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New TAW Sea


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That is some wonderful looking water!


Spectre_USA, here to...! Hey, thanks and thanks for popping in. I think we're gonna get this old girl crankin again, with new skins, water, etc...a basic makeover. Thanks to this timeless group of dedicated TAW flight simmmers. The funny thing to me about that video is that the water mod was difficult to test because it was so mesmerizing and immersive, it just pulls you in, and yet, there is another model in testing which I think has an additionally special 3D quality and looks even better in the TAW environment...go figure B) B)

Good to here from you, don't be a stranger ;)

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  • 3 years later...

Today I’m going to talk about Displace Maps. The discussion is here in this sea thread because TAW intended it to be that way; unfortunately the plug was pulled on this advanced effect prior to game release. Not to worry, the base files are in the data base files and executable.

In the TAW options file: taw_opts.cfg, are the options features available in the standard simulation TAW. Notice it contains a number of features edited out:


Among those is "WATER EFFECTS". The water effects option in TAW was initially designed to provide a fluid animation of the water surface of the Red Sea.

Implementation of this effect was to utilize transformations and Realtime Per-Pixel Displacement mapping. It would be appropriate here to use the term “Displace-Map” to distinguish it from a per-vertex displacement / height map. In TAW the unused displace map can be found in the AGP folder and is aptly named “SEAMAP1.raw”. Obviously, its residing in the AGP folder suggests it is not available to the Glide API. The plan for D3D and OGL was to use the grayscale displacement map image, which would have been animated in a loop and applied to the base sea image layer to turn the static sea.3 texture into one with a rippling effect.

SEAMAP1.raw is an 8bpp grayscale image of size 49,152 bytes and dimensions 256 x 192 pixels (4:3)


In Displacement Mapping, the process has some basic rules:

  1. The displace-map should be a grayscale image
  2. The map must be the same size as the drawable image

Number 2., above, is significant because we note that the texture used for the Red Sea in TAW is tex_4.tm, which is also 49,152 bytes in size.

Manually the tex_4 texture can be combined with the Displace-Map using a map displacement filter, such as is available in the Adobe Photoshop Editors.

Displace-Map Filtering is a very powerful tool and is capable of taking a basic static sea image and, applying the displace-map, create swirling currents:

From This:


To This:


Pushing pixels around on the surface is impressive, however, I am convinced I have created something even better to sea.

Check back in a few days to see sea


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The 2010 post above was simply an old RGB sea texture I found laying by the side of the road somewhere :lol: . It looked nice, however this thing today is a whole different proposal. I have taken a conceptual construct, modified the mathematical variables in the model and produced a 3D model unlike anything we currently have for the TAW simulation. Much of the solution is focused on an understanding of the "Painters Algorithm" and the TAW 0015 opcode, through which it operates, for back-to-front drawing. The process involves a major expansion of the sea.3 tile architecture. It is designed on, what I will refer to as both a circumferential and linear array concept to take advantage of the priority fill function as it impacts the terrain tiles rendering que. It requires the implementation of multitexturing, texture blending and alpha blending to create an effective new surface solution which simulates both water depth and water motion simultaneously. It should signal the "end-of-life" determination for the old, familiar, flat, 2-Dimensional redsea water model. I should mention that this is a fully functional beta for the standard TAW process and can utilize both a .TM texturing approach, which I think looks absolutely splendid, or an RGB (AGP) texturing solution. I'm currently working to fix some minor bugs related to, what I believe to be, frustum culling issues and hope to have some moving images up soon ;)

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