I’ve been a programmer for over 20 years, but I am brand spankin new to 3d graphics. I have searched for the answer to this on the forum here, but I cannot find an answer, probably due to the number of returns for a heightmap search.
What the heck does a height map contain???
What size should it be?
does each pixel represent a scaled portion of the terrain generated?
Does the color of each pixel represent the scaled height of the terrain?
Does it have to be square?
Where can I find an example of a Panda3D heightmap?
Your image should be a power of 2 plus one in each dimension, but doesn’t have to be square. It’s a grayscale image whose brightness corresponds to height. If you need more precision you can make it a color image and use R, G, B as the separate bytes of the height, but that’s probably more trouble than it’s worth.
I’m a little confused by what you say, because “power of 2 plus 1” refers to the size of the image, and this does matter.
A power of two is any number of the series 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, …
A “power of two plus 1” is a number of the series 2, 3, 5, 9, 17, 33, 65, 129, 257, 513, 1025, …
Your image must be a power of two plus 1 in each dimension. This means it may be 129 x 129, or 257 x 257, or 129 x 513, or 257 x 1025. It doesn’t have to be square, which means the x and y values don’t have to be the same thing (257 x 1025 is not square, but each dimension is a power of 2 plus 1).
I’m not afraid to admit my stupidity I was thinking that night I was looking at it that it was the luminance that was a power of 2 + 1 (now that would be a pretty flat landscape!). When I’m tired I read fast and fill in the blanks in my head. After a nights sleep it all set in, thanx for you help And thanx fynn for your comments, I’ll definitely keep that in mind when I start getting more advanced. I am looking to generate random terrain at some point also.
My next thing after that will be dynamically loading and free-ing terrain as the camera moves to different areas. So that I can have huge terrain without loading it all in.
for storing high (vertical-)resolution heightmaps there are at least 2 supported image formats .ppm with 16bit per color-channel and .pgm in ascii-mode (which is actually smaller for less-than-5-decimal-digit-numbers if you just want gray) with any resolution you like (propably even there are limits) .pgm,.ppm (german entries are better: .pgm, .ppm)