Some Random Landscapes

I don’t have any 3D views of the fractal landscapes I’ve been making to show you yet, as I’m still working through the different implementation options. I did get a little distracted with the 2D views of the landscape this morning, though, and play with the colouring scheme.

First of all, let’s start again with the example landscape used in yesterday’s post, only with slightly more sober colours and a bar on the right showing how the height values map to actual colours:

Fractal coastlines.

Now that looks reasonably neat already, in a “my first atlas” kind of way, but clearly there’s a lot of information missing. We can see this if I plot the height values in monochrome, giving the landscape a more “plasma cloud” appearence:

Plasma cloud landscape.

Now we can see the extra information, but we’ve lost a lot of the sense that what we’re looking at is a landscape. It looks more like a cloud. We can get some of that back by combining the two approaches and using different shades of blue and green:

Shaded landscape.

Now this looks a lot better. I think the water looks quite reasonable using this scheme, but the landscape is a bit…¬†homogenous. Is every part of the land covered in grass? How boring!

We can make things a bit more interesting by adding a thin band of “sand” around the coast, and some “mountainy” colours (and snow!) higher up, like so:

More in depth colouring scheme.

Now this looks better, the sand in particular. The mountains look okay, but not quite right. Something’s a little off. That’s not what mountains actually look like. We also don’t have any rivers or above sea level lakes. These are problems I’m going to look at later, after I get a reasonable 3D display system working. In the mean time, though, here are a couple more 2D landscapes for your viewing pleasure:

A bit more snow and an inland sea.

Yet another coastal region.

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  1. #1 by Dougal Stanton on October 20, 2010 - 4:12 pm

    Really enjoying these posts mate. I enjoy dev blogs at the best of times but knowing it’s you that’s doing it is really adding to the thrill.

    The visualisations are really good. It’s amazing what you can put together with so little if you know what to do with it (cf, good fresh ingredients, simply prepared…). I’m keen to see how you make the transition to 3D.

    You might get some more realistic-looking landscapes if you use some altitudinal zonation info to show the right number of climates in the right proportions. But for all I know that’ll be your next step!

  2. #2 by harveynick on October 21, 2010 - 11:35 pm

    Glad you’re enjoying them. Thanks for the link, that’ll be quite useful down the line. First I need to get the actual shape of the landscape right, though. Geology before biology!

  1. Now In Eye Popping 3D! « Harvey Nick

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