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General => Image Sharing => NWDA Iceland Contest => Topic started by: oysteroid on February 15, 2015, 04:15:01 AM

Title: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 15, 2015, 04:15:01 AM
I wish I'd had time to do some sharing and discussion of all the entries as they were being developed, but I came to the contest rather late and was trying to learn Terragen while doing it! So all I had time for was to ask desperately for help a few times! Anyway, thank you guys for all of your help and for all the good information around here!

As for my entry, I decided to try to create a waterfall of some sort. One approach that seemed like it might work would be to use a cloud layer and try to shape some perlin noise to make the sort of silky waterfall you see in long exposure photographs. Here is what I came up with.

There was much more I wanted to do to improve this scene, but time ran out! And I lost more than a little sleep trying to make the deadline! Now, time to go catch up!
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 15, 2015, 04:22:10 AM
Oops! Wrong thread!  :-[ I guess my lack of sleep is showing! If a moderator can move this to the Iceland image sharing thread, that would be great!
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Dune on February 15, 2015, 07:14:15 AM
Before it's moved; I like the waterfall; worked out really nice. Can't comment any further because of the judging  :-X
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: TheBadger on February 15, 2015, 02:39:42 PM
This is VERY good! :o
Looks like an animated film scene! the consistency of the style throughout, and really the flavor of it, it is very nice. At first it does not look like there is much gong on, but there is a lot  happening here. each "zone" of the scene turns into a real treat  8)

What would be really impressive is if you could do another scene in exactly the same way, getting the exact results, as you would need to for a movie. Its hard to imagine that it would be easy.

At first I did not like your rendition of the mount. But the more I looked at it the more I started to smile. That is quite fun to happen.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on February 15, 2015, 04:01:40 PM
A fairly astoundingly great image from a 'new' adopter of TG3...very well done. Betcha after the comp you could sell that waterfall at NWDA....I'd buy that had I the cash...could happen(me having cash heh heh)
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 15, 2015, 04:58:22 PM
Thanks a bunch, guys!  ;D

There was still a lot I wished I had time to do with this image. Some of it was fairly rushed!

And yes, I do plan to share the waterfall method somehow. Just providing a TGD file isn't going to be enough, however. I will need to provide some significant instruction so that the user understands exactly how it works. Otherwise, I don't think it could be used effectively. I barely understand how to use the dang thing myself! The node network I ended up with is a rather complex and confusing tangle of blue nodes that I suspect would be a bit hard to understand if you hadn't built it yourself, even though I think it is about as well organized and labelled as it can be. It is rather mathy.

It has all kinds of adjustable parameters. You can control how far out the spray goes, the range from inner to outer, how thick it is, perlin noise variation in those values along the width, how wide the fall is, how much it flares out, the softness of the inner and outer limits, multiple levels of variation along the width and along the depth, the contrast of the variation, the softness of the side limits, and so on.

Multiple such falls could be used in a scene, though I found that it gets rather slow. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out a satisfactory way to make it follow a curvy path such that the fall lines radiate outward, diverging at different angles when the cliff line is convex or converging when concave. That was beyond my modest mathematical capabilities. I am sure it is possible though. Originally, I wanted to try to do something like Skogafoss:

(http://mute.rigent.com/pics/iceland12_33_bw.jpg)

But it would require a whole bunch of copies of my waterfall network with different settings and would be VERY slow to render. I tried and it was too much. I don't have the patience to keep waiting that long for test renders to see if my adjustments are right. To rotate each little fall such that it doesn't point directly along x or z, you have to put a 'rotate vector' node up near the top of the network and I noticed that this slows the falls down substantially. So if you have a bunch of little falls pointing in varying directions to get a natural look for a more complex fall, you need a bunch of rotated ones. VERY SLOW. And I tried to make the node network as efficient as possible, eliminating any unnecessary operations. I think it is about as fast as it can be.

Really, something like this is doable:

(https://ppcdn.500px.org/62912269/40eb69d312f3e1fb4038c115a6b54f94b83e0070/2048.jpg)

It would just take a LOT of time to set up and render.

Anyway, the waterfall was certainly the hardest part of making my scene. The rest was just an excuse to use it.  ;) I was at one point trying to build Svartifoss, with its interesting columnar basalt. But modelling and properly texturing the basalt, along with all the plants and the many rocks on the ground, I soon realized, was going to take way too long and push me past the deadline!
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Oshyan on February 15, 2015, 08:43:57 PM
Wow, what a way to make an "entrance". Impressive work for a veteran, much less someone new to TG! Good luck in the contest. :)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on February 15, 2015, 09:01:05 PM
Thanks a bunch, guys!  ;D

There was still a lot I wished I had time to do with this image. Some of it was fairly rushed!

And yes, I do plan to share the waterfall method somehow. Just providing a TGD file isn't going to be enough, however. I will need to provide some significant instruction so that the user understands exactly how it works. Otherwise, I don't think it could be used effectively. I barely understand how to use the dang thing myself! The node network I ended up with is a rather complex and confusing tangle of blue nodes that I suspect would be a bit hard to understand if you hadn't built it yourself, even though I think it is about as well organized and labelled as it can be. It is rather mathy.

It has all kinds of adjustable parameters. You can control how far out the spray goes, the range from inner to outer, how thick it is, perlin noise variation in those values along the width, how wide the fall is, how much it flares out, the softness of the inner and outer limits, multiple levels of variation along the width and along the depth, the contrast of the variation, the softness of the side limits, and so on.

Multiple such falls could be used in a scene, though I found that it gets rather slow. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out a satisfactory way to make it follow a curvy path such that the fall lines radiate outward, diverging at different angles when the cliff line is convex or converging when concave. That was beyond my modest mathematical capabilities. I am sure it is possible though. Originally, I wanted to try to do something like Skogafoss:

(http://mute.rigent.com/pics/iceland12_33_bw.jpg)

But it would require a whole bunch of copies of my waterfall network with different settings and would be VERY slow to render. I tried and it was too much. I don't have the patience to keep waiting that long for test renders to see if my adjustments are right. To rotate each little fall such that it doesn't point directly along x or z, you have to put a 'rotate vector' node up near the top of the network and I noticed that this slows the falls down substantially. So if you have a bunch of little falls pointing in varying directions to get a natural look for a more complex fall, you need a bunch of rotated ones. VERY SLOW. And I tried to make the node network as efficient as possible, eliminating any unnecessary operations. I think it is about as fast as it can be.

Really, something like this is doable:

(https://ppcdn.500px.org/62912269/40eb69d312f3e1fb4038c115a6b54f94b83e0070/2048.jpg)

It would just take a LOT of time to set up and render.

Anyway, the waterfall was certainly the hardest part of making my scene. The rest was just an excuse to use it.  ;) I was at one point trying to build Svartifoss, with its interesting columnar basalt. But modelling and properly texturing the basalt, along with all the plants and the many rocks on the ground, I soon realized, was going to take way too long and push me past the deadline!

now you're making my literal mouth water.....
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 16, 2015, 03:45:52 AM
Thanks, Oshyan!

"...much less someone new to TG!"

Well, I am not completely new to it. I got TG2 back in early 2010 and played with it just a little bit then, but somehow got distracted by other things and never ended up doing much with it. Mostly, I think the intimidating interface scared me off! ;) So recently, I decided to give it another go and upgraded to TG3 this January.

Honestly, I still don't know TG very well at all. I really don't have a very good grasp of how to use the red nodes! That sounds strange, I know! Since time was short and I really wanted a chance to win a copy of World Machine and/or WorldCreator, and so on, I decided to put aside my weak areas for the moment and go with what I knew how to do. I already knew ZBrush somewhat better, and Blender even better. So I used ZBrush to sculpt the rocks, the basic terrain shapes, the foreground fibermesh grass, and the basic moss shapes, and then textured everything inside TG, including the displacement on the moss objects. And the other plants, I made quick and dirty in Blender since I don't have any sort of plant library.

The blue node stuff in TG comes somewhat naturally, as I have done a little bit of programming in the past, mostly BASIC, POV-Ray, and Processing. And I have a rusty but passable grasp of mid-level math concepts. Once I got past the intimidation factor, it began to seem just like a different, more visual way of writing high level code. With the blue nodes, I feel like I understand more or less exactly what they are doing. The red nodes feel less like this. I am not quite sure most times how to hook them up, as I don't know how they work. I just do a lot of cutting and trying and wondering why things don't quite do what I expect them to do! ;) So I still have a LOT to learn there! I look forward to spending more time learning how to get interesting atmospheres and more complex, procedural displacements.

Bobby,

Quote
now you're making my literal mouth water.....

I'll try not to disappoint!

Somewhere on here I read that you have music on YouTube, so I looked you up! Really nice, honest, human music!  ;D
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Oshyan on February 16, 2015, 03:55:13 AM
Hehe, interesting that you get along better with blue nodes for now. I understand why that might be, if you have a math/programming background then you already know to some degree how they'll work. Whereas the red nodes work in ways that are more specific to TG and thus require TG-oriented knowledge. With your blue node strength, I think you'll be a force to be reckoned with if you spend a bit of time getting up to speed with the red side of things. :)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Luc Bianco on February 16, 2015, 03:44:36 PM
Hi

I like a lot these rocks displacement... I wonder how you did, you gave me the answer.

Nice picture, really

luc

" So I used ZBrush to sculpt the rocks, the basic terrain shapes, ....
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 16, 2015, 05:58:33 PM
Thanks, Luc!

Do you use ZBrush at all? If so, or for anyone else interested, if you want to get a similar effect, try this. There is a custom masking brush out there called MAHmask Bias, which you can get here:
http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?75050-Zskiff-a-licious!/page22&p=900731&viewfull=1#post900731 (http://www.zbrushcentral.com/showthread.php?75050-Zskiff-a-licious!/page22&p=900731&viewfull=1#post900731)

After you sculpt some basic rocky shapes, just scribble over the shapes using this masking brush, with a medium to large brush size, sort of half-masking the area with some variation provided by the MAHmask. There is a certain level of masking that works well that you'll find with experimentation. Then, using the crease brush at a fair size, scribble over the masked area while holding 'alt' to subtract rather than add to the surface. Clear the mask. Mask again. Use the crease brush again. Repeat. With each iteration, it sort of eats into the surface, further eroding the areas that were already removed from before. You can get some really interesting effects this way, including some nice little sort of stepped pockets. And you can control it or do it randomly as you see fit. You'll find a balance as you play with it. And how the MAHmask brush selects the surface is sensitive to the angle at which you apply it. So sometimes it helps to use the 'selected orientation' setting, which is in the 'picker' menu under 'orientation'. But to apply this setting to the masking brush, you have to hold 'ctrl' before clicking it.

If you like, maybe I can post a video to YouTube demonstrating the technique.

I used this some on both the rocks and the foreground terrain a bit, though you can't see some of sculptural detail in the terrain very much because the plants obscure it.

It seems that not a lot of people use ZBrush for landscape stuff, not nearly as much as for characters and the like. I am not sure why. I have barely touched exploring in this direction and I can see that ZBrush has incredible potential in this area. Nothing beats procedural noise plus simulated erosion and whatnot for realistic mountains, but for interesting rock shapes, ZBrush is great, especially if you want to be able to control the shape very directly. Besides, it is hella fun!  ;D At least when it isn't crashing!
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on February 16, 2015, 09:27:57 PM
Video please. This sounds intriguing, but bears seeing more than a verbose description, at least for me.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 16, 2015, 11:38:01 PM
Here is the basic approach. This is in real time. I went to extremes with it here, but it can certainly be used in more subtle ways. The overall rock shape could be better, and I should probably do it over, but you should get the basic idea.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFP_4OlUwug&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qFP_4OlUwug&feature=youtu.be)

If you do some smoothing before masking and creasing(with 'alt' or Zsub), it tends to create what looks to me like eroded sandstone. I haven't tried it with this technique yet, but you can also apply color at the same time as sculpting, and you could vary the color with each operation. I suspect that this would really help create interesting rock, especially the sedimentary layering in some sandstone.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on February 16, 2015, 11:51:59 PM
Very cool, downloaded to watch later...I think I can get thru it with the aid of the pause switch. Thanks, it helps to see a technique pictorially for me and I think I got it, now to get "it"(Z Mesh) or something similar. I think I have Sculptris which IIRC seemed similar.
Off to the Blues Jam tonight tho, to wait all night to get my 3 songs in, heh heh heh.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 17, 2015, 03:00:07 AM
You could probably do some rocks in Sculptris, but this particular technique won't work there, as the MAHmask bias brush is key, and I don't think Sculptris has anything comparable. Blender has some sculpting tools too, but not this particular thing. I don't know anything about Mudbox, but something similar might be possible there.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: j meyer on February 17, 2015, 03:21:09 PM
oysteroid - there are some very good examples to find at ZBC.Environmental things
done for 'underworld' or other rather old stuff.'Rock environment' was very good,too.
Don't remember the author's name or the thread otherwise I'd have posted links,sorry.
Ryan Kingslien had/has tutorial video and some other environment artists have
posted examples of techniques also.Hard to find maybe,but definitely there.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on February 17, 2015, 03:29:00 PM
oysteroid - there are some very good examples to find at ZBC.Environmental things
done for 'underworld' or other rather old stuff.'Rock environment' was very good,too.
Don't remember the author's name or the thread otherwise I'd have posted links,sorry.
Ryan Kingslien had/has tutorial video and some other environment artists have
posted examples of techniques also.Hard to find maybe,but definitely there.

Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation ? what's this ZBC?
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: j meyer on February 17, 2015, 03:36:48 PM
ZBrushCentral.Sorry.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on February 17, 2015, 03:50:44 PM
ZBrushCentral.Sorry.

Not a problem, I fear I was being an early morning wise ass....
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on February 17, 2015, 09:58:38 PM
Thanks, j meyer, I'll check it out!

Here is another quick rock sculpt I did for fun using this same basic technique. It is probably overcooked as usual! This one is just a turntable animation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOECdHsDYRE&feature=youtu.be (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tOECdHsDYRE&feature=youtu.be)

Also, here is a simple example of an effect that happens readily when a little smoothing is applied here and there between iterations with 'selected orientation' applied to the MAHmask bias brush.

[attachimg=1]

This effect reminds me of some eroded sandstone I've seen.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Danny on March 04, 2015, 01:27:49 PM
This really is an excellent render, by far one of my favorites  ;)
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: bobbystahr on March 04, 2015, 02:56:51 PM

Somewhere on here I read that you have music on YouTube, so I looked you up! Really nice, honest, human music!  ;D


Missed this when you posted but I tend to re read threads, for this reason, as I am getting older and miss stuff. Thanks for checking out my you tubes. P M me an e mail address and I'll send you a link for the cd download if you like.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: archonforest on March 04, 2015, 03:42:41 PM

Missed this when you posted but I tend to re read threads, for this reason, as I am getting older and miss stuff. Thanks for checking out my you tubes. P M me an e mail address and I'll send you a link for the cd download if you like.
[/quote]

wowoww! I would be very interested on the too :D :D
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on March 04, 2015, 05:43:33 PM
Thanks, Danny!  ;D

There are some things I don't like so much about it though. I got involved with contest pretty late and spent most of my time figuring out how to use all the blue nodes for the waterfall, and so ended up rushing some of the rest of it. The atmosphere and distant mountain could have been a lot better. And the foreground plants could have used a little more work. But most of all, I dislike the water. I wanted to find a way to make the water look like it should in a long exposure such that it would be more consistent with the waterfall, but I just ran out of time! And I don't know if there is a way to do that satisfactorily anyway, short of animating waves in the water and averaging a bunch of frames together to get the motion blur, and I don't have the animation-capable version. Using clouds in the water can go a certain distance toward the right effect, but it still isn't quite right, not like motion blurred reflections.

I have still been meaning to share the waterfall method I developed for this, but have been a bit too busy here lately. Hopefully I'll get to it soon! I've got a file in progress in which I am trying to make the falls as flexible and user-friendly as possible.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Oshyan on March 04, 2015, 08:02:34 PM
This was one of my personal favorites, and had some of the most impressive and unique TG and multi-app work(flow) in it. I think the main thing that let it down is the lighting (and possibly atmosphere, clouds are nice but maybe a bit boring), and the foreground vegetation as you mentioned. Structurally, and in terms of general realism, land forms true to the source material, etc., it is one of the best images I've seen lately, not just from the contest but in general. I encourage you to think about tweaking it a bit further even though the contest is over, or maybe make a derivative image. We're working on some new web content and a gallery update and I could easily see an improved version of this image being a shoo-in.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on March 04, 2015, 10:43:15 PM
Thanks, Oshyan! And I agree about the lighting. As for tweaking it a bit further, we'll see! I am kind of sick of that image to tell you the truth! I'll think about it.

Bobby, I'll send a PM for that CD.  :D
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Dune on March 05, 2015, 06:35:56 AM
I'll second Oshyan. Still wanted to comment in more detail, but never came to it. It was one of my favorites too, but some aspects were not photographic enough, and that was the challenge after all. But I greatly admire your skill and amount of work to put this together.
Another thing that struck me as unnatural is the absolute flatness of the water around the fall in relation to the (magnificently shaped) water flow in front, and the obviously 'time-exposed' fall itself. They are absolutely great as parts, but don't fit together somehow.
Also the vegetation clinging to the (again, very nice) rock is too hard edged, IMHO.

I too would like to see this (or similar) perfected very much. I like your style!
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on March 05, 2015, 05:07:36 PM
Thanks, Dune!

I agree with your criticism. I intended to try to do something with the water more like this sort of long exposure:

(https://photos.smugmug.com/Portfolio/topshots/i-28hdBb6/0/M/Kirkjufellsfoss%202-M.jpg)

But I just ran out of time and still don't really see a way to do it inside of TG without the animation version, where one might average together a bunch of frames in which the water changes from frame to frame, so that the waves get blurred out.

And the moss on the rocks does look a bit hard and too thick really.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Dune on March 06, 2015, 06:12:01 AM
I did something a while a go (posted somewhere), where I used a cloud layer as blurred water; that may be a method for you also, seeing this photo. Using the function inputs there's lots you can do; color, mask, even displace, or rather thicken and thin by procedurals.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: oysteroid on March 06, 2015, 07:13:04 AM
Dune,

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll have to look into what's possible there at some point. The only thing though is it seems that this approach wouldn't yield quite the right look, since clouds aren't reflective in the peculiar way that time-smeared waves are.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Dune on March 06, 2015, 09:36:23 AM
That's right, and so in my tests I had to use a simple shape based mask to fake that reflection.
Title: Re: Kirkjufellsfoss
Post by: Oshyan on March 06, 2015, 08:19:28 PM
Yeah, you got some pretty good results with that Ulco. Not sure how well it would work in a more daylight setting though:
http://www.planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,19572.0.html

- Oshyan