Red River Area WIP

Started by RArcher, November 23, 2009, 08:06:08 pm

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This is a project I have been working at off and on for the last month or so.  I wanted to see if I could map out a large area and get it fairly realistic.  I chose an area along the Red River at the border of North Dakota and Minnesota as the DEM data is at a really nice 1/9 arc second resolution.  There is also some really high resolution orthophotos for the area to help map out the trees etc.

I started with the DEM data and merged a few quads together to give a nice area.  I then brought that into photoshop to start working on the masks.  So far I have a river mask, paved road mask, dirt road mask, forest mask, wheat field mask, green field mask, light green field mask and a farm areas mask, as well as bump maps for most of the fields and forest areas.

The full area mapped out is currently around 10km x 10km

There are quite a few things left that I would like to do including better texturing, more vegetation and adding all the farmhouses, barns etc.

Here are a few sample renders from different areas, with more to come eventually.


From higher above


From ground level in a field



Holy Smokes Batman! This is awesome! I am particularly a fan of the first one but they all are very realistic!


Thanks guys.  I'm hoping to get it to the point where I can put the camera pretty much anywhere at any altitude and get a realistic shot.


one comment i have is that the water doesn't look right.  I think it needs to be less clear, and have a sediment texture below it, rather than what looks like brown grass.  The only other think that I can think of is that there is too much detail/edge in the photo. I would try to lose a little but of the detail in the grass, and add some color variations in the trees.  It looks great right now, but more along the lines of a paintings than a photo.


Thanks for your suggestions Alex.  You are quite right about the water, I have yet to add any volumetrics/silt etc. The water and roads were also being affected by some of the displacement details added afterward.  These have now been masked out to fix the overly rough roads and water.


Looking great. Just a bit "sharp" to my eye (has it been posted sharpened or using a sharper AA filter?). I love the idea of creating a large, cohesive scene and being able to "put a camera anywhere". It begs for an animation. So... what about the render times? ;)

- Oshyan


Oshyan,  No post sharpening.  I think the sharpness is from some displacements that need to be toned down somewhat.  I used the Narrow Cubic filter but perhaps a bit more haze for the distance would also solve some of the sharpness.  So far the render times have been pretty good.  1600 x 1200 at Detail 1, AA 5, GI 2/4 have been around 5-6 hours for the aerial shots and around 9-10 for the lower shots.  Memory limitations have been a problem so far as I have a ton of high res masks loaded in sucking up the available memory.


I do believe Narrow Cubic is one of the sharper filters. I prefer Mitchell-Netrevali myself, but to each their own. ;D

It sounds like rendering that at DVD resolution, 720x480, could be do-able for an animation...

- Oshyan


amazing, Ryan! It's obvious how much work went into making this!



That's cool, Ryan. I work in exactly the same way to achieve modern, and ancient landscapes. Lots of masks. To diminish their 'load', some masks can be reduced in size dramatically. Such as where the trees are supposed to be. I also save them as gray scale. Where detailed masks are needed I sometimes enlarge them and repaint from there with sharper lines. Takes only some calculation where to put it. I hope you don't mind, I've uploaded one I did recently. The biggest problem I find is getting a whole village (of which I have a mask) to fill with houses in the right angles. It cannot be done, unless 'by hand', or in groups with sort of the same angles.
Do you have the wheat all over the fields? That must be a huge population.



great work. Some large scale color variations, especially in the distant shots, would be a nice thing.


very very nice work Ryan, (and Dune's too)...what about an easy tutorial? hint hint!!
thanks for sharing, this is very inspirational!