## 2010-07-20

### Values for parameters in iCelNavMeshParams

The Recast and Detour toolset has a lot of parameters to set. In CEL's implementation, those parameters can be found on the iCelNavMeshParams class. But what values should be used for them? This post contains a very brief description of the parameters and a compilation of tips found either on the documentation for Recast and Detour or at Mikko's blog (http://digestingduck.blogspot.com, for some reason I can't link it here). Also, for more information, be sure to check the Recast and Detour discussion group.

• AgentHeight and AgentRadius: These values represent the bounding cylinder of an agent. For example, if we wanted to represent a human (using meters as unit), we could use AgentHeight=2.0 and AgentRadius=0.4.
• AgentMaxClimb: The height of the tallest step an agent can walk over. Following the previous example, we could use an approximate value of AgentMaxClimb=0.6 for a human.
• AgentMaxSlopeAngle: The maximum surface inclination where the agent can walk, in degrees. In our example, a value of 45.0 would be appropriate.
• CellSize: The size of the voxelization cell*. Smaller values give higher navigation mesh accuracy, at the expense of higher computation time. Good values generally range from AgentRadius/3 to AgentRadius/2.
• CellHeight: The height of the voxelization cell*. Smaller values give higher navigation mesh accuracy, at the expense of higher computation time. Generally, a good value is CellSize/2.
• MaxSimplificationError: When the rasterized areas are converted back to vectorized representation the MaxSimplificationError parameter describes how loosely the simplification is done (the simplification is Douglas-Peucker, so this value describes the max deviation in voxels). Good values are between 1.1-1.5 (1.3 usually yield good results). If the value is less, some strair-casing starts to appear at the edges and if it is more than that, the simplification starts to cut some corners.
• DetailSampleDist and DetailSampleMaxError: These parameters define how the navigation mesh is tesselated**. Sample points are generated inside the polygon. If the difference of height between one of those points and the height of the navmesh at that location is greater then DetailSampleDist, that point gets added to the mesh. DetailSampleMaxError controls the maximum allowed error when the mesh or poly outline is simplified. If both parameters are zero, the mesh won't be tessellated. For more details, look for the posts about "Navmesh Height Accuracy" on Mikko's blog.
• MaxEdgeLength: Maximum edge length for the navmesh polygons. A good value is something around eight times the agent radius in voxels (8 * (AgentRadius / CellSize)).
• MinRegionSize: Minimum isolated region size that is still kept after watershed partitioning***. A region is removed if the regionVoxelCount < minRegionSize * minRegionSize. The default value used in the SetSuggestedValues method is 20.
• MergeRegionSize: Maximum region size. The regions derived from watershed partitioning*** are merged. If regionVoxelCount > mergeRegionSize * mergeRegionSize, the region is not allowed to be merged with another region anymore. The default value used in the SetSuggestedValues method is 50.
• MaxVertsPerPoly: Maximum number of vertices per polygon of the navigation mesh.
• TileSize: Tile size****.
• BorderSize: Border size***** for the navigation mesh, in voxels. A good value is the agent radius in voxels, plus some padding ((agentRadius / cellSize) + 3).
• PolygonSearchBox: Before creating a path, Detour finds the closest polygons in the navigation mesh to the origin and destination points. This parameter determines the dimensions of the bounding box where Detour will look for the closest polygons. The bounding box is represented by two vertices: (center + polygonSearchBox) and (center - polygonSearchBox), where center is the point one wants to find the closest polygon to.
This parameter is also used to determine if a low level path that was calculated by Detour reaches it's intended destination (Detour always returns a path, either to the destination or the closest possible point). If the distance between the two points, in each of the coordinates, is less then this parameter, then they are considered to be close enough for this purpose.

* - Recast calculates the walkable area of a map by voxelizing the triangles of the meshes that compose it.
** - At some point, the navigation mesh is tessellated in order to get more accurate values for the height.
*** - Watershed partitioning is used to group the walkable voxels and form the navmesh polygons.
**** - The navigation mesh is divided in tiles that can be rebuild, loaded or saved independently. We can, for example, update a navmesh to account for a dynamic object by changing only the tiles this object is into.
***** - Recast leaves a border about the size of the agent radius out of the navigation mesh, so it can guarantee any straight path cast inside the navmesh is valid, and the agent won't go through a wall when walking on it.

In order to help getting some initial results, the iCelNavMeshParams class has a method called SetSuggestedValues. This method receives as arguments the AgentHeight, AgentRadius and AgentMaxSlopeAngle, and either derives from that some initial values for the other parameters or gives them a default value. Using the values from this method may not generate a perfect navigation mesh, but will at least give a base to work on.

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