Pteranodon Hunter

Started by Stormlord, December 22, 2023, 06:17:31 PM

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Great work Dirk. Your effort on this project was Herculean and the result clearly reflects your assiduous labour.
I hope I realise I don't exist before I apparently die.


Landscape render in a portrait format.
This time a more coastal view of this predator in a dynamic pose.

Pteranodon Hunter 2023 - Portrait.jpg
Pteranodon Hunter 2023



I like this version more, actually. The beast jumps forward, more depth!
Only, for such calm water, less foam distance would be appropriate. Unless there's submerged rocks.

Good work, Dirk!


Love this pov. and the coastline scene is great as is . . . . . . . but

Are you up for more tinkering with this project?
If so . . . . . ROCKS.
The way some of the terrain slopes into the water could be enhanced with a more definitive shore.  A rocky shoreline, and rock screes on bare slopes might do the trick.
see attachment for what I have in mind.
I hope I realise I don't exist before I apparently die.


Thank you so much for your encouragement and constructive critic.
This helps me to hang on this truly big project (for me) and keep on bringing in more and more details :)



Hi Guys,
this week I worked on a more natural underwater stone environment.
So I added more fake stones and rendered a new setup for my underwater stone distribution.

30 - Underwater Stones.jpg
Underwater Stones 2.0

Underwater Stones.jpg
More natural underwater stone distribution

Underwater Stones Rendering.jpg
Pteranodon Hunter Landscape 2023

Then I went on to transfer John's good idea to render more rocky stones on the beach.
So I tried to mask out only a heightline profile of the shoreline in my terrain to use this mask for a specified stone distribution area.
Usually I use a shape shader to mask my distribution area, but here I intend to render out a mask as a DOT product for further use.

I admit, that I wasn't able to mask out only the pink shoreline.
I intended to get a clean mask as a DOT product, but I failed.

28 - Heightline Masking.jpg
Pink terrain heightline problematic

Has somebody a procedure or an idea, how I could mask out a simple height line in a terrain?
The idea I have in stock is to render a separate pass, like I did before with the vegetable/botanic mask. All in black except the heightline.
Sure I could do that, but I am looking for a simple way of masking a given heightline in a terrain, for further use as a seperate mask (DOT Product).

So I stuck here for a moment...
Try to find a solution...

Any ideas...suggestions...maybe a sample tgd...???



I actually don't understand why you're using these elaborate masks. Why not use the altitude settings in a distribution or surface shader? You can easily make a narrow line, or an underwater mask, whatever... within TG, so in one go.
Even a get altitude or get position (in texture) and some smooth steps can do the trick.


I know, that it is simple to mask it out via the altitude settings. I just tried it the complicated way, because I never did it this way.
And now I am so glad, that I have ask!

I studied surface shaders, I read a lot in the Wikipedia, I examined .tgd files, I constantly add new infos and files to my own Terragen Library.
But sometimes you simply have no clue. How you can really work with all these blue nodes?
So by your given example I have learned something new to me. It's so precious to me Ulco!

It's humbling to ask maybe simple questions, but it's far more better to say "I simply don't know" (and learn something new from others),
instead of posing to be the Terragen hero. Sure, I've learned a lot, and mostly I did it by reading and study the contributions in this forum.
But at the end, it's sometimes the chance to ask an experienced user to get a breakthrough and enlightening in problem areas.

Well... the Planetside Wikipedia is great, but often I miss a example how I really can transfer the information to a real life solution in Terragen.
Multiply complement scalar... ok... wow... but what the hell am I doing with this Multi Complex Shi... Shader Dingelsbumsgedöns at the end?
How do I apply it at the end?

So to find out and get a real life example I just ask. So one more time... thank you Ulco for showing me how I can mask out a heightline in a terrain.
-> By the way... this is, what I saved in my private Terragen Wikipedia Folder for future use of your example.

Multiply complement scalar (Masking out a heightline in a terrain).jpg
Masking out a heightline in a terrain



Well, the blues are just one way, and I put them in just to show there's more than one way. But easier is surface shader or distribution shader, like the first, purple one.


Next variant of the scene...
A minor change refers to the snowline, it has come down a little bit. Just a little bit fine tuning here..

I experimented a lot with variations in the water and with the underwater stone environment.
The water became transparent, the sea foam here is heavily reduced and limited to areas, where the rocks are going into the water.

The water shall look tropical, but I'm afraid that it is now too transparent?
On the other hand, it looks more interesting because of all the details underwater... difficult question. But I decided to start here with this transparent water.

Finally, I decided instead of doing some bigger fake stones at the shoreline, to create a sandy beach. It looks now way better with the new sandy beach.
(There are small sandy stones at the shoreline, but they consist of zones with small gravel and pebbles. So you don't really see much of them in this resolution.)

Pteranodon Hunter 2024 - Portrait.jpg
Pteranodon Hunter 2023



Terrific! But maybe the water is indeed to transparent and too blue. I'd say a lot of algae would thrive in a warmer climate, so greenish would be okay.

But I don't want to spoil the fun, but the snow shouldn't really be there (but maybe this was a brief period of glaciation).

" The Cretaceous was a period with a relatively warm climate, resulting in high eustatic sea levels that created numerous shallow inland seas. These oceans and seas were populated with now-extinct marine reptiles, ammonites, and rudists, while dinosaurs continued to dominate on land. The world was largely ice-free, although there is some evidence of brief periods of glaciation during the cooler first half, and forests extended to the poles."


Yesterday I updated my water settings and rendered my scene with various water colors for comparison.
The average water colors which I used here are from areas in true color satellite images, with mostly the same average water colors.
Open seawater (average ocean color), Phytoplankton Bloom areas and ocean zones filled with Chlorophyll.
It ended up with four test renderings, which displays the new and updated average water colors in my scene.

Pteranodon Hunter 2024 - Water Color Test.jpg
Average water colors

At the end, I cold not finally decide which color range is the best?
I think something between Phytoplankton and Chlorophyll in this case.
So I made a water color mixer to create a mix of subtle colors here. LOL... 8)

SCREENSHOT - Pteranodon Hunter (Water Color Mixer).jpg
Pteranodon Hunter (Water Color Mixer)

I also rendered a version without ice+snow, this variant looks rather boring...
So I will stay with ice and snow. It looks much more interesting and yes there were glacial periods in the Jurassic.

Pteranodon Hunter 2024 - Surface Shader Check.jpg
Rock or ice and snow?
(Surface Shader Check)

Pteranodon Hunter 2024.jpg
Pteranodon Hunter 2024
(Updated scene with new water colors)