Implementing "floating" terrain

Dec 18, 2012 at 2:49 PM

Folks,

Trying to implement something akin to a floating island but current terrain model does not allow for it.  A transparent "rectangle"/"cube" underneath the current terrain implementation would work nicely.  I'm not a newbie but am far from advanced, so how far out of the template is this type of excursion?

Thanks,
Mike

Coordinator
Dec 18, 2012 at 2:57 PM
It would require a new type of terrain system entirely. By definition a heightmap cannot have two elevations at any given x,z. What you're describing basically requires a type of terrain called a "polygon soup", or you could use the current terrain and then use a custom mesh for the floating sections. Other limitations: You cannot use a heightmap to make land bridges, or caves, or holes in the world. So, what you're asking for is doable, and obviously has been done, but would require a new type of terrain system. If you want floating islands in the current engine you'll need to use a model/mesh and give it TriangleMesh physics. For an example of this in the demo there is a floating spaceship near where the camera starts out that uses TriangleMesh physics.


On Dec 18, 2012, at 8:49 AM, "sdbMike" <notifications@codeplex.com> wrote:

From: sdbMike

Folks,

Trying to implement something akin to a floating island but current terrain model does not allow for it. A transparent "rectangle"/"cube" underneath the current terrain implementation would work nicely. I'm not a newbie but am far from advanced, so how far out of the template is this type of excursion?

Thanks,
Mike

Dec 18, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Thanks for the quick response.  I figured the current terrain system makes it so the terrain heightmap sets the base level.  Your comment on the holes/caves unable with heightmaps makes sense -- my limited research and experience with this leaves me with the impression that heightmaps are a short cut to getting a cool looking terrain but that it has to be the no-kidding bottom level in your 3D space.

Sounds like reusing the floating spaceship implementation is the quickest path to demo'ing what I'm trying to show.  You have done so much extensive work on the implementation I have ZERO time or desire to completely jack it to demo what I'm trying to do.  Bottom line:  I need to sell an idea to my bosses and then have them go pay someone to implement the real thing.  I appreciate your help.

Thanks,
Mike