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Author Topic: Middle Earth  (Read 24585 times)

monks

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Middle Earth
« on: March 16, 2012, 08:55:07 am »

Hi, we've been around on the boards for a while now. Look like this a better place to post future updates. It's exciting to see so many things happening with user content!  :)

Our original thread is here:
http://www.outerra.com/forum/index.php?topic=326.0

 Here's some stuff we've done previously:

The ME-DEM project has been given kind permission by Cameni and AngryPig to post some development shots of our terrain within Outerra.

We recently moved over to an entirely new workflow in ME-DEM for building the terrain. We've been testing whether that would be feasable of itself and also testing the specifics of getting it into Outerra and how Outerra renders it with its procedural fractals at the sub 90m scale.

We got our initial terrain into Outerra which was built on our old workflow using procedural terrain generators. After viewing it from orbit and having seen  the real earth data in Outerra (SRTM v4 at 90m), it was pretty obvious that it didn't stand up very well to scrutiny from high orbit.  :P
 While procedurals terrain generators are great are small scale (sub planetary- Outerra is BIIIIIG!!) terrain modelling, they don't currently have tools for creating convincing large scale structures like continental mountain ranges. So we decided to use real earth data instead...

We're currently using two methods: a more traditional manual modelling approach using real terrain from SRTM sources in Photoshop, Leveller, and World Machine and procedural tile blending of tiles from the same data. We use Global Mapper to select and export the tiles.

 The manual modelling of the mountain ranges is the long term goal- but it will be longer term. the procedural approach will be handled by Robes' texturer and take care of any terrain I've not modelled manually in the meantime.

 First up was Mordor. Bear in mind that in the future the texturer will be set up to incorporate user defined textures. We're still with the default Earth texture settings here.
 
 The highest point on the terrain is at around 16,000 ft. Not sure where that is exactly...but everything looks good. We've used artistic license and extended the height of the Mordor mountains. We're probably going to roughly double the height of the mountains in Middle Earth over our previous estimates.
 I used the Carpathians as the basis for Mordor- sorry to people who live there, no offence  ;D. The problem with that was that they are not young mountains like say the Himalayas with all of those sharp glaciated ridges, so I had to apply ridge sharpening in World Machine. The Photoshop processing removed some of the high frequency detail from the terrain so I had to replace that procedutally while preserving the flatness of the valleys.
 
 These are all shots of just the lower right quad of the ME-DEM terrain. I'll post some shots later with the entire map.

Valleys


Ridges

 
 
 
Another problem we had was creating a good transition from mountains to lowlands. This turned out to be not too difficult to solve.




 
 
 
One of the spooky mountains- this is really cool when you travel across the Udun crater- it's huge and very evil looking up close  8) Just to get an idea of the scale of this, it takes about 20 minutes to travel across the crater of Udun "running" along the ground.

 
I added a sea of mist and took some pics- you get an almost tropical feel.

In this one the mist fills the caldera of Udun. The Morannon Gate (the location of the battle at the end of The Return of the King) is at the south at the gap in the crater. To get a sense of the scale of this, the arrow in the pic points to the summit of the tower in the previous pic just poking its head above the mist!


 Here's Mt Doom





 

 

I was playing around in World Machine with Voronoi noise and came up with the beginning of a surface for the plains of Mordor.
 
http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/RW_Terrain/Test/Mordor/11_09_11/Mordor_surface.png
 
It'd be really sweet to be able to add to this plain the occasional displacements like these: http://blackheart6004.deviantart.com/art/Terragen-2-Shear-163303491
Terragen 2 has a workflow which can export displacements as meshes to 3Ds Max. That's one possibility, Outerra will no doubt have procedural solutions too.  ;)

monks



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monks

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2012, 08:58:04 am »

 We're currently making tweaks to our version 1.0 terrain. We're testing out procedural mountain ranges this time round.

Some pics:

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Blue_Mts_01.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Blue_Mts_02.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Edge_of_the_World_Mountains.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Edge_of_the_World_Mountains_02.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Fjord.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Gulf_of_Lhun.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/Gulf_of_Lhun_looking_south.jpg

http://www.skindustry.net/medem/files/Phase2/Terrain_1.0/NASARun/2011/OuTerra/Screens/North_Cape_of_the_Blue_Mountains.jpg


There's too much snow generally so we need to lower the mountains since we don't have access to climate controls in Outerrra yet. Not sure why Mordor has all that snow on it. I've used the same dem as the pics I've posted before of Mordor. We also have a problem of too much noise in the mts.
It's looking great in a lot of places. It's the first time we've run the make process and we've had a lot of bugs to swat along the way. I've documented everything we did, so it'll be much easier from now on.

monks
 
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Kelvinr

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 01:27:23 am »

Absolutely outstanding effort!

Do we know if the data will be added to the current dataset and whether it will be downloadable?

So basically, when can we get our hands on it?  ;D
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Redrobes

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2012, 08:14:18 pm »

Were fighting to get the mountains looking right and were fixing the problems quite rapidly at the mo so its best if everyone can wait just a little longer as the improvements are worth it. I'm not sure exactly *how* were releasing it but I am convinced it will be let lose on the world at some point soon.

Kelvinr

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2012, 08:34:54 pm »

That's all I needed, thanks mate.
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monks

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #5 on: March 17, 2012, 09:22:14 pm »

Hi Kelvinr, yeh, a few tweaks to make first. We'd like to open it up for people to add stuff to it- buildings, roads, etc. It'd be great to see the place come to life! I think it'll be a few months yet, but not much more than that. 
All of our project data is stored as vectors georeferenced to a globe, so we've got an absolute ton of climate and enviroment info. Outerra works on those principles, so we're in a good position to make use of it all.
 I'm planning to release a topo map soon.  ;)

monks
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monks

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 08:24:48 am »

A quick update on where we're up to. All of the mountains are completed. The terrain still needs a few fixes but the difficult stuff has been done. Here's some shots at half res with hills and lowlands added. In a few weeks we'll be able to drop this into Outerra. :)



full size: http://www.me-dem.me.uk/galleries/Development2/Mountains_Hills_and_Lowlands_03.png






monks
« Last Edit: October 05, 2012, 08:28:14 am by monks »
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seppen

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 08:45:33 am »

Very exciting project, looking forward to loads of Outerra screenshots/vids  :)
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monks

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 08:53:18 am »

 Thanks dude. Don't think it'll be a patch on yours tho Seppen by the sounds of it! Maybe we could attach one of those laser scanners to a fell beast or something hehe. We're gonna make this a freely available download so everyone can enjoy it. ;)

monks
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Sam

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #9 on: October 05, 2012, 09:14:22 am »

Thanks dude. Don't think it'll be a patch on yours tho Seppen by the sounds of it! Maybe we could attach one of those laser scanners to a fell beast or something hehe. We're gonna make this a freely available download so everyone can enjoy it. ;)

monks
8)
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seppen

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #10 on: October 05, 2012, 10:15:24 am »

Thanks dude. Don't think it'll be a patch on yours tho Seppen by the sounds of it! Maybe we could attach one of those laser scanners to a fell beast or something hehe. We're gonna make this a freely available download so everyone can enjoy it. ;)

monks

Love the detail in the NZ Wellington 1m Lidar dataset, but just 4x4km is 10million poly´s if include OSM roads/streets.
Perhaps some magic algorithm can make it possible in Quterra on day  ;D

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monks

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #11 on: October 05, 2012, 10:26:11 am »

That must be incredible...! I mean 10m res is gobsmacking enough- I think there was some of Mt St Helens out there. 1m is like 100x what we are using...hahaha! No waaay. I did check out a demo of 30m dem of Hawaii that was up on the net a few years ago- could fly around it with a texture drape on it. That was really cool.  I reckon if anyone can pull it off tho Brano and Co are the folks to do it. Maybe with their use of the gpu for everything in sight it could be possible! Do you have a thread on here for your project?

monks
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seppen

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #12 on: October 05, 2012, 10:52:05 am »

That must be incredible...! I mean 10m res is gobsmacking enough- I think there was some of Mt St Helens out there. 1m is like 100x what we are using...hahaha! No waaay. I did check out a demo of 30m dem of Hawaii that was up on the net a few years ago- could fly around it with a texture drape on it. That was really cool.  I reckon if anyone can pull it off tho Brano and Co are the folks to do it. Maybe with their use of the gpu for everything in sight it could be possible! Do you have a thread on here for your project?

monks

Infrastructure Modeler handle very detailed geotiffs, but when exporting the generated terrain to 3ds Max the filesize alone is a challenge, 5m is possible for larger terrains I´ve tested.

My project plans change with Outerra he he, so will put something up when I know what is possible with collision/physics etc.

Kind of shocked that import/Engine itself is so solid with large/complex models, but then there is no collision yet.
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monks

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #13 on: October 05, 2012, 11:35:52 am »

I've not used the model import yet but I've got a few sites installed from one of the guys on here- I think
 he was one of the first to add stuff, can't remember his name, pico? That's really stable loading- and skipping between
 his various sites. They must have added that about a year ago now.
 I know the devs are busy with something which I don't think I can divulge- well I know very little apart from they're even
 more busy than before. Collision...sounds cool. One more major element that'll bring it to life- bouncing bunnies with rocket launchers anyone?  ;D Would love to see flowing water too...dunno if that would come under physics though. The addition of one or two more devs to the team would not go amiss!
 That's kinda why I've never really done anything more than scratched the surface with Max because it's not really
 designed to handle terrain like it is poly models. We just found a really nice workflow when we discovered Outerra.
I've used the mapressor tool which basically imports and encodes terrain. That uses the gpu and it flys.
 Every now and then I'll get an itch to create some architecture- think I could really get into that- or
 create characters to liven the place up a bit- but then the terrain shouts Oi, I'm not done yet!  :P Nearly there now though
for a version 1.0.
 We hope that folks will add stuff to the terrain once we can get it out there.

monks
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seppen

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Re: Middle Earth
« Reply #14 on: October 05, 2012, 11:51:30 am »

Since mentioned "running water" I still find this thing very impressive since done in WebGL!

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