How do you create good mountain ridges from a planet view with snow peaks?

Started by eapilot, May 24, 2018, 02:00:47 pm

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eapilot

I'm learning how to make planet renders and I am trying to get more specific terrain.  I am trying to get terrain that looks like this from a distance with snow capped.  Any advice or links to other good forums that show these results would be great!  Planets are a whole other beast!

WAS

Quote from: eapilot on May 24, 2018, 02:00:47 pm
I'm learning how to make planet renders and I am trying to get more specific terrain.  I am trying to get terrain that looks like this from a distance with snow capped.  Any advice or links to other good forums that show these results would be great!  Planets are a whole other beast!


For natural looking snow on the sides of mountains due to light angle, I'd say Daniil's erosion shader would hep with maps, but it's area of effect is limited, and not global.

You could use the alpine displacement and play with masks to try and get snow on the sides only. Like two displacements to scalar and colour adjusmtnets. One to get the sides of the mountains, and one to mask out the peaks, and a surface layer to control height.

Oshyan

I'm not sure if you're having issues making the actual terrain shapes, or texturing it with e.g. snow, etc. Making large (global) scale, realistic terrains is a very difficult problem not yet really solved by any software, at least not out-of-the-box. Terragen can do it, but it takes a good amount of effort. There are some existing assets at NWDA and elsewhere that can show you some methods to achieve it. I'd also recommend experimenting with Daniil's *procedural* erosion shader (not the newer heightfield one), since it can cover more area than the heightfield one with good detail. Using that you can make such mountain ranges on a near-global scale fairly easily.

- Oshyan

WAS

Quote from: Oshyan on May 24, 2018, 06:06:35 pm
I'm not sure if you're having issues making the actual terrain shapes, or texturing it with e.g. snow, etc. Making large (global) scale, realistic terrains is a very difficult problem not yet really solved by any software, at least not out-of-the-box. Terragen can do it, but it takes a good amount of effort. There are some existing assets at NWDA and elsewhere that can show you some methods to achieve it. I'd also recommend experimenting with Daniil's *procedural* erosion shader (not the newer heightfield one), since it can cover more area than the heightfield one with good detail. Using that you can make such mountain ranges on a near-global scale fairly easily.

- Oshyan


It's a good thing to note Daniil's procedural erosion plugin requires a good amount of ram, even at smaller scales. I wonder how it'd actually handle at partially global scales.

Oshyan

It's procedural so it calculates data at least partially based on the level of detail and scales needed. So it shouldn't use a huge amount more RAM on a global scale (just as Terragen itself doesn't), because it only has to operate on a relative level of detail high enough for the current camera position.

- Oshyan

WAS

Quote from: Oshyan on May 24, 2018, 06:46:26 pm
It's procedural so it calculates data at least partially based on the level of detail and scales needed. So it shouldn't use a huge amount more RAM on a global scale (just as Terragen itself doesn't), because it only has to operate on a relative level of detail high enough for the current camera position.

- Oshyan


Hmm, planets I render are always longer render times than my surface scenes. Once you start packing in surface layers and masks, and added water, it's a lot more complex than shaders being rendered at close range And even at surface scales, the procedural plugin is harsh on RAM, even noted by Daniil.

Example, I took my lunar scene which renders in about 5 minutes at MPD 5 and AA 0.6, and it's still render at orbital scale at 10 minute mark, with stones, and pops disabled.

The Basic gas giant is also relatively very simple, and takes a long time compared to surface scenes.

I feel like even at planetary scales maps for snow looking like this, coupled with other colouring displacement detail, would cripple my system, which again, represents minimum spec, even on my desktop (may be time to start targeting adequate processor groups that can offer what Planetary uses for examples).

WAS

Here is a little something to build upon. If you go any further out into space you'll want to swap that lake for a sphere and copy the planets center and radius, and play with upping the radius by minuscule amounts (as it'll add up quite a bit)

This is based on a WIP for procedural continents and alpines... just without all the bad looking stuff I was trying and just the basic concept. :P

AP

Some possible solutions lie in the use of the Alpine fractal shader. Reason being for the Alpine fractal shader is that the patterns that the shader produces are more modeled after true mountain ranges particularly when increasing the Lead-in octaves to at least 3 or 4. The increase in octaves will make larger and longer U and or V-Shaped valleys along with the existing patterns that the shader will produce containing hanging valleys and smaller-scale gullies. The shader does an OK job "faking" erosion to some degree. Ultimately though, the more significant problem is that there is still no real solution for complete global procedural erosion and complete global river system networks. It would be very good to see a system that carves mountain ranges that drain the varying fluvial forces into valleys, larger basins along with meandering rivers that drain into lakes and larger seas, the fluvial cutting of random canyons, various thermal and alluvial processes and so on.

WAS

Quote from: AP on May 25, 2018, 02:30:22 am
It would be very good to see a system that carves mountain ranges that drain the varying fluvial forces into valleys, larger basins along with meandering rivers that drain into lakes and larger seas, the fluvial cutting of random canyons, various thermal and alluvial processes and so on.


Ahhh, to dream. Haha. I mean It's possible to take all those bits and bobs and try and produce positions for each type of displacement, and erosion and blend them all together but that'd take some doing and know how. Even Daniil's plugin could be used for a base if the location was a vector input / xyz input.


AP

Quote from: WASasquatch on May 25, 2018, 02:58:18 am
Quote from: AP on May 25, 2018, 02:30:22 am
It would be very good to see a system that carves mountain ranges that drain the varying fluvial forces into valleys, larger basins along with meandering rivers that drain into lakes and larger seas, the fluvial cutting of random canyons, various thermal and alluvial processes and so on.


Ahhh, to dream. Haha. I mean It's possible to take all those bits and bobs and try and produce positions for each type of displacement, and erosion and blend them all together but that'd take some doing and know how. Even Daniil's plugin could be used for a base if the location was a vector input / xyz input.


There was a few attempts using the Procedural erosion shader to blend into the Alpine fractal shader, however it never looked right. It could have been the scaling was wrong or the blending and perhaps other unknown problem areas. The Procedural erosion shader could be masked off by a series of Painted shaders which allows the custom placement for the mountain ranges, however this was never attempted for an entire planet. This also could also be used for the more flat lower elevation terrains outside of the non-painted masks. Large-scale stretched and warped noises can be used as well as another alternative option.

It still leaves the need for river drainage networks. From a planet point of view perhaps the rivers and large bodies of water could be painted and or Simple shape shaders can be manually placed. This is possible and having done this was somewhat difficult. The problem is that the 3D Preview could use some updating for more clear definition providing a more easy way to see where the masked shaders are for the manual placements. An Equirectangular projection layout view would make it significantly more easy because then the entire planet can be viewed and edited.

SILENCER

The landscape was done in Gaea, exported as a 16bit PNG into Terragen.
Needs refinement of course, but it can be done.

WAS

Quote from: AP on May 25, 2018, 08:35:53 am
There was a few attempts using the Procedural erosion shader to blend into the Alpine fractal shader, however it never looked right. It could have been the scaling was wrong or the blending and perhaps other unknown problem areas. The Procedural erosion shader could be masked off by a series of Painted shaders which allows the custom placement for the mountain ranges, however this was never attempted for an entire planet. This also could also be used for the more flat lower elevation terrains outside of the non-painted masks. Large-scale stretched and warped noises can be used as well as another alternative option.

It still leaves the need for river drainage networks. From a planet point of view perhaps the rivers and large bodies of water could be painted and or Simple shape shaders can be manually placed. This is possible and having done this was somewhat difficult. The problem is that the 3D Preview could use some updating for more clear definition providing a more easy way to see where the masked shaders are for the manual placements. An Equirectangular projection layout view would make it significantly more easy because then the entire planet can be viewed and edited.


You could procedurally create masks that follow flows of PFs and such at large scale with disp to scalar. Take a look at the file I submitted here and how Alpine mountains follow continental rises. Couple that with large falloff painted shader or even SSS shaders at correct hemispheres for types of erosions again, canyns, Alpine, smooth volcanics etc etc. The amount of masks would be crazy though for all the variations

As a note, I am now using Daniil's Procedural Erosion Shader on the orbital details files to try and see if we can't get some river sim and galcial flows. Though, as I expected, on a orbital scale, Terragen Freezes with any input to anything within TG while Daniil's plugin recovers. Not sure what it is actually, because even with a RAM limit of 4G, TG is only using 512mb, and only 53% CPU, but is frozen at this moment. Took a screenshot, RAM grew a bit, but still waiting on it to rename a shader (notice TG can't even render the node network tree)... This sin't a issue at surface scales.

In fact it seems the plugin simply breaks the node network tree. If I made a shader, nothing appears.... I have to go to "View -> Node Network" or hit F5 to refresh it... The render settings window doesn't work and I have to hot key to render without being able to change settings. Yeah orbital scales not recommended unless you're on a beefy machine. Definitely not within min spec.

Update: Did a test render, to see what the erosion looked like, and it doesn't look half bad, though I forgot to swap the snow mask with the flow map. As I expected it doubles render times.

eapilot

@WASsquatch this looks great!  I'm going to try and work with it.