Rio Ulco

Started by zaxxon, November 06, 2018, 08:54:34 am

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This is my take on Dune's River scene from NWDA (  The amount of useful knowledge contained in this file cannot be overstated, and is a mini masterclass in Terragen technique, highly recommended! Also, the reeds are by Dune and are some of my favorite assets, also available from NWDA. The little egret peeking out in the mid-ground is Dune's as well. I've had this one "in-progress" for a while and finally had time to finish it up.


Wow, this is really a beauty!!!! I looked at it for a while, and I have absolutely no crits. I love the shallow area a lot. Looks incredibly realistic!



Genius? Hardly. Ulco's scene contains the "Genius" imo, but thanks nonetheless Mick!

Thanks Hannes. But for some reason the posted image appears more saturated than my original, so I may post a corrected version.


Wonderfully executed render, Doug. As I wrote you, I love the attention to detail. You're a master!


A pearl -  a marvel! Great!


Wow this is great! Love the detail here. The mood established here is beautiful.

The only suggests I'd have is varying the lean on the cattails  as the uniformity in the model comes out when they're all aligned up against each other in a straight line (repeating shapes in the populations at same angles).

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Fantastic! The clouds are amazing and love all the detail, the amount of dead wood alone - non-repetitive to boot - is impressive. I love it all. Belongs to the TG feature gallery for sure.

Oh and that river project is a very worthy acquisition, I absolutely agree. Learned a lot from the master  :) .

Dang, I need to pick up TG again.


It's all been said by the others and I whole heartedly agree...a masterpiece of composition executed perfectly. big WOW
something borrowed,
something Blue.
Ring out the Old.
Bring in the New
Bobby Stahr, Paracosmologist

j meyer

Very natural and convincing, good one.


I'm curious, did the clouds taker longest?
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The scene without clouds took about 45 minutes, with sky about 13 hours on a dual zeon at 3.5 ghz.  Render settings .8/12. Easy Clouds; you have to love them, but there is a cost.


Quote from: zaxxon on November 06, 2018, 10:25:29 pm
The scene without clouds took about 45 minutes, with sky about 13 hours on a dual zeon at 3.5 ghz.  Render settings .8/12. Easy Clouds; you have to love them, but there is a cost.

Wow! What a incredible seed you found for your easy clouds. I am assuming growth attribute was changed to get this epic buildup? I haven't really played with them much as I'm always trying to challenge myself to "Create" theme with V3.

Xeons are so nice. I remember getting my first freeware copy of TG2 at home on my Xeon X5450 and was pretty impressed with the render time, especially cause at the time I was doing abstract rendering in C4D on integrated graphics (I believe it used GPU) so it took literally forever. One abstract series of torus took 8 days, luckily I had a trip to keep me away. Lol I used that Xeon until 2016-2017 and I think it's EOL for that specific one was 2004 or 2005 lol Powerful CPUs.
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This is definitely a beautiful image! The detail in the foreground, especially on the right, with the debris, algae (or small plant growth), etc. is fantastic. The river itself is highly realistic, while the terrain is nicely understated and likewise very realistic. A great sense of natural scale and distance.

That being said, I have a few notes of feedback. :)

First, the clouds are nice, but I swear I've seen something quite like them before:
Probably nobody else who isn't a close follower of your work would notice though. I'm just a big fan. :) And you've done some other great cloud shapes before, so I'd love to see another new cloudscape from you. Or maybe just hit random seed on these guys. ;D

Second, the colors for all the vegetation are great, except I think for the largest trees. They seem to have a bit too much blue and/or saturation in their color to my eye. The model also seems to have leaves kind of oddly scattered around, though this may be realistic for that tree type. They just look a bit like a more simplistic point cloud tree generator might make, rather than a growth-based model or a well-informed hand-made model. I also think the specular might be just a little too high on the leaves. Overall they just stand out as a bit less realistic than every other part of the scene. They're not bad on their own, just everything else is great. ;)

I also wonder what this would look like path traced, not so much for the vegetation or landscape, but for the reflection on the water. Path tracing enables a new specular reflection model that I think looks rather nicer. But you might have to adjust settings if you enabled it as the new specular model works differently and the reflection might be too soft for your taste (this can easily be adjusted, just in a different way than you're used to (Minimum Highlight Spread in the Water Shader's Reflection tab, very small values, with a 0 for sharp reflections).

Finally, like many of your images, I find this to overall have a rather "dim" and yellow/orange cast to it. It's not quite like a sunset (which I tend to like), but maybe late afternoon, with a very heavy and humid, dense atmosphere. I often think of these oppressive and dramatic weather days in the South-West of the US when I see your images, and this one is similar. It's not a bad thing, but aesthetically not my personal preference. I did a little quick adjustment on my side here and with some minor adjustment in white balance and exposure I liked the image even more, and could appreciate it more as a beautiful view and not more primarily as a great technical achievement. Again this is no doubt personal taste. Which is why I put this last. :D I'm happy to post my quick edit if you're curious what I mean, but I don't want to detract from discussion of your work, so I've defaulted to not.

In general always glad to see your work, it's always up to a very high standard of quality, detail, and realism.

- Oshyan


Thanks for the detailed critique Oshyan, and I agree with some of your points.  Yes indeed the clouds are the same as the referenced image, I wasn't really being lazy in this image as the setup originally belonged to this image and it was the other that had the copied clouds. Thanks for noticing the duplication though, but then they do belong to an image Planetside currently uses as an intro banner on the website (hey, thanks for that too!). I'd really like seeing your adjustments, I had tweaked the image and never really came to a 'sweet' spot. I realized that it probably should have been rendered to an exr image and adjusted in something like Nuke (something I have but not really proficient in yet). Also, as I mentioned I really wasn't happy with the image as it uploaded into the Forum, so further tweaking was in order. As to the trees, well this isn't the first time you haven't like them:,18986.15.html  ;). I'm building some more trees that may work here as well, but that task is pretty slow at present. I also wonder what the path traced version version would look like, but my Maintenance Contract has expired and I'll have to wait to see.