Geotypical Microterrains (Demos)

There's been an increasing trend towards higher-resolution ground terrains recently, both among the Community terrainmakers, and also with BIS themselves...Hi-res ground meshes are a Good Thing for terrainmakers - you can do a lot more with a landscape when it's basically gridded in finer detail... even features as small as trenches become possible...


On a slightly larger scale - more natural hillslopes, bays and beaches, erosion features - they're all easier to make in better detail and more convincingly with a hi-res ground mesh...
Not to mention how much more fun they can be to play on, with all those smaller scale and more frequent & natural dips and hillocks and ground cover...
The price for all of these Good Things is, of course, those previously-mentioned "fairly demanding performance requirements"...


A primary stumbling block with making these hi-res terrains is a lack of suitable source material... Freely available DEM's (realworld ground meshes or "heightmaps") are really limited to a maximum res of around 32m/pixel, whereas a true "microterrain" in the Arma 2 sense would require 5m/pixel - or less...
There is some data available here and there at 5m resolution... for the UK for example... but it's really only available as Contour Line data, which can be a terrible fuss to translate into a useable ground mesh...

The other alternative, of course, is to abandon the Real, or geospecific world, and make purely synthetic heightmaps at the required hi-res, using simulated geology to mimic the realworld with a geotypical landscape...