For today's main technical feature
, programmer Chris Dallaire presents a new technique for generating index buffers that can be used when implementing discrete level of detail in terrain rendering.
In this excerpt, Dallaire introduces the technique:
"Terrain rendering is a popular area of research in modern games. From Microsoft’s Flight Simulator series to Bungie’s Halo, games that take place in the outdoors have to be able to render large areas of terrain in an efficient manner.
The most prominent method for achieving this on modern hardware is a method called level of detail. The idea behind level of detail is simple; do less processing on pieces of terrain that are very far away from the user’s viewpoint so that more processing can be focused on areas that the user can clearly see. This article will focus on a branch of the level of detail concept known as discrete level of detail (DLOD).
I will be presenting a new technique for generating index buffers that can be used when implementing discrete level of detail in terrain rendering. This algorithm addresses specifically the issue of index buffer generation, but also has a few extra benefits as a byproduct of the technique."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
for all the pros and cons of using binary triangle trees for discrete level of detail in terrain rendering (no registration required, please feel free to link to this column from external websites).