Rock Surface Study

Started by j meyer, June 29, 2020, 01:15:33 pm

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WOW!!!! The last one looks best to me, but the other ones are great too! I really like the model, and I really like the cracks a lot!!


It's looking very good. They all are, I think. But I would add just that bit of bump, some mix 1 of a few centimeters, see what that does, up close.


Fantastic work. This is really developing in the right direction.
"This year - a factory of semiconductors. Next year - a factory of whole conductors!"

j meyer

Thanks to all of you. :)

Hannes, glad to read that you like the cracks, 'cause they were one of my main goals here.

Ulco, I won't try bump on this model. There is some small sculpted stuff on this one, just
not for close ups. Maybe I try another one later with HD in ZB.
Close ups show a too facetted surface, because the model doesn't have normals. And with
normals - tried that earlier - some of the details get lost.
Hope that explains a bit.


Weird that details get lost when you have normals. I would love to see the differences, with normals, with a bit of bump, but it's your experiment.

j meyer

Ok, ok, I'll try to show and tell you more on one of the next days.


The moss/algae version looks the best imo. Also curious about the normal, seems strange. Unless it's a texture filtering thing in TG?

Jo Kariboo

From this series I prefer the last one!

j meyer

Thanks. :)

Well, now some more info for you Ulco:
First let me show you a ZB-screenshot that shows some details of the surface.
You can see them here a bit clearer than on TG renders.


Here are some comparison shots that show the differences between
no normals (or normals without using smooth normals) and normals
with smooth normals on (should be one of the main reasons for using
normals on imported models).

1-nonormals.jpg   1-smoonormals.jpg

2-nonormals.jpg   2-smoonormals.jpg

You can clearly see that everything has a rather blurry look with 'use smooth
normals' on. That way you loose some sharpness and jaggyness.To be noticed better
on close ups of course(just like the polygon-edges). Some details of the sculpt
get lost in softness.
That alone could have caused my decision.

There are at least 2 more effects that don't really improve the look of the model.
The cast shadows are almost the ones from the no normals or the not smoothed normals.
Related to the already discussed shadows on too low poly objects I assume.
The (ambient) Occlusion weight of TG's Gisd also uses the unsmoothed polys effect.
So that makes close ups not the appropriate choice here.

Now for the bump stuff.
First another close up and then the same with the cavity map i used.

nono.jpg   nono-cavity.jpg

The 2nd image shows that more or less almost the whole surface is covered.
Appling additional TG bumps would cover or destroy the already exsisting

nono-bump.jpg   nono-bump2.jpg

Furthermore the TG bumps and dents can't be integrated in the cavity mask.
So, if I would like more or different bumps and stuff I'd apply those in
ZB, because then they could be integrated in the cavity mask.
You can apply perlin or voronoi and other noises in ZB.Wanted to do that
originally, but changed my plan while doing the sculpture.
So or so my fix goal for this sculpt was to just apply some PF-based coloring
in TG (and of course some specularity and reflections).

Hope this explains it better and in case you still have questions, feel free
to ask again.


Thanks very much for your lengthy explanation, Jochen! I see what you mean. The smooth normals indeed makes the texture too smooth. But what about using a less smooth calculation, like 44.9º or 89.9º, or indeed, the default 35º of Poseray? You may keep the larger areas less smooth, but get rid of the small poly 'artifacts' in the crevices.
I may have to review the way I do my clothes, after adding them to the figures. I usually recalculate using smooth normals, so that may be not the best way. Though bump and detail comes out fine, I will test some versions.

I guess from your description there are normals anyway, but just not the smooth ones? If I make a sculpt and don't recalculate in Poseray, the object looks horrible in preview in TG, no shadows, or any curvature can be seen, all just one flat 'thing'.

j meyer

Usually ZB does not export normals, so when I say no normals it really means that there are
no normals at all. You can see that in the preview of TG, if you remember, the whole object
is dark, no details visible.
(In case you have normals on your model, but have unchecked 'use smooth normals' in TG
it should still be visible in the preview, I guess)
Since a few versions you can export 'smooth normals' from ZB, they added some modeling
features with creasing and stuff and therefor many users needed such a feature.
There is no smooth calculation feature in ZB, as far as I know, so you would have to apply
creasing to edges, which can be a really painful work on sculpts and would not be really
good unless you would change some geometry as well etc. .
Doing that in Poseray wouldn't help either, because you would need more than one angle
on a sculpt usually (had that problem even on some Wings3d models btw.,which is the
reason why I recommended creasing edges in Wings as a better method earlier).
Some of the poly-artefacts in the crevices you noticed are caused by the triangulation of
TG (same would happen in P-ray), because it's an automatic feature.
You only can get rid of that by triangulating some features manually, but that would be
another royal pain on high poly objects (even on rather mid-poly stuff like the sculpt of
this thread, it has ca.1.5mil polys).


Yes, a no-normal object in TG is quite useless in preview, though it often renders fine. The thing with Poseray is that after importing a previously smoothly calculated object, it seems as though the smooth normals are gone again. Even after a recalculate in PR and importing again later (for adding parts to it, eg.) there's often the necessity to recalculate again.
The poly-artifacts in the creases are not a problem if a bit of extra bump is applied, you'd hardly or not see it.

j meyer

Strange PR effect you are talking about.
Maybe there is a bug or so in one of the newer versions.
Never experienced that, but I haven't used it often since some years now.
So unfortunately I can't help you with that, sorry.


No problem, I just recalculate. I've used quite a few versions, but vaguely remember I reverted back to an older because the newer had something that didn't work for me. But this is a good reminder to check on even newer updates, thanks.


Nice model. I would definitely go for at least 8K or higher, or multiple UVs. The moss version looks best IMHO, given the surroundings presented.
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