Instance block format v1

This page describes the binary format used by the module to save instances to files or databases.

Changes from version 0

  • Data is now little-endian instead of big-endian.
  • No other changes were made, so version 0 is easily convertible.


Compressed container

A block is usually serialized as compressed data. See Compressed container format for specification.

Binary data

This data is little-endian.

In pseudo-code:

// Root structure
struct InstanceBlockData {
    // Version tag in case more stuff is added in the future
    uint8_t version = 1;
    // There can be up to 256 different layers in one block
    uint8_t layer_count;
    // To compress positions we need to know their range.
    // It's local to the block so we know it starts from zero.
    float position_range;
    LayerData layers[layer_count];
    // Magic number to signal the end of the data block
    uint32_t control_end = 0x900df00d;

struct LayerData {
    uint16_t id; // Identifies the type of instances (rocks, grass, pebbles, bushes etc)
    uint16_t count;
    // To be able to compress scale we must know its range
    float scale_min;
    float scale_max;
    // This tells which format instances of this layer use. For now I always use the same format,
    // But maybe some types of instances will need more, or less data?
    uint8_t format = 0;
    InstanceData data[count];

struct InstanceData {
    // Position is lossy-compressed based on the size of the block
    uint16_t x;
    uint16_t y;
    uint16_t z;
    // Scale is uniform and is lossy-compressed to 256 values
    uint8_t scale;
    // Rotation is a compressed quaternion
    uint8_t x;
    uint8_t y;
    uint8_t z;
    uint8_t w;