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A Series of Failures

With any project, you’re bound to run into little hiccups… unless you’re amazing at preproduction, know something the rest of us don’t, and have luck on your side, or if you’re like me, you hit a lot of them.  These hiccups in 3D graphics are usually comical, because a model might look wrong, or things might not animate at the correct times.  So I decided fairly early on in my project, I wanted to be able to take screenshots.  This was an amazing idea, simply because it allows me to fly around my scene (that I just broke in some new fashion) and snap some pictures with the press of a button.  And when taking a screenshot is that painless, you’re bound to do it more often.

So, in chronological order, here’s some fun shots of failure from my terrain generator.


This was a failed attempt at making my textures into one giant 3D texture.  What you’re seeing is the lookup table for the texture blending based on height (color coding for each texture).

Screenshot0001 Screenshot0002

My first step into making more than one block of terrain.  No, they’re not supposed to be spaced out, also, they don’t line up.


Got the alignment working now, but they’re still spaced out.

Screenshot0005 Screenshot0006

Closed the gaps to reveal these lovely shadows on the edges.  They’re due to not performing normal averaging with normals the terrain block doesn’t contain.

Screenshot0008 Screenshot0010

I thought I’d scale up the terrain a bit, but now the textures are going a little out of their bounds (I thought I took care of that, but it turns out I was editing the wrong shader file…)


More texture aliments, and now very sharp cliffs.  Let’s try and fix those normals (shadows) first…

Screenshot0012 Screenshot0013

… oops.


Perlin noise is touchy…

Screenshot0015 Screenshot0016

… and doesn’t care for negative values.

Screenshot0018 Screenshot0019 Screenshot0022

This is what I get for trying a different noise function.

That’s about where I am now.  The land of spikes.  But things move fast, and I learn from each mistake.  It’s fun to look back at the old problems I’ve overcome… even if they seem to keep cropping back up.

  • Dad

    You’re getting there. That spikey thing is kinda cool.

  • Dad

    You’re getting there. That spikey thing is kinda cool.

  • Roll

    This is pretty awesome! I’m very impressed.

  • Roll

    This is pretty awesome! I’m very impressed.

  • *null » Building a Better Planet

    [...] My first step was an attempt to free up more texture units by combining the textures I already had into one large texture.  While this will generally work, the combination of doing this and using trilinear filtering causes seams to appear at different distances (or texel sizes if you will).  This is pretty much unavoidable, and I’ve been researching different approaches to the problem.  None yet have shown any real promise, but some failed attempts have shown humorous results (screenshots: A Series of Failures). [...]

  • › GDC 2010 – Days Four/Five

    [...]  I talked a few companies about their procedural techniques and tools that I had run across while trying to make my terrain generator.  It was a lot of fun actually meeting people behind these products [...]

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