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 What is a
 potential field?

 Forward... march!
 Filling local

 It is better
 to prevent...

 Get away from
 the edges

 Printable version


Technique 1 : Forward... march!

We'll now look at a few techniques. Each one will be slightly more complicated than the previous one, solving the problems from the previous technique, but unfortunately creating different ones at the same time.

We start easy. We calculate the distance in each pixel point to the destination and give this distance as 'potential' value to that pixel. Please note that in this case you don't have to care about the obstacles (just give them a very high value). The distance from the destination to a pixel can be measured in a straight line. Once this is done we apply this algorithm : "Check all the neighboring pixels of the current pixel and select the one with the lowest potential value. Move to that pixel and continue to do this until you reach your goal or get stuck."

It can hardly be easier and this algorithm works quite well if you have few objects in the grid, but most of the time the unit will get stuck behind an object and have no way to get back on the right track.

Next : Technique 2 : Filling local minima