Are there techniques for rendering objects very far away?
I'm interested in writing an application that would simulate space travel and so the distances involved are astronomical (literally!). I know I can set the far plane from the view object to a fairly large value, but then the depth buffer is likely to be horribly inaccurate for objects which are very close. My question is whether there is any way around this?
My only thought on it is some sort of two-pass rendering- first rendering objects 10,000 meters to some very large distance in one pass and then rendering objects 1 meter to 10,000 meters in a second pass using the first pass as a background or something. This does seem quite inefficient, and I don't know, but I suspect there might end up being some significant rendering issues along the threshold between the two "layers"... assuming it works at all.
Anyone have any thoughts on this? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!