Overgrowth takes place in the savage world of Lugaru where rabbits, wolves and other animals are forced to use paws, claws and medieval weaponry to engage each other in battle. Combining 3rd person adventure platforming with intricate melee combat, Overgrowth achieves a unique feel. Overgrowth also benefits from Wolfire's brand new Phoenix Engine which has been built from the ground up to allow the use of cutting edge graphics, animation, and physics. Add to these exciting features Overgrowth’s realistic artificial intelligence and streamlined control system and the result is an astoundingly immersive experience.

Report article RSS Feed Close-up and distant terrain lighting

Normal-mapped detail textures are effective at conveying close-up detail, but don't add too much in the distance. In Overgrowth, the players will spend most of their time looking at the terrain. We want to make it look as interesting as possible, even far away!

Posted by jeffr on Jan 8th, 2010

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Normal-mapped detail textures are effective at conveying close-up detail, but don't add too much in the distance. In Overgrowth, the players will spend most of their time looking at the terrain. We want to make it look as interesting as possible, even far away! Here's how the desert terrain looks with just detail textures:

We still have the baked normal map from the high-detail terrain heightmap (before our OffTheGrid simplification), so we might as well apply that in the distance! If we combine the heightmap normal map with the detail normal maps, the lighting should look nice both close-up and far away. This picture shows the detail normal map on the left, the heightmap normal map in the middle, and the combination on the right.

Here's a comparison of the complete rendering using detail mapping on the left, and the hybrid approach on the right. You can see that with the hybrid approach, the ripples on the sand dunes are a lot more defined.

Here's another angle on the desert terrain, showing both detail normal mapping and heightmap normal mapping.

There are a few more ways we could improve the terrain lighting, but I think at this point our base terrain rendering is good enough! With high-quality terrain lighting, we should be able to effectively render a wider variety of terrains than just the rolling hills seen in most games. Do you have any ideas for interesting terrain types that we could use that are not often seen in games? (Permalink)

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Post comment Comments
archkyrie Jan 8 2010, 12:22am says:

Dang, thats epic yo.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Tharapita Jan 8 2010, 12:53am says:

I like the houses in the middle distance of the first image. Looks good as always.

+5 votes     reply to comment
chris_sloany Jan 8 2010, 12:55am says:

wow! looks great!

+3 votes     reply to comment
RogerRamjet Jan 8 2010, 1:44am says:

Looks good. As far as unseen terrain in games, I would say Aussie scrub or bushland. Also, equatorial jungle marsh, like in the Amazon, but that is a lot of work and processing power.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Darthlex Jan 8 2010, 1:44am says:

A suggestion to the mapping versus the writers, I assume it's a given, but I'll write it anyways

Try to make landmarks that are unique, and fits your story - If a large battle took place, let us be reminded by some memorial, something that heavily adds to the atmosphere without a large amount of work as such.

I would also really like to encourage people to join the IRC chat on Wolfire, people are friendly and the chat is interesting - Realtime with developers is a thing you should take advantage of when it's there, so do, do do!

+5 votes     reply to comment
xfckup Jan 8 2010, 2:21am says:

sweet, looks very nice!

+2 votes     reply to comment
SliderFF Jan 8 2010, 4:24am says:

last pic, is it from the game? or...

+3 votes     reply to comment
jeffr Author
jeffr Jan 8 2010, 6:27am replied:

That's from our desert fort level, rendered in engine.

+2 votes   reply to comment
Jackson97 Jan 8 2010, 6:52am replied:

Yeah,it looks that good(:

+2 votes     reply to comment
Darthlex Jan 8 2010, 3:10pm replied:

*cough* and you can actually get access to that map if you buy the pre-order ;)

*hint hint*

+1 vote     reply to comment
weroper.GX Jan 8 2010, 6:26am says:

Terrain Ideas:
-Scotlandish Highlands with Water, Hills and Islands.
-A dessert like Terrain, just with Polar Lights or something.
-A green landscape with huge trees at the horizon.

Good stuff! I got very interested in your game since the deal with UWE. :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
jeffr Author
jeffr Jan 8 2010, 6:26am replied:

Glad to have you here :) Thanks for the suggestions

+2 votes   reply to comment
Velox Jan 8 2010, 6:29am says:

it looks so epic

+2 votes     reply to comment
JKM Jan 8 2010, 7:45am says:

tundra, with small lakes, scrubs and moss.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Ichiman94 Jan 8 2010, 9:48am says:

looks like real, the system specs is lower or bigger than crysis?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Awesome_ninja Jan 8 2010, 10:50am replied:

oviously lower... no offence

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guns_Are_Toys Jan 9 2010, 10:56pm replied:

well.... it could be on the same level as crysis.... but we will have to wait to see what else they add to there engine

+1 vote     reply to comment
Sph!nx Jan 8 2010, 10:30am says:

Wow, this looks really awesome!

+2 votes     reply to comment
PringleX Jan 8 2010, 10:59am says:

Looks fantastic as always. Question though: How will you guys be implementing Anti-Aliasing? And is per-object motion blur in the works also?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Gosthy Jan 8 2010, 11:12am says:

OMG so ******* damn realistic.

0 votes     reply to comment
AlekZanDer Jan 8 2010, 3:31pm says:

So real...

+1 vote     reply to comment
Loftless Jan 8 2010, 6:29pm says:

Just wanted to say your "Organic Indie Pre-Order Pack" commercial was epic. So epic in fact, that I pre-ordered. Cause you guys rock. Good job! :D

+2 votes     reply to comment
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