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Heightmap format? - kelvin - Mar 24, 2005 09:40 AM

In my current project I'm using a height map for an artificial potential field. From this height map I calculate a normal at an arbitrary point (average of the surrounding 8) to get a force vector.

My question is: What is the optimal format for my height map?
I'm currently thinking just an array of floats.
I need at least 16 bits of precision for height.
I want something easily saved and edited, perhaps in a graphics app like photoshop.
Right now, I'm using it purely for calculation and not display; but if possible I'd like to leverage any kind of acceleration I can out of OpenGL.
*note: I don't need to convert the whole map to a normal map, just arbitrary points, so it's not too CPU intensive (I hope).


Heightmap format? - Jake - Mar 24, 2005 10:09 AM

I use a 16 bit RAW greyscale image for my motorcycle game - my only complaint is that photoshop can't use all its filters on 16 bit images, but it still has enough functionality to work.

Heightmap format? - DoG - Mar 24, 2005 11:38 AM

Why dont you just use a normal map, if you need the normals anyway?

Heightmap format? - kelvin - Mar 24, 2005 11:41 AM

I'm generating the height map live.

Heightmap format? - arekkusu - Mar 24, 2005 01:17 PM

What is your minimum hardware requirement?

Heightmap format? - kelvin - Mar 24, 2005 01:52 PM

800MHz G4 and a card that will support OpenGL 1.3 (maybe not the 7000)

Heightmap format? - arekkusu - Mar 24, 2005 02:40 PM

I think you'd better stick to the CPU then.