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CHAPTER 11 GENERATING A TERRAIN
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Figure 11-8. Multitexturing combining three different textures to create a new one
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The Normal Mapping Technique
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Using the normal mapping technique, you can add the illusion of small-scale details to the terrain s mesh, without needing to increase the complexity of its mesh. You create this illusion by slightly manipulating the lighting in each pixel of your terrain. Variations in lighting are created by the deviated normals. Remember that the amount of lighting falling onto a triangle is determined by the normals of its vertices. Differing the illumination based on deviated normals creates the illusion of a 3D contour, as shown on the right side of Figure 11-9. For example, consider the case of a stone wall. The default normals would all be pointing outward, perpendicular to the wall. With normal mapping, you adjust the normals in the pixels near the edges of the stones. The closer the pixel to the edge of the stone, the more deviated the normal should be. This example is shown in Figure 11-9. Obviously, you need to know how much to deviate each normal beforehand. Therefore, the required normal deviations are stored in a normal map, which accompanies a texture. This is why you needed to calculate the tangent, binormal, and normal vectors for each vertex. In such a normal map, each pixel stores the x, y, and z components of the new surface normal inside its R, G, and B color channels. Notice that the normal x, y, and z axes aren t on the world coordinates. Instead, they re placed in the tangent base coordinates. This way, the normal map is independent of the surface and can be applied to any type of object. One of the weaknesses of the normal mapping technique is that when the surface is visualized from grazing angles (the angle between the surface normal and a viewer close to 90 degrees), the illusion of normal mapping disappears, and the surface will seem flat.
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CHAPTER 11 GENERATING A TERRAIN
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Figure 11-9. Texturing only (left) and texturing plus normal mapping (right) The terrain effect you ll create for terrain rendering in the next section will support two omnidirectional light sources and multitexturing with four diffuse textures, as this is not so difficult to implement and already provides a nice final result. Later in the chapter, you will expand the effect by adding normal mapping.
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Creating the Terrain Effect
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To begin creating the terrain effect that uses multitexturing, open a new file and name it Terrain.fx. As good practice, you should start by defining the uniform variables. Remember from the discussion in 9 that these uniform variables should be set by XNA before the rendering operation starts and remain constant during the rendering of one frame. Also remember that they are globally accessible by your shaders. Add the following to the top of your Terrain.fx file: // ------------------------------------------------// Matrices // ------------------------------------------------float4x4 matW : World; float4x4 matVI : ViewInverse; float4x4 matWVP : WorldViewProjection; // Materials // ------------------------------------------------float3 diffuseColor; float3 specularColor; float specularPower;
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CHAPTER 11 GENERATING A TERRAIN
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// Lights // ------------------------------------------------float3 ambientLightColor; float3 light1Position; float3 light1Color; float3 light2Position; float3 light2Color; // UV tiles: 0-4 diffuse textures float2 uv1Tile; float2 uv2Tile; float2 uv3Tile; float2 uv4Tile; float2 uvNormalTile; These are the uniform variables needed for the entire effect, including both multitexturing and normal mapping. The world matrix is needed to take into account all transformations set on the terrain, such as a relocation, scaling, and rotation of the entire terrain. The ViewInverse matrix is required, as it contains the position of the camera in the 3D world. The WorldViewProjection matrix is needed to transform all 3D coordinates to 2D screen coordinates. For the terrain material, you need to know the color and shininess of each of your two lights. You also need to know the position and color for each light, as well as how much ambient light there is present in the scene. Finally, the tiling variables allow you to stretch and shrink the textures over the terrain from within XNA. After the uniform variables, you should define the textures that your effect needs. In total, the terrain effect will use six textures: four regular textures for the diffuse color, an alpha map, and a normal map. As explained in the previous section, the alpha map defines how the diffuse textures will be combined to form the final terrain color. Add the textures to your Terrain.fx file, as follows: // Textures // ------------------------------------------------texture diffuseTexture1; texture diffuseTexture2; texture diffuseTexture3; texture diffuseTexture4; texture alphaTexture; texture normalTexture; This concludes the list of all variables that can be set from within your XNA application. For each texture, you also need a texture sampler, so add these samplers to your Terrain.fx file: sampler2D diffuseSampler1 = sampler state { Texture = <diffuseTexture1>; MagFilter = Linear; MinFilter = Linear; MipFilter = Linear; AddressU = Wrap; AddressV = Wrap; };
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