3200MHz ram, Gtx 1660 Ti, 970 Evo Plus 500GB, MsFFB2, TIR5, TMWH+18c Stick, MFG Crosswinds, Buttkicker/SSA, WinWing F-18C . Next is VR for simpit

Art Of The Kill:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Might have to do a total engine re-write maybe. You have vehicles and other non-static objects that need to exist on that terrain at all times, so it possibly has to be clearly defined at all times, even if it's across the map, especially in multiplayer.

 

IIRC though, Star Wars Galaxies actually patented a way to fractally expand terrain and draw it, the same way, every time. Remember this was 2003 and they had a 15kmx15km map that had a very high resolution and the recommended sys req was only 1GB. The minimum was 512MB.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Procedural generation is not random. On the contrary, it is completely deterministic.

 

True, but the way the real world has been developed is not, so as long as the map is of areas where the terrain is largely the result of human activity, it will never put things in 'the right place', rather it will put them 'where they should logically be'...

 

It may be repeatable, logically consistent. beautiful, system light, and immersive, but for flight sims where players complain that about the number of rivets on an aircraft, or that the length of time a battery can remain in before being depleted, it's just not the right answer to the problem (though as mentioned, it can fill in some of the detail - grass, bushes etc - within defined areas)

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are problems with procedural terrain, for one is the sheer size of the data if you populate the base data with alterations to the terrain base and expect to have buildings representative of specific regions, for the longest time OT didn't even have Biomes everything was green, there was 1 tree everywhere. Additionally the algorithms mean what you see at altitude is a procedural approximation of what you get as you get closer to the surface which is further procedurally defined. You might say "well if they overlay OSM data it'll be fine", not so, take a look at real roads, the earth around them is shaped almost always, we elevate them, slope them, cut into mountains. Defining a perfectly flat road segment takes x number of bytes in the octree, each segment has a defined start, end, texture, width, thickness, elevation and an enumeration for how it alters the terrain and probably many other things. Roads alone bloat the data set and we haven't even mentioned other natural and artificial features. The more you depart from the default dataset in the case of OT, the larger the storage requirement.

 

OT's representation of the earth is as a cube stored in an octree data structure (separated into a folder structure last I looked, +x, -x, +y, -y, +z, -z, each subdivided 4 times at the top level, as you get further down it's a lot like google maps, 1 big tile becomes 4 tiles per "zoom level", they then use an algorithm to "round out" the sides with an Earth Centred, Earth Fixed (ECEF) coordinate system. The base data they generate from is essentially NASA SRTM with 90m post spacing, it has to be translated into the OT native data structures for it to work much like roads and other features.

 

This is before we even consider the physics aspect required for high fidelity flight sim where the gravity vector points toward the origin instead of simply being a negative value on an (seem to remember y is vertical in DCS) axis. Other sims like FSX and X-Plane are more like DCS in that you're on a terrain treadmill. I used to work with VBS (as military) and even it had a curved earth rendering option from VBS 2 version 1.3 I think but that was back when we were only doing single large chunks of terrain up to 200km, maximum weapons employment range was generally 4km for any platform. Physics wise nothing changed, it employed flat earth physics as a pure shader implemntation.

 

I'm not saying ED can't achieve this in anyway, it's just a totally different beast that has been in development for years. With DCS you're talking changes to the underlying architecture, a significant workload and a large investment with less returns. You essentially have two choices, a handcrafted high detail area that has been checked extensively for quality (NTTR, vegas strip), or mass produced approximation and at times floating objects, mangled roads and so on.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

True, but the way the real world has been developed is not, so as long as the map is of areas where the terrain is largely the result of human activity, it will never put things in 'the right place', rather it will put them 'where they should logically be'...

 

It may be repeatable, logically consistent. beautiful, system light, and immersive, but for flight sims where players complain that about the number of rivets on an aircraft, or that the length of time a battery can remain in before being depleted, it's just not the right answer to the problem (though as mentioned, it can fill in some of the detail - grass, bushes etc - within defined areas)

 

As everything, it is a compromise, in this case between asset size and the LOD where things start to divert from RL. Interestingly enough, nobody ever complained that a blob on the noise texture for the Caucasus is in the wrong spot. I'm being facetious, but you get the point, in order to keep the size of a terrain sane, i believe there's no alternative to creating a lot of things procedurally and managing one's expectation of what can realistically be achieved in a simulation with regard to RL detail.

Good, fast, cheap. Choose any two.

Come let's eat grandpa!

Use punctuation, save lives!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree there has to be an element of procedural generation (there already is in DCS.world), & if it were in addition that what are currently the 'dead' spaces around the existing maps (Turkey / Russia / Crimea / California etc) had a coarse mesh and procedurally generated vegetation / towns / cities (vegetation & hamlets totally P.G., small towns and cities boundaries manually defined then automatically 'populated'), that would be better than dead space.

 

But (& I know you're not suggesting it is) it's not going to be a case of throwing algorithms at an elevation map of Korea & expecting people to be happy with the pretty countryside it generates as a Korean map...

 

(Much as I used to love making Far Cry maps & using covering those with interesting vegetation).

Cheers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...