WIP - Rogue's entry

Started by RogueNZ, June 05, 2020, 09:58:11 AM

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Thought I better start a thread, but before I share any full images I'm going to ask some questions - just spent the good part of a day working on an issue only to learn that any pixel in an image mask can only be 0 or 100% opaque, nothing in between, as explained here:


My goal was to make a field of fireflys's, so I've made an image mask with a black background, and had been trying to use 'Alpha from Colour' to generate soft transparent edges, but obviously the edges would come out sharp. I also tried using the image directly as a mask with similar results.

Can anyone think of a way around this within the rules of the competition (i.e. rendered within one application)?

Was thinking of maybe creating a 3d model and using a glass shader but that will likely make render times unbearable.

I also tried DoF to minimize the hard edge issue, but found another issue where. Only seems to occur when focusing far away (30000) rather than focusing up close - is this known behavior?



Depends on what you want. If it's only a small population of fireflies I'd make an object, or even use the internal stones, and pop on a displaced PF (so they fly at different heights). If it needs to be a huge field of fireflies, maybe a very low quality cloud can make the 'pixel-like fireflies'.


A challenger appears. 8)

You are right in that "alpha from opacity" will leave considerable (if up close) edge.

Have you perhaps considered using Jordan's light generator? Not sure though if this fills your needs.
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"


I had this same issue actually. I was trying to focus on a firefly on some grass (actual object) but all the PS fiireflies exploded. Were we doing the same sort of entry? Lmao (I'm not actually entering, just playing).

So I made the random light generator in discussion.


Thanks for the suggestions. WAS I had seen your light populator the other day but had no idea it was related to fireflies haha. Gave it a go, excellent tool but I'm pretty set on getting the light-trail effect you see in photo's.

I thought of a potential workaround, using halftone effect to create a dithered black and white mask. Problem is, Photoshop can't use this filter on images more than about 20k x 20k, so the effect is obvious up close. But works well for further away!

I may end up having to filter each firefly separately and composite into a bigger mask separately.


You could probably just create a tiny object with a (bio)luminescent surface. Give that surface a luminosity value that wouldn't disturb the atmosphere (anything below 2-3). Then, populate like Ulco suggests.
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"


I think that approach would still result in sharp edges. I'm pleased with the solution I came up with, works well at medium/far distances, closer will need more work. Still not sure what was up with that DoF issue I posted before :/

Anyway here's where I'm at... wasn't sure about the direction I was going with the spaceship etc, had thought about instead going for a horseback rider or similar, but I quite like the contrast between modern and rustic.


Wow, a really stunning image. :) The fireflies turned out nicely if you ask me.
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"

Jo Kariboo

Very beautiful and mysterious atmosphere!


Yeah the trails
Quote from: RogueNZ on June 05, 2020, 08:33:24 PMGave it a go, excellent tool but I'm pretty set on getting the light-trail effect you see in photo's.

That's a good point, though I will add that these photos have just having timing and exposure to capture the streaks, which are also not really that pleasant in firefly photography. Award winning photos usually use shutter timing and exposure to capture the moments the fireflies spark, and capturing their path. See the following from Norton Creek firefly event 2020. Trying to minimize streaking is usually what they're trying to do.


I did some fireflies a couple years ago when I got brave enough to use my cartoonish firefly model:


I used small cloud puffs for the glow and a luminous value on the firefly taillight.

I like this scene very much, nice work! :)


Your last one looks amazing!


Thanks guys. Making lots of little progress but not yet ready to render big.

Help needed. I've placed three primitives in my scene that I want to export in the same relative position and orientation into Blender to do some further modelling. I've created the three primitives in Blender, and given them the same relative offsets and rotations as the Terragen objects. However the rotations don't work, I'm guessing because the rotation scheme used by Terragen (world relative??) is different to Blender (Euler rotations, Quaternion or Axis Angle)? I'm not sure if there is a way around this...

Can anyone think of an easier way to export three primitives from Terragen, or set the same primitives up in another 3d program?


This would be too simple.....are you using the new Blender 2.8? I know that there are more options for importing now....would the rotation preferences be chosen upon import? I really do not know much except that there are options...WAS or Hannes or many others can probably jump in here.... :)


I don't know much about Blender, but to me it would be the easiest way to create the objects in another app (Blender or whatever you want), edit them, until you're happy with it, and THEN import into TG. There may be a way to do it the other way round, but I think it's a bit cumbersome.