Grand Canyon "swoop" animation

Started by bigben, July 16, 2007, 11:47:11 pm

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July 16, 2007, 11:47:11 pm Last Edit: July 17, 2007, 01:45:13 am by bigben
Here's another version of an animation over the Grand Canyon to test a few more things.

Added some very crude strata just for a bit of extra detail and ditched the landsat texture.

The main test is an for a river using a image mask (10m resolution over 80km) generated in about an hour in Photoshop... magic wand along the river in landsat image, filled with white, manually patched gaps, masked using the slope map (levels adjusted), dropped onto a black background. A further bit of tidying up in TG2 with a slope restriction and you have a reasonably accurate river winding along the canyon floor.  It's not perfect up close, but whizzing past you can't spot most of the problems.

The clouds are also animated a little (this is definitely one thing TG2 does *REALLY* well)

The path follows the canyon at a constant speed, with a gradual drop in altitude to a low point and then a gradual climb.
Detail 0.5, AA 2, no GI, motion blur 1.0  (Before you comment on the motion blur remember that this is only every 4th frame of the total animation). Render time about 5 minutes per frame. 32Mb 
(320x180, 3300'ish frames, 553Mb uncompressed)

Attaching a PDF of some keyframe thumbnails.


Looks very good!  I'm surprised at how smooth you managed to make the camera - I'm also impressed :).  I think that the water looks pretty good, and I look forward to seeing what you do with this. - A great Terragen resource with models, contests, galleries, and forums.


The path was done in Terranim. Luckily I'm old enough to have worked with some old graphics programs and learnt to draw bezier curves using as few points as possible. The art with Terranim is to place points to control the curve rather than where you want the path to be. Added a screengrab of the path and profile above.

The motion blur also helps especially when you get very close to the terrain. I'll try a larger render of one of the stills later with higher detail to see just what the motion blur looks like.

With "Flatten first" selected for the terrains, the TGS conversion is reasonably accurate so the old animation tools aren't dead yet. I'm looking at moving some of my path creation to Campath as well as it support arbitrary planes and 360° rolls (I was originally planning to roll into the canyon while flying along the rim). It should then be possible to have a worklfow like TG2 > Campath > TGS > CHAN > TG2 (for us low budget users ;))


Just a note for info, the AA quality also controls motion blur quality. AA is reasonably fast to render so you might want to up the AA if you're looking for better mo-blur results.

- Oshyan


Thanks for that. I was wondering what other key factors influenced it.


That was really nice!  Thanks for posting it.
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August 30, 2009, 04:05:00 am #6 Last Edit: August 30, 2009, 04:39:14 am by 4Runner
How you export from .tgs to chan file ???

Henry Blewer

It's great. Are you going to surface shade it more and re-render? It deserves a full Terragen 2 expression.
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The flight path is excellent, and the canyon very impressive.

I'd add just a tiny bit of fractal terrain to the areas outside the canyon, they look perfectly flat and while I don't know how they look like in the real desert, even a little bit of irregularity would probably give it more realism.


How about a tute on the conversion/use of Terranim in TG2_3 Ben...didn't  know that could be done and was getting quite good at it in Classic.
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Terranim is quite outdated now that Terragen has built-in animation tools. Not really worth it IMO.

- Oshyan


That was impressive, note to self - have a go at animation.


Quote from: Oshyan on July 07, 2014, 03:28:49 pm
Terranim is quite outdated now that Terragen has built-in animation tools. Not really worth it IMO.

I'll agree that it is outdated, and this was a 7 year old animation, but Terranim does have some redeeming features that are still nice. From memory though I had a database to convert the output script to a chan file soo  it's noto  entirely straightforward.