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Author Topic: Snow Layer  (Read 6381 times)

josem75

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Snow Layer
« on: May 28, 2015, 06:50:46 pm »

I wanted to ask to Cameni and Angry, if a new layer Snow/ice would be very expensive in terms of performance.

Actally, snow is like a white paint over the rocks with no volume. Would be nice a future layer snow with volume and variations. For example, depending on the angle in the mountain, can have also ice look (in the wall of the mountains when almost vertically).
Also if in the future there are tools for work and customize the layers, we can make sceneries where we can put ice or snow depending on how the real life is.
Also future road type tools for snow layer can make diferent effects, like glaciar, etc. 
Of course fractally would have diferent attributes than rocks.

But basically i wanted to know if this idea would be posible to do, and if would kill the performance. I dont know if is there a way for make the rocks down the snow layer, invisible for the render, so the impact in the performance would not be important then.

I will put a video of the Himalayas as a nice reference of what i am saying.
(snow begin about minute 1).

Also with this layer would be posible make ski station sceneries in the future. And be prepared for deformation effect, spry..  The layer can begin with basic attributes. Somthing not so heavy  for overload the actual engine work. (would be like very flat rocks in extreme angle slopes, and more smooth en less angle slopes, and with ice/snow textures).
Outerra have a big room of improvement in this area with a layer like that and the himalayas sceneries would be awesome.


« Last Edit: May 28, 2015, 07:16:35 pm by josem75 »
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cameni

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 02:38:29 am »

It would not kill the performance, but I'm more concerned about GPU memory consumption. I was thinking about reusing the grass height data for the snow. It could be created from coarser tiles to make it fill the holes, instead of just painting over the terrain.
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HiFlyer

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 04:45:48 am »

Way back in the day, a program called Viewterra did something like what you were requesting. The snow had an adjustable depth and responded to temperature and season. Vehicles also left tracks in the snow.

I've always thought Outerra would eventually have similar capabilities.

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josem75

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 11:22:23 am »

It would not kill the performance, but I'm more concerned about GPU memory consumption. I was thinking about reusing the grass height data for the snow. It could be created from coarser tiles to make it fill the holes, instead of just painting over the terrain.

I think this is a great idea..  With those 10, 20, 30, maybe 50-80 Cm in the most large grass cases, would be enough for make nice tiles and play with the fractal values for a nice ice/snow looking. It would be similar to rocks layer but with diferent configuration/textures.  Having the references i dont know how much posibilities those fractal patterns can give you for recreate snow/ice in the mountains, maybe based in the slope angles, altitude, etc.. And also in future tools for make another effects. Imagine for example make a "big road" on the snow layer recreating a Glacier.. (same way now we can create a same material road).  Also a "road" for recreate a ski slope in Ski stations.. Posibilities would be huge.


I am just trying to imagine a "easy" way for the performance and for the engine work.
The problem i suppouse, is how add the layer. If you are in mount everest for example, you already need a lot of computer work (and time)  for render the rocks layer (in fact in himalayas sometimes overload and freeze).
Adding this layer would be extra job. Unless you simplify the job, and unify the two layers in the places where snow is there. So the entire rock layer itself is not below the snow layer. Or maybe creating a mix, a hibrid layer in those cases.. I say that because as you said, sometimes is a matter of cap holes of rock.. So you have snow/ice and rocks at same time.. Maybe finding the way to hide the rock layer when snow layer exceeds the rocks, this would be the ideal .
I suppouse this would be challenging for optimize. The Quid is.. The Snow layer should have less dificulty to render than rock layer because visually is more flat and need less poligons. The point is how the two layers can live together..

For the very begining of the snow, maybe texture is enough as a transition between no snowy and snowy terrain. Then after a little transition, adding layers would be a great evolution.

Thanks for the answer
« Last Edit: May 29, 2015, 12:07:56 pm by josem75 »
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cameni

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 02:06:50 pm »

It would not be creating any overhead. Just as the rocks do not add any - they are a part of the generated terrain. What you see as overload in Himalayas is actually because in mountains it has to create a lot more tiles because of the slopes, and since it doesn't compute occlusion (tiles that you actually can't see, on opposite sides or behind peaks, are still generated and rendered at the moment), it can run out of the memory allocated for terrain.

Snow would be generated as a part of the terrain, and the rocks and ground under it won't exist until you go through the terrain, making imprints or shoveling the snow away, which will cause re-generation of the affected terrain tiles. But that costs only when something changes, just like the craters, for example.
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josem75

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2015, 02:22:57 pm »

It would not be creating any overhead. Just as the rocks do not add any - they are a part of the generated terrain. What you see as overload in Himalayas is actually because in mountains it has to create a lot more tiles because of the slopes, and since it doesn't compute occlusion (tiles that you actually can't see, on opposite sides or behind peaks, are still generated and rendered at the moment), it can run out of the memory allocated for terrain.

Snow would be generated as a part of the terrain, and the rocks and ground under it won't exist until you go through the terrain, making imprints or shoveling the snow away, which will cause re-generation of the affected terrain tiles. But that costs only when something changes, just like the craters, for example.

I understand then. Its better than i though at the begining. 
With a coarser tiles for snow layer, maybe you can play with parameters. As we see in the video, in high altitude when slopes have less angle, then snow is accumulated and smoothed. As we see in the summits in 1:35 in the video.
If slopes have agressive angle,then ice is more flat and with more square forms.
Also sometimes snow is accumulated in high angle slopes, in the way we see in minute 2 in video.  So you can play with posibilities, percentages, where sometimes (lower percentage) we have accumulation in high angle slopes (or have some square forms in low angle too).

Now when we see everest, the wall is almost naked of snow/ice. With this system can be covered at least half or 2/3, between holes, and generating more square form in the mountain, more agressive angles. Tipical in high altitude himalaya mountains.
I know also its a matter of retouch the parameters for the rocks in the high altitudes, i think they need more agressive angles too (more erosion there).

I am a high altitude mountains lover. Himalayas is a place that i like visit in outerra.
Its a nice challenge. Even for you (while try the task and see results), and for visit himalayas with great nice looking (now already have, dont want to imagine how can be with some improvements in that way, and it seems the posibilities for them are there).
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 03:20:40 pm by josem75 »
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AKStone

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2015, 02:58:07 pm »

I'm also in creating new glaciers through whatever means necessary.
I haven't learned much about Outerra, and just getting back in to playing around with it, and altered mountain landscapes with additional ice would be very helpful.

Is there an easy way of inputting/replacing your own elevation grid instead of just adding a certain height to existing terrain?
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cameni

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2015, 04:16:44 am »

I'm also in creating new glaciers through whatever means necessary.
I haven't learned much about Outerra, and just getting back in to playing around with it, and altered mountain landscapes with additional ice would be very helpful.

Is there an easy way of inputting/replacing your own elevation grid instead of just adding a certain height to existing terrain?

Not an easy one, yet. Also, elevation data from satellites already contain the surface heights including the glaciers, so we'd probably need a material map identifying them, to be able to render them differently from normal terrain.
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AKStone

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Re: Snow Layer
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2015, 11:17:50 am »


Not an easy one, yet. Also, elevation data from satellites already contain the surface heights including the glaciers, so we'd probably need a material map identifying them, to be able to render them differently from normal terrain.

Got it.
When building roads, there's a small buildup of the side of hills that I would love extended to the dozens of meters category, and then in my case, painted white. It would be similar to painting in lakes, which I see is on the list. I'm making screenshots of what I want and altering them using photoshop, but it would be nice to play around with the real thing.

as always, thanks for the software!
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