Print at May 25, 2019 8:17:41 PM

Posted by mazoola at Mar 2, 2016 4:06:48 AM
Re: high quality pictures at night - outside
Your hand-crafted heightmaps are terrific! I remember, far more years ago than I care to recall, briefly working on a never-finished game that somehow was supposed to combine text adventure with ray-traced images; as I recall, the player was supposed to take some actions/find some clues textually and some graphically. Then I quit my job and was handed another one, and I found myself flying around the U.S. working on a number of very early (OK: It was 1993) video-on-demand trials that burned through hundreds of millions of dollars and did little other than to demonstrate a number of ways one could not cost-effectively do VOD.

Anyway, in the shuffle my questionable little game design fell through the cracks -- but not before [and here's where I pull this back to the topic at hand] I discovered just how difficult it was to hand-carve believable terrain using heightmaps. In my experience, at least, what seems a realistic range or transition almost always is too exaggerated for real life -- possibly because we're used to seeing abrupt transitions in topological maps, where the transition in color space is out of scale to the underlying change in elevation. (Or an inverse response: Upon first opening the heightmaps from, I thought the application must have failed, as they appeared to be solid blocks of dark grey.)

As you say, it's taken you much time and effort to master the art of terrain design. While I've not been able to examine your work with fjords, from the mountain- and water-scapes you've shared, I suspect you're a regular Slartibartfast!