Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas

Started by CredePendrel, September 16, 2019, 09:51:38 am

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CredePendrel

September 16, 2019, 09:51:38 am Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 11:12:12 am by CredePendrel
Hey everyone!

Going to steal a great idea from N-drju and start my own "World and Ideas threads". I am hoping this will help contain my ramblings into one post instead of clogging up forum real estate. Hot of the heels of my Gravel Road work I am hard at work trying some new.

Recently in Blender I started building ruined walls and ended up creating a really cool looking material that combines a stone wall with a mossy texture. The results in Blender look really good and I wanted to export the model and use it in my Terragen scenes.

The only way I know to use multiple materials with an .obj is to bake the textures into a single texture atlas. That in-itself isn't that hard in my models there are a lot of 'hidden faces' that have UV's but are not seen. I have tried to find the best way to retopo the model and spent hours trying to delete faces but don't have a good solution yet. You can see all the black in the bake map; these faces need to be removed to make room for the rest of the texture. In "Ruins2.jpg" you can see serious issues on the round tower. Trying to resolve that now.

I would be very interested in hearing from others how they go about this. Dune and sboerner have amazing examples of 3d models in their scenes and textures look amazing! I am curious as to the software used and if you are only using single materials for object?? or Baking textures or some other magic?

Once my computer is free, I will going to try exporting the wall and use only a single concrete texture to see if I can make the .obj work without baking the texture sheet separately.

CredePendrel

September 16, 2019, 10:29:07 am #1 Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 10:33:09 am by CredePendrel
Ok so this Rounded Tower was exported with a single material; no baked texture here. To be honest it doesn't look any worse than the other examples. So should I give up on texture baking altogether?

Dune

I never bake any materials onto the object, but use tiled textures on different parts. I can further combine these with other materials in TG (merge shader and mix by PF) or add procedural variation and/or textures.
I don't know Blender, but I use Lightwave for hard objects, and ZBrush for soft ones, also use ZBrush for making the UV-maps, and often Lightwave again to shift parts of the UV map around. Finally, almost always Poseray to check, do normals again if needed and merge object parts.

CredePendrel

September 16, 2019, 10:38:55 am #3 Last Edit: September 16, 2019, 11:10:06 am by CredePendrel
Quote from: Dune on September 16, 2019, 10:31:49 amI never bake any materials onto the object, but use tiled textures on different parts. I can further combine these with other materials in TG (merge shader and mix by PF) or add procedural variation and/or textures.
I don't know Blender, but I use Lightwave for hard objects, and ZBrush for soft ones, also use ZBrush for making the UV-maps, and often Lightwave again to shift parts of the UV map around. Finally, almost always Poseray to check, do normals again if needed and merge object parts.
Interesting so if I had two textures for an object, 1 stone and 1 moss, I can combine/overlay them on the object themselves in Terragen with a merge shader?? May have to give that a shot. Thanks Dune!

EDIT: I think it worked great! Rendering new image. Man, that opens possibilities and will make my job modelling easier. Thank you Dune!

EDIT2: Updated render....includes a transform shader with a PF for moss distribution as per Dune's amazing suggestion. Oh this makes me happy! Leanring something new that I can use over and over again now!

Dune

Yes, if you use a transform shader set to world position after a PF (used as mixer for the merge shader) for the moss distribution, it will distribute patches of moss all over the wall. Stone and moss thus can have their own bumpmaps.

Hannes

Most of the time I use just a surface layer after the regular shader to create moss or dirt, masked or broken up by a PF driven through a transform shader set to world position as Ulco mentioned. You can use altitude or slope constraints, which is great, when you want your stuff only on horizontal surfaces for example.

CredePendrel

Quote from: Hannes on September 16, 2019, 11:08:43 amMost of the time I use just a surface layer after the regular shader to create moss or dirt, masked or broken up by a PF driven through a transform shader set to world position as Ulco mentioned. You can use altitude or slope constraints, which is great, when you want your stuff only on horizontal surfaces for example.
OK awesome! Thank you for your advice Hannes! Looking forward to trying this new technique out!

N-drju

Quote from: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 09:51:38 amGoing to steal a great idea from N-drju and start my own "World and Ideas threads".

I am glad you admitted it yourself, because otherwise you'd have a hundreds-of-thousands euro worth of lawsuit on your hands. 8) One way or another, some guys are coming to your doorstep... :D  

But in all seriousness it's of course just a title, though I appreciate the mention. ;) I hope your thread will be successful and be a place where ideas get exchanged. I myself will gladly put my two cents from time to time if you don't mind. Happy rendering!
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"

Dune

@Hannes; problem with that method is that in the moss, the bump of the default shader will still be present. With merge shader you can separate those. Unless you smooth.

Hannes

Quote from: Dune on September 16, 2019, 11:28:42 am@Hannes; problem with that method is that in the moss, the bump of the default shader will still be present. With merge shader you can separate those. Unless you smooth.
That's a point!

CredePendrel

September 18, 2019, 09:27:50 am #10 Last Edit: September 18, 2019, 09:39:45 am by CredePendrel
Tried a couple more things....Not happy; The tower looks like a toy. At least the wall sections in the previous renders looked semi real.

The mound that the tower sits on is a simple inverted crater. I really want to add some more detail to it. I would love the tower to be sitting on a rocky outcrop over looking the forest. Is the Fake Stone shader suitable for this? I know that GeekAtPlay has a "rock tower" type tutorial. Maybe that can be adjust to have a flat top so the tower and sit there properly.

Dune

If you use a soft circular simple shape instead of the mound, you can use that as a mask to 1. raise the ground to a mound (use a surface shader's displacement tab), 2. add huge (20m) fake stones in the same surface layer (child input) masked by the same SSS (color hardened [white down] to cover more of the mound), with appropriate PF sizes and colors as surface input. Then put your tower on one of the rocks. Have the fake stones followed by a transform shader set to world.

CredePendrel

Quote from: Dune on September 18, 2019, 11:22:49 amIf you use a soft circular simple shape instead of the mound, you can use that as a mask to 1. raise the ground to a mound (use a surface shader's displacement tab), 2. add huge (20m) fake stones in the same surface layer (child input) masked by the same SSS (color hardened [white down] to cover more of the mound), with appropriate PF sizes and colors as surface input. Then put your tower on one of the rocks. Have the fake stones followed by a transform shader set to world.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I will give it a shot and report back.

CredePendrel

OK, so I started it in a new project file just so I could properly learn the concept first before applying it to my current scene. I definitely think I get it, its just about tweaking those stone values! The mound still seems a bit flat to me. I want to try and make it look like the background terrain a bit (Black Circle).

Here is what I tried...I added a Displacement shader to the mound SSS and added a PF to it. In the view-port it looked like it added details but on the render it didn't show any difference (Mound2). I then added the PF directly to the Mound SSS but it made some crazy spikes shoot out of the ground lol, not what I was going for and so ugly its not even worth an image. Lastly I tried adding a Strata and outcrops shader.....seemingly no results on my mound (Mound2 again).

Today is going to be a busy day at work so I may not get to try again till later on. Thanks in advance for anyone's help/advice.

luvsmuzik

September 19, 2019, 10:57:04 am #14 Last Edit: September 19, 2019, 12:00:47 pm by luvsmuzik Reason: to add image
Very cool project! Curious if you made your castle ruins? you may have already said...sorry if I missed that. :)

You could also use a tg rock or invert a crater for your mound.......these can usually handle a PF displacement.

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,22434.0.html    (inverted craters, tower tutorial)
https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,23401.0.html

Here is an inverted crater for a mound. I left it rounded. Other shapes can also be used by displacing a cube.