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General => Image Sharing => NWDA Iceland Contest => Topic started by: Artby on January 27, 2015, 07:09:17 PM

Title: Artby - Final
Post by: Artby on January 27, 2015, 07:09:17 PM
Hi all,

I have learn a lot on this forum, and I am happy to join your community! I am quite new to Terragen, but more experienced in vfx, matte painting and CGI in general. Because there is a small amount of time to finish this contest, I will try doing my best...

Here are some moods I made to help me "think iceland" during my work :
[attach=3][attach=2][attach=1][attach=4][attach=5]

My first try :

[attach=6]

I liked the mood but found it was not "icelandic" enough.

So I started a new image from scratch, and this is were I am at the moment :

[attach=7]

For me it still need some work on the cloud, the water, and the plants. I am also looking for some composition adjustment, here is a research I've done in photoshop :
[attach=8]

Please let me know what you think so I can improve my render :)


 
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: archonforest on January 27, 2015, 07:15:42 PM
Looks fantastic to me already. :)
The only thing that I am not sure about is the brand new looking church? building. The weather can be pretty rough there and nothing really stays like this. Well this is my viewpoint on your render. One thing for sure. U are on the right track.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Kadri on January 27, 2015, 07:26:23 PM

Looks already nice. New to Terragen maybe but your experience is showing. Welcome by the way.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: TheBadger on January 27, 2015, 07:26:36 PM
GREAT start! Glad to see these. I like the church just fine. It is still in use, and would not be worn down at all. The people would take care of it every season, and it looks just like your photo reference.

Great mood in image 1.
I guess that you are using an image mask for the river shape? No reason for asking, just thought that is what you are doing.

Welcome to the forum from me too. Hope to see a lot more from you.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: zaxxon on January 27, 2015, 07:44:39 PM
This is a wonderful set of first image posts, especially considering the subject.  The texturing and atmosphere are very, very nice. The dark shadows break up the composition to my eye and the lack of detail in those areas detracts from the overall level of realism. Welcome to the forum, hope to see more.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: inkydigit on January 27, 2015, 07:54:58 PM
Epic first post... Welcome!
No real crits ... These are both great, I like the church... Good moody feel
Cheers
Jason
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Oshyan on January 28, 2015, 12:31:24 AM
I think this looks *very* nice, especially for your first images (here, at least). So, well done! My main critique would be about the relatively even sense of roughness and texture on the ground. It needs to be broken up more, to follow and react to the terrain shapes more. So you have smoother areas in the flat sections, rougher areas in steep sections or in little gullies and ravines, etc. And more break-up in general of things like the light rock (or snow?) surface.

I like the heavy shadows, it's very dramatic, but will probably need some adjustment to improve balance with the foreground and overall composition.

Regarding the church, they make many buildings there out of metal now, due to the lack of trees and the harsh seasons. They paint them bright colors, and they seem to last, maybe due to consistent repainting. I saw a church almost exactly like this high on a hill beneath a ridge, so this struck me as immediately quite realistic. Attached is an example image, hopefully helpful (or at least confirming your idea, hehe).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Dune on January 28, 2015, 07:12:00 AM
I agree with all (easy for me), and was struck by the dark frontal shadows. That's something I like very much (used that 'trick' in photography often). The drama makes it a very strong image, but I wouldn't mirror the image, I liked the middle one better. I also liked the way you gathered your samples to make what you want.
Hope to see more work from you here.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Oshyan on January 28, 2015, 07:19:10 AM
Yes, I liked the middle one best too, before the mirror/flip of composition.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: bla bla 2 on January 28, 2015, 07:47:42 AM
Is this high level.  ;)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: RogueNZ on January 28, 2015, 09:37:00 AM
I personally like the first one the most, I think the dark shadow is a bit too dark but love the way it frames the image and contrasts with the sunlit mountain. I think you have some very nice setups to refine with improved surfacing and vegetation, please continue  :)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: DannyG on January 28, 2015, 02:10:21 PM
POV and mood rule the 1st image, like the foreground in the second. All look damn good.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: choronr on January 28, 2015, 04:37:52 PM
You are going to go places here with your work. Your display confirms that.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 02, 2015, 12:04:45 AM
Hi all !
First of all thank you for your reception, your feedbacks and your encouragements!
For the shadow density, I wanted from the start something quite dramatic and contrasted, but realised that my screen isn't well calibrated. On my screen it is not so dark, I may try to finalize my image at work on a better display, within nuke (I just tried the render passes and it works very well!).
I did the church in Maya, and the river is from a draw I did in Photoshop. I used it as displacement with an image map shader.
Thank you Oshyan for your references! I am agree with your advices and am trying to do my best. A lot of testing (and waiting), still not have what I want.

My main problem at the moment is the render time, it is hard to work without fast feedback... (and it is longer with render passes). I render one image each morning, and sometimes it isn't ended when I come back from work (the last one took 14h with render passes, atmo quality 32, there is 9 3D clouds nodes at 0.4-0.6 no acceleration, detail is 0.65, AA 7). I may consider to lower these settings and de-noise some of the passes in nuke...
The ground part is very long to calculate, maybe AA 5 can be the solution, I will try it tomorrow.

Here is my last iteration, still need work. I am not satisfied with the ground just after the river (actually I preferred my last version for this zone). I am not sure with the snow, I think I should add more on the top, or remove it. And I don't like the grey rocks after the church. I am still thinking of adding a foreground rock, and maybe something to look at behind the lake on the right, where the eye is attracted....

Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Dune on February 02, 2015, 08:22:25 AM
This is going to be really nice. I like the mood very much. The foreground blur may be reduced if you ask me. I don't know if this much is a 'photographic reality' with such wide vista and normal lens. Takes more time to render also.
You could also try some fractal warp on the foreground for a more interesting shore edge (it's quite soft and plain now).
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 02, 2015, 10:58:29 AM
The DOF is made in post using Zdepth, and I agree it is too blury. It is a 35mm lens, it could be that blurry in theory for the fore-foreground, but I think it should decrease quickly. Anyway, this will be final adjustements in Nuke, I still need to work in terragen.
Thank you for the fractal warp tip, I will try that!
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: DannyG on February 03, 2015, 12:55:33 PM
The DOF is made in post using Zdepth, and I agree it is too blury. It is a 35mm lens, it could be that blurry in theory for the fore-foreground, but I think it should decrease quickly. Anyway, this will be final adjustements in Nuke, I still need to work in terragen.
Thank you for the fractal warp tip, I will try that!

The use of DOF should be done within Terragen for this contest. Please reference contest rules on postwork http://www.nwdastore.com/theme-challenge/ (http://www.nwdastore.com/theme-challenge/) Any questions ask away. Image is looking real good. Best of Luck to you
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: gregtee on February 03, 2015, 07:41:10 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but DOF seems to be an approved post effect.

"Approved Post work – Sharpening, color/level adjustments, resizing and another subtle techniques that simulate typical lens effects. NWDA will reject any image that is deemed overly ‘enhanced’ by Photoshop or other image editors."

Since DOF is a lens effect, it seems that one can either render it in camera or do it as a post process. 
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: DannyG on February 03, 2015, 09:24:26 PM
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but DOF seems to be an approved post effect.

"Approved Post work – Sharpening, color/level adjustments, resizing and another subtle techniques that simulate typical lens effects. NWDA will reject any image that is deemed overly ‘enhanced’ by Photoshop or other image editors

Since DOF is a lens effect, it seems that one can either render it in camera or do it as a post process.

Hey Gregg,
  Since this is a Terragen challenge and DOF is available within Terragen contestants should use the tools available. As stated in the contest rules. "Terragen DOF is permittted" So no postwork DOF
Danny
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Oshyan on February 03, 2015, 09:48:02 PM
Interesting. I had also assumed DoF post work was allowed. Mainly because it *is* achievable in TG, but undeniably TG is not always the best for doing DoF. For example if you need to animate your DoF, or you're not sure where you want your DoF point. If you have access to a version that exports depth maps, then it may make sense to do it in post. I don't see this as being out of the spirit of the rules (as I interpret them) because, as you say, TG *can* do it. It's not like rendering a fluid sim waterfall in another app and then compositing that in your image as a major part of your entry, which would really be too much post work. With DoF it's more just a convenience; any entry with DoF *could* be achieved in TG. Which is really not much different from e.g. contrast adjustments, which theoretically *also* could be done in TG, but it's far more convenient and you get more control in an image editor.

But that's just my opinion, and of course Danny has the last word. :)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 03, 2015, 10:28:51 PM
For me the best addition in Terragen 3 is by far the ability to render aov. This make the software usable in a production workflow. For example, by using utility passes in Nuke we can really push the power of Terragen forward. We can also decrease render times by denoising clouds and atmo passes. Trying to get the perfect final image just outside any CG package for me is senseless.

Having said, I am very conscious to be part of a contest with rules, and I am not here to review them. Of course this is a Terragen contest, and I am focusing on the terragen work. Making the church in Maya took me less than an hour and I will not do some heavy comp in Nuke, just tweaking and adjust things already done. Anyway, we also have to deliver the raw image from terragen so...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: DannyG on February 03, 2015, 10:34:18 PM
I certainly do not want to hinder anyone's creativity but this is something that was thought of from the beginning, DOF is a new feature in TG3, it's a TG challenge therefore DOF should be rendered in TG. I look forward to your entry Artby and good luck !!
Danny 
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: TheBadger on February 04, 2015, 06:02:11 AM
I did not understand it this way from the rules I read either.
*edit
Ahh, I reread the rules and all elements must be rendered in TG. I see. tricky. I did not think of this kind of thing as an element.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Dune on February 04, 2015, 07:22:21 AM
I suppose it more fair towards less professionally working users, having other software at hand to comp things.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: ADE on February 05, 2015, 02:55:43 PM
wow, great stuff on the introductory renders........
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 05, 2015, 07:07:24 PM
New iteration, I have removed the vegetation to concentrate on the lighting and shading. The foreground rock need some work.
Thank you Dune for the fractal warp tip !
(This is a raw terragen image)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: kalwalt on February 05, 2015, 10:54:34 PM
Amazing! i would be really there! :D
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: TheBadger on February 06, 2015, 08:17:16 AM
Nice shore!
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: otakar on February 06, 2015, 05:00:23 PM
Very nice. Church definitely adds to the atmosphere here I'd say.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: choronr on February 06, 2015, 05:13:35 PM
This certainly is turning out very nice.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: mhaze on February 07, 2015, 08:13:51 AM
The river looks like it's running downhill and could do with some rapids?
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 10, 2015, 07:22:02 PM
Hi all !
A lot of work since the last time. I decided to bring back the mood of my thirst image, but with more terrain and river work (from what I have learn with the second image). But I have now a big rendering issue. A part of the mountain is taking so much time to render, I don't know if it will finish a day. When I am working in 700px width, detail 0.3, AA3, it is taking about 5-8 minutes to render everything. But when I increase settings, here is what I get :

[attach=1]

I have tried defer atmo/clouds, same thing append. Could you please help me ? I have no idea what to do, and the deadline is very soon...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: mhaze on February 10, 2015, 07:25:21 PM
Sometimes renders can take several hours!  what render settings are you using? What quality settings are you using for the clouds and atmosphere? With the water you probably don't need transparency, turning it to zero will greatly speed up rendering.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 10, 2015, 07:33:25 PM
Yes but I my case, the probleme is localised in the black zone of the mountain. And I am talking about days, not hours (you can see the render time on my screenshot...). No problem with the water.
I am using a Xeon with 19Go RAM (at my work) and it is waaaay to long for such a config. Anyone has an idea ?

EDIT : What should I use in the advanced tab of the render node with such a config ? By default I have min thread : 1; max : 64; size subdiv thread : 1600; buckets are 256x256

Atmo is 32 samples (I need them for this scene), 4 localized cloud layers, about 0.5 quality for each one, no acceleration
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 10, 2015, 08:02:24 PM
Here is my project file...[attachurl=1]

(EDIT : On the share file I've check receive shadow from surface but the problem is not there, I had it before)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: mhaze on February 10, 2015, 08:30:09 PM
The haze density setting of 28 may be the cause - try reducing it and adding a smooth cloud layer masked by a density shader with a very low cloud density instead.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Oshyan on February 10, 2015, 11:53:36 PM
Wow, 28! Hehe. Yes, this may be better handled with a cloud layer instead of the atmosphere. Still I'm not even sure why that would be causing such longer render times *in a particular area*. At 32 samples I could see it taking a while in general, but why that particular part of the mountain? What's there that's not everywhere else?

I will say that outputting all render elements like in your scene file will slow things down a bit and use more memory. I doubt you need all of them, so you might consider narrowing it down to the elements you're actually using.

Other than those two things there is nothing *immediately* obvious in your scene file that would be causing such a problem. But if you're aware of using a Reflective Shader anywhere but on the water (i.e. on the mountain somewhere, somehow), then reflectivity could be a contributing factor (I didn't see any such shader in that area though).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 11, 2015, 05:42:56 AM
Thanks for the fast response, (this forum is amazing I have learn so much here and it is continues)! I am trying this. I used Vue in the past, and in this software rendering low density clouds was way longer than increasing haze density. Now I am in TG (and very happy with it !!) I have to change some of my habit...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Dune on February 11, 2015, 06:19:29 AM
In the last node (snow_1-1) you use a color derived displacement of 3m with a smallest sized fractal of 0.01, which might very well be the culprit. If  you use color to drive displacement, it's better to decrease color roughness. But still, 1cm on the far mountains snow is way too detailed.
Furthermore; why do you use a twist and shear shader in a color setup (without even a stretched fractal base)? Any particular reason and effect you were after? I don't think it's doing anything.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 11, 2015, 06:47:08 AM
Wow thanks Dune I think you are right about the snow displacement, and it makes more sense about the localized render time (and the fact that in lower render detail it do not have any issue, TG may skip this small details)! I have already used huge haze density by the past and TG generally handle it nicely. BTW, I am doing theses changes right now and hope my image will be rendered :)
I wanted to distort a bit the brown sand, but has you said twist and shear is not doing the job when used like this... Of course I need to work more on a lot of small things, but I needed to fix the render time first, so I can progress.
Thanks again everyone!
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 11, 2015, 06:01:46 PM
Finally I get something :)
With detail 0.6 and AA4, it took 10h40 in 1600px width. AA5 is looking a bit better, but I may use it only for final render.

Dune, I test what you think was the problem, and still have a very long render time with AA5 on the center of the image, for no reason... I am now testing the low density cloud instead of the haze, but it is quite hard to get the same result...
I am also working on the river flow and the ground detail with a "test atmosphere" to work faster... The next nights are going to be short :p
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: inkydigit on February 11, 2015, 07:25:24 PM
great improvement in render time, and this is looking great so far!
now for the final push...
get the coffee on!
cheers
Jason
:)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: choronr on February 12, 2015, 01:24:19 AM
The dark cloud out of the cone is excellent. In all, I think you have achieved your goal.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Dune on February 12, 2015, 06:51:48 AM
I had another quick look; your fractal warp is quite strong and together with small displacements that may increase render time. Also the compute normal before the snow takes a lot of time. Do you really need the latter?
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 12, 2015, 01:31:06 PM
Thanks a lot Dune, problem solved! The compute normal was taking about 40% of the render time in standard settings, and it may be more in high settings :)
It will save me until the deadline as I can work faster...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 13, 2015, 08:16:38 AM
New iteration, strange displacement issue on the badckground, still working...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: TheBadger on February 13, 2015, 09:50:41 AM
Wow man! great!

2 main things I would crit... 1, the render over all looks more like a painting than a photo (render I mean, not the terrain). And 2, look at the mount on the left side at the top. Those spike things have to be removed I would think. I would guess that you know this already but...

Otherwise, this is just a fantastic looking and really fun image.
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 13, 2015, 09:55:20 AM
Thanks for your reply :)
The spikes on the left was what I called "displacement issue", I have to remove that of course...
Agree about the painting look, Iceland often looks fantastic and I was trying to put that in my image. Maybe I went a bit to far in that direction. I may increase the haze a bit, like in my pas renders, and work more on the grass.
Do you see some details on you screens in the foreground ? I am not sure again about my screen calibration, I want something dark but still visible...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 13, 2015, 10:01:39 PM
Working on a typical Iceland ground...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 14, 2015, 03:10:56 AM
Last one before final output...
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: inkydigit on February 14, 2015, 01:56:09 PM
Beautiful moody render.... Great details, good luck
Cheers
Jason,
:)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: Artby on February 14, 2015, 02:20:37 PM
here it is !

Now : time to sleep :)

Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: inkydigit on February 14, 2015, 02:21:49 PM
Great job!
:)
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: RogueNZ on February 14, 2015, 07:15:32 PM
This has turned out stunning, congratulations  :D
Title: Re: Artby - WIP
Post by: choronr on February 14, 2015, 08:44:10 PM
Very good!