OK, so here at Attrition we all got stumped on a the issue of roads. So I decided to post this burning question.

Using pieces of road models or making the road a texture on a flat plane?

If you have undulating/rolling terrain then the flat plane solution doesn’t really seem workable as you’ll see edges (assuming you allow the player to go off-road). My immediate suggestion is to use a simple box (maybe one where the underside of the box isn’t really there, something like an extruded staple if that makes sense). What do others have to say?

I think the problem is still going to be hills. If you want smooth transitions from level to incline, you’d either have to model the different transition pieces (maybe even as one incremental, so the more you add in a single transition, the steeper the incline you can accomodate), or use very short, straight segments, each one angled slightly more than the previous. The most efficient way, in terms of time, might be to build a few different transition pieces and then edit the terrain to fit the contour of the most appropriate one that you have. For more realism, though, you may have to look into a few concave/convex long road segments for gentle hills. I don’t know. Just throwing darts.

Could try painting the roads on to Terrain, I’ll play around with things and post my results soon

You won’t get the resolution that you need.

Ok, I just tested a thought on this: Export your terrain as an OBJ file – there is a script on the wiki. Open that in your 3D app and use whatever your snapping options are (in Modo I can set that as a background mesh and snap to it) to draw your new road on top as a strip of quads. Select the outside edges and extend them down (like Tom’s extruded staple) and then select the top polygons and bevel them slightly as a group (you are doing this both to pull up so that terrain geometry doesn’t stick through them since their scale is bigger and to get that gentle taper towards the edges. Subdivide this once since drawing it large with some kind of snapping probably made it seem very unnatural. Delete the terrain mesh and bring this back into Unity. You now have a nice road mesh that conforms to the hills.

You can also UV this and slice it into smaller meshes to act as segments of road or do anything, really.

sounds like a good idea- thanks Charles.