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General => Image Sharing => NWDA Iceland Contest => Topic started by: mhaze on November 09, 2014, 10:30:38 AM

Title: I have an entry.... Final
Post by: mhaze on November 09, 2014, 10:30:38 AM
But I'm not going to reveal it yet  ;)
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: Tangled-Universe on November 09, 2014, 11:48:54 AM
You're big tease Mick ;)
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: mhaze on November 09, 2014, 01:01:57 PM
I'm trying to encourage a few more entries!
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: zaxxon on November 09, 2014, 04:39:12 PM
 ;D!
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: Dune on November 10, 2014, 07:00:33 AM
People are taking their time to find the perfect entry I suppose. There's time..............
But I agree, I want to see more ideas ventilated.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: choronr on November 11, 2014, 02:04:26 AM
I'm convinced the title of your image Mick will be: 'My secret Place'.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: mhaze on November 11, 2014, 08:18:05 AM
Here's the first iteration - lots more to do.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: Dune on November 11, 2014, 11:51:49 AM
Keep in mind that it has to have a photographic feel! And no trees on Iceland, I'd say.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: mhaze on November 11, 2014, 12:03:47 PM
Medieval times.  Anyway there are trees in Iceland.  Yes, The photo feel isn't my best point  :-[ but a fantasy interpretation is allowed!
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: Dune on November 11, 2014, 12:34:50 PM
Yeah, you're right. Didn't know that.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: mhaze on November 11, 2014, 01:08:02 PM
Anyway, I'm curious exactly what do you find unrealistic - the sky?  I know the volcano needs work anything else strike you?
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: Tangled-Universe on November 11, 2014, 02:24:04 PM
Hi Mick,

What I generally miss so far in all the entries is a plan.

For challenges like this I would collect references and basic research to choose what I would like to make and especially which type of scene would suit my TG strengths best(!).
I think that's very important to have before getting started.
Then it's a matter of iteration and I know you're very good at that, because you've proven before you're not afraid to keep working on a scene to nail it.

This image is already very detailed and "busy". Snow, jagged/rugged mountains, dead tree, wild sky and an erupting volcano. Not to mention the ice shelves.
It's ambitious, to say the least :) but may be you should take a step or two back and first think about what you really want, instead of everything possible?
I think the best Iceland pieces are the ones of simplicity and tranquile almost desolate atmosphere.

What do you think?

Cheers,
Martin
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: mhaze on November 11, 2014, 03:37:18 PM
Good point, glad you said that.  Ice on river not ice shelf! No excuses but was having fun attempting all the things I never tried before, volcano's, ice, procedural snowy trees etc.  Now I can start to refine.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: archonforest on November 11, 2014, 03:59:00 PM
Actually I like it alot already :))
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: choronr on November 11, 2014, 04:07:04 PM
The thing that first got my attention was your ice shelves. If it were me, I'd keep them. As for the rest, Martin's ideas are solid. Keep it simple with a focal point to draw the viewer in. I scrapped my first image since it had too many things going on.
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: zaxxon on November 11, 2014, 06:18:30 PM
That is one cataclysmic image! I would hope that rules allow a more 'fantastical' level of realism. To me, this image carried forward with more refinement would be really amazing. Let's face it: Iceland is a very harsh environment; volcanoes, geothermal havoc, a ruined eco-system, a vast icy desert near the arctic circle.  So why not?
Title: Re: I have an entry....
Post by: Dune on November 12, 2014, 07:42:40 AM
I agree with Martin; it's an extremely cramped image with everything in it that comes to mind. Keep it simple and make a nice composition, you can always add some stuff later if it's too empty. Use your strong points, don't experiment in a contest, I'd say. I know you can make very nice renders!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take two
Post by: mhaze on November 14, 2014, 08:15:13 AM
Here's take two - lots to do yet but I think this is a better start.

Using Corels Paintshop Pro to compress this - looks awful.  I will have to spend some time sorting it.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take two
Post by: Oshyan on November 14, 2014, 05:34:45 PM
Agreed, much better start (you can add in busyness later :D ). For compression, use XnView. It's free. Just load up whatever output format you use from Terragen in XnView, then File->Export and use the interactive JPG export dialog to get a nice balance of quality and size.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take two
Post by: mhaze on November 14, 2014, 05:37:25 PM
Cheers, I'll try that.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take two
Post by: TheBadger on November 14, 2014, 11:50:17 PM
Ice on the water is looking really good already! And I like the terrain transitions on the right side. Would reduce the shear there though. IT feels a little over the top for that spot
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take two
Post by: zaxxon on November 15, 2014, 12:44:54 AM
Desolate and forbidding, and a rather nice re-start!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take two
Post by: choronr on November 15, 2014, 01:07:01 AM
A good point of view and depth here with nice features.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: mhaze on November 21, 2014, 09:22:18 AM
Next evolution - lots of tweaking to do yet and it needs something.....?
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: choronr on November 21, 2014, 02:36:10 PM
It looks very good so far Mick. Maybe a few more of the dormant vegetation plants?
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: zaxxon on November 21, 2014, 02:39:32 PM
There are some really fine shapes in the aurora and the whole scene is really evolving into a spectacular image!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: TheBadger on November 21, 2014, 05:17:37 PM
it would blow my mind to be standing there for real. Like nothing where I live, almost alien for me.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: bobbystahr on November 24, 2014, 04:24:25 PM
Here's take two - lots to do yet but I think this is a better start.

Using Corels Paintshop Pro to compress this - looks awful.  I will have to spend some time sorting it.

I find the current version of Irfanview is as good as PhotoShop at making images 'web friendly' and it's free
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: Oshyan on November 24, 2014, 05:52:58 PM
Irfanview is fine. My personal choice is XnView. Also free, nicer UI, much more regularly updated, and totally cross-platform (Mac, Win, Linux) with XnView MP. I'm not sure if Irfanview has as nice of a web export dialog as XnView does, you can fine-tune with visual feedback just like Photoshop (better in some ways, more options).

Edit: Just checked, Irfanview's web exporter is a plugin, but works fine. I like Xnview's more for a couple reasons, first it has some important options that are missing from Irfanview's, like removing metadata and optimizing huffman table (though Irfanview likewise has some things Xnview doesn't, mainly a resizable export window and some possibly handy functions like resize and rotate that are built-in to the export dialog, but which Xnview just handles in the main UI, so aren't really necessary). Second, XnView exports to more formats from the Export dialog. Both are good options really, I just think XnView is the better of the two.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: TheBadger on November 25, 2014, 01:50:03 AM
Quote
lots of tweaking to do yet and it needs something.....?

I was looking at this again. It strikes me that I cant get a real sense of how big or far anything is. I dont have a feeling of how big or small *I* am when looking at it. And that detaches me from it.
The scene needs some more depth. If you add more, I think the rest of it will really start to work its self out.

Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: mhaze on November 25, 2014, 07:56:34 AM
Strange you should mention that, I often have the same feeling in the mountains, especially in winter when there's no haze.  But yes the picture needs something to give a sense of scale but I'm stumped as to what - I was going to use some sort of Viking stones but you've done that.  I've modelled an Icelandic house but I don't feel this is the right scene for it.  Maybe the remains of an old Viking ship! ans some black sands and sea, hmmm, trouble is, I'm running out of time for something so complex.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: mhaze on November 25, 2014, 09:38:48 AM
Just had a quick look, sea and boat possible but boy is the masking a nightmare.  May have to start again.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: TheBadger on November 25, 2014, 10:09:56 AM
Standing stones as I have learned they are often called are all over the place in Iceland. And for that mater, all throughout the Germanic world. they were not my idea any more than mountains are my idea. And I am sure yours will not be the same as mine so if you have a story or composition that would make good use of them you should!

On another note I was looking at your first few images again. And I think you had some great things in those too. I actually have a start on a volcano because of the one in your op.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: FrankB on November 25, 2014, 10:20:23 AM
about a sense of scale: it would already help if you had a different viewpoint with the camera, so that the viewer can see beyond the next mountains. The the atmosphere and haze will support you in creating the impression of more depth.

Then, you're right, a reference object would help with measuring the scales and distances. Perhaps a road? Now everyone knows how to make these ;-)

cheers
Frank
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: Dune on November 25, 2014, 01:30:19 PM
There's probably a cheap or free viking ship to be found, and if you edit that a bit so it looks dilapadated and broken, you'll be quite fine, I'd say. Even a procedural texturing would do, black and mosses.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: mhaze on November 25, 2014, 03:51:25 PM
I'm going to model one after some research into the smaller Viking boats, shouldn't be too hard and yes I'll probably use some procedural shading.  Got to create a river delta to get the interface between river and sea right, that's  the next job.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take three
Post by: inkydigit on December 03, 2014, 02:49:43 PM
Hi Mick,

I love the last one!
If I were to add some minor nitpicking... maybe the background rock structure could have some more varied colouring, even subtle colours?
Also some (distant) scale indication would help me... maybe the lack of atmo makes me think this scene is smaller than it is?
I hope you don't mind my input.
cheers
Jason
:)
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: mhaze on December 11, 2014, 01:19:36 PM
Take Four. Terrain World Machine, Boats modeled in Silo. Ice chunks made using dandelo's subsurface trick but I'm going to explore the new water shader before I decide which method to use.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: choronr on December 11, 2014, 03:38:45 PM
Very good so far Mick. One thing; if it would be possible to move the aurora more to the left, the entire scene might have a better balance filling the sky - and making it brighter. Yes, re-seeding the cloud fractal can be a pain, but maybe consider doing that.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: j meyer on December 11, 2014, 04:09:58 PM
Very good so far Mick. One thing; if it would be possible to move the aurora more to the left, the entire scene might have a better balance filling the sky - and making it brighter. Yes, re-seeding the cloud fractal can be a pain, but maybe consider doing that.

Moving to the left would better be done with a transform shader instead
of reseeding,at least from my point of view.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: mhaze on December 11, 2014, 05:57:56 PM
I'll try it but I quite like the dark light balance :)
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: Oshyan on December 11, 2014, 09:44:20 PM
Ooo, very nice! It's getting quite close to a "complete" look IMO, with the beached boats and whatnot. I don't know if the snow sparkle is realistic for this level of light (low), but it does look pretty. :)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: Dune on December 12, 2014, 06:56:11 AM
This is getting much nicer than your initial setup! There are a few things that I would change though;
Some ripples/wavelets in the water up front. More detail in front really makes it get depth and reality.
Less consistent voronoi displacement in the rocks (or broken up by a fractal warp).
Maybe some fresh snow on higher slopes to get rid of the dotty appearance.
Slighly more color into the overall very black rocks, or add some lichen or whatever is found in Iceland ion rocks.
Try to sinks the boats into wet sand (by simple shape+ displ+ reflective shader)
Use other stars; try Martin's setup, which is more subtle.

That's my humble opinion anyway, it's no law  ;)
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: mhaze on December 12, 2014, 09:04:49 AM
Hi Dune, Thanks and thanks for reminding me about the seashore - I certainly need to work on that. Some sand ripples, small fake stones, better foam and some waves.  The rocks have a lot of colour in them but I admit does not show well - I'll have to play some more. Sinking the boats is an excellent idea, I'll work on that.  Snow does need work - I don't find it easy to work with it. I will probably need to use several layers.
Oshyan, That's what I thought ;)
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: Dune on December 12, 2014, 12:02:43 PM
If the snow is displacement intersection, try a larger compute terrain patch and play with displ interesection settings or even coverage and angle, all make a difference.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Four
Post by: mhaze on December 12, 2014, 01:59:49 PM
Thanks Dune.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: mhaze on January 14, 2015, 07:21:58 PM
Before I get in to final tweaking, I would like your comments. 

The funny building with a pole sticking out of it is a Viking lighthouse!

The clouds on the mountain use the cloud following terrain tut from Martin very useful and gives some interesting results.

The picture is just over 2 Megs and I'll have to make it even smaller to get down to 2Megs, So there's quite a lot of detail loss.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: Kevin F on January 14, 2015, 07:33:35 PM
Great moody scene. Love the sparkly ice  - good luck!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: choronr on January 14, 2015, 07:49:16 PM
Your attention to detail here is very evident here Mick, this is a job well done.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: Oshyan on January 15, 2015, 07:07:14 AM
Love the beach, the runoff/meltwater (?), and aurora reflected!

For your image, get XnView (free, multi-platform), load your original TIFF output (or if you're outputting EXR and tonemapping or something, then save as 8 bit TIFF from there and load in XnView), and then use Export function on the File menu with the JPEG options. You can get very high quality output with good compression (reasonably file size) using the right settings there. I recommend:
DCT Method: Float (best but slowest)
Remove All Metadata: checked (yes)
Smoothing Factor: 0
SubSampling Factor: 1x1, 1x1, 1x1 (best quality)
Progressive: checked (enabled) - this one is fine either way, it only saves a small amount of file size
Optimize Huffman Table: checked (enabled)

Then try Quality slider setting of 85-95, check the preview above for quality (right-side is output, left-side is original, compare the two, make sure you zoom to 100% first though).

You can also use Photoshop's Save for Web feature, but XnView is free if you don't have it.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: Dune on January 15, 2015, 07:33:30 AM
Nice update. Is the flame procedural? And the smoke? There are one or two things that may need some attention, IMHO. If the smoke is procedural, which I think, I would make it angle up, not go straight up. That's not hard to do. And the dips around the boats are quite large and similar, if you used a simple shape, why not give it some (not too fine, strong fractal) warp, and make them a bit smaller, like the small currents around the boats, when the tide was higher, have washed away some sand.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: mhaze on January 15, 2015, 08:24:23 AM
Hi All

Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions, as others have said it really helps - I get so involved with the image it's hard to detach myself enough to "see it".

Thanks for the tip Oshyan I'll try that, the melt run off is a painted shader.  Dune, the flame (3 localized cumulus clouds) and smoke are procedural.  I have had absolutely no luck in trying to bend the smoke, I'll continue to try though.  I like your idea for the the dips around the boats I'll have a go at that.  Mind if the node network gets any more complex my brain will short out!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: Dune on January 15, 2015, 02:53:58 PM
Yeah, I know, after a certain time of perfecting, the nodes tend to get tangly. Best to keep it clean from the start, and name all!
You can bend the smoke by using a distribution shader, or distance shader pointing up, so you get a grayscale from black at ground level to white at the level you want the smoke to go really sideways. Then vector displace by this, thru warp shader.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: mhaze on January 15, 2015, 03:08:25 PM
Cheers Dune,  I've already discovered most of that, just got to perfect it and clean it up.  It's amazing how you manage to push me into new areas!  I've sorted the sand it took me a while to understand what you meant then I remembered my youth on the coast.  I still have to clean it up but that's just detail and pushing the seed button.  I do name the nodes, it's the complexity of masking something with several other things that gets me tangled :P : :)  :(
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: mhaze on January 15, 2015, 03:41:21 PM
It's amazing how long you can go on making the same mistake over and over again - tearing your hair out in the process - then the penny drops and the solution is obvious... 
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: Dune on January 16, 2015, 07:52:12 AM
Indeed, the need of 'submasks' make it more complicated, adding more and more merge shaders, until so many lines are crossing, it gets dizzying. Especially hard if some masks are inversed halfway.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: mhaze on January 16, 2015, 08:14:55 AM
I tend to use multiply,add and subtract colour blue nodes for combining masks - easier to see what is going on.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: Dune on January 16, 2015, 11:41:08 AM
Yes, but that takes more trying of blue nodes if you're not sure yet what equation is most useful, and you can't partly or 'masked merge' then. But it sure is handy for straight simple equations.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Five
Post by: mhaze on January 16, 2015, 12:29:03 PM
True, but I generally know what I need and if I don't I use merge. I find multiply colour the most useful as it gives a better B/W blend..
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: mhaze on January 16, 2015, 07:46:30 PM
OK candidate for final entry.

Thanks to all for your very helpful comments.  Dune for pushing me into new areas and his helpful tops and hints.  Dandelo for the background and snow. Martin for his "cloud following terrain" tutorial.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: choronr on January 16, 2015, 08:10:26 PM
Looking real fine Mick. Good luck to you.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: otakar on January 16, 2015, 08:45:53 PM
That looks really cool, all the details and the water is masterful.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: Oshyan on January 17, 2015, 04:38:10 AM
Quite nice. The beach and reflections remain my favorite part, those are stunning. The rest is nice too, unusual aurora color, and the lighting is maybe a bit *too* good (back off the exposure a notch or two perhaps?), but overall it's a beauty.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: TheBadger on January 17, 2015, 06:03:38 AM
Agree with whats been said for the most part.

The things I like best are the ice and the beach.  The boats are great, but I don't think that they should sit the same on the beach, they look like copies, but if you turn the one on the inside a bit I think they will look like two different boats. And you may be able to use it to help lead the eye up to the camp. Pretty good composition too I think.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: Dune on January 17, 2015, 07:01:32 AM
I agree with everybody. Turned out really nice (though there are still some things that I would change, but I won't nag you with those).
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: mhaze on January 17, 2015, 09:06:33 AM
Thanks all, Oshyan thnks for reminding me about the light - I turned it up to check some details and forgot to turn it down again!  Dune, please, nag away.  I'm interested in your comments, I have some more thoughts myself this morning so speak out.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: Dune on January 17, 2015, 01:54:08 PM
OK.
1. I don't think you need the runoff from the mountain, it's less realistic than the rest, obviously a warped SSS, even if it's a PS mask. Water across the beach can come from melt.
2. I would add a dirt/rot PF (world scale) across the boats, so they differ in texture/darkness. If they've been there a while parts may be quite blackish.
3. I would soften the smoke quite a bit, especially higher up!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: mhaze on January 17, 2015, 01:59:42 PM
1, Done already
2, worth a try, they are a bit uniform in colour.
3, Hmmm...
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: mhaze on January 17, 2015, 02:01:45 PM
A darker version, without Dune's suggestions, I still have to play with those.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: j meyer on January 17, 2015, 02:45:49 PM
As for the boats my impression is they are too dry.Considering the puddles
they're lying in and the barrel(?) next to them.
That said,nice image,keep going.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: Danny on January 17, 2015, 05:04:45 PM
Lots of eye candy Mick, looking forward to your final submission
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: mhaze on January 17, 2015, 05:47:22 PM
Ta!  I'm working on a refined image but there is still more I can do.....
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: choronr on January 17, 2015, 10:26:46 PM
Mick, is anything ever really finished?
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: mhaze on January 18, 2015, 09:12:54 AM
Yes  - sometimes.  However I could for example throw away the terrain and start again!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: TheBadger on January 18, 2015, 02:44:25 PM
Yes  - sometimes.  However I could for example throw away the terrain and start again!

lol, and that is why I never finish anything  :-\ ;D Don't be like me! I am terrible.

I wanted to say that I looked at this image on my phone which has a very nice screen. THis image looked REALLY REALLY fantastic on it. I guess for much the same reason that thumbnails often look so nice. A final render with high settings should tighten up all the pixels and will be really good here... Once you have settled on everything else that is.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Take Six
Post by: choronr on January 18, 2015, 02:54:27 PM
Yes  - sometimes.  However I could for example throw away the terrain and start again!
I know the feeling. In the evening when I think I've got a good thing going and hit the sack for the night ...then, when I'm up the next day and have a look at what I've done I have second thoughts and start in another direction.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Final
Post by: mhaze on February 14, 2015, 10:06:23 AM
Well I've run out of time so here it is.  Thanks to a lot of people - mainly dandelo and Dune. All modelling done in Silo, terrain - World Machine.
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Final
Post by: Dune on February 14, 2015, 11:55:20 AM
Good luck!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Final
Post by: mhaze on February 14, 2015, 12:45:37 PM
Thank you!
Title: Re: I have an entry.... Final
Post by: inkydigit on February 14, 2015, 01:46:55 PM
Superb final result, well done and good luck!
Cheers
Jason
:)