Parabolic dunes

Started by Dune, February 28, 2024, 02:04:44 AM

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WIP, and experiment. All procedural; the parabolic dunes from voronoi, the smaller dunes from a water shader. Grass is internal, and 3 tree types (birch, and pine). This would be northern hemisphere, 12.000 years ago. It needs mammoth and so on. This was an era that had significant cooling into the last stadial (the big freeze), that might have been caused by stagnation of the warm gulfstream, or a giant meteorite impact.
Well, there's your daily dose of education :P


First I thought, there is too much red in the sand?
At least it feels like that... and sometimes I may be right, sometimes I maybe wrong?
-> Well it's your desert, so you must decide. But maybe I can help you a little bit here?

I searched my photos and found a nice reference color shot which I made 2011 on a flight to Hong Kong over the Mongolian desert.
The colors are quite exactly what you see in reality. Sometimes they are more yellow, sometimes more red, but the reference image is a good interpretation of the whole color palette there.

Mongolian Desert 04-2011.jpg
Color Palette in the Mongolian Desert

The trees look somehow strange because of the fading into the sand.
Is it some sort of dust, wind of wandering dunes?

By the way, I experienced the same effect when working on my Pteranodon scene.
I had quite some problems to solve when I rendered the fog and clouds into the scene, and trees are beneath the fog and cloud layer.
Some has rendered whitish, others are rendered as expected? A very mysterious behavior of TG?

Pteranodon Hunter (Starnge cloud-fog effect).jpg
Pteranodon Hunter 2023
Strange cloud-fog effect?

Overall very cool to use water shaders for sand formations, you're full of surprises Ulco!

Here are my 2 cents...
I personally would prefer a more yellow colored dune field. For my taste, it's too much red.

Some trees are to white-bluish at the left border and the lower left corner.
I would replace them with some sort of a darker more saturated green, they would fit more into the rest of the vegetation.

Same for the sky at the horizon, it looks very flat and desaturated, maybe a little bit more blue...

But the whole scene looks good, you can really feel the sand between your teeth...



Nice quality render Ulco. As it's a WIP may I add my two pennies worth of critique: The transition from sand to grass may be better served with an intermediary stony ground texture. The scene could be enhanced with a more gradual vanishing into the mist of the land at the horizon. But that's just a personal preference. Is it possible to give the low lying mist a wind direction from viewpoint to horizon? That would look good. I can't see anything wrong with the colour of the sand, but, hey, as you know colours are not my forte.
I hope I realise I don't exist before I apparently die.


Sun is pretty low, so that may color the sand redder. And it's pretty variable how it's photographed as well. But colors are not my forte either, so I'll check it out.

The trees are indeed overblown by low sandstorms (left to right stretched and following terain - see parabolic dune in front), with shadows from objects checked. Your white trees may suffer from too much reflection in the leaves, reflecting all that misty light?

The wind direction should be the same as the parabolic dunes' shapes, as they are formed by dominant winds, so the only thing that can be done is rotate camera. But these are tests for a commission that needs a view in this direction, so... but it would be cool to rotate the cam for fun sake. More haze at horizon would indeed be nice. I sometimes like white skies, so I raised the height of atmo and made it whiter, for a mood of serenity.


I know nothing about this kind of terrain but to my eye it looks very real.