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Erosion Simulation

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Uploaded on Apr 30, 2011

I made this for an assignment for a Modeling and Simulation for Game Development class at UCCS.

My goal was to persuade the user that eroded, physical terrain is more interesting than fractal height map based terrain. Though the fractal terrain on the right can often form jagged spikes and unrealistically steep hills.

The terrain is simulated at an arbitrary resolution by representing it as a 3D grid. Each grid cell contains some amount of soil and water. The soil and water both respect an angle of repose, with the default for the soil at 37.5°, and the water, always trying to create level pools, goes for 0°. Every time water moves, if there is soil in the same grid cell, it will erode it a little bit, bringing some percentage of the soil with it, based on the erodibility slider.

Since the simulated terrain uses marching cubes for the mesh generation, the water can look a little strange at times. All the meshes have kind of poor vertex normal calculations, so the lighting is a bit strange.

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