TERRAINS: Display List vs. Vertex Arrays

what is the best way to create terrains… im not a math pro so i dont know all the functions and loops to create the shapes i want but i just want to make a semi-flat terrain with a few hills and valleys and experiment from there… can anyone give me any suggestions? thank you!

The most efficient way to render a static model is with a display list. However, terrain is rarely treated as a static model, since there is usually so much of it that it would be crippling for your video card to render it. If you really want to render terrain, I suggest you look into the SOAR algorithm. It’s a bit complex to the beginner, but it’s far simpler than many terrain algos and it works really really well.

from some testing i have been doing, display lists are faster than any method of vertex arrays when rendering static geometery such as brute force terrain.

The fatest method apart from display lists i could get working was, using triangle strips and indexing them and storing both the vertex array and the indice array in GPU memory (GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object extension) …i can tell you difference between this and using a display list was very minimal but the display list did finish just in front …i also found the larger the grid size the closer the gap between both methods became.

I would recommend that you check out the terrain algo Geometrical MipMapping …it ain’t too hard to understand nor is it too hard to implement