View Full Version : surfaces....using triangle strips or meshes

04-29-2002, 10:10 PM
iam new tp open gl, i've got a problem that i have a 2D data set a height field of an area and i have to display a 3D surface.
to be more precise i have to read from a given data file(.dat format)display a 3D surface. the data is stored a 8 bit signed integers.
i have been able to read the data from the file but i don't know how to start making a surface from it........iam confused . should i use triangle strips or meshes.....plz do guide me cause iam in a lot of trouble and i'll be very gratefull if u reply soon.

04-29-2002, 11:23 PM
Use triangle strips - something like this (not tested, not checked just off the top of me head) - change xi, yi for larger or smaller heightfield:

int Heights [256][256];
float xp = 0.0f, yp = 0.0f;
float xi = 10.0f, yi = 10.0f;

for ( int x = 0; x < 256; x++, xp += xi )
yi = 0.0f;
for ( int y = 0; y < 255; y++, yp += yi )
glVertex3f ( xp, yp, (float) Heights [x][y] );
glVertex3f ( xp + xi, yp, (float) Heights [x+1][y] );
glEnd ();

04-30-2002, 04:20 AM
Use triangle strips and don't use quads. Later when you'll want to add textures, quads will do some "funky" stuff with them that will catch you completely off guard.


05-12-2002, 06:58 PM
need some help. i have to read a data from (*.dat) and display it in 3d. my data include the vertex but i just don't have any idea to display it and reading the data. i want to display the data in 3d. so any idea or help ..

05-12-2002, 09:33 PM
I have a sequence of terrain demos that I wrote. They are available on

You will see how to build a terrain in a rather inneficient way, and then it is improved to using triangle_strip in a fairly good manner. I did it this way just for the sake of showing how much better the performance is with strips and how simple it is to convert from quads to triangle_strip or quad_strip.

I just read a gray scale TGA file to create the terrain.

There is no kind of LOD involved here, but I will prolly give my terrain engine with a CLOD algo. after I fix a few things.

I hope it helps. http://www.opengl.org/discussion_boards/ubb/smile.gif