pixelperfectpolygons Show full post »
If you do not mind we'll take your questions in a different order so each answer builds upon the previous one.

E) A meta-material describes a type of surface. For instance, the entire cliff seen behind the character in the following image is a single meta-material:

The meta-material is made of two different maps: A displacement map and a material map. Note how the artist has placed a green mossy material in some portions of the cliff, while other portions have materials that look more like exposed rocks.

This is entirely artist-driven, so you will be able to control the look of meta-materials this very tightly. Meta-materials produce actual geometry, so when you get up-close you see this is not fake displacement or normal mapping. The player is able to carve and make holes in them.

The following image shows another meta-material which is used for ground coverage:

Again, the artist chose to break down the meta-material into multiple materials numbered from 1 to 4. This particular meta-material does not bring too much variation in displacement, but it is still there and provides interesting height variations to the ground.

The procedural planting rules can be bound to both meta-materials and materials. In this case, the trees are planted using meta-material rules while the grass and shrubs are planted using material rules. This is why surfaces with materials 2 and 4 get fewer and different vegetation.

A) A triangle simplex is just a regular mesh triangles where each corner has potentially a different material. In the image above there are many materials, but any single triangle requires to sample only three of them. The blending from one material to the next happens along these triangles. The engine allows controlling how wide these blend zones are.

D) Volumetric meta-material blending is just how adjacent meta-material create natural looking boundaries by virtue of their displacement. When they intersect it happens in a natural, organic way. See how the rock naturally goes into the dirt in the following image. These are two different meta-materials interfacing:

B) The macro-mesh component is actually called "meta-mesh" in our UI. I apologize for the confusion. This component allows you to define a very custom base geometry for your terrain so you are not bound to heightmaps anymore. This is a traditional mesh, like an FBX file, to which you apply a texture that specifies which meta-materials appear in every location of the mesh's surface. All the images posted in this response were produced by a single meta-mesh, seen here:

As you can see, these can be very low resolution meshes since all the detail is added on-the-fly by the metamaterials. Each color in the texture represents a different metamaterial. Also note only a few metamaterials are required to produce a realistic feel.

The source meshes are baked into a distance field, which is distributed along with your application. Heightmaps are just a special case. For fields that may be very large, Voxel Farm offers a solution that pages and streams them using the OS native paging system, so even massive continents (200Km^2 and more) are supported with little overhead.

C) Voxel Farm allows developers to create their own custom voxel layers. A custom layer integrates into the engine's pipeline, so other features continue to work the same, like destruction, materials, procedural planting rules, etc. An example of a custom voxel layer would be if you decide to store a massive heightmap in the hard drive which your custom voxel layer pages and streams on demand.

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Hello, sorry for the delay in response. Things have been hectic as we've been trying to get a playable build running with all our different systems combined. Things have been sorted out for the most part so I'm happy to get back to you and see if we can't get this figured out. 

You have mentioned prototyping our base resources. We'd like to move ahead on that and see if we can get this ball rolling. Are you still open to this? If so, I can have one of our PvP maps sent over to you today. We're optimistic that Voxel Farm can be a proper solution to our dynamic trench building needs.
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Yes of course. Just send a link to support at voxelfarm.com

Also, let us know if you want an NDA signed.
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Perfect. Shooting you over a NDA right now. Thanks.
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Side comment as we saw this recently in your twitter feed:

"we'll make a tool that will automatically generates houses and populates their insides. Only way to quickly recreate 100% of Normandy."

Have you seen the architecture L-System components in Voxel Farm? The could help you achieve exactly that, which a great deal of variation and intelligence. 

Let us know if you require more info, meanwhile here is a link to our documentation on the architectural LSystems:

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