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General => Image Sharing => NWDA Roadside Contest => Topic started by: gregsandor on March 04, 2013, 06:36:57 PM

Title: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 04, 2013, 06:36:57 PM
I'm in with my rural highway that I've been working on for several years.  You can see the old WIP from the previous contest at http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,10141.0.html

I haven't kept a detailed log, as I mostly work on this in bits of free time, and a lot of changes aren't noticeable since I last posted, many of them are things like better masks, a rebuild of the road system, new buildings and signs, new shaders etc.  I completely rebuilt the diner and have added some new buildings.  I originally painted out the large Industrial Pallet yard down the road from the diner, but the more I've looked at it the more I like it, so I'm putting it back in (have to dig out the cornfield I put in its place!).

The terrain now covers 12 km x 13 km, with 2-lane highways, lesser paved roads, and dirt roads.

Here's a render from last night with the new diner model.  The pallet yard is going in just beyond the treeline on the other side of the diner at the side of Hwy 52.

[attach=1]

So I've set up the Pallet Yard, built some tractor trailers and started ont he stacks of pallets, and just now ran across a news article with a photo of it going up in flames, the pallets and the building burned down.   Hmm, now what?
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 04, 2013, 06:50:48 PM
...
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on March 05, 2013, 07:04:28 AM
Nice to see this one again. Already very realistic. But what about the grid that seems to be present in the grass. Maybe due to a mask?
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Oshyan on March 05, 2013, 07:10:58 AM
Agreed, very glad to see this again, and in a later iteration. It was one of my favorite earlier projects. The attention to detail and the sheer number of assets and scale of the scene is impressive.

I see "grid lines" throughout various areas of the scene actually. I'm guessing it's due to image-based texture tiling. I also see some softer-than-they-should-be (IMO) elements such as the tar seams in the road, which might also come down to image-based rather than procedural approaches. I think a mix of techniques is going to produce the best results here. Certainly image-based is going to be a key component of absolute realism, but Frank has demonstrated some terrific road wear and tar seams done procedurally, for example.

Lots of potential here, looking forward to seeing it develop.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 05, 2013, 04:43:11 PM
Nice to see this one again. Already very realistic. But what about the grid that seems to be present in the grass. Maybe due to a mask?

Oshyan called it:  I made the grass textures from photos I took and they were some of the first I made (several years ago) so they aren't "flat" enough to avoid the tiling.  Evening that out is on my list of things to do.

If I can find a way to place procedural shaders by masks I might be in good shape.  As of now, where you see a tar seam for example, is where there is one on the real road.  What I'm looking for is a way to use a lower resolution mask to place a clearly defined seam.  In the back of my mind I'm also looking for a similar combination method to more efficiently do the road paint.

Greg
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: TheBadger on March 06, 2013, 06:16:17 AM
I would love to see something like the OP image in a post apocalyptic treatment.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: FrankB on March 06, 2013, 10:09:04 PM
This was also one of my favs in the last contest. And yes, why not use it again and perfect it? Good idea!
There are a lot of details to look at in this scene.

About the road texture: it's really simple to texture this procedurally, especially from this distance. If you have a mask for the road area, that is.

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Hannes on March 07, 2013, 12:45:50 PM
Can't wait to see your next images!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 15, 2013, 08:04:03 AM
I'm trying to match the TG camera to a real world example.  In the attached image I have posted the EXIF information from a photo of the real location and linked each of the settings I've used in Terragen.

I want all the lines in the original real-world photo to match those of the model.  The test is successful if the camera settings are matched and the render overlays exactly on the photo.
 
Are these settings correct?

When I use 18mm instead of 27mm the perspective seems very far off.  I know I'm missing something since the 27mm setting is close but not exact either.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Tangled-Universe on March 15, 2013, 10:21:29 AM
I see that the reference is shot with Nikon D90 which has a sensor size of 23.6 x 15.8mm.
The TG camera has 36x24mm, so I think you need to adjust that (anyway).

Did that help or improve?
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 15, 2013, 11:00:54 AM
I see that the reference is shot with Nikon D90 which has a sensor size of 23.6 x 15.8mm.
The TG camera has 36x24mm, so I think you need to adjust that (anyway).

Did that help or improve?

Thanks.  I think it is an instant improvement.  Testing now.  So that entry for Film Aperature = Sensor Size?
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Tangled-Universe on March 15, 2013, 11:07:59 AM
Yes aperture size is actually film size.
The TG camera simulates a typical 35mm film, which has dimensions of 36x24mm.
There are derivatives of 35mm like 24x18mm, but as you can see the Nikon D90 sensor size is just a little bit different.

These so called 'crop factors' for camera sensors make it that focal length is not equal to the 35mm standard, or 'full frame'.
The crop factor for a Nikon D90 is ~1.5.

Say you have a default TG camera with 31mm focal length and 60 degree FOV.
If you change the aperture/film to Nikon D90 size = 23.6 x 15.8mm then the crop factor ~ 1.5.
The FOV will change, since a different film/sensor doesn't make the lense zoom in/out any different.
It's the area of the sensor which changes and not the focal length.
So if you set FOV back to 60 you'll see that the focal length = 20 and 1.5 x 20 ~ 31.

The discrepancy in the calculation is probably because the crop factor is not exactly 1.5, because for that we would require a 24x16mm film/sensor.

In other words: with a smaller sensor you need less focal length for getting a similar FOV.
If you buy a 70-200mm telelens for 35mm/full frame then it is 70-200mm, but for crop factor 1.5 it would give you 112.5-300mm.

Briefly, film/sensor size affects effective focal length and FOV.
That should explain the difference.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 17, 2013, 12:57:47 AM
So far here's the result of my camera matching experiment:

Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Oshyan on March 17, 2013, 04:48:54 AM
Very impressive!

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 17, 2013, 05:50:56 AM
Getting the TG camera matched really made it easy to adjust the sky color and sunlight intensity to match too.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: TheBadger on March 17, 2013, 07:53:56 AM
Cool stuff!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 27, 2013, 02:48:46 PM
Getting the terrain displacement maps fixed up a bit, going to build some new shaders and add a few layers.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Hetzen on March 27, 2013, 06:16:14 PM
I like these construction renders Greg. You can see the work clearly. It's almost like Lidar data.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on March 27, 2013, 06:53:14 PM
Funny you should mention LIDAR; for the past 4 days I've been trying unsuccessfully to integrate some 1.5 m elevation data into the model.  The LIDAR is complete for the right half of my model, but the left half isn't.  It is tantalizing, but I'll have to wait until next year to get it.  What you see now is hand drawn displacement maps over a 10m dem. 
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: inkydigit on March 27, 2013, 07:51:19 PM
hardcore!
looks amazing!
:)
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 01, 2013, 03:36:13 PM
Figured it was time to resurface the drive and paint in the parking spaces at the diner. 
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 01, 2013, 05:59:48 PM
Will you still have time to put it all together? It's going to be fantastic, that's for sure. Do you work with complete image maps, I mean 100% of the total area, or partial maps which you move into the right area? What resolution maps do you use?
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: TheBadger on April 01, 2013, 06:29:04 PM
really want to see this one finished with high quality render!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: inkydigit on April 01, 2013, 07:02:02 PM
I like the attention to detail here... looks great!
:)
Jason
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 01, 2013, 09:24:23 PM
Will you still have time to put it all together? It's going to be fantastic, that's for sure.

Sure, its ready to shoot now; I've gotten good images out of it for a long time.  Now I'm just going in and refining, adding detail, replacing old data with newer higher res stuff, repainting maps, etc.

Do you work with complete image maps, I mean 100% of the total area, or partial maps which you move into the right area? What resolution maps do you use?

It is a mix.  The whole model is more than 12 km on a side, the area of interest (and thus higher detail) is about 1.2 km sq.  Lower res maps for the distance, higher res stuff up close.  The road displacement and shader masks for example use 4 quads at 8192px sq. each to cover the AOI, so that's 16384px x 16384 px. 
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Tangled-Universe on April 01, 2013, 09:37:37 PM
All in all impressive work, looking really forward to the final result for this contest as I presume a real final won't be possible with such a scene as this :)


I suppose loading this project into TG will take some time :)


By the way, if I may suggest, I would start rendering and tweaking a week before the deadline to figure out how to render this as photo realistic as possible.
In my experience this always takes a bit longer than expected.


Good luck!


Cheers,
Martin
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 01, 2013, 09:55:08 PM
I suppose loading this project into TG will take some time

It loads in under a minute.  Calculating populations takes some time, but the textures, masks and models have been pretty well optimized since the beginning so it loads and runs fast.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 03, 2013, 02:26:07 AM
Another test render.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 03, 2013, 06:45:59 AM
It's coming together just great. A little more randomness and 'dirt' will be needed though.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: mhaze on April 03, 2013, 09:21:27 AM
Been watching this develop and all I can say is WOW!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Tangled-Universe on April 03, 2013, 10:16:06 AM
Wow, truly awesome to see this is almost 1:1 to the reference in terms of layout and scales!


I agree it could use a bit more dirt and randomness, but I feel confident you can add these touch ups before the deadline as the majority of preparation and work is done.


Happy tweaking :)
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Gannaingh on April 03, 2013, 03:07:46 PM
This is really impressive. Good work!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: TheBadger on April 03, 2013, 04:11:30 PM
going to be great.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 06, 2013, 03:30:14 AM
Nothing that anyone would notice in a render, but I've consolidated a couple of .3m res displacement maps into one, and have been detailing them at .15m.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 06, 2013, 12:43:59 PM
Here's a view with the shaders stripped off, just using Base Colors to see the displacement.

For those of you following the construction process, this illustrates why I originally used two separate displacements, one for terrain and one for potholes and other small-scale pavement detail and why I'm going back to that method.  There are ditches and other features that don't require much detail, and there is the parking lot, which not only is the focal point, but has a lot of very shallow but highly varied displacement.  A 256 bit depth map is fine when (black through greys up to white) stretched over 1 meter, the approximate depth of the ditches.  256 colors divided by 100 centimeters for main features.   For the shallow detailed parking lot paving and potholes though, by compressing a 256 color map down to a tenth of a meter, the result is a far more fine resolution for that 10 centimeter cross-section.

So it's back to the drawing board to recreate something I figured out a long time ago but forgot why I did it that way (until early this morning when I saw the rendered result of what yesterday I thought was a better simpler way to do it).
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 08, 2013, 09:55:27 PM
Split the maps up again and have basically repainted the pothole mask at 8192px sq.  for a horizontal resolution of about 6 inches per pixel.  Also worked on the pavement surface and am pretty happy with it.

I've made a mask for the water in puddles and ditches.  Not having worked much with water, can anyone suggest settings to help me get it to look like very still shallow water? 
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 09, 2013, 06:01:20 AM
This is not a water shader by the looks of it. The problem I encountered by using a water shader on a lake or plane area, was that in very shallow areas the water had black patches (bug). For a height like this and not detailed close ups, a RT reflective shader will do I guess (on a lake object or plane if you want level edges), you can always add some fake underwater color fractals before the reflective shader to give the impression of depth. If you use a water shader I would completely zero the waves.

By the way, that road looks awesome!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 09, 2013, 09:29:46 AM
This is not a water shader by the looks of it. The problem I encountered by using a water shader on a lake or plane area, was that in very shallow areas the water had black patches (bug). For a height like this and not detailed close ups, a RT reflective shader will do I guess (on a lake object or plane if you want level edges), you can always add some fake underwater color fractals before the reflective shader to give the impression of depth. If you use a water shader I would completely zero the waves.

It is a water shader, just masked onto the terrain not geometry.  I'll try the reflective shader you suggest, it's a minor part of the whole and not very visible, but there are bits where it shows.  I'd like to make it look a little muddy, so I'll mess around with it and see what I come up with.

I'll start by zeroing the waves on the water shader but is there a savings in processing speed if I use the reflective verse the water shader?

By the way, that road looks awesome!

Thanks!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: FrankB on April 09, 2013, 09:35:17 AM
By the way, that road looks awesome!

I agree! From this altitude, the shapes, the patches, the color and reflectivity, are top notch.

I recall that in previous version, from up closer, the textures were too visible as repeating textures, but it seems you have either changed that, or I can't notice it anymore from this perspective.

Either way, the road in that render looks really awesome!

Cheers
Frank
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Hannes on April 09, 2013, 12:46:44 PM
This is really fascinating (raising my right eyebrow)! Can't wait for the final.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 09, 2013, 03:23:04 PM
It'll render faster if you don't have transparency, so you might as well take the reflective shader. If you assign a water shader to the main surface you won't have transparency anyway. So in your case, not needing deep ditches or ponds, I would add a RT reflective shader to the masked watery areas.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 14, 2013, 10:25:47 PM
Here are a couple of views from Highway 52.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 15, 2013, 06:44:13 AM
Incredibly nice, Greg. You'll have a very good chance.......
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Hannes on April 15, 2013, 07:20:59 AM
Just wow!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: inkydigit on April 15, 2013, 11:20:41 AM
I echo Ulco and Hannes.... Superb realisation!
Cheers
Jason
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Oshyan on April 16, 2013, 06:05:47 AM
Very nice all of them, but 2754 is *superb*. The stand-out winner by far in my eyes.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 16, 2013, 06:01:33 PM
Thanks guys.

Here's a higher-res version.

Edited to replace the possibly broken image with a possibly not broken one (though it displayed fine for me). 
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Oshyan on April 16, 2013, 08:15:22 PM
Hmm, corrupted image? Not showing in the forums and download and view in XnView doesn't work.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Tangled-Universe on April 16, 2013, 08:26:05 PM
Doesn't open in the forums for me either, but I can save and view it without any problems.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Oshyan on April 16, 2013, 08:58:45 PM
Wow, now there's a first! Windows Image Viewer/MS Paint can open it, but XnView, Irfanview, and Picasa Viewer can't!

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 17, 2013, 02:41:25 AM
Lets try this one.  The image displayed inline for me, but here's one that should work for everyone.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Jo Kariboo on April 17, 2013, 02:48:40 AM
All your last images are impressive. You have in my opinion a good length of advances for this contest.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: TheBadger on April 17, 2013, 04:02:41 AM
Very nice!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Oshyan on April 17, 2013, 07:06:13 AM
Excellent. The upper 63% of the image is in my view nearly indistinguishable from a photo, at least upon casual inspection.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 17, 2013, 07:25:29 AM
Excellent indeed. And Oshyan's remark about the upper 63% obliges me to comment on the lower 37%. I think the grass might have some more variation (color, wear/growth, occasional weed) and there's a certain repetition in the road's edge, like the serrated edge of a mask.

But I give you a very high chance of winning nonetheless, unless there's serious contesters who didn't post any WIP's. Let's hope for the best.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 17, 2013, 08:35:03 AM
there's a certain repetition in the road's edge, like the serrated edge of a mask.

That serration has plagued me since the start.  I recut my road-cutter mask from 4096 to 8192, and still had jagged edges, so again recut it to use 4 masks at 8192 each which is what we see here.  Still it shows.  Is there something I can do with fuzzy zones or something to blur that edge?  Here's my node setup for the road-cutter and a fullsize section of it:

Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 17, 2013, 05:27:15 PM
If you blur the masks, you can get rid of the serration. I just tried it primitively with Irfanview (no access to Photoshop now). Then in TG you can add a color adjust to sharpen the edge again if needed. Hope that helps for you as well.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 18, 2013, 04:59:42 AM
If you blur the masks, you can get rid of the serration. I just tried it primitively with Irfanview (no access to Photoshop now). Then in TG you can add a color adjust to sharpen the edge again if needed. Hope that helps for you as well.

Thanks.  It is an improvement, but I am not sure it is a dramatic enough difference to warrant destroying the sharp mask in the original file.  Most important to me is that the original mask is precise, and pretty closely meets or beats the resolution of the orthophotos.  I'd like to find a solution that preserves those hard edges and fixes the jagged edge either procedurally or with another external mask or something without changing the size of the road. 

I don't know; your render really looks good and smooth.  Maybe mine just isn't blurred enough or something.  Its a fine balance.

Here's a comparison of the original versus blurred files:
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 18, 2013, 06:33:20 AM
I only blurred it enough to 'fill the gaps', so to speak. I always blur my masks slightly, and sometimes considerably and re-harden in TG. And if you make another set of masks, you won't loose the originals. I also prefer tif over jpg; I don't know if artifacts will manifest themselves. I did see a tiny bit of compression artifacts at the edges.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: jo on April 18, 2013, 07:01:33 AM
Hi Greg,

Are you actually using JPEGs for the masks or just to show them in the forum?

Regards,

Jo
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 18, 2013, 09:21:17 AM
The masks are .tif; the section I posted above was cut out of the 8192 px sq. mask then compressed .jpg just for the forum :) 
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Dune on April 18, 2013, 03:34:39 PM
Ah!
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 22, 2013, 08:46:14 AM
I'm really excited now.  After years of looking I've finally found an old postcard of the diner and it shows the great original signs!  I have long searched in vain for references for what I knew had to have been a good sign, the current box sign just isn't worthy of the old style.  The real diner seems to open and close every few years and somewhere along the way they removed them but my digital version will soon have the original signs restored.

Edit:  Yesterday i started building the modern Lincoln Lodge signs, but now also have discovered the vintage Rose Haven Motel sign in this postcard, so that's replacing the modern one.  Really glad to be able to bring the old style back.

Edit:  Motel sign blocked in (now to do the neon :)
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: gregsandor on April 25, 2013, 04:07:28 PM
First test of the neon tubing first few letters are done and I wanted to see what it looks like.

Luminosity of 10 in this one, they throw a better amount of light, but the tubing itself gets covered in a white blue.  I have to find a way to keep the tubing crisp and still throw more light.

Do you have any ideas about how to improve the neon?
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: inkydigit on April 25, 2013, 09:09:52 PM
excellent detailing Greg!
Great stuff!
:)
Jason
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: choronr on April 26, 2013, 06:13:00 AM
Your excellent work towards realism here is very apparent.
Title: Re: Road Trip 2013
Post by: Tangled-Universe on April 26, 2013, 09:09:52 AM
Fantastic stuff Greg.

I have no idea yet what you can do to improve the neon.
The undesired colour effect is probably some kind of "overshoot" due to too strong luminosity values, but I can't see how and why that happens.

If you reduce the luminosity you lose the effect you're looking for.
So I was thinking you may try a very localized cloud which facilitates the glow for you.

I'm also thinking about another possibility but that involves alpha version functionality which we can't discuss here.
Drop me a PM to exchange some thoughts if you like.

Cheers,
Martin