Are 4096x4096m terrains efficient if I only need a 2500x1200m playfield?

#1
For example, my golf course easily fits in an area of 2500x1200m. It appears in CE I have to specify a 2048x2048 heightmap at 1m samples (not large enough to fit the course), or 4096x4096 at 1m (6 times too large).

Unity and UE4 allowed me to effectively set the metres/unit value to whatever I like (or close enough) - so I could do a 2048x2048 heightmap at 1.25m = 1 unit to cover 2560mx2560m- I can handle that.

I can't see how to achieve the same in CryEngine and it feels like it's just a scaling value to allow real-world concerns such as physics or lighting to work properly.

What's the solution here?

Re: Are 4096x4096m terrains efficient if I only need a 2500x1200m playfield?

#3
Yeah, agree on heightmaps and all other maps being a power of two for efficiency - hence hoping I could somehow do 1.25 metres per unit so I could go with a 2048x2048 heightmap.

Backgrounds are a course-by-course consideration - foresty courses can get away with bordering trees occluding the outside world from the point of view of the player, but other more open courses might benefit from an environment map.

I'll do some testing and see how poorly a 4096x4096 terrain performs compared to a 2048x2048 with the same area populated. Maybe even making holes in the unused terrain might help.

Re: Are 4096x4096m terrains efficient if I only need a 2500x1200m playfield?

#5
That will be good for smaller worlds.

That's a tonne of data for the area golf courses occupy and not wise in their case, plus real-world elevation data that fine typically has to be commissioned at high cost. 1 metre is a sweetspot for golf courses and freely available.

It would appear the conclusion Crytek found is it's better to have unpopulated terrain areas than have expensive non-binary scaling operations everywhere.

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