I was just thinking about unique voxel environments again, and I got this idea based apon raytraced displacement mapping.
Say you have a 1024x1024 chunk of terrain (in a small *detailed* space, to fit say 4x4 men), and you render an inverse cube at its location and draw worldspace coordinates.
If you start from the eye position and trace a ray to the back of the cubes worldspace coordinates you make a ray which can intersect a heightmap, and give you a voxel output.
So, then add 5 more layers of heightmaps (a bottom a top a bottom a top a bottom and a top) and you can have overhangs, with 6 layered displacement maps which are raytraced.
What you have now is a model which has no side information, so detect when you hit a side (a position thats between a bottom and a top) and access one of 4 normal maps for what side it is, and draw the side detail for that chunk.
So, then just add more than one chunk, maybe even stream unique chunks for a large map, and you have another system for a voxel environment, do you think this is a good idea?
Youd make the map by placing transformed hipoly kit models, I imagine, with additions and subtractions.