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General => Image Sharing => NWDA Roadside Contest => Topic started by: FrankB on February 24, 2013, 04:34:44 PM

Title: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 24, 2013, 04:34:44 PM
Hi guys,

although I am not going to participate as a contestant, I'd like to create this thread as a mix of a blog, tutorial, my own image development ideas related to the current NWDA image contest. YOU are invited to discuss with me here, as questions, make suggestions etc., so don't be shy.

In particular, I am going to challenge myself and apply exactly the same restrictions that the Terragen 2 Free Edition has: no more than 3 pops, 800 px width max render resolution, Anti Aliasing max 3, and I am determined to create a really photo realistic road scene with it - to the best of my abilities of course.

Now, how will I approach the image challenge? I have a lot of thoughts and even more questions, so I am just going to write them up down below and see if I can progress the thoughts and answer some of the questions I have for this, one by one....

1) I need to figure out where to begin best, so that later on, I don't have to make too many changes because of dependencies. For example, I could start with making the terrain. Or should I start making the road? Or should I first figure out what kind of scene I want to create?

2) AA3 is a tough limitation. Usually such a low AA value will result in not so great looking vegetation. Luckily with Ray trace objects, that's not awful, but something tells me that for a winning image I need smoother edges.

3) Also I want to submit a full HD size final image. I know it's not required, but an 0.8k image isn't even usable as a desktop wall paper :D So that means I have to render multiple images and then stitch them together somehow later. I think I will want to render at least 9 800x600 tiles, which gives me a 2400 x 1800 render. I would then reduce the final image size to full HD and through that get smoother edges, hahahaaaaa!  :o

4) I have never done (3) before, so... Just thinking out loud: when a "regular" render uses maybe 60 degrees FOV for the camera, and I would render 3 tiles horizontal, will I have to reduce the horizontal FOV to 20 degrees each, in order to stitch the images together seamlessly and retain the original 60 degree FOV? I think I will have to do this, but I can solve that later.

5) there are multiple ways on how to create a road. I could launch photoshop or gimp or whatever you prefer and just paint a mask for the street in white color on black background. I would then use that mask as a blend shader in TG2. (If you have no idea how to use such a mask in TG2 please ask and I will do my best to explain.). Second option would be to create a mask right inside Terragen, and for that I see 2 practical possibilities: either I create that road mask through a long and thin simple shape shader, or I create a procedural road.
I think the simple shape shader based road might be most practical for this image.

6) In order to keep things simple, I think I will start with a straight road on a quite smooth base terrain and see where that takes me.

I think I will just start somewhere and I am going to share every step of the way here.

Look on for my next post!
Any thoughts about how you're going to approach this yourself, yet?

So long
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 24, 2013, 05:47:23 PM
I thought I might like a road that leads towards some alpine mountains.
I want to keep things simple and not worry too much about the technology of making a road that would wind with the terrain, so I am using a little trick. Through distance shaders, I ensure that the area near the camera is perfectly flat. In the distance, alps are slowly starting to build up, and beyond the immediate foreground, some rolling hils are displaced downwards, so that the road decends to beyond where I can't see it.
The road itself for now is just a surface shader blended by a streched simple shape shader.

You can check out the simple setup in the attachement.

Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: folder on February 24, 2013, 10:43:46 PM
thanks Frank - following your suggestion i had been looking at photos  of roads in various climates,  and initially had the iidea of a moutain road with a far off alpine peak. that will change as i see now it is somewhat common and plain. my question pertains to your tgd as i am  not familiar with making roads i am using yours as a testbed. how to i keep the road surface clear while placing colour, etc on both sides.  the questiaton really comes down on how to use the simple shape shader. that is where i am really weak

thanks david
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 25, 2013, 07:40:34 AM
thanks Frank - following your suggestion i had been looking at photos  of roads in various climates,  and initially had the iidea of a moutain road with a far off alpine peak. that will change as i see now it is somewhat common and plain. my question pertains to your tgd as i am  not familiar with making roads i am using yours as a testbed. how to i keep the road surface clear while placing colour, etc on both sides.  the questiaton really comes down on how to use the simple shape shader. that is where i am really weak

thanks david

Hi David,

please still use your initial idea if you wish, I am just playing around and in the meantime have also switched to another idea.
About keeping the road surface clear from other color: ideally your road surface is applied last in the surface shader chain.
Also, you could use the simple shape shader as a blend shader for other surface layers, but invert the blend shader. This way, the surface shader only applies color outside of the road.
Hope this helps. Don't hesitate to ask further questions. :)

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: inkydigit on February 25, 2013, 12:53:26 PM
nice one, thanks for the insight and tips, Frank!
:)
Jason
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 25, 2013, 05:45:41 PM
Hi guys,

today I would like to shed some light on the tech required to create a winding road, and how procedurally embed the road into a procedural terrain. I have no idea whether this approach works with heightfields, though!

Essentially what you want to do is two things (for starters):
a) turn the straight simple shape shader road into a winding road
b) let a terrain "grow" left and right of the road.

Have a look at the attached tgd. There is a grey group named "Road Mask". Here, a Simple Shape Shader (SSS) creates a quite wide road mask, with very smooth edges.
This mask is then distorted by a redirect shader and a warp shader. THIS makes your road curved in the end! It is important the SSS uses Texture Space, NOT final position. There is a switch in the node dialog for that.

Now that you have that very smooth mask, we run that through a color adjust shader. Play with its values to see what it does, but remember the current values so that you can get back.
This modified mask then goes into the blend shader of a power fractal, which is generating our terrain. We tell the power fractal to invert the road mask blend input, and generate terrain wherever the inverted mask is not black! Because the mask is so smooth, the fractal will produce terrain near the road only very very softly, then as the distance from the middle of the road mask increases, will produce more and stronger displacement. For some reason that I don't understand, you need to disable "Fit blend shader to this" in the power fractal for this to work.

In the surface group, the road mask is fed into another color adjust shader. This color adjust shader manipulates the incoming color until only a very sharp line remains. This way we have a broader level field embedded in the terrain, and in the middle of it a narrow road.

Again, check out the value in the color adjust shader, they are instrumental in making this work.
Also remember, many paths lead to Rome, and this is just one possibility. You can get same and perhaps better results with other methods. Feel free to use this method, or experiment more to come up with your own.

Have fun
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: bla bla 2 on February 25, 2013, 06:27:08 PM
Et, comme ça par le paint shader, il ne reste cas peindre la route. Tous ça par manuellement.  ;)

And how the paint shader, it remains the case paint the road. All this by manually.  ;)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 25, 2013, 06:30:34 PM
Yes, you could use the paint shader, but I think the result will be inferior, or even really bad. I believe you would have much more control using a tablet/photoshop combination, if you prefer to paint the masks.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Kevin F on February 25, 2013, 09:35:12 PM
Frank, In your first example you used an Alpine Fractal for the procedural terrain, and if you use the bending method from the second example as a blending shader for the Alpine Fractal very weird things happen. The displacement values are far too high for the default Alpine terrain. So question: What determined the values you chose for displacements etc. in the second example?
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 26, 2013, 09:19:57 AM
Frank, In your first example you used an Alpine Fractal for the procedural terrain, and if you use the bending method from the second example as a blending shader for the Alpine Fractal very weird things happen. The displacement values are far too high for the default Alpine terrain. So question: What determined the values you chose for displacements etc. in the second example?

It does work, but indeed the default values of the alpine are making it difficult. You want to decrease the displacement, add a negative offset, and use a higer scale step to create wider valleys. Check out this node:


<terragen_clip>
   <alpine_fractal_shader_v2
      name = "Alpine fractal shader v2 01"
      gui_use_node_pos = "1"
      gui_node_pos = "-1240 660 0"
      gui_group = ""
      enable = "1"
      input_node = ""
      gui_use_preview_patch_size = "0"
      gui_preview_patch_size = "1000 1000"
      seed = "30485"
      feature_scale = "4000"
      lead-in_octaves = "0"
      lead-in_scale = "4000"
      smallest_scale = "10"
      noise_octaves = "5"
      apply_displacement = "1"
      displacement_amplitude = "1200"
      displacement_offset = "-200"
      displacement_roughness = "1"
      scale_step = "5"
      stretch_factor = "3"
      late_deposition = "0.06125"
      early_deposition = "0.25"
      early_deposition_rate = "2"
      warp_amount = "0.25"
      blend_by_shader = "1"
      blending_shader = "Colour adjust shader 01"
      invert_blendshader = "1"
      >
   </alpine_fractal_shader_v2>
</terragen_clip>
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 26, 2013, 09:23:07 AM
here is a render using the alpine and the setting posted above.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 26, 2013, 06:24:43 PM
Alright, so I have to get back to how I am going to finally decide on what I am going to create.
Taking into the account the limitations of the free edition, I will have to settle on something simple, yet something that despite the limitation, plays on the strengths of TG2 and that I can make look incredibly realistic.

I should not write this in public at all, to not inspire Martin or Ulco, although they like me are competing just for fun. Instead I should lead them to believe some false things so that I could gain a proper, unfair competitive advantage  :P

Joking aside, I think I will settle for a quite barren landscape, that is dominated by rock and some sparse and dry vegetation. I know, that's kind of a classic, done a million times by others. Hell, "I" seem to have already done it a million times, but let's not forget by binding myself to the capabilities of the free edition, I have pick what works at the core of TG2 and that doesn't require lots of populations or insane AA.
At the base of it all I will resort to the procedural road from NWDA. It only uses tech that's available in the free edition of TG2, it's versatile, and best of all: it works great, Muahahaha! and saves me time. I will not have a lot of free time in March so I will take this shortcut.

If time permits, I will change the default road setup to make the road look much more worn and abused, so that we get the impression of a long abandoned tarmac road in the middle of a desert.
That's probably not too original, but it doesn't have to. I won't give away too much at is point, but for sure I will add something epic to this setup. In my mind, it's already there ;)

Definitely post YOUR work in progress, too, or maybe just your thoughts about it to begin with.
If you have questions, the NWDA team will be happy to give you a few pointers to get you going, and I am sure so will the other forum members.

Have fun!
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 28, 2013, 05:13:32 PM
So I have been traveling and away from my computer the past few days. Every now and then my mind was still set on making choices for my free edition scene, without being able to try them out.

I am at an airport waiting for a delayed flight, so I have time to write a little journal entry here.

i think i need to have a point of interest along the road, not sure what though. I haven't seen any photo realistic dead tree yet, otherwise it would have been something like that. Perhaps the point of interest could be a rock formation in the midground?  car wreck? Lost zombie? What would you see on highway in the middle of the desert?
Any ideas ?


Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: bla bla 2 on February 28, 2013, 06:52:15 PM
Je verrai bien une voiture en abandon bien rouillé, genre tout pourrie.
Et, sinon, pour le tronc mort où des arbres morts, je pourrai le faire avec le logiciel speedtree.
^^


I'll see a car abandoned rusty well, like all rotten.
And if not, where the dead trunk of a dead tree I can do with the software SpeedTree.
^ ^
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: inkydigit on February 28, 2013, 09:31:55 PM
Roadkill? Hitchhiker? Small creature of any kind?
The possibilities are almost limitless!
J
:)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on February 28, 2013, 09:40:22 PM
Ha! I like the roadkill idea  :D
If someone would lend me a spare, gory model of a goat run over by a truck, that would be appreciated ;-)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: inkydigit on February 28, 2013, 09:46:28 PM
I see a niche market!

http://roadkill.turbosquid.com/3d-Models/3ds/max/xsi/c4d/obj

:D
J
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 01, 2013, 07:39:42 AM
 ;D
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 01, 2013, 09:45:53 PM
Today I have spent some time on the road texture itself. I have added cracks and rubber marks to the paint and some trickery here and there. OK, so here is a crop of the render of the road. I will keep the sky undisclosed until the very last. ;-)

I haven't attended to any other elements of the scene so far. As you can see it's still the default grey terrain. Everything so far though is strictly using what's possible with the free edition, except that in the final version, I will have render large (in crops), with AA3, and then decrease the image size back to the 800 pixel constraint.

Last comment: I will dial back the displacement around the cracks and also fade them out in the distance. I forgot to do that here.

Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 03, 2013, 10:06:52 AM
Having a slight hold up... I have a particluar vision for the sky, but it's putting up quite a fight at the moment.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 02:10:19 PM
Hmm, I have to admit defeat on a sky setup that I intended to use. The issue is that I can't get this to look photo real. I can make it look interesting, but not photo real. So I canned it. Period.
I will now go back  to working on the road, then the terrain and final POV.

Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: gregsandor on March 06, 2013, 05:15:42 PM
Hmm, I have to admit defeat on a sky setup that I intended to use. The issue is that I can't get this to look photo real. I can make it look interesting, but not photo real. So I canned it. Period.
I will now go back  to working on the road, then the terrain and final POV.



I've seen skies in real life that were so spectacular that if I had seen them in photos I wouldn't have believed them.  Give it a shot, lets see it.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 07:04:30 PM
Ok, so here is an updated version. Overall , I am pretty much satisfied with the road, but will fine tune a few things that aren't perfect enough yet.

Just FYI: this is still 100% compliant with the Free Edition limitations of Terragen 2, except that larger render size.

The sky is ok-ish. It's not the one I was working on earlier and then failed - this is another one, an overcast sky this time around.
After the road fine tuning, I will attend to the surrounding terrain. POV may change also, but I believe I will keep it relatively close to the ground. Which is a challenge in itself, as it's much harder to make things look photo real on close up.

Anyway, I will keep at it.

Frank

Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 07:09:12 PM
Hmm, I have to admit defeat on a sky setup that I intended to use. The issue is that I can't get this to look photo real. I can make it look interesting, but not photo real. So I canned it. Period.
I will now go back  to working on the road, then the terrain and final POV.



I've seen skies in real life that were so spectacular that if I had seen them in photos I wouldn't have believed them.  Give it a shot, lets see it.

I totally agree here, Greg. I too have seen skies that people wouldn't believe exist.
However, the one I was trying to make... I think it is not possible at photo real quality in TG2. It's the required scattering and shape control that cannot be done in TG2 atm.
Check this out, and feel free to give it a shot: http://www.yellmagazine.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/hymn_of_a_broken_man_cover.jpg

Cheers,
Frank

Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: cyphyr on March 06, 2013, 07:54:28 PM
Would it be cheating to use an image as a Blend shader and/or a final density modulator?
Hmm ?:)
Richard
10 min, I'm sure much better could be done but the limitations of the free version may make it not possible
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 09:42:48 PM
That's not even close, Richard  ;D

On the other hand I am sure it can't be done in 10 minutes.
Actually I am sure it cannot be done exactly like the real thing at all in TG2. Not that up close.

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: cyphyr on March 06, 2013, 10:11:21 PM
Now your just setting me up for a challenge.
I shall try to avoid it :)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 10:17:16 PM
Now your just setting me up for a challenge.
I shall try to avoid it :)

No seriously, I mean it. But feel free to try.
(Never wrong to sidetrack a competitor) ;)

Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: cyphyr on March 06, 2013, 10:33:06 PM
Pretty sure that you should be able to achieve an effect like your linked image using a combination of Blend shader and/or a final density modulator either with an image a a basis or PF's.
It would certainly be cool if it could be done, it's a sweet atmospheric image (actually the sort of thing I'm looking for for my "roadside" entry for over the desert).
:)
Richard
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 10:36:32 PM
Pretty sure that you should be able to achieve an effect like your linked image using a combination of Blend shader and/or a final density modulator either with an image a a basis or PF's.
It would certainly be cool if it could be done, it's a sweet atmospheric image (actually the sort of thing I'm looking for for my "roadside" entry for over the desert).
:)
Richard

oh what a coincidence, then :)

I would certainly like to see it done. Good luck!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Matt on March 07, 2013, 01:28:35 AM
Frank, it's hard to resist a challenge like that! It wouldn't be easy, but I don't think it's impossible.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 07, 2013, 01:34:19 AM
Agreed... :D

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 07, 2013, 03:24:29 AM
Hmm, well not to derail this, but here's my 10 min attempt (including render time). I know you're probably talking about the subtleties of shading, which indeed may be hard to get right. But I think the shapes are quite achievable actually. This is literally 5 mins of tinkering with just base fractal settings, no fancy final density modulator or anything, and then a couple of test renders. Of course one can get 90% of the way there and the last 10% that really matters can still be impossible, or really, really hard. ;)

I'll keep trying if I have some time, but several other projects are in progress at the moment too. :D

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 07:08:46 AM
Hi guys, thanks for sidetracking my beautiful WIP thread.  >:( ;)

As you pointed out yourself, Oshyan, the secret sauce is in these last 10 percent.
I myself have come to a point where the sky looked "like it", but if I honestly had to ask myself if that looked like a real cloud, I always had to say no too quickly.
And the reason why I believe it cannot be achieved at the moment is in the light scattering, or simplification of it, with the current cloud layer node. Perhaps also a few other things, but that alone is a high enough barrier. And it is even harder if the cloud is up close.

Anyway.... has anyone seen my last road render yet?  ;)

cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 07, 2013, 07:11:28 AM
Heh, your last road render is awesome, the amount of detail is really impressive. The only thing is I think it's too evenly/brightly lit. The road in the distance seems bright, there's little sense of receding with distance and whatnot. I suppose all that will come with the final sky and other atmospheric work though. Other than that, no noteworthy criticisms. It's great work.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 07:32:19 AM
Thank you!

Indeed the road in funny near the horizon... there are some perpendicular white stripes crossing the road. I just saw that in the large render, and still have to figure out what it is.

The overcast sky is giving me the shadowless lighting, it's not ideal. The overcast sky is a remnant from my previous sky experimentation and in itself, it looks rather believable. Problem is, it makes it takes away detail (shadows). I will probably replace it eventually.

I will definitely add a very slight DOF too, to help with a sense of depth.

Also, I will add something to look at farther back beside the road. Some rock formations maybe.

Thanks for the comment, Oshyan!

Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 07, 2013, 07:36:23 AM
Sounds like you've got all the key points in mind to work on then. Final result should be superb, given the already impressive state of things. I do think it's interesting how people worry about the limits of the free version when, as you've demonstrated, it is actually extremely capable. It seems many people don't realize just *how* capable! Are you using just AA 3 here still?

I wonder if any free version users are actually participating in the contest...

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 07:50:42 AM
Yes, I am using AA3, detail 0.6, but render 4k wide, then reduce the image size. That takes care of the otherwise low AA.

I imagine it might be a little hard to render it all in crops and then composite it together. What would be the best FOV settings to do this? I haven't started trying this yet. It possible somehow. Perhaps if someone who has experience with making a big image from multiple crop could post a little instructions here?

By the way, the 4k render was done in one hour!

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 07, 2013, 07:53:10 AM
Ahhh, of course, that's doing the AA for you. Well, it's not *quite* cheating (a little), but once you have to deal with the stitching I think you might rethink the practicality a bit. ;)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 08:03:45 AM
Ahhh, of course, that's doing the AA for you. Well, it's not *quite* cheating (a little), but once you have to deal with the stitching I think you might rethink the practicality a bit. ;)

- Oshyan

Can you explain? I don't follow... why would that be a problem? I would stitch the full size (800 wide) AA3 rendered crops together. Once they are stitched together, I would reduce the resulting large image back to something smaller.

thanks
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 07, 2013, 08:23:57 AM
It's only a problem because it's a pain in the ass. ;) If you're aiming for 4k wide, that means 5x5 images, or 25 total images. So not only will it be a pain to change the perspective for 25 renders (especially given no animation features due to free version), but also the stitching could be problematic. Nonetheless I admire your commitment. ;)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 08:41:35 AM
I really have no idea, but I assume I can stitch seamless, if I render with overlapping GI.
My current thinking is, if I have a 60 degree horizontal FOV, and I need to create render tiles....

60 degrees horizontal / 5 = 12 degrees, so I would set the horizontal FOV to 12 degrees, then rotate in 12 degree increments left and right. That should allow me to stitch together one row of images seamlessly and look like the original 60 degree render?

Never tried it, but is it logical? I hope so.

But how much VERTICAL degrees do I get with a horizontal FOV of 12? I have no idea. Can anyone say?

Cheers,
Frank

PS: If this is impossible or too difficult, my virtual "Me" would spit out a curse and simply go buy the Deep Edition, just for being able to render large!!!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Kadri on March 07, 2013, 11:05:43 AM

I used 8-9 stitched images before i bought  TG2 .
Systematic thinking is good but i used only basic approximation and had no problems .
But 25 images...hmm!
The funny thing is i tried to render those images in one go after i bought TG2
but i did not liked the results as in the stitched ones because the perspectives were different :)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Tangled-Universe on March 07, 2013, 11:08:36 AM
I'd simply download Microsoft ICE (I once shot a crappy panorama consisting of 13 shots with my Canon and ICE corrected all the lens-distortion and overlap effortlessly) and render out frames with 'enough' overlap using 60deg FOV.

I'd cheat just a bit by using the deep+anim edition to animate the camera to turn and tilt for all your shots.
Make two versions, one for GI caches and one for rendering each shot using the GI blending similar to skyboxes.

This is all possible manually in the Free Edition, so from a technical perspective you're not cheating, but you'll save yourself a lot of time.
Unless the GI cache features aren't available in the free edition of course.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 11:11:46 AM
So, if I principally know how to do this, then I won't go through the hardships of actually rendering in crops and stitching it together.

I just want to prove the point that it is possible, but I won't burn precious lifetime over it. Seriously, go buy the deep edition, everyone! ;-)


Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Tangled-Universe on March 07, 2013, 11:14:16 AM
Yes it *is* possible. ;)

Btw, just before going to bed I also gave your clouds a shot. It's rendering now, or is finished, will have a look after work.
Using the final density modulator you can add variation in lighting in the 'core' of your cloud.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 11:23:50 AM
yeah, I tried final density modulation for hours, but it kept appearing in the wrong places with the wrong strength, and it's pure chance you find a fractal, or deviate from your original fractal, and make it look just right in all places

Maybe I am picky here. No, I am picky most definitely.
I have worked with TG2 V2 clouds for so long, and they are great, but we all know they still have their limitations.
You are great at clouds, too, Martin, I am sure you will come up with an awesome result, but you too are going to understand the problem when it comes to getting the light scattering like the real thing in V2. Just saying, I'd like to be proven wrong.

V2 clouds look best when the light is *not* from behind the clouds, this way the problem isn't so apparent.

Also, Matt, your comment sounds like you feel challenged... that's the best news of the day for me. We can only benefit from that, one way or the other ;-)

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Tangled-Universe on March 07, 2013, 12:44:54 PM
I second Frank about Matt. Flex your TG (cloud)muscles for us Matt ;)

I reckon that in certain circumstances clouds are a pain.
Actually the current cloud shader is excellent for clouds with lower density settings.

Frank, I think this has to do with scattering indeed, although I do not share the same opinion on how to fix it or what the best sun position is.

What will come now isn't new to you Frank, but I'd like to share some of my insights on cloud parameters:

The trick is the scatter curve.

In TG2 the "fake internal scattering" has in my opinion a wrong label and should be called "scatter curve", because this is what it essentially is simulating. So what does it do then?

If you consider sunlight directly lighting a volume (cloud) then that light gets scattered.
Very simplified you can state that the light either gets scattered in the forward direction or in the backward direction.
Forward means that the scattered light will esentially have the same direction as the incoming ray from the sunlight source.
Backward means that the scattered light will esentially bounce back in the same direction the incoming ray from the sunlight source came from.
In real life this scattering is very complex and heterogenous or anisotropic.
This anisotropy of scattering is simulated in the cloud node and you can influence its weight with the fake internal scattering setting.

Depending on sun position this will either result in a glowing effect or a darkening effect.
The strength of those effects are also influenced by cloud density and the glow settings.

"Fake internal scattering" (FIS) is the setting which controls the 'curve' on how this behaves.
A setting of 1 means that both forward and backward scattering are equally balanced for all densities of the cloud.
A setting of <1 means that direct light will be scattered more in forward direction.
A setting of >1 means that direct light will be scattered more in backward direction.

In the case of having your sun in front of the camera this means that for low FIS cloud edges will glow stronger.
For FIS >1 these edges will tend to become darker (silver lining effect, for instance).

All in all you may understand now that it's all in the mix of cloud density, glow, FIS and sun heading/elevation.
A very potent but definitely complex mix!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Tangled-Universe on March 07, 2013, 06:47:08 PM
Here's an attempt to get some variation in clouds. It's a bit too much, I know.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 07, 2013, 06:51:50 PM
ah, maybe open a separate thread, please? :-)

cheers!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 13, 2013, 08:41:36 PM
So, here is another update.
It's relatively low AA, as the original render size this time was only 3k. It's mostly obvious for the background vegetation, I think.

I just saw that one of the tires isn't textures, I have to dig into that. And other things.

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: folder on March 14, 2013, 12:04:50 AM
Frank

as usual a great scene.  can you explain how you got the grass to go across the sss road and the rocks to sit along side. have tried various means including intersect but to no avail  if anything this contest is pushing our terregan muscles


folder
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 14, 2013, 07:56:49 AM
Frank

as usual a great scene.  can you explain how you got the grass to go across the sss road and the rocks to sit along side. have tried various means including intersect but to no avail  if anything this contest is pushing our terregan muscles


folder

Thanks! I am not using a SSS road, mine is from the road and tarmac pack. There i  have a mask for the surrounding landscape, where the rocks will sit on. It's the road mask run through a complenent color shader, if I remember correctly. You should be able to do the same with the sss road, or put it into a surface shader as a blendshader and invert the blendshader.
The grasses sit in the cracks, and I just used the cracks as a density shader for the populator.

cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: folder on March 14, 2013, 10:03:17 AM
thanks for the info it helps

folder
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Jo Kariboo on March 14, 2013, 02:25:54 PM
I like the subtil and nuance detail on the road. ! Nice torrid light to !   :)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 14, 2013, 03:15:06 PM
thank you Jo!  :)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: TheBadger on March 14, 2013, 07:39:38 PM
looks good Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 16, 2013, 04:40:35 PM
So here is the last iteration for another week. I have to pause for a week, but then will be back in full force!!!
This one is a quick experimentation with a fake DOF, and a few other things. The "derailed" car isn't sitting well yet and one of its tires looks funny. The plant on the right doesn't look good, and the yellow blossom cactus on the left is barely visible.
I have a few more objects in mind that I would like to add.

But I am quite fond of the general desert texture. Believe it or not, but I have spent a lot of time giving it its particular look.

Anyway... it's fun!

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Jo Kariboo on March 17, 2013, 01:54:42 AM
Nice variation. I prefer the last one for its aspect in general. Maybee a fake dof but that gives the impression to me that it more hot in this desert.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on March 17, 2013, 04:52:07 AM
Surrounding desert is looking much more realistic now, indeed. The rest of your crits are right on, I think. Particularly, I would say the car is not working how it is. It seemed fine on the road, but a crash may be hard to make look realistic? The road in the distance also still does not seem quite properly attenuated by distance, a bit too bright I think, but...?

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: TheBadger on March 17, 2013, 08:01:42 AM
Yeah, I really think if you want a crash, and for the crash to look real, you got to use a car model that was modeled as a crash. Actually, that would be pretty nice, maybe there is one out there for you. Modeling cars seams to be a favorite subject for people, you should see if you can find a free one Frank, I don't know where to look though.


Everything else in your image is shaping up real nice though!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 17, 2013, 09:44:57 AM
@Oshyan: perhaps you get that impression about the road in the distance because of the angle towards the sun together with its reflectivity. However it comes out like that from Terragen, so I suppose in these particular conditions, maybe that's just how it would look like?

@Jo: I agree the DOF is interesting. Next time I will calculate a proper z-depth mask for the DOF.

@Michael: I think the car doesn't have to be broken, at least not necessarily on the sides the camera can see. I envisioned a driver who maybe got sleepy and then steered the car to much to the side, bumped up on a smaller rock and then landed on a larger one. The only thing the camera would notice is the weird position of the car and some hot water smoke coming out from its hood...
Maybe though I might put it back on the road, we'll see :-)

cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on March 25, 2013, 02:02:55 PM
Hey guys, I'm back from my trip the last week. I'm looking to get back into the contest image, and I will, but I think I will use some of the next few days to finalize (finally) the Terra Planet Pack. I think I got it to a point where I am really happy with it's V1 features and quality. I don't want to make this a planet pack post, really, I just get excited when I start talking about it.

Now, as I said, I still have some ideas for the road image, so I am going to play around with these ideas a little bit. At this point I think I don't have to add anything big, it's more about the little things now. For example, I'd like to see a few irregularities and some rock formations somewhere in the outback. An abandoned shed perhaps, AND I would like some extra deformation for the tarmac.. you'll see.

Anyway, hope everyone is still enjoying the contest! It's amazing to see what you're all capable off once we all set our minds on a challenging goal!

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 08, 2013, 07:31:57 AM
Here is  a little update (not final render quality) or where I am at.
I just picked it up again recently, after a longer (forced) break.

I have added a WM terrain on the left and the wooden house on the right, thinned out the bushes populations and grasses, and added some clouds. The road got a little overhaul, too, but I want to eventually reduce the amount of cracks significantly.
There is no DOF in the image yet.

It's still all compliant with the free edition limitations, except having rendered larger without stitching crops, and used some higher AA this time, instead of rendering larger and then reducing the image size of the result.

It's three pops, and some single hand placed objects.

Cheers,
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Dune on April 08, 2013, 05:58:21 PM
I think the house is a bit small?
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 08, 2013, 06:10:45 PM
I think the house is a bit small?

actually, not small than it should be. Perhaps you compare it with the cactus? That is almost 5 m tall. The wooden house is not very tall.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on April 09, 2013, 06:10:13 AM
A big change, but I really like it, pretty much all for the better in my view. Love the new bit of eroded terrain in the background. Are you using free version limitations of that too? ;)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Dune on April 09, 2013, 06:13:08 AM
I compare it with the lane width, which is max 3.5m? So the house is about the same width (by the looks of it). Anyway, that's my idea.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 09, 2013, 09:24:03 AM
I compare it with the lane width, which is max 3.5m? So the house is about the same width (by the looks of it). Anyway, that's my idea.

hmm.... you might be right about that! I'll check it out before the final render!
Thanks!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 09, 2013, 10:40:25 AM
A big change, but I really like it, pretty much all for the better in my view. Love the new bit of eroded terrain in the background. Are you using free version limitations of that too? ;)

- Oshyan

The eroded terrain is just a WM heightfield, that I positioned there, resized, and merged with the procedural terrain.

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Oshyan on April 09, 2013, 08:13:23 PM
Well yeah Frank, but is it 513x513... or more? :D

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 09, 2013, 08:18:39 PM
It's 512, but in the final render it will be 2048. It will also be joined by a sister formation on the other side of the road  :)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: TheBadger on April 09, 2013, 09:36:44 PM
House feels real small to me to Frank. Maybe just move it closer?
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 09, 2013, 09:49:27 PM
I've checked the house, the size is perfect, but the descending road fools the eye. Anyway, I made the house 20% larger to address that somewhat, although I should not.

Here is a little update. Still too many cracks, though.

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: choronr on April 10, 2013, 02:57:38 AM
Now this one grabs me, nice work Frank. One thing though, I think the weeds trapped in the cracks should be straw colored since they get little or no moisture or nourishment; maybe a few could be green.
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 10, 2013, 07:32:33 AM
Thanks Bob, and you're right about the grasses.

Cheers!
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: inkydigit on April 10, 2013, 08:16:15 PM
I like the stark grittiness feeling here..the dust streaks in/on the road are perfect... looking good Frank, as always!
:)
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: mhall on April 10, 2013, 10:48:33 PM
Definitely looks harsh and hot. Any way to simulate the shimmer of heat waves in the distance? Just a thought ...
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Dune on April 11, 2013, 08:59:17 AM
Quote
shimmer of heat waves
Now there's a new challenge....
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: Tangled-Universe on April 11, 2013, 09:30:12 AM
I have done that quite a while ago, but not posted it...it's not very difficult, but it doesn't work well/if at all with GI
Title: Re: Frank's Free Edition Road WIP Thread
Post by: FrankB on April 11, 2013, 12:02:17 PM
I thought about doing that, but kept it for last (perhaps), but now it's too late.