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Navmesh/Steering Behavior in Panda3d

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Published on Sep 15, 2009

More tests of my path finding code. Here you will see 15 individual wheeled vehicles (tanks) moving about a GeoMipTerrain with random obstacles spread about.

A navigation mesh was generated by hand out of convex polygons and then a simple steering behavior was tied into the individual vehicles. They will attempt to stay within the navmesh as they take a straight shot towards the goal. (They wander out a lot, as they currently cannot slow down or back up.)

What I found interesting is that despite lacking any kind of high-level pathfinding, the vehicles are able to navigate from one end of the map to the other when given that single goal waypoint. The only navigating behavior they are experiencing is a desire to move directly towards the goal waypoint, and at the same time stay within the navigation mesh. If they fall out of the mesh, they temporarily abandon the goal-seek and try to return to the nearest convex polygon of the navmesh.

Of course, without any high level system to give them hints on where to go, and incomplete steering, they can take a VERY long time to reach their goal.

It's all plain Python code with no optimization or JIT compilation, and yet it runs acceptably fast for what I need. It's also overkill for my project; But I wanted to see if I could implement such a system myself, as a way to teach myself more 3D concepts.

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