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mikeo007

Tips for realistic mountains

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I'm having some trouble making realistic looking mountain ranges when viewed from a long range. The first 2 screenshots are mountains at close range, which don't look great, but are passable.

http://s23.postimg.org/663zn8aaj/Screenshot_Doom_20140825_095959.png

http://s29.postimg.org/8dpgi3kxj/Screenshot_Doom_20140825_100019.png

But in this second set of screens, there are similar mountains viewed at a much longer range, and they look even less appealing.

http://s1.postimg.org/945zqd1nj/Screenshot_Doom_20140825_100045.png
http://s15.postimg.org/3kkvagr17/Screenshot_Doom_20140825_100059.png

What does everyone else do when making mountains in outdoor environments?

Edit: Using GZDoom

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Sorry I don't have any in-game screenshots off hand to show you at the moment, but in my experience, a quick and easy to way to draw convincing natural rock formations (that you're not expected to be able to get behind) is to draw sectors so that they flare out to sharp points, almost as if you are drawing a picture of flames of a fire. The longer distance of the points sometimes simulates the illusion of slopes against the sky without even needing to use them.

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I'm liking the detail of that mountain texture you have, it looks very similar to the style of textures in the Outlaws game.

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Also, your sky texture looks different than the textures used for your mountains. Try replacing your sky with a skybox made from in-level textures.

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Kappes Buur said:

You could use Slope Things http://zdoom.org/wiki/Slope

Use them to any degree of complexity.
Or, even combined with the 181 special.


The slopes look great for actual mountains that the player interacts with. Not so much for mountains in the distance though.

Mordeth said:

Also, your sky texture looks different than the textures used for your mountains. Try replacing your sky with a skybox made from in-level textures.


I'm going to try and find a sky that more closely resembles my texture, or else just going to a plain sky sans mountains.

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I think that route may provide the best results. I've tried the other suggestions with very little success. I'm thinking I'll try importing some low res terrain and adding a layer of fog to the map so that it's more of a silhouette in the background.

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It looks better to me when you can't see the snow flat on top of the rock so I'd suggest either replacing the flat or making the tops not viewable.

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I think the problem is any heterogeneous stuff looks decent when the one texture is right up close in your view, but when viewed from far away, each slab of the texture has the same blotch patterns which looks too cookie cutter patterny. The darker blotch area probably comes from shade from the sun, so one possibility is make each texture that faces south, say, have the same 'shade' pattern, like shadows casting down. And the east facing textures have shadows casting sideways etc.
It would probably look fine if all the mountain textures were just homogeneous snowy for example.. that way there's no obvious blotches that make it look like a cow pattern from far away. One possible idea (never tried) is an 'out of phase' trick I have used before in other mediums. For example, make the 'main' mountain texture just plain snowy/white and 64x64. Now make a midtexture 'overlay' that does not phase perfectly with this, like 50/64 (50 does not go evenly into 64). Make a THIRD midtexture of yet another out of phase length, like 43 or something. Both midtextures would be mostly transparent so you can see snow behind on the main texture, but have random shading patterns in the non transparent parts. Then put the snow texture as the main texture, and put 2 extra lines for both midtextures. All their combined out of phase complexity would hopefully make it so a bunch of random shade patterns are generated (since 50 and 43 will start in a kind of pseudorandom position on the next 64 block) with minimum cost of only a few textures.

EDIT: that pic above with slope points looks good

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The menus system was changed a bit since that post. This action is now located in File -> Import menu.

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Not sure if it's a bug with the plugin, but when I imported my terrain, I had to click the "make sector" button on all the tris. Otherwise the terrain didn't show properly.

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