On 30 Nov 2011, at 14:07, Stuart Buchanan wrote:

> I'm interested in peoples opinions on this, and in particular what
> their view is of the current forest and urban shader performance. It
> may be that my system is unique in that one is cheap and the other
> expensive, and this is all pointless!

Definitely sounds good to me, a few comments on the details though, based on 
some similar ideas I once looked at, and playing with 'massing models' in 
Google Earth:

 - I don't think you need to worry about a cuboid per floor - only define some 
(irregular) trapezoids for the floor plans, and simply extrude them to a height 
- with suitable random generation of the heights. 

 - partly due to my limited vertex shader knowledge, I was considering doing 
this with simple meshes (and a single texture for a given region of buildings) 
- if the geometry is truly fixed, it should sit in a VBO very efficiently, and 
with no alpha blending or similar, I'd be surprised if the geometry is the 
bottle-neck. (I was imagining a mesh per scenery tile, for example)

 - if you want to get really fancy, you could set building heights based on the 
area of the land-cover polygon; small or suburban area = wider spacing, lower 
heights, huge urban polygon = taller boxes, narrower spacing


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