Rendering realistic satellite view style terrain with OpenGL

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Rendering realistic satellite view style terrain with OpenGL

Post #1by Chull » 06.05.2019, 06:24

Hi, all.

I've accidently stumbled across this interesting forum when I was looking for the techniques of rendering satellite view style terrain, and I've found some quite nice tutorials on how to draw the texture manually. My goal however is to achieve that solely by shader code, as my terrain is actually a whole Earth-sized planet and I allow viewing it from as close as about 30km altitude. Obviously such a huge landmass with camera so close to the surface would require tons of pre-rendered textures, which is lots of work and huge amount of memory to waste on textures.

Hence I'm looking for a generic way of rendering per pixel based on the pre-generated data I already have, which is biomes and elevation.
I have the following biomes: Ice, Tundra, Taiga, Shrubland, Temperate Desert, Temperate Forest, Grassland, Desert, Tropical Forest and Savanna.
Basically I have height per pixel, as result of having elevation per vertex. Also, since camera is as high as ~30 km, I don't need to render details like trees or vegetation.

The goal is more or less a render as described in this tutorial:

So the questions are:

Can I make it without having to sample from textures?
If I have to sample from textures, how would I create the textures in a first place? I've tried to look for ready satellite view packs and found nothing I could use.
Do I have enough attributes to be able to render terrain? (Biome type and elevation)

Thanks in advance

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