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.

The terrain in Overgrowth has looked nice in the distance, but many of you noticed that it looked a bit blurry close up. This is because it didn't have a real detail texture yet! Detail textures are tiled images that are used to provide close-up material definition.

Posted by jeffr on Dec 14th, 2009

The terrain in Overgrowth has looked nice in the distance, but many of you noticed that it looked a bit blurry close up. This is because it didn't have a real detail texture yet! Detail textures are tiled images that are used to provide close-up material definition. Here is the base color map for an Overgrowth terrain (lighting and atmospheric effects are disabled for clarity):

It looks pretty blurry! You can tell that the green area is meant to be grass, and the brown area is meant to be dirt, but it doesn't have any detail. You can't see any of the clumps of grass or flakes of dried dirt. To add these details, we use slightly modified photographs (as described in this post). Here are the textures used in this example:

Now that we have these three textures, where do we put them? My solution was to find the average color the each texture and compare it to the color at each pixel in the base terrain color map. Here is the average color of each of these detail textures:

Here are the textures applied to the terrain using this method.

The colors don't quite match the existing terrain, so they are tinted based on the difference between their average color and the terrain color. This ensures that the overall look of the terrain is not changed (again, lighting and atmospheric effects are disabled for clarity).

The terrain has some detail now, but it still looks pretty flat -- to make the details pop out more, we can apply normal mapped lighting. We already discussed how this works for characters, and it works in much the same way for terrain.

Now we can put it all together, and it looks pretty decent! The transition from grass to dirt is now very clearly defined.

We still need to add some 3D grass planes to complete this terrain, but the base layer is complete. Here's another angle on the same scene:

What do you think of our new terrain detail textures? I'm glossing over a lot of the technical details here. Is there anything you'd like me to explain further?(permalink)

Track us
on ModDB (visit our page)

Please join us here too:
Facebook icon ModDB icon Steam icon Twitter icon YouTube icon

Post comment Comments
VulpineComplex Dec 14 2009, 5:23pm says:

Your method of applying terrain textures is a bit unorthodox, but it turns out looking really nice.

+5 votes     reply to comment
grinnock Dec 14 2009, 5:24pm says:

Your procedural approach to darn near everything make me smile with every update. Good stuff!

+8 votes     reply to comment
ConfusedMaster Dec 14 2009, 5:30pm says:

some really awesome awesomeness..

+4 votes     reply to comment
Croco15 Dec 14 2009, 5:31pm says:


+2 votes     reply to comment
SneakySoft Dec 14 2009, 5:44pm says:

Why don't you just use mipmapping for in the distance? The way you do it is very complex for something that is as simple as just rescaling the image based on distance.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Silverfisk Creator
Silverfisk Dec 14 2009, 5:53pm replied:

They are using one texture for the whole ground to get the basic color. If they would use that same texture for the details also, that texture would need to be OMGWTFBBQ-HUGE to get the same detail they get with this method. They get MUCH more bang for the buck with their method.

+4 votes   reply to comment
Dra6o0n Dec 15 2009, 12:24am replied:

you think its possible later on to make textures blend so then making a sandy area split away from a grassy area is possible?

Like a forest that is near a desert.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Silverfisk Creator
Silverfisk Dec 15 2009, 7:44am replied:

Well if you read the post you will see that they apply the different detail textures based on the color of the base terrain, so that would be very possible yes.

+3 votes   reply to comment
Ashkandi Dec 14 2009, 5:46pm says:

I like those rays from the sun, so realistic.

+4 votes     reply to comment
jeffr Author
jeffr Dec 15 2009, 1:24pm replied:

Thanks! They are actually based on a research paper on how your eye sees lens flares, and subtly animate in game.

+2 votes   reply to comment
feillyne Staff Subscriber
feillyne Dec 15 2009, 9:35pm replied:

Wow. :-) Being very fond of realistic stuff, I can say only: more!

+1 vote   reply to comment
formerlyknownasMrCP Dec 14 2009, 6:09pm says:

Actually this is a pretty smart way of doing it. Its different and it looks pretty epic. I can't even see any tiling. Great job guys.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Dec 14 2009, 6:20pm says:

Nice idea but it fails as soon as your textures are similar in color. It works only if the individual textures have different average colors. That said if you plan on only using snow/grass/rock/mud texture combo then it works.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Silverfisk Creator
Silverfisk Dec 15 2009, 7:48am replied:

I can't come up with a scenario where you would want similarly colored but different ground textures on a large scale. Can you?

-1 votes   reply to comment
Elementalist Dec 15 2009, 10:07am replied:

One single kind of grass can get boring, or when you've got different rock types that are close together. For example, in Morrowind, if you've played, there are Daedric ruins which use a dark rock color for their ground texture, and some are placed in rocky mountain areas, which also use a dark rock color for the ground texture.

+3 votes     reply to comment
jeffr Author
jeffr Dec 15 2009, 1:27pm replied:

If I understand your criticism, I think that is addressed by being able to manually edit the detail map. I will post some new stuff later this week.

+2 votes   reply to comment
SliderFF Dec 14 2009, 7:24pm says:

something special as always)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Noremakk Dec 14 2009, 8:27pm says:

One qualm I always have with Anisotropic Filtering is that the point where the texture is changed can not only be clearly seen, but also moves and changes very unrealistically, often very distractingly as well, as the player character moves. Does this new method of yours somehow help with this problem? If not, do you have any ideas on how to fix the problem? Is it just me who is annoyed by bad AF, or does anybody else have a slightly anal dislike for flickering textures?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Samiur Dec 14 2009, 11:32pm says:

Wow :) It looks amazing.

+2 votes     reply to comment
x0oo0 Dec 14 2009, 11:56pm says:

OMG Beautiful

+2 votes     reply to comment
Elementalist Dec 15 2009, 1:20am says:

Looks almost like something straight from Terragen.

+2 votes     reply to comment
PringleX Dec 15 2009, 1:54am replied:

Similar to Terragen, but realtime. I hope you guys really bring out the awesome when it comes to grass. Thick and luscious grass...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Radu_IceMan Dec 15 2009, 5:01am says:

That's really beautiful.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kamikazi[Uk] Dec 15 2009, 7:22am says:

I loev the way you guys create things it always makes me really jelous that i can't code this good :D.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Joe_Shmoe Dec 15 2009, 10:12am says:

This indie game is starting to resemble a AAA game look, you guys realy are going all out with this, and its great, im really happy to see the progress you guys are making, and im pretty damn sure it will pay off =] Good work guys (and gals if any)lol

+2 votes     reply to comment
moci Dec 15 2009, 11:22am replied:

engine, engine, ENGINE.

What do we actually know about the game? I have to ask this question everytime it seams.
The engine is looking spot on, but the game itself is still a big mysterie.

I'm sure the guys at Overgrowth are getting annoyed by me if they noticed I'm always pointing out the obvious but I think it's important to draw a line. 90% of what has been shown so far is about the engine and how it works/got improved.

+1 vote     reply to comment
jeffr Author
jeffr Dec 15 2009, 1:25pm replied:

There's not really any conspiracy or anything... some weeks we work on the game, other weeks we work on the engine. Sorry about annoying you. Feel free to contact me if you'd like any specific info.

+3 votes   reply to comment
moci Dec 15 2009, 1:46pm replied:

I'm not annoyed ;).

And I understand that you first need a decent engine/framework to build your game on.

It's just that most people keep saying "wow this is an amazing game" when you're not showing anything about the actual game.

Which is why I'm not buying it YET... Because I'm not as much interested in USING the tools but more in playing the actual game.

+1 vote     reply to comment
feillyne Staff Subscriber
feillyne Dec 15 2009, 9:34pm replied:

Engine, engine, engine. Quite useful. Quite appeasing, especially when one DOES want to avoid nasty storyline/game spoilers.

+2 votes   reply to comment
DOLBYdigital Dec 15 2009, 11:15am says:

This has always been a AAA effort game in my modest opinion :)
Great update guys and can't wait to see the grass added as well. I'm picturing the same thick and lucious grass that PringleX is thinking of (at least where it works within the level).

+2 votes     reply to comment
pvt.Johnson Dec 15 2009, 11:38am says:

Wow, fantastic approach and results!

+2 votes     reply to comment
lethal_vortex Dec 15 2009, 12:14pm says:

wow the last picture looks so nice!

+2 votes     reply to comment
chris_sloany Dec 15 2009, 3:31pm says:

holy ****! looks magnificent!

+2 votes     reply to comment
FJS Dec 15 2009, 4:41pm says:

I already saw this on facebook =)

+2 votes     reply to comment
feillyne Staff Subscriber
feillyne Dec 15 2009, 9:33pm replied:

Yup, updates on Moddb are a bit late... better to track the game with RSS feeds. :-)

+1 vote   reply to comment
AlekZanDer Dec 18 2009, 11:01am says:

The last screen is beautiful.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Windows, Mac, Linux
Developer & Publisher
Wolfire Games
Send Message
Official Page
Release Date
Game Watch
Track this game
Post news
Report Abuse
Report article
Related Games
Overgrowth Single & Multiplayer Adventure
Related Engines
Phoenix Engine
Phoenix Engine Commercial TBD
Related Groups
Wolfire Games
Wolfire Games Developer & Publisher with 4 members