Massive Environment Modeling Issue

I admit, I hate creating massive environments (actually an entire world) because it doesn’t draw correctly in both viewport and render (including BGE mode too). This issue isn’t only occurring in Blender either. It appears in Max and Maya which have the worst support for creating super massive environment. Please forgive me for my arrogance. This is my first time attempting to create massive environments. Am I doing it wrong? Should I break this world I am attempting to create in 3d down into smaller sections?

Please give me tips and suggestions on how to properly model 3d game environments. My modeling skill is pretty good but my approach to environment scale is still experimental to me.

I thought modeling massive environments can be done.

I want to create an environment and be able to test it in BGE, UDK, and Unity but again, it’s a scale approach factor in my environment (err…I mean entire world)…

I was referencing Final Fantasy XII’s desert terrain which was very massive.

Why would you attempt to model an entire world for a game? The face-count would be staggering. It would probably wipe out all of your memory just trying to compile the scene before you could play it. In my experience games that function on a global basis don’t actually store the worlds as a single object. Rather they store scenes or levels which are loaded as you enter that stage.

Where I you, I think I would try to get away from the super huge world models. One way to create a “global” feel to your environment would be to add some code to your game that would auto generate a randomized height map that you could use to create your scene. The idea here is that none of your scenes or locals would be the same as the next, and you would not have to model out every square inch of terrain.

So you’re saying I should divide my world into sections and fake the massiveness of it? FYI, I’ve never modeled massive environments before…let’s say a beach that stretches for miles.

Any more suggestions? ^^

You never model a game environment in one piece.
You got to see for what engine it is, but generally the environment is divided into an Octree and only displayed what is used/visible at the moment and the data streamed on demand.

For easy explaination I keep it in “2D”.
You are standing at a position. The 8 subdivided portions around you (imagine a plane with 9 sub-parts with you in the middle) are loaded and in the memory. One tile large enough to fit in your viewdistance.
If you move to the north now, into the next tile, the 3 tiles in the south are freed from memory, and the 3 coming up in the north are loaded into the engine.

Octrees go even deeper. They subdivide those “cubes of environment” even further for visibility testing. Let´s say you divide the current cube into 8 smaller cubes. If one of the smaller cubes fails the visibility testing, the rest of the octree of this node is discarded.
If you can´t see the big cube, you don´t see the smaller cubes inside.
If you see one of the big cubes, the 8 cubes inside will be checked again.

That way you don´t have to test every polygon for visibility, you check octree nodes and if a huge node is invisible, all the smaller nodes that branch from it can be ignored.

And for really vast environments LOD (level of detail) comes into account too. Depending on distance and so on, the geometry is reduced, or often rendered into a background texture with a low sampling rate.

There are many techniques, but it is none to create a whole world in one piece - well unless you are ID Software and work on RAGE, but they´re another league :slight_smile:

I am currently attempting to model a medium size island for a game environment. The island is total polygon count is below 1000 polygons with mountains, rocks, beach, and various minimum props, and a forest backdrop but not including characters. It’s a massive environment.

The polycount isn’t a problem but the scale of the entire environment is huge. Do you think I should still break this island into smaller sections or zones and fake the rest with backdrops matte paintings? I wanted to achieve similar results to Final Fantasy XII’s massive desert environment as well as Shadow of the Colossus too.

Any further suggestions?

you’re far clipping plane is too close to the camera, i think that’s your problem. i think there is an option in the camera settings that controls this. if you are doing low level programming, the clipping planes are usually described in the view matrix if memory serves me right (if you are working in game engines this may be a useful fact).

I noticed that problem too with the clipping but the my scene is so massive, even with clipping set to beyond maximum, I still get bad drawing artifacts. That’s why I started this post in the forum about massive environments. Is my scene too massive? Should I break it down into sections?

if you push your near clipping plane further out, it should help with artifacts. i think i read somewhere on a programming forum that as your near plane approaches zero artifacts increase exponentially or something like that.

the best way to get rid of artifacts is to increase the size of the depth buffer, but that would probably require modifying the source code and recompiling blender…

Yes that works to some degree but I still sometimes get bad artifacts and navigating through perspective view cannot almost be possible because my scene is just so massive. Even exporting it to UDK and Unity had problems with the overall scale because mine were just so big that it will not display everything in the viewports of those game editors.