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What are the current techniques than can be used for efficiently rendering 3D heightmap-based deformable landscapes?

For example, in the non-deformable landscape problem, ROAM used to be the way to these landscapes, but as GPUs advanced it lost favour to the newer geomipmapping/clipmaps (which is not as CPU-bound; but still had big enough wins for current generation GPUs).

Has there been any advancement in terms of deformable landscape rendering? Not only in terms of rendering, but also throughput during deform operations.

Although I am personally targeting SM3.0/DirectX 9.0c, please don't restrict your answers to that.

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

See the second slideshow here "Terrain Rendering in Frostbite using Procedural Shader Splatting (Siggraph 2007)" by one of the architects of the Frostbite (2) engine. He boasts 'easy destruction' as one of the benefits of his technique and it's used in BF:BC2 and probably also in BF3.

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I wish he would explain it more. I'll do some googling... – Jonathan Dickinson Oct 5 '11 at 21:09
You can always contact him on twitter (@Repi) he seems like a helpful person. – Roy T. Oct 6 '11 at 13:46

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