My Player Character is standing in the middle on flat infinite terrain. The player can see as far as the farplane of the camera. And there is nothing there which is... boring.

I wanted to Plant a couple of trees which move with the player (but not rotate with them).

But I would need tons of trees for that, and that would destroy performance.

Next I've thought about a "foggy-shadow", or a light or a cubemap with textures of things.

But those things are visually totally ugly.

Now I am in front of a hard decision and I dont know what to do.

Here are examples of infinite terrain so you guys know what I mean.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I don't think hiding it with fog coutns as infinite. You can't really render infinite terrain, because the underlying APIs have limitations \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 10:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Bálint fortunately we only need to render to a finite number of pixels, so we can get "the best approximation of an infinite terrain that can be captured on a finite raster image" just fine.;) OC_RaizW why do you say that drawing a forest would necessarily kill performance? Games have been doing this for ages. Do you want to show us your forest implementation and profiling results so we can help you optimize your scene rendering (eg. replacing far trees with imposters / matte painting in the skybox)? \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 10:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ @DMGregory I'm talking about the Z buffer, not the speed \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


Like DMGregory said in the comments, trees wouldn't kill performance. I assume you wanted to place real highly detailed trees, which would of course drop performance.
Normally you use simplified meshes of trees with MipMap Textures. Maybe even just a plane. This works well because when something is far away and stationary it doesn't rotate relative to the player you have to only render it once. Check out dynamic LOD (Level of Detail
Sometimes Parallax scrolling can be added to give the illusion of distance. This is mostly used in 2D games however.

Another option would be to use a skybox. Lets say you are inside a wide environment (fields, desert, mountains etc) you also might not need the meshes for the mountains in the background, as the player movement relative to them is very small. A very good approximation.


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