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Outerra Tech Demo download. Help with graphics driver issues

Author Topic: Global Resolution  (Read 2882 times)

HiFlyer

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Global Resolution
« on: March 02, 2014, 02:34:08 pm »

Hi guys!

A quick question: As I explore Outerra in more detail, it becomes clear that the color data for the world has a limited resolution, leading to instances like the Image below.



Looking around, it seems that even the best data (like blue marble) is only going to take you so far; certainly not to ground level resolution, which is what I am supposing is leading to the "color squares" (big pixels?) which are especially noticeable around islands.

Do the developers have access to higher resolution data, or some method of further refining whats available down to ground level, or is this a limit of the Outerra technology?
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 02:35:50 pm by HiFlyer »
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Timmo

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Re: Global Resolution
« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2014, 02:59:24 pm »

Err...the whole point of the fractal refinement in Outerra is to solve the problem you show: Data (specifically data with global coverage) isn't generally of high enough resolution for ground level views- By adding fractally generated 'noise' to that data, it gives the appearance of being more detailed than it is.

It's possible that what you are seeing there is an error?
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HiFlyer

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Re: Global Resolution
« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2014, 03:09:08 pm »

Err...the whole point of the fractal refinement in Outerra is to solve the problem you show: Data (specifically data with global coverage) isn't generally of high enough resolution for ground level views- By adding fractally generated 'noise' to that data, it gives the appearance of being more detailed than it is.

It's possible that what you are seeing there is an error?

Yep, you can find similar areas all over the Outerra globe. The terrain data is fractally refined, but I suspect the color data is "painted" on, possibly by Blue Marble data with limited resolution? Those darker green areas are the trees.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 03:10:48 pm by HiFlyer »
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cameni

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Re: Global Resolution
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2014, 03:55:24 pm »

In this case it's more likely a bug in the auxiliary vegetation density data (which is problematic and there are several interpretations of its value), or a manifestation of some of the other known issues (precision in texture sampling) that have to be worked around. Otherwise the problem would show everywhere, as the resolution of the color data is constant. Color data aren't used directly, they go through the fractal mixer that also uses other variables to determine the output, and the transitions are normally fractal-like even if the input is a rough raster.

Fractal mixer currently does not have access to the noise with longer wavelengths, and thus can't disperse rough color samples when they are not also accompanied with usable variations in the terrain topology. However, the existing natural layer isn't supposed to handle artificial, man-made changes like fields or parks, because they do not have a fractal distribution anyway. That's the task for the vector overlay. Those color map texels that map to agricultural areas should be actually blurred to make the distribution more natural-like, removing the aliasing altogether. The vector overlay will then produce the right polygonal shapes for the man-made changes. To fix the issue we need either to fix the biome data (blurring and anti-aliasing the civilization areas), or to add long-wavelength fractal channels able to handle the coarse transitions. We'll probably do both as the forest distribution needs the latter, and there are other uses for it (snow coverage ...).


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HiFlyer

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Re: Global Resolution
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2014, 04:10:59 pm »

In this case it's more likely a bug in the auxiliary vegetation density data (which is problematic and there are several interpretations of its value), or a manifestation of some of the other known issues (precision in texture sampling) that have to be worked around. Otherwise the problem would show everywhere, as the resolution of the color data is constant. Color data aren't used directly, they go through the fractal mixer that also uses other variables to determine the output, and the transitions are normally fractal-like even if the input is a rough raster.

Fractal mixer currently does not have access to the noise with longer wavelengths, and thus can't disperse rough color samples when they are not also accompanied with usable variations in the terrain topology. However, the existing natural layer isn't supposed to handle artificial, man-made changes like fields or parks, because they do not have a fractal distribution anyway. That's the task for the vector overlay. Those color map texels that map to agricultural areas should be actually blurred to make the distribution more natural-like, removing the aliasing altogether. The vector overlay will then produce the right polygonal shapes for the man-made changes. To fix the issue we need either to fix the biome data (blurring and anti-aliasing the civilization areas), or to add long-wavelength fractal channels able to handle the coarse transitions. We'll probably do both as the forest distribution needs the latter, and there are other uses for it (snow coverage ...).

No problem. I assumed you were aware of the issue, but was curious if you had a workable solution in mind. I hope the Biomes are going through a thorough vetting process, as some areas look very realistic, while others (mostly those with the very bright green grass) can be very artificial appearing, especially as the light changes.

For that reason, I am tending to favor desert regions or rocky and coastal areas right now, while looking at things like this video and thinking of the future.  ;D

« Last Edit: March 02, 2014, 04:16:19 pm by HiFlyer »
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