(The Hotel Righi [ree-gee] project was a set of renderings I collaborated on back in 2007. Now that I have some free time, I'm turning it into a short fly-through video.)
(click to enlarge)
The title of this post, "local terrain," refers to parts of the landscape that are within a few thousand feet of the camera, typically a mile or less. Montreux is the lakeside city below the village of Glion. It's never seen up close in this video, so I think I can get away with this simple level of terrain detail, once buildings and trees are scattered on top.
The mapping of Glion's terrain has required 13 image files so far, including textures and masks. Above are a few of them. The entire terrain (over 1000 sq.miles) has needed about 40 bitmap textures and 10 procedural textures.
Accuracy was improved by running up and down the streets of Glion via Google Street View. However, photorealism is impossible for a scene of this scope without thousands of manhours, more advanced software, and a modest render farm.
Most of this plastic, Fisher-Price look will become obscured by buildings and trees in subsequent stages.