Author Topic: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP  (Read 20085 times)

Offline gregtee

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Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« on: February 26, 2014, 09:07:13 PM »
This is something I've been working on for a while now.  It's the result of what was a much larger project originally where I built my Terragen world completely out of scale and had to then rework the whole thing because there's no easy way to just scale down the entire scene.  I thought of scaling up the planet but decided it would be better to just bite the bullet and start over with the correct scale settings.

I'm posting this as a WIP because I'm struggling with the foreground terrain, and after seeing Fleetwood's Fake Stones images he just posted I thought maybe I might be able to glean some insights.  I do plan on adding a bunch of Joshua Trees to the scene that I've exported from Speedtree.  Initial renders I did with them were ok but not great as I'm having trouble getting the UVs of the main trunk of the tree to render without all the apparent tiling.  I tired bringing the model into Maya and adjusting the UVs but when I brought the obj back into Terragen I found I could no longer attach any of the shaders.  It seems the mtl somehow got lost in the translation between Terragen and Maya I'm guessing?

The plants that are in here now are called Snakeweed.  Living more north and east of Mojave, It's not really indigenous to the Joshua Tree area, but it looks a lot like the kinds of shrub one sees in the area.  I plan on adding more variants of them as well as older dead ones from past seasons.  I'm also planning on adding various grasses, but so far haven't had much luck finding what I'm looking for.  If anyone has a link to where I might find savanna type grasses I'd appreciate it. 

This a crop of a larger image, the part that I'm most happy with up to this point.  I mostly only get to work on this late at night, but with a huge (and much needed) storm about to hit the Socal area through the weekend I hope to be able to spend more time on this. 
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Offline TheBadger

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 09:18:16 PM »
Man, it sucks that you had to start over. But this is looking like a great 2nd try. Do you have a reference photo for the foreground area your trying to achieve?
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Offline zaxxon

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 09:34:28 PM »
I think that the lighting and the dramatic color palette are spectacular. The composition lends itself to space and distance, but certainly the foreground is going to ultimately determine the image. I'm looking forward to your Speedtree objects ( :)).  Nature always surprises me with it's diverse complexity of the  little things in the foreground; rocks, twigs, dried twisted branches. This image already rivets my attention, looking forward to the next installment.

Offline Kadri

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 10:08:10 PM »

Looks already very nice!Especially as you said the upper part.

Offline gregtee

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 10:51:24 PM »
@TheBadger,

I was looking online for some inspiration and found this image.  I think maybe something like this for the extreme foreground.  I've dabbled in this type of displacements before so I'll give it a try tonight as I'm sipping scotch and listening to the rain fall.  Should make for a relaxing evening.  Sun angle works too. 
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Offline DannyG

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2014, 11:48:15 PM »
  Initial renders I did with them were ok but not great as I'm having trouble getting the UVs of the main trunk of the tree to render without all the apparent tiling.  I tired bringing the model into Maya and adjusting the UVs but when I brought the obj back into Terragen I found I could no longer attach any of the shaders.  It seems the mtl somehow got lost in the translation between Terragen and Maya I'm guessing?

obj's & UV's coming out of Maya do get funky w/ TG, I can only Speak on Bobby Starr's behalf and recommend running it through Poseray  ;D Then check your maps and re-save it. Terragen will take that in nicely
https://sites.google.com/site/poseray/
« Last Edit: February 26, 2014, 11:51:52 PM by Danny_Gordon »

Offline yossam

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2014, 11:48:51 PM »
Good work...........I'll be watching this. I'm afraid you can keep your scotch............I'll take a good aged bourbon.  ;)

Offline gregtee

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2014, 12:17:43 AM »
Oh I'll take that too!  I think I've got some Eagle Rare hiding somewhere under the bar.
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Offline yossam

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 12:24:19 AM »
Sounds good.................. ;D

Offline TheBadger

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 12:24:53 AM »
On the sand in the reference image. There was a file share here with some of the best powdery looking sand I ever saw in TG.
You would probably have to mix it in with more rocky-ish sand. But the effect should be really close to what you are after.
Ill see if I can find the post.
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Offline gregtee

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2014, 12:30:47 AM »
Thanks Badger!  I'd love to see it.
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Offline TheBadger

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 01:00:01 AM »
found it.
You will probably need something slightly different. But as a starting point, I really don't think I have seen a more powdery like sand shared before. Most everything else I have seen has more grain/rock particles. But this should help with the more 'fine dust' aspect of a desert scene:

http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,16464.0.html

If you have not done sand ripples before, or even if you have, this thread is filled with in-depth discussion:
http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=843.0
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Offline zaxxon

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2014, 01:11:19 AM »
I've had a few tiling issues with Speedtree using the sample trees with the provided textures and UV settings. With my own assets not so much, so without really knowing your maps and settings it's hard to guess what's up. My own experience is that ST brings all in pretty well without need of pov-ray as an intermediary (or thru Maya). I tend to create pretty large textures for the trunk surfaces, which is not a 'thrifty' way to spend resources, but TG eats up big poly and large map objects with great ease. The lack of fbx or alembic suport for the imported meshes is a limit for sure, but the obj format works real well straight from ST to TG. The serpentine shaped sand drifts are cool, but from my viewpoint such formations need a more 'open' foreground composition to look appropriate, think of the open wind paths necessary to make such things. I really like the image so far, it's quite a vista!

Offline gregtee

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2014, 01:42:58 AM »
Thanks for the scene Badger, I'll take a look at it when I get home.  That link you posted does have some nice powdery looking sand but what was lacking was the ripples themselves.  I've tried to do this kind of stuff before with limited success.  I guess I'll start with that file and go from there.

Zaxxon, I'll try putting higher res images on the trunks of the trees and see what happens.  I'm far more used to doing asset development in programs like Maya and Vray so getting the hang of how Terragen handles these types of object imports will just require some time.   Not being able to see and adjust the UV sets is a little frustrating too but I know that's not what Terragen was made for.  I do wish Terragen had normal map support since Speedtree will shoot them out as part of the export to obj process, and having access to that channel information would speed things up a lot when setting up initial shaders. 

Thanks for the info though, I'll hit it later tonight and see what I can get accomplished.

-greg
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Offline mhaze

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Re: Joshua Tree National Park first WIP
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2014, 08:16:16 AM »
dandelo? made a sand pack which would be perfect for your needs but I'm not sure where you'd find it!

 

anything