Newbie Terrain/Map Help

Yep I’m new at Panda3D and I’m jumping in with both feet.

I’ve read everything I can in the forums and manuals, but I have a few basic questions that I hope someone will answer for me.

Question #1:
When creating terrain, lets say using a height map, how does terrain fit in to objects you place on the terrain such as trees or rocks or buildings? Are these objects created separately in Blender, for instance, and then always positioned at the same coordinates on the terrain? Or is there a method for building the terrain and objects together as one file?

Question #2:
Is there a tutorial you can recommend on building EGG files? I instaled Blender and the Chicken script, but there is no real direction on building a simply EGG “demo” to leanr the basic concepts. I am still trying to understand if you build terrain, objects, and everything else in the EGG file at one time or if these are separate files loaded in to Panda3D.

Question #3:
When building a map, I understand that it is desirable to build separate “areas” of the map that can join together for the desired visual effect, but can be loaded individually for speed and optimization. with that said, what is the typical recommended size of a map area? 128x128? 384x384? Is there a way to build these sized areas in blender, and is there a document somewhere that explains how to get started?

Thanks in advance for any help. I’m new to this, and I’m not asking for folks to teach me all of this, just please point me to the right stuff to read and right examples to learn from and I’ll do my homework.

Thanks!

-Mike

Welcome!

Q1) It doesn’t really matter–whichever way is easiest for you. For small and simple games, you might find it easier to model everything in Blender. When you have to manage much larger spaces, it might become easier to model the pieces separately, then load them up in code and stick them to your terrain.

Q2) I think there are a few Blender tutorials linked on the forums here. Try searching the forums. As to tutorials about what you should put there, well, once again it’s probably easier to learn by doing. Try it whichever way makes sense to you.

Q3) You can build everything in Blender, including a terrain–especially if you are building a smallish game. In fact, I’d recommend starting that way, with a single area, and just enough terrain to cover that area, all built by hand–kind of like the Roaming Ralph demo. Once you get have a couple of smallish games like this under your belt, you can start thinking about using tools like GeoMipTerrain to make procedurally generated terrain that stitches together in fancy ways. (There might be a tool within Blender to make it easy to construct terrains, but I can’t help you with that–I’m no artist, and I don’t know beans about using Blender or any other modeling tool.)

David

If I may suggest, I find this wikibook to be a good Blender reference. Don’t be intimidated by its size - you should be able to get started with some of the beginner tutorials, I imagine. :slight_smile: