Massive landscape discussion

I am interested in making an animation of a fly through of a LARGE, DETAILED landscape.
ie. You see earth from space and zoom all the way to the point where i can see bob walking his dog from bobs perspective.
Im just wondering how you guys would tackle this as I see 2 potential problems
1: just making the whole thing uber detailed would crash all but super computers.
2: If I made the model at several diffrent sizes there would most likely be continuity problems
(Zoom in from space to about that of a continent, switch models to a continent model then zoom that in and so on)
Any ideas? Discuss

Several suggestions:

  1. Use motion blur (helps hiding the different resolution levels that are a result of decimation - explained below)
  2. Make a landscape with a script, these are often very detailed
  3. Use different levels of decimation for the landscape for different camera positions (height)
  4. Maybe you could even write/find a script that decimates far objects?

Landscape generating scripts:

I hope this was helpful :slight_smile:

>>HINT: PLEASE post things like this in support sections of this forum

i would make several models of increasing complexity and zoom between them, like a sphere with a high resolution (nasa’s?) texture from earth, them an landscape not so detailed but already well defined, and later the ambient where bob would be this one very detailed.

I’ve seen this done before. I I thought about it and I would do it like this

I would make multiple animations and blur them together.

Start with an earth model with high resolution texture then zoom in on that, and
Right as the camera goes into a cloud on the texture switch it out with an animation of the camera going through clouds composited with a continent animation behind it.

Then when the camera gets through the clouds switch completely to the animation of a continent model on top of a textured globe and zoom into the continent.

Then switch it out again with the last animation of the landscape. Bluring all these animations together.

I’m not sure how that would do but that’s my theory. Maybe I’ll try it out soon.

im fairly new to 3d modeling and stuff so i dont have much background, I briefly looked at the terragen program and it looks pretty good but i dont know if it can accomplish this.
Oh and to make things more complicated there will be floating islands that the camera will be zooming past on its decent.

well, with terragen 2 due out later today, I would wait for it, as its supposed to be able to do from space right down to detail, and also have the ability to import meshes from other programs (like blender).


If you do it right, cross-fading between different levels of detail will barely be noticed. I did it five or six times in the BlenderPeople demo video and you really can’t even see it.

Cross-fading between different levels would be the easiest way to do it. Most of the TV commercials I’ve seen that used this effect did it this way.

Another thought, if you have the coding skills, is to set it up by LOD (Level of Detail). In other words, as you get closer, objects in your field of view are added and objects out of your field of view are removed; also lower resolution textures are swapped with higher res, detail textures. This technique is used all the time in 3D games.