Altitude Blend Distorter

Started by efflux, March 02, 2012, 07:17:20 AM

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Here's three layers altitude distortion blended. I threw this together. The interesting shapes are purely created with the technique otherwise these textures would be very ordinary. Maybe people are using this technique but I haven't seen much obviously showing it. Bear in mind this is that garbage smooth test terrain in the files here. I have some terrains in the works as well  :-*


I'm not going further with this angle now. Got other things in the works. It's just one step at a time. Will do in future. There is mileage in the simple set up in the files with the bluish coloured hills.

Just to tie this in with another thread. Volker showed some nice blue node stuff here. In other places I'm sure he at least provided one tgc. In any case. These crazy function shapes work brilliantly if you use them for this altitude distortion. I left a comment on this thread but it seems I didn't explain what I meant that well. I wasn't using TG2 at the time.


Just trying to give some pointers here.

Look at the problem described in this thread:

However, using a straight line altitude distribution is a bit unsatifactory in some cases like this. Far too regular.


Just one more point. I'll be leaving this thread for a bit. Another one will get started on something else.

The distribution shader has a weakness. The "fuzzy" zone is uncontrollable and quite nasty for certain scenarios. With blue nodes you can control the curve of that.


This is brilliant thought provoking stuff. Will keep me going for weeks!


Just one more post for now. Since I haven't really done enough actual work on this which looks cool I'll add a Mojoworld image. This image has surface textures blended by distorted altitude en masse. Look how beautiful that is.  It's also a volumetric world since it has the arches.

Another point is highlighted here. This image says Lewis Moorcroft (c). Lewis Moorcroft did some nice Mojoworld work. However, this planet was in fact the creaton of Yuroslav Dynda. Lewis Moorcroft added some stuff like the distant moon/planet. It is very unfair not to credit Slav. Mojoworld was almost totally driven forward by a very small handful of people who did all the work and were kind enough to share planet files. This system doesn't work. This is why we need people to get to understand TG2 more even although TG2 is quite different.


I didn't share completed Mojoworld planets but was happy to share files that showed techniques. However, when I did this I got put down for sharing half baked planets which actually deomstrated a really useful technique. That was my last involvement with Mojoworld.


I'm not getting it. For most images posted here, especially the first 10 or so, I would simply use a surface shader with an altitude constraint and a fuzzy zone.
For the latter ones, I'd simply warp the color providing shader over a redirect shader on y, driven by a simple power fractal.
I really don't understand what you are attempting to solve!?


Frank, those are different techniques with different results.

You can use Y but that's not the same as altitude. Very occasionally I've resorted to using x,y,z for various things because it was the only way I knew how to do it. In some circumstances it is the only way. However, I'm very aware of the fact that I'm working on a planet. This is my thing with TG2. I like to know if I move around everything is still intact. For some people it is of no importance and doesn't matter for their results but you don't have to move very far before a Y distribution goes wrong.


true, by y doesn't work very far from the planet's origin, but a.) that's rarely a problem for most scenes, and b) you could distort on vertical only, which will be always perpendicular to the planet's surface normal. Gives you the same effect.



Yes, it's true that using Y or other axis is fine in most circumstances for most people and certainly fine if the specific movement isn't really related to the planet's surface. I have found though that things can start to look wrong without really moving that far from origin.

Not sure what you mean by distort on vertical though.

If we know how to do things in terms of altitude as well as Y then that's all well and good.


check out the displacement tab of a power fractal. Default is you displace by normal, but you can change it to displace by vertical if you wish.



By the way guys. My point about the Mojoworld crediting problem was about finished planets or things a lot more developed. This is what I won't supply here but any files I do supply are to be used any which way anyone wants. I don't expect any credit for any techniques. I'm simply supplying some files to try to get people to think more about the possible ways of doing things.


I'll give you credit right now!  I may one of the nearly extinct here, Ryan but I like your thinking.  I had a peek at the ABD file and I must say there is good potential for it, especially when trying to create innovative terrains.  It won't do much for the ones who use TG2 merely as a platform for object placement, though.  And I won't climb onto my soapbox about that.

I haven't tried it with rougher displacements yet, but that's on my to-do list.  I hope you'll let me know if that's not such a good idea. 

I also look forward to seeing what you come up with in the future.  I know you've been away from TG2 for awhile and it's good to see you back at it.  Me - I wouldn't know the first thing on how to make the function nodes work from scratch the way you've done, so you have my appreciation, if no one else's. 
They're all wasted!


Hi Rich.

The first graph will work more or less the way I explain it. Change the +- node to see some extreme changes. Don't try to have severely tight altitude blends (just as you wouldn't with a standard red node altitude blend) because when you take the displacement from earlier in the graph it won't match up to the mask part. You need a soft blend. If you take from the end of the graph the displacements will create a kind of step. That's a bit severe. I did add a picture later of another graph where the displacements do line up with colour but that graph isn't completed to do the same as the first one. Also, if you were to add further displacements to that one (as you would likely do) then the edge between stones and ground would get messed up. There are various solutions but I don't want to put half baked graphs on here that will quickly turn to a mess. The first one is slightly like that. I do intend to eventually further this. The first graph is just the start.

I went for standard basic red node arrangements in the end because that's a decent starting point with plenty of mileage and I don't think people are generally using that much. The problem is that the powerfractal doesn't allow you to select positions i.e. get position in geometry. Matt has talked of changing that. If it does change then I'll be able to post a whole host of new ways of doing stuff and it will also make sense why we need to select the positions. The blue node arrangement here is partly because we have deficiencies in the powerfractal. Otherwise this stuff could all be done in red nodes ( except if we specifically need the voronoi shape which we might want) or on the other hand if the red node powerfractal was opened up to use just like the blue nodes then we could do it that way using fractals. At present it's a bit either or.