July 8, 2009

Voronoi the Paranoid Android

Above: a cellular-based texture, Worley-style. Still implementing cool textures for my procedural content generation project; so far, I've got a couple of noise basis functions along with a framework for combining them into more complex textures. Next up: terrain generation. This will involve a few steps:
  • Generate a heightmap. For a first pass rendering, midpoint displacement is dead easy to implement. Since heightmaps are textures, I can even slap this into my texture framework as another basis function (albeit one with a relatively heavy initialization time (although the midpoint values could be generated on demand!))
  • Set up the OpenGL window. We've been using gtkmm for previous assignments; I see no reason to break that trend, as I can save time by slapping our old window setup code into the project.
  • Issue OpenGL commands to render the heightmap. In its most basic form, this is just a series of GL_QUADS. If I was going after static rendering, I'd probably put the whole thing into a display list and use GL_QUAD_STRIPS instead; however, this will be interactive, so I'll need to do something smarter than shoving the whole terrain patch into a display list.
There are other considerations as well. For example, I might want to dynamically load blocks of terrain as the user walks around. Randomly generated terrain becomes a bit of a problem in this case - unless the blocks are "aware" of each other, there will be discontinuous jumps! I'll leave those problems for later.

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