FPS Boasting in Mesh / Skybox enviroment

Post: #1

I've been working on a small program intended to eventually be a 3d game based off a terrain mesh that does not use tiling but instead uses colormaps and mapped detail layers or if speed/cards allow it, bump maps.

I quickly realized to get any amount of detail I can't just go about drawing the entire mesh and all its models at once.

I'm trying to get an idea from people who have done this sort of thing what way is the 'right' way to do it, or has had some sucess in the past. My first thought was the following:

1) Split the mesh into submeshes which are about 8 'cells' x 8 'cells' in size
2) Draw only submeshes near the camera
3) add a sky box at the distance away from the camera that the submeshes end - Always keeping at least half a submesh on the other side of the skybox so it can be 'eased' into when the camera moves and the submeshes don't show up 8cells at a time.
4) Slight fog near the distance of the skybox ?

But, I realize first thoughts are often wrong, and so I'm asking you, is there a better (faster) way? This way is designed primarily for use with a 'flat' mesh as opposed to a rounded earth like mesh. Should I be using a rounded mesh to simulate the horizon instead of this idea? Ideas ? Comments?

The only work i've done with something like this they used submeshes but never had any sort of sky box and did a top downish view and so the issue never came up of what to do with the horizon.

Any help and thoughts on this would be appreciated...
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