Large scale terrain sculpting and texturing

Im trying to solve a problem, perhaps some of the pros could assist me.

Right now Im modeling a terrain for a game.

So far:

  1. The terrain is getting sculpted using dynamic topology, high ress for now, but later will be retopologized.
  2. The terrain base is a single plane.
  3. Im aiming to create a small scale version of the game map, witch later Im considering to scale up in edit mode.

Things Im wondering:

  1. When the time comes to add fine details to the world map, is it wise to somehow convert the large map into smaller segments? Witch could also prove usefull when its time to texture.
  2. Is it quality and memory wise to use a single texture,normal and specular maps for a large scale terrain with length 30km. by 30km.? If so, what dimensions should the texture images be?

Im trying to find a good workflow when creating game environment, that allows freedom for creativity and imagination.
Any questions and suggestions are welcome.

It is always a good idea to sculpt/create a terrain via specific game engine tools, as it is optimized for the engine. It also lets you use smaller textures for larger areas via texture splatting or Layers.

However, same can be done in blender, but needs more work.

First things first. Create a land piece with major Highs/Lows , like MOuntains & lake, land , valleys etc. no need of details , as terrain is usually dressed with Rocks , mud patches, flowers, trees etc. Details are created with texture splatting.

You can use 512 x 512 seamless maps (Dirt, Sand, Rock in RGB channels) and utilize node set of the game engine (UDK supports it, I am not sure of unity3d or other engines) to texture your terrain as you like. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTQVWZuzqkE).

Here are the links to some tutorials.
This one shows how to sculpt a terrain in blender.


Texture Splatting
http://www.cgmasters.net/free-tutorials/splatting-library-linking-in-2-5/

I have viewed all the above mentioned tuts. The 1st one I saw it just today before even seing your post.

So far I think im going in the right direction.

One new issue came up:
How to preserve the quality of the texture you use for texture splatting?
Since quite often when you texture paint lets say a brick road, when you zoom the texture seems quite pixelated.

Perhaps if one could explain the role of the size of the maps(like you mentioned 512x512).

As for normal, AO and specular I would definitely invest in CrazyBump. I had some amazing results from testing today.

How to preserve the quality of the texture you use for texture splatting?
Since quite often when you texture paint lets say a brick road, when you zoom the texture seems quite pixelated.

Thats why, using Game Engine Terrain editor is preferred.

However, all not lost. you can still utilize the stencil map (black & White) which you made via splatting in game engine as well (you need to study the shaders provided by engine to utilize it correctly). Other textures like grass, mud etc can remain at their original size but you need to set their mapping coordinates lower then Stencil to properly show them off in high res (my explanation is bit awkward)

Let say, if your stencil is at x=1, y =1 , then texture should be around x = 0.2 , y= 0.2, this way, your textures will tile easily and stencil map wil break up the tiling.

As i said above, read the game engine shaders first to understand if this approach is possible.

By the way, which engine are you using?

Considering BGE for now.

Let say, if your stencil is at x=1, y =1 , then texture should be around x = 0.2 , y= 0.2, this way, your textures will tile easily and stencil map wil break up the tiling.

Makes sense.

Then its going to be easy i guess :slight_smile: