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General => Image Sharing => Topic started by: sboerner on January 25, 2018, 03:05:04 PM

Title: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on January 25, 2018, 03:05:04 PM
This project is still in its early stages but has reached a point where I can share it. The scene is a real place on the Erie Canal, not far from where I live. The time is early morning, mid-October 1915.

For the past couple of years I've tossed around the idea of using Terragen to recreate scenes along the canal at different points in time. So this is a proof of concept. Recreating a real landscape that has been substantially modified by human activity has been a real challenge.

The trees are temporary, just there to gauge placement, as is much of the grass. (From Dune's free grass pack at NWDA. Thanks, Ulco!) The foliage eventually will be more diverse and will include some nice fall color.

The rail line at center left is an interurban trolley that existed in the early 20th century, now long vanished. A second rail line at the extreme left, part of the New York Central's  "water level route" from New York to Chicago, is also now long abandoned and overgrown. There is much yet to do. The center of interest will be a lift bridge in the foreground, and there are barges, buildings, a terminal wall, and other infrastructure to be added. So there's a lot more research and modeling to be done outside of Terragen.

Working with Terragen can be a humbling experience but I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. But I'm slow, there's much yet to be done, and a lot more to learn.

I'm hoping to post progress reports. Criticisms, comments welcome!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on January 25, 2018, 03:23:36 PM
Wow, this is starting off at "Dune" level...I follow with great anticipation of the final which could be mind blowing...great start
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on January 25, 2018, 03:47:51 PM
Looks fantastic!! And indeed quite glimmerveenesque!  ;D ;D ;D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Cocateho on January 25, 2018, 03:53:34 PM
This has a lot lot of promise and sounds like a really cool project! Good luck with your endeavors, seems like quite the challenge!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on January 25, 2018, 03:55:25 PM
Well, won't I be watching this with interest! I am old enough to have walked the deserted ruins of the canal and tripped over urban tracks in pavement covered brick under-layered streets. Back when they taught history, students in my state learned about early settlement and transportation. I am from a railroad family, involving three systems. This already looks to be a great project! Good luck! :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on January 25, 2018, 04:00:57 PM
Great start. Really like what u have so far. Good luck with this one. Will follow your journey...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on January 25, 2018, 04:23:32 PM
Thanks everyone for the comments and encouragement! I'm not sure the comparison with Ulco's work is warranted, that's very high praise indeed and there's so much yet that can go wrong! But we'll see. If anyone's interested I can post a "bare-earth" rendering of the underlying displacement, which is what I've spent most of my time on so far.

Quote
Back when they taught history, students in my state learned about early settlement and transportation.

I grew up far away in the central U.S. and we all learned about the Erie Canal (and the song). So it had a place in my memory when we moved to upstate New York and I saw it for the first time. It's absolutely fascinating and the influence it had on our history is incalculable. Probably the greatest single infrastructure project in U.S. history. It's been partly rechanneled and enlarged, but is still in use today, mostly for recreation. The dams, bridges, weirs, etc., from the last major overhaul in 1910-1914 are mostly still in use. In those days they built things to last.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on January 25, 2018, 04:23:52 PM
This a great start indeed, and not one I want to miss following. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 12, 2018, 03:11:28 PM
Second rendering. This was a long time coming – real work intervened.  :D

The piers for the lift bridge have been added but aren't shaded yet. Mainly I was interested in seeing how well they would integrate into the main scene. Well, maybe apprehensive would be the better word. Everything is being done to scale so the piers had to fit. Thankfully they do, and once the models are finished and shaded they should blend in nicely.

Work on the bridge itself continues and it should be ready in a few days.

A terminal wall has also been added and foreground displacements adjusted. This should be all of the significant displacements, though details can still use a little TLC.

[attach=1]

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 12, 2018, 03:24:43 PM
Coming along spectacularly...carry on!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: ajcgi on February 12, 2018, 03:28:10 PM
I love how this feels like a genuine construction project. Are you wearing a high visibility jacket?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 12, 2018, 03:31:30 PM
Quote
I love how this feels like a genuine construction project. Are you wearing a high visibility jacket?

 ;D ;D ;D

(No OSHA in 1915, I'm afraid!)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 12, 2018, 03:47:29 PM
Quote
I love how this feels like a genuine construction project. Are you wearing a high visibility jacket?

 ;D ;D ;D

(No OSHA in 1915, I'm afraid!)

Ha ha ha...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on February 12, 2018, 04:28:41 PM
At least 50 years ago, had to go on a family vacation trip to Lake Erie to see all the cargo ships and transfer points...

Not part of the canal per see but C&O, N&W, and Nickle Plate give ya a toot! Carry on, looks great!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 12, 2018, 04:48:17 PM
Quote
Not part of the canal per see but C&O, N&W, and Nickle Plate give ya a toot! Carry on, looks great!

Great memories, I'm sure. In many ways things must have been more interesting around here 50, 100 years ago.

Quote
Coming along spectacularly...carry on!

Thanks, Bobby! That's the plan!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DannyG on February 13, 2018, 01:47:12 AM
Mimic Hannes, This reminds me of Ulco's work. That's a goood Thing
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on February 13, 2018, 01:52:13 AM
Hah, I have come to identify "flat land and waterways" a Dune/Ulco signature style. So this looks very Dune-like to me - but that's a compliment!

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: N-drju on February 15, 2018, 08:45:10 PM
Fantastic panoramic view, I like your style. The shores of the canal could use a bit more realism perhaps in the form of diversity and reeds. But anyway, a nice, clean, bright render.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 21, 2018, 12:58:30 PM
Quote
Fantastic panoramic view, I like your style. The shores of the canal could use a bit more realism perhaps in the form of diversity and reeds.

Good advice, thanks. I'm focused now on building all the models to populate the scene. But once that's done I'll turn my attention back to the trees and other vegetation. The scene could use a lot more biodiversity!

New rendering. The lift bridge model is finished and placed, shown in the raised position. Not yet shaded.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 21, 2018, 01:27:08 PM
Once again, particularly awesome. Great modeling on that bridge, can't wait to see it shaded.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on February 21, 2018, 02:02:42 PM
Great bridge! Well done on the modelling. ;)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on February 21, 2018, 03:06:22 PM
Love those iron bridges! Does this bridge still stand? I see this is a pedestrian bridge. Where I am from the Winona interurban line was in great use back in the day. Many many rivers, creeks and streams with lots of bridges! I have a couple b/w photos of family on such bridges from the early 1900s, your modeling is spot on!  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on February 21, 2018, 03:51:49 PM
This is going to be a real beauty!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 21, 2018, 06:23:25 PM
Thanks! I've been planning this project for months, so it's nice to finally be working on it.

The bridge is still there. It was originally built in 1913, and a few years ago (at a cost of several million dollars) was completely refurbished. As far as I can tell all of the renovations hewed to the original plans. The technical name for it is a Warren Pony Truss Towerless Lift Bridge. There are several nearly identical bridges along this stretch of the canal, apparently designed by state employees with no professional engineering experience. Their solution to the problem of raising the four corners of the bridge simultaneously is simple and ingenious. The lifting machinery is housed below the roadway at both ends of the bridge, but everything is powered by two 12-horsepower electric motors from the southern end. Counterweights and an equalizing rope system handle most of the heavy lifting, so to speak.

The model is based on publicly available drawings, photos and a few direct measurements. It's accurate to within a few inches, I think. The rest of the objects won't get this much care and attention. But this was the "hero" object and the whole point of doing the scene. Learned a lot in the process.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 21, 2018, 08:16:22 PM
"Learned a lot in the process."
no doubt heh heh.
I once measured and built digitally, my Mom's house down to the floorboards and 1900's window trim; inside and out. Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...I now disconnect the back ups and hide them when I go out for more than a short while but I still know how to do it again should I be so insanely driven as I own the house.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 21, 2018, 09:02:02 PM
Quote
Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...

Oh, man, that's like everyone's worst nightmare. Sorry to hear about that. I'm pretty good about backups – WIPs are stored on Dropbox as well as two local drives plus external backups, then also backed up to optical disk at important benchmarks. But losing the main workstation and external drives would be a real blow, no question.

Your mom's house sounds cool. Those turn-of-the-century homes can be real gems.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: ajcgi on February 22, 2018, 10:41:02 AM
Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...I now disconnect the back ups and hide them when I go out for more than a short while but I still know how to do it again should I be so insanely driven as I own the house.

Eeee Bobby that must have been horrible.  :-\
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 22, 2018, 03:14:28 PM
Then I got broken into and lost everything from 13 years learning 3D as they took back up drives and all...I now disconnect the back ups and hide them when I go out for more than a short while but I still know how to do it again should I be so insanely driven as I own the house.

Eeee Bobby that must have been horrible.  :-\


It was paralyzing for a while. Fortunately all the music I'd been writing in Melody Assistant had been shared with a friend so the truely original stuff was safe. And I had backed up some stuff to cd(pre dvd) so my massive texture image directory was safe and Andy(I think) sent me a whole whack of stuff as well.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 04, 2018, 07:39:35 PM
Work on the models is continuing but I took a break this week to start gathering trees and other flora needed for the scene. First step was to catalog all the plant models that I've collected over the years and then cross-reference them with an online database of local plants. Next step will be to winnow this set down to one appropriate to this location. I know nothing about botany but am getting the hang of the Latin nomenclature and other terminology. It's interesting.

Turns out that I already have a nice assortment of models on hand that will work. There are some gaps, especially among the shrubs and other undergrowth needed for a convincing scene. I'm planning to build these and should have most of the work done by the time spring arrives and I can check the site. (Right now everything is under 12-15 inches of snow.)

Tools are the Xfrog Maya plugin (Version 4, running in an older version of Maya; Version 5.5 for new versions of Maya appears to be broken) and a brilliant little iPad app called TreeSketch. Creating trees with touch gestures is fun, and the way the app works – you set the tree parameters and then make it "grow" – yields natural shapes that can be easily modified to create as many variations as you like.

Here's a quick test showing Silver Maple saplings in various stages of growth:

[attach=1]

And a first stab at Maple Leaved Viburnum, very common in these parts:

[attach=2]

(Sadly, TreeSketch is no longer available on the App Store. The lead developer, Steven Longay, created it as a PhD candidate. He's since moved on to Weta Digital, which probably explains why development has stopped.)

I've looked into SpeedTree and PlantFactory but they're both way beyond my current needs and budget. Anyone know of other Mac-compatible plant-building tools that I should look into?

Some useful resources for plant builders:

Leafsnap is an electronic field guide that identifies plants by matching iPad photos that you take with an online database. I haven't tried it in the field yet, but the database is impressive and can be downloaded: http://leafsnap.com.

The Northern Forest Atlas is a searchable online database of plants found in, well, North America's northern forest. The photos are very high quality and free for noncommercial use: http://northernforestatlas.org.

Finally, asileFX has reduced the price of its Nature Bundle of leaf, bark, and stone textures. Nice assortment, well organized, with transparency, bump, normal, and displacement maps: http://www.asilefx.net/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=80&products_id=141.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 05, 2018, 06:14:44 AM
Thank you, Steve, for your explanation of your work, and the links. Especially the leafsnap is interesting (for me). XFrog also has a lot of free trees/shrubs. Speedtree stuff can't be traded, I'm afraid. I think there's a Lighwave plugin too, but don't know any specifics.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 05, 2018, 04:40:36 PM
Thanks, Ulco. I installed LeafSnap a year or two ago but never got around to really trying it. Once spring arrives here and the trees are in leaf (another couple of months) I'm going to take it for a spin. It's a great idea if it works.

When I visited the SpeedTree website I was disappointed to see that their libraries are available only in SpeedTree format. Too bad they don't release them in interchange formats like Xfrog. The models look amazing. Is it node-based? (The developer version of PlantFactory has a node editor.) If my Terragen work ever becomes a true revenue generator here I may be able to justify licensing one or the other.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 06, 2018, 08:14:27 AM
Well, kind of node based, you can add branches by adding 'nodes', but then you have an enormous amount of settings per node to vary almost anything, and randomize. If you ever decide to purchase a tree generator, go for ST.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 06, 2018, 03:09:02 PM
If you ever decide to purchase a tree generator, go for ST.


Although I don't own it having seen it's output here I would recommend ST as well.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 07, 2018, 12:05:39 AM
Quote
Although I don't own it having seen it's output here I would recommend ST as well.

I agree. From what I've seen here and on the company website, the results are very impressive.

Quote
Speedtree stuff can't be traded, I'm afraid.

I'm curious about this. Can you export from ST to OBJ or FBX for import into other applications? And is this restriction a technical one, or is it stipulated by the license agreement? I don't know of any other vendors that restrict sharing/sales of files created with their products, so that would seem a little strict to me.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 07, 2018, 12:16:02 AM
Quote
I don't know of any other vendors that restrict sharing/sales of files created with their products, so that would seem a little strict to me.

Maybe they don't want them to cross breed...LOL
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 07, 2018, 12:17:48 AM
Quote
Maybe they don't want them to cross breed...LOL

 ;D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 07, 2018, 05:32:59 AM
It's by licence.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 13, 2018, 07:26:43 PM
Bridge tender's tower is added and it and the bridge are shaded. Also a weir in the mid-distance, barely visible on the left bank of canal near the curve. Terrain surfaces are closer to where they should be, though the gravel road still needs work. Holding off on further work on the railroad tracks, as those will have to change to accommodate a siding for the trolley station.

[attach=1]

Closer view of the bridge, with it and the pedestrian gate at the top of the stairs in the raised position.

[attach=2]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on March 13, 2018, 08:04:42 PM
Looking good! Did you ever say which version of TG you are using?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 13, 2018, 09:05:36 PM
Thanks. I'm using version 4.1.18 for Mac. The renderer is just amazing. And fast. Population and renderer quality settings are maxed out and the scene still renders in around 3 hours. (No clouds yet of course.)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 14, 2018, 07:02:25 AM
Great. That's some fine looking model too, with all the details. Will you be adding some dirt and grime here and there? For realism I think that would work well.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 14, 2018, 03:36:59 PM
Quote
Will you be adding some dirt and grime here and there? For realism I think that would work well.

Thanks, Ulco. The piers and bridge deck have a bit of grime and aging but you're right, the  superstructure and approaches are too clean. On the other hand, it was nearly new, so any grime shouldn't be overdone. I have an idea to try as soon as I get a chance.

Also need to deal with the transition between the gravel road and the edge of the object. It's too abrupt. The concrete and brickwork were new and need to look that way - shouldn't be be chipped or broken. So somehow the gravel has to naturally overlap them. Any tips?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 14, 2018, 03:56:01 PM
A continuing WOW from me...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 14, 2018, 06:04:30 PM
You could try using the gravel colors projected onto the object where you want to overlap. If you use a soft simple shape for the area of overlap (perhaps also thorugh transform shader world position), mask a surface shader with that and import the texture needed through a similar transform shader as a child, it should work. If you don't need the displacement, import it into the color tab. I've never tried it though.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 19, 2018, 03:46:36 AM
Quote
A continuing WOW from me...

Thanks, Bobby. I'm learning as I go here.

Quote
You could try using the gravel colors projected onto the object where you want to overlap. If you use a soft simple shape for the area of overlap (perhaps also thorugh transform shader world position), mask a surface shader with that and import the texture needed through a similar transform shader as a child, it should work.

Ok, I think I'm following you here. You'd add a projected texture to the object's shading network? Are the transform shaders used to fine-tune the final shape and position of the simple shape? Have to admit I haven't used them much, probably would make my life easier.  :P

(See above . . . learning as I go.)

Is it possible to project a texture or displacement across an imported object and adjacent terrain? (Guessing the answer is yes – just feed it into the object's shading network from the main network?)

Updated rendering with some rust and grime – now it should look like it's experienced a couple of Upstate winters.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 19, 2018, 05:52:39 AM
It was theoretical, but I just tested and strangely it doesn't work as I expected. Maybe it's because I tested on an older version of TG (only 32-bit one on this machine). So if anyone can make this to work, it would be handy.

Nice update, btw.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 19, 2018, 01:50:35 PM
Thanks. If I have a chance later today I'll play around with that setup. It oughta work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on March 19, 2018, 03:31:40 PM
getting there... ;)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 20, 2018, 03:34:54 AM
Quote
It was theoretical, but I just tested and strangely it doesn't work as I expected. Maybe it's because I tested on an older version of TG (only 32-bit one on this machine). So if anyone can make this to work, it would be handy.

Your idea works fine here – brilliantly, actually. Thank you so much for posting those screen shots. I misunderstood the role of the transform input shader, but it became very clear once I started working with it. So useful!

I warped the simple shape instead of using a fade. (The fade caused the fake rocks to gradually disappear.) If I need a more irregular edge I can always paint the mask manually.

[attach=1]

[attach=2]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 20, 2018, 05:44:40 AM
Glad it worked for you. I have to try the setup in a better TG4 version again, not understanding why the colors faded so much. Perhaps the old transform shader is less 'good' (which is a silly assumption  ::)).
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 20, 2018, 01:31:56 PM
Quote
So useful!



(Attachment)

(Attachment)



Indeed, it was and is one of the most useful shaders that Dune pointed me at as well. It's now part of most of my texture setups...works on clouds as well.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: otakar on March 20, 2018, 05:01:39 PM
Great project! Super quality renders and of course the modeling. Thanks for sharing!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 06, 2018, 02:55:13 PM
Running some test renderings of Kelvin wake patterns while preparing models of the canal boats and tug that will be needed for the scene.

[attach=1]

The displacement map was made from an image I found online and tweaked in Photoshop. The same image map is piped through two transform input shaders to create the bow and stern wakes. (The transform input shader is quickly becoming one of my workhorse shaders. Thanks again, Ulco.)

Previous forum discussion of Kelvin wakes:

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,19721.msg194253.html#msg194253 (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,19721.msg194253.html#msg194253)

Good layman's discussion of how they're formed and how to calculate their sizes:

http://www.steelnavy.com/WavePatterns.htm (http://www.steelnavy.com/WavePatterns.htm)

I would give my eyeteeth for an application to generate Kelvin wake displacement maps. Found a few promising but broken links online for Maya plugins, etc., but not much luck till I stumbled across this:

https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/zgreen-wave-patterns-made-by-havelock-sources.36112/ (https://www.boatdesign.net/threads/zgreen-wave-patterns-made-by-havelock-sources.36112/)

Seems like this might be the answer but (of course) it's DOS only. If anyone knows of a Mac (or Unix) equivalent that would be great.

I'd like to be able to generate arbitrarily sized patterns that could be accurately scaled and still extend a proper distance behind the boat. The speed limit at this time on the canal was 4 mph (to mitigate wake damage to the canal banks), so the transverse waves of the wake pattern should be about 6 feet apart.

Interesting topic – a week ago I'd never heard of Kelvin wake patterns.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on April 06, 2018, 03:04:43 PM
All about R&D, Well done!  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 06, 2018, 03:24:20 PM
Thanks! This project just keeps getting more interesting. Much to learn.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on April 06, 2018, 03:57:08 PM
Thanks! This project just keeps getting more interesting. Much to learn.

We all I feel have, 'Ulco the Transform Disciple' to thank for that. It's in every stack I make nowadays...My previous connection to Kelvin  wake was when I attended Kelvin's Wake a few years back...Live and Learn eh? thanks for the references and by the way, best wake yet
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on April 06, 2018, 04:36:03 PM
That's an extremely nice wake, would you be willing to share? Some generator would be great indeed, as all you need is a simple output in greyscale. 
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 06, 2018, 05:30:20 PM
Thanks, no problem sharing. It's a 32-bit exr file. I can post a link.

Pretty easy doing a wake on flatwater with a very slow-moving boat with no prop.  :D  At some point I'll try to add a bow crest.

It looks like the application file in the third link above will generate custom image files, at least as far as I can tell from the documentation. It's been years since I've run a DOS batch file, though, so I don't know how much trouble that might be these days. I'd be curious if anyone wants to try. If it were Unix it would be a snap here.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 06, 2018, 05:34:05 PM
Here's the link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/z4mdjnxg4p12obr/kelvinWake.zip?dl=0 (https://www.dropbox.com/s/z4mdjnxg4p12obr/kelvinWake.zip?dl=0)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on April 07, 2018, 07:42:03 AM
Thanks a lot, Steve. Can't one run this .bat file from the dos-prompt?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on April 07, 2018, 03:14:58 PM
Thanks a lot, Steve. Can't one run this .bat file from the dos-prompt?

Steve's on a MAC Ulco, but I did find this that may be helpful

http://smallbusiness.chron.com/use-dos-mode-apple-48840.html
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 07, 2018, 03:59:59 PM
Thanks, Bobby, Ulco. I've considered getting a Windows/DOS emulator but haven't really looked into it. Might be easier to pick up an inexpensive PC box or laptop to handle things like this. There's a definite PC bias in the 3D world. I'm constantly running into tools that are Windows-only. Seems odd given Apple's long relationship with the graphic arts and film industries.

Back in the day I did a bit of C and C++ programming on DOS but stopped when I started my home business and moved everything to Mac. Now I like to use the Unix shell to do basic file management and to automate a few common tasks. Nothing too complicated, though.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on April 07, 2018, 07:28:18 PM
Welcome Steve. I came to 3D on Amiga and when they were in death throws I looked at both platforms and as the 3D I was using was only supported on pc boxes and there was sooooo much more free and/or inexpensive software available that's the way I went. Based mainly on advice from my good pal Richard Condie (animator of The Big Snit) who gave me the original A1000 that a MAC was gonna cost me twice the cash and leave me with far fewer resources. I've thank'd him often for that advice.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 07, 2018, 08:47:38 PM
Yep I'm mulling whether or not to move back to PC in the future. Apple's desktops just keep getting less configurable and more expensive. It would be a big change at this point though.

I never had an Amiga but a friend did. Showed me an example of a ray-traced animation back in the what, mid-90s? It was pretty mind-blowing at the time.

Ran across this while searching for historical images of canal boats. Shows a modern canal excursion boat and is a nice example of the Kelvin wake pattern.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: ajcgi on April 09, 2018, 02:39:19 PM
This project is getting better and better. I'm loving the attention to detail.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 09, 2018, 03:30:17 PM
Thanks. It's taking on a life of its own, for sure.

I appreciate all the feedback I've been getting here and everyone's patience with this very slow-motion project. I'd considered moving the updates to my blog but I'd rather keep posting them here because the comments are so focused and helpful. It just makes the project more fun and is an incentive to keep plugging away.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on April 09, 2018, 03:37:29 PM
Thanks. It's taking on a life of its own, for sure.

I appreciate all the feedback I've been getting here and everyone's patience with this very slow-motion project. I'd considered moving the updates to my blog but I'd rather keep posting them here because the comments are so focused and helpful. It just makes the project more fun and is an incentive to keep plugging away.



My Mom always said slow but steady often wins the race...keep on keepin on...we're lovin this.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on April 10, 2018, 09:26:40 AM
Cool! Maybe this texture is useful to you (or anyone else...). It's a bit tricky to place an image map shader to the right place, but it works.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 10, 2018, 02:13:55 PM
Thank you, Hannes. That's a nice one, too.

I took Ulco's advice for placing the texture from the other thread – copy the boat's position into a transform input shader connected to the image map. I suppose you could do the same thing with an orthogonal camera, and use that to position the image map. Once the position matches the boat it's just a matter of offsetting it the right amount.

It would be nice if you could link translation (and rotation and scale) values programmatically, either through an input port or an expression. That would eliminate having to update them manually.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on April 10, 2018, 02:56:57 PM
Maybe the latter is possible (I just theorized) by linking the boat's position to an add vector node, then again, the location of objects has no output  :P
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 10, 2018, 03:14:07 PM
Maybe the grouping feature that Matt mentioned will be the answer to this. Or parenting? I'd be happy with expressions or constraints, since they'd let you link object/image positions anywhere in the network.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on April 10, 2018, 03:37:16 PM
Yes, maybe. Luckily, it's pretty easy to relocate by copy/paste locations.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 10, 2018, 03:43:21 PM
That is a nice feature, and one that I miss when I'm working in Maya. If only all our apps had all the features we like . . .
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 15, 2018, 09:10:19 PM
Why not a boat? Latest model to be added to the scene. Still need to add a tugboat (to provide a tow). And maybe a second "lakeboat," as this type of wooden barge was called. Still researching the tug, waiting for some high-resolution historical reference images to be delivered from a couple of local sources. In the meantime, on to the trolley . . .

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on April 15, 2018, 09:49:16 PM
Chugging right along.....good work! ;D

Enjoy this one, horses for helpers! Often assisted by mules around here.
http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16797coll28/id/304/rec/48
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on April 15, 2018, 10:50:33 PM
Wow, finding myself more gobsmacked with every iteration...keep em comin '
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 15, 2018, 11:54:49 PM
Quote
Enjoy this one, horses for helpers! Often assisted by mules around here.
http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16797coll28/id/304/rec/48

This is great, thanks for the link. Love the band!

Quote
Wow, finding myself more gobsmacked with every iteration...keep em comin '

Thanks, Bobby. Appreciate the encouragement.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Kadri on April 16, 2018, 12:13:10 AM

Sweet progress. Feels kinda like a miniature in this state :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on April 16, 2018, 12:40:36 AM
Your replica shown just upstream of the other one ....
http://images.indianahistory.org/cdm/singleitem/collection/p16797coll28/id/299/rec/1
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 16, 2018, 02:02:22 AM
Quote
Sweet progress. Feels kinda like a miniature in this state :)

Thanks, Kadri. Your comment is interesting because this is the first rendering I've done in this series with depth of field enabled, 50mm lens at f/8. The effect is subtle but might be contributing to the sense that it's a miniature. Probably should go with f/11 or f/16, which would be more appropriate for daylight photography.

Quote
Your replica shown just upstream of the other one ....

Hey, Luvs, if I understand you then this is a different sort of vessel. Packet boats were early to mid-19th century, I think. The lakeboat in my scene is based on larger boats that were common from 1880 to 1915 or so:

http://photo.libraryweb.org/rochimag/rmsc/scm08/scm08946.jpg (http://photo.libraryweb.org/rochimag/rmsc/scm08/scm08946.jpg)

Your packet boat photo is pretty cool though – interesting that they tried running a steam engine on it. A packet is definitely on my to-do list for the next scene, which will be set much earlier than this one.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on April 16, 2018, 04:10:49 PM
Thanks for looking at those. I just thought the Indiana packet boat hull looked similar to your model. I think reference date is 1872, so it is an older version. Your newer reference is certainly more modern and a very well done replica.

I thought like smaller fishing craft, maybe they came in sizes, like 10, 12, and 14 footers, haha. When does a boat graduate to a ship anyway? another haha.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 16, 2018, 07:44:36 PM
Quote
Thanks for looking at those. I just thought the Indiana packet boat hull looked similar to your model. I think reference date is 1872, so it is an older version. Your newer reference is certainly more modern and a very well done replica.

And thank you for the links. There definitely is a resemblance. So far I've learned the differences between packets, lakers, scows and tugs . . . but I'm sure there were others. Canal boat building must have been a big industry back then.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Kadri on April 17, 2018, 01:51:53 AM
... Your comment is interesting because this is the first rendering I've done in this series with depth of field enabled, 50mm lens at f/8. The effect is subtle but might be contributing to the sense that it's a miniature.
...

I wasn't aware of the DOF. Could be yes.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 19, 2018, 07:28:43 PM
Little more detail on the laker.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on April 19, 2018, 08:01:12 PM
Coming nicely together. Good job!!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on April 19, 2018, 08:41:53 PM
Impressive! You are doing great! I guess you know if you use the slider on the grayish slider for image textures you can darken or lighten image textures. Sometimes even a pale undercoat of a hue there does magic too.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on May 03, 2018, 02:11:40 AM
Quote
Sometimes even a pale undercoat of a hue there does magic too.

I like that idea and will definitely look into it. Thanks.

Lately I've been spending all my time either in research or in Maya working on models for the scene. In the first case, I think I finally have nailed down documentation for all of the details that need to be included. I have to say the hunt for information has been a lot of fun. For the second, work on the electric railway car is well under way. The truck is finished and ready for shading, but shading needs to wait for the rest of the car to be completed. I did a quick test to make sure the standard gauge truck fits on my standard gauge tracks . . . had to fix a small error but now it does.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on May 03, 2018, 02:15:26 AM
Little more detail on the laker.

(Attachment Link)

Wow this is looking so good. I do have a couple of suggestions here. I'm still just perplexed by stuff like this.

1) It looks like the wake flow should be translated forward of the boat at least a few feet so that first initial push of the water is setting in on the curve of the boat, which is actually pushing the water up.

2) An initial water break from the bow of the boat.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on May 03, 2018, 02:26:52 AM
Research is fun, especially when you can relate to topic. I get stuck looking at images and wander away ...but I have no deadlines ..
Looks like another winner. :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on May 03, 2018, 02:27:17 AM
Quote
1) It looks like the wake flow should be translated forward of the boat at least a few feet so that first initial push of the water is setting in on the curve of the boat, which is actually pushing the water up.

2) An initial water break from the bow of the boat.

Great suggestions, thanks. Added to my to-do list. The Kelvin wake pattern that I borrowed for this was generated from a single point, so the bow wave and break will have to be added by hand. Shouldn't be too hard, right?  :D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on May 03, 2018, 02:28:57 AM
Quote
1) It looks like the wake flow should be translated forward of the boat at least a few feet so that first initial push of the water is setting in on the curve of the boat, which is actually pushing the water up.

2) An initial water break from the bow of the boat.

Great suggestions, thanks. Added to my to-do list. The Kelvin wake pattern that I borrowed for this was generated from a single point, so the bow wave and break will have to be added by hand. Shouldn't be too hard, right?  :D

I can't imagine what all else goes into this scene considering what you've been describing.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on May 03, 2018, 02:29:17 AM
Thanks, Luvs. No deadlines here, either, at least on this project.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on May 03, 2018, 03:00:11 AM
Good looking truck so far.  You may want to check out Hannes Material set in File Sharing as he has some real time savers for metals for sure
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on May 03, 2018, 05:32:47 AM
Your skills are obvious. There's going to be an enormous amount of detail in your final setup. I imagine it's not meant to be for 'just' one final render? You could easily make an animation out of it.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on May 03, 2018, 06:50:38 AM
Great stuff!! Love that model.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on May 03, 2018, 07:26:13 PM
Thanks, archonforest. It's funny but I've wondered ever since I was little how these things worked. So I got to indulge myself here. The truck in the model is a Baldwin M.C.B. high-speed interurban type, powered by two GE-207 electric motors. Two trucks on the car means four 140 hp motors geared for speeds up to 80 mph. This was 1909. And we think light high-speed railways are something new!

Quote
There's going to be an enormous amount of detail in your final setup.

Maybe too much? We'll see . . . so far the larger models are averaging a million polys. I like modeling and tend to get carried away, but Terragen seems to be handling everything just fine. It just eats these big models for lunch.  :D

I appreciate the kind words, Ulco. Your panoramas have been a major inspiration. I don't see how this scene will approach the level of detail and sophistication that you manage to include in your scenes. But they certainly give me something to aspire to.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on May 04, 2018, 05:51:42 AM
Don't flatter me too much (or I'll get arrogant  ;)) I'm sure you'll pull off something terrific with this setup. And my modeling skills are at least very poor in relation to yours.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on May 04, 2018, 08:35:00 AM
This is going to be fantastic (it already is!!). Looking forward to the final.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on May 04, 2018, 03:56:25 PM
[quote (or I'll get arrogant  ;))
[/quote]

Not much chance of that. I've always found you to be a most modest genius no matter what we all say!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on May 04, 2018, 06:45:24 PM
Agreed.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on May 05, 2018, 09:41:47 AM
Yep! :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Kadri on May 05, 2018, 10:05:08 AM

Nice modeling.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 05, 2018, 02:15:45 PM
Haven't had much time to spend on this lately – life and paying jobs have been getting in the way – but the interurban passenger car model is finally done. Mapping UVs now in preparation for shading, but wanted to do a test to see how the curved surfaces render in Terragen.

I'm learning that Terragen's renderer is unforgiving when it comes to object meshes – much more so than mental ray or Arnold. They have to be just this side of perfect or you run into trouble. But if you give it a good mesh it will give you an amazing rendering.

One thing I've noticed in this one are some strange vertical striations in the shadow areas (front of the car).The shader assigned to the model now is a plain, 50 percent gray default shader, diffuse only, zero displacement. The striations appear to be following the UV map so it seems to be texture related. Have to investigate further.

I've decided to post regular updates about research and general progress on my blog, while continuing to post Terragen-related updates here. The blog is at dotsandlines.steveboerner.com. Please check it out! I need a few more visitors!  :D

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on June 05, 2018, 02:51:54 PM
Wow, you sir are an amazingly fine modeler. Best rail car I've seen bar none... As they seem to be electric have you figured out how to do the power lines?...just curious.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 05, 2018, 03:02:52 PM
Thanks, Bobby. I lucked out with references on this one. Found a complete set of plans plus several vintage photos of this car and others from the same shop order. It is a specific car that was used by this railway – each company seems to have ordered customized models from the manufacturers.

I don't think the trolley wires will be a problem. I have several photos of the area that show the pole locations, and have a terrain mesh – exported from Terragen – that I can use as a displacement guide in Maya. The plan is to model the poles and wires in Maya and place them as a single object in Terragen. The trick will be adjusting the car's trolley pole to align with the wire.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on June 05, 2018, 03:09:53 PM
The plan is to model the poles and wires in Maya and place them as a single object in Terragen. The trick will be adjusting the car's trolley pole to align with the wire.



It might be a good idea to have the trolley as a separate object sharing the same axis as the car so you can manipulate it in TG
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 05, 2018, 03:16:51 PM
Quote
It might be a good idea to have the trolley as a separate object sharing the same axis as the car so you can manipulate it in TG

Yes, that would save a lot of back and forth. Good idea, thanks.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on June 05, 2018, 03:27:31 PM
Great modeling work and a nice blog. Regarding the strange vertical striations (even if I don't see them in your posted image); it might be the GISD. Did you try rendering with GISD off?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on June 05, 2018, 03:40:47 PM
I have been wondering about this one. Again super!  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 05, 2018, 03:42:59 PM
Here's a detail of the rendering with contrast adjusted to make the striations more apparent. (They also show up in the highlights when those are adjusted.) I usually disable GISD but just checked and it was on this time. I'll try with it turned off.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 05, 2018, 03:50:26 PM
Quote
I have been wondering about this one. Again super!

Thanks! Still plugging away here.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Kadri on June 05, 2018, 04:35:36 PM

Nice work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 05, 2018, 05:57:05 PM
Here are the results with GISD disabled. Appears to have solved the problem. Thanks, Ulco. I would have never thought to check that.

[attach=1]


Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on June 05, 2018, 06:20:33 PM
Great looking model! 8)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on June 05, 2018, 08:23:16 PM
The striations appear to still be there to my eye, even without GISD. GISD just seemed to be making them higher contrast/more visible. You say there's no texture on this? Are you using Smooth Normals? Might be a Normals issue...

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on June 05, 2018, 08:23:39 PM
Wow, that Trolley is really well done, looks fanatastic. Reminds me of eating in the old trolly at the Old Speghetti Factory in Seattle when I was a kid. It was one of the original Seattle Trolleys from around the turn of the century, converted into a luxurious dining area haha I think they keep the tradition alive at the new locations and chain restaurants they're doing now, but not as good as the original converted one.

Those lines look like the geometry of the object, though, no? Being influenced by GISD and lighting?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 06, 2018, 02:29:51 PM
Quote
Reminds me of eating in the old trolly at the Old Speghetti Factory in Seattle when I was a kid.

I vaguely remember those, too. At least the old trolley cars were being used for something! Perhaps a better fate than this: http://www.nymtmuseum.org/NYMTPict1.php?Reqst=206.jpg;Trolley%20Car%20206 (http://www.nymtmuseum.org/NYMTPict1.php?Reqst=206.jpg;Trolley%20Car%20206). This is the last remaining car from the old Buffalo, Lockport and Rochester Railway, hopefully awaiting restoration.

Quote
Those lines look like the geometry of the object, though, no? Being influenced by GISD and lighting?

The lines don't seem to be related to the object mesh. They occur even in places, like window panes, that consist of single, large polys. More in next post.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 06, 2018, 02:45:38 PM
Quote
The striations appear to still be there to my eye, even without GISD. GISD just seemed to be making them higher contrast/more visible. You say there's no texture on this? Are you using Smooth Normals? Might be a Normals issue...

That's what I thought at first, too. But the striations don't seem to be related to the mesh. They are consistent over the entire area, regardless of poly size and flow. They may be related to the UVs, but I'm not sure about that yet. Smooth normals are enabled.

So, this is interesting. To isolate the problem I imported the trolley model into a new, default scene and set the lighting and model angle to match the main scene. Camera has same settings, too. GISD values are default but with Ambient Occlusion enabled:

[attachimg=1]

The faint pattern you see here is the underlying mesh. Since the final camera position will be much further away, I'm not concerned about this. But otherwise it's clean. There are no striations.

I copied the render node from this scene into the original scene – to make sure everything matches – and rendered again from a similar angle. GISD settings are identical:

[attachimg=2]

I may be missing something here (pretty likely), but if I'm not then the problem isn't with the render node. It's something else in the environment.

Unless the GISD radius has something to do with it. Is this value really measured in screen units, Oshyan? (It says pixels.) Not physical units like cm or meters? Maybe the radius is causing the occlusion to bounce off surfaces that exist in the main scene but not the empty one.

The marks can be reduced by setting GISD to Global Illumination and adjusting the occlusion weight, so honestly, I'm not too worried about this. Once the object displacement and textures are applied you probably won't see it. But I'm curious to know what's going on here.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: masonspappy on June 06, 2018, 04:06:38 PM
Beautiful modeling job!!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 06, 2018, 04:49:04 PM
Quote
Beautiful modeling job!!

Thanks – appreciate it.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: the first seer on June 06, 2018, 05:37:41 PM
great work :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on June 07, 2018, 05:05:43 AM
GISD is a screen-space effect so it is measured in Pixels.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on June 07, 2018, 05:40:24 AM
Curious. So (if you want to pursue this) what happens if you increase the spread of GISD, bigger than default 24? Or decrease it. It's in fact too irregular to have to do with polygons.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 07, 2018, 10:23:48 PM
Quote
GISD is a screen-space effect so it is measured in Pixels.

Thanks, Oshyan. I'm curious, though – what does it look for within the radius? Edges? (Why do I have this feeling that it's much more complicated than that.)

Quote
Curious. So (if you want to pursue this) what happens if you increase the spread of GISD, bigger than default 24? Or decrease it. It's in fact too irregular to have to do with polygons.

It took some experimenting but I was finally able to reproduce the effect in a new scene. I've started a new thread in the main discussion area (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,24586.0.html) since it seemed a little out of place here. (Increasing the radius makes it worse, btw.)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 07, 2018, 10:27:41 PM
Quote
great work :)

Thank you, Alois!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on June 08, 2018, 09:26:50 PM
It uses a depth map calculated from the render process, among other things. So it's not a simple 2D effect that looks at the image and does some "magic", it actually uses real data from the scene, but rather than calculating every light path, it performs a simpler 2D view-dependent process that simulates GI fairly effectively in much less time.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 08, 2018, 09:58:52 PM
Thanks for explaining that, Oshyan. Even with the little I know about the rendering process, that makes sense – it sounds similar to the way Maya used to calculate shadows, before raytracing became more practical. I can see how it would be faster here.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 20, 2018, 02:49:33 AM
So the interurban passenger car is completed and shaded. Some of the dirt and weathered surfaces need tweaks, but that can wait till the final scene is set up.

The trucks are shaded with a modified version of Hanne's rusted iron shader, and his brass shader is used for the grab bars and other metal trim. (Thank you for sharing, Hannes!) 

[attach=1]

Closeup of the truck.

[attach=3]

I don't remember the poly count but it is much higher than necessary. Once you start doing the research and modeling it can be hard to stop. Honestly I'm a little tired of looking at this – it's been more than two months and it's time to move on to the other models that will be needed for the scene. This and the bridge are the most complex, so I'm hoping that the rest will now go more quickly.

The remaining models include two more boats, several buildings, and infrastructure like utility poles and power lines.

This doesn't represent the final car position and angle, but shows its approximate size in the final scene.

[attach=2]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on June 20, 2018, 02:55:24 AM
Man this sort of stuff is just amazing, the amount of detail is great. I can't wait to see this with an atmospheric setup.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 20, 2018, 03:40:49 AM
Thanks. I'm really looking forward to finishing all of the models so I can focus on the native Terragen stuff, especially lighting and atmosphere.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Kadri on June 20, 2018, 03:53:17 AM

Very nice shading. Looks great.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on June 20, 2018, 05:10:27 AM
Terrific job! The amount of detail is indeed astonishing, and the shading of that car is beautiful.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: mhaze on June 20, 2018, 08:23:16 AM
Superb work!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on June 20, 2018, 08:25:28 AM
Stunning! :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on June 20, 2018, 08:39:10 AM
Echo the others! Superb work!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: ajcgi on June 20, 2018, 09:34:01 AM
Keep going! This is an excellent project!  ;D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on June 20, 2018, 01:17:10 PM
Looking grand! Successful modeling techniques and texture shader work for sure!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on June 20, 2018, 02:00:11 PM
Thank you, all. I appreciate the encouragement!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on June 21, 2018, 09:48:51 PM
WOW...nuff said as it's all been said B 4 and I agree.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on June 22, 2018, 05:36:33 PM
Wow! Great shading indeed!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on July 07, 2018, 02:23:15 PM
Wabash Erie Canal Days Festival July 7&8 Delphi IN  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on August 10, 2018, 03:51:04 PM
[attach=1]

Just a quick update. Spare time seems to be at a premium this summer (too many distractions between real work, the yard, and baseball) but this project has been proceeding in fits and starts.

Many changes since the last post. More contemporary (c. 1916) photographs have turned up and allowed me to nail down the location of buildings and the electric railway, which was in the wrong place before. It's been moved several meters south and a siding and passenger station have been added.

Poles and wires have been added for the railway. The tall power lines on the right side of the tracks carry 60kv AC power to substations (none in this scene), which in turn convert it to 600v DC and feed it into the conductor lines, on the left side of the tracks. These power the passenger cars via contact with the trolley pole and wheel. Other poles in the scene carry telegraph and telephone wires. No other power lines; this was before rural electrification.

All of the temporary trees have been removed to enable placement of the rail and power lines. The new buildings still need to be mapped and shaded. And a couple more need to be added. Once that's done I can start on final revisions to the terrain (there's some wonkiness going on in the left foreground) and adding vegetation. Looking forward to that!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on August 10, 2018, 04:07:37 PM
(Attachment Link)


 Looking forward to that!


As are we all...Impressive additions...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on August 10, 2018, 04:47:03 PM
Thanks, Bobby. I used the painted shader to tweak some of the displacements, the first time I've used it extensively. Really powerful tool, you can use it to make very precise adjustments. Unless I'm missing something, though, there's no way to make it respond to the pen pressure on my Wacom tablet. That would be really sweet.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on August 10, 2018, 05:08:27 PM
Thanks, Bobby. I used the painted shader to tweak some of the displacements, the first time I've used it extensively. Really powerful tool, you can use it to make very precise adjustments. Unless I'm missing something, though, there's no way to make it respond to the pen pressure on my Wacom tablet. That would be really sweet.


Yeah, as wacom user I always found that irritating...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on August 10, 2018, 05:11:40 PM
Good stuff ! :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on August 10, 2018, 09:37:21 PM
Thanks, Luvs. This has turned out to be a good project. I seem to remember reading somewhere on this forum that replicating an actual scene is the most difficult thing to do with Terragen. I'm not sure I agree – there are too many of examples of difficult (and beautiful) fictitious scenes posted here. But I would say that replicating a real scene forces you to a) do your homework, and b) insist that Terragen does exactly what you want. That second part is the kicker. :P But a good way to learn, at least for me.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: masonspappy on August 11, 2018, 05:15:16 AM
Those are some beautiful models!    Hope you get the time to complete this - can't wait to see what the final image will look like!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on August 13, 2018, 06:13:26 AM
(Attachment Link)
... The new buildings still need to be mapped and shaded. And a couple more need to be added. Once that's done I can start on final revisions to the terrain (there's some wonkiness going on in the left foreground) and adding vegetation. Looking forward to that!

Impessive and beautiful so far! Courious how it will look in the next iteration ... so: Looking forward to that, too! :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 03, 2018, 04:54:04 PM
[attach=1]

Good progress over the past few weeks. Buildings are placed and shaded, railway positions corrected, utility poles and rail fences placed. There are more models to build but first I wanted to get all the foliage placed. Working on treelines now, with more diversity and ground cover to be added. Great fun to be working in TG and SpeedTree now instead of modeling. Needed a break from that.

Matching the historical foliage is interesting because so much of the area was clearcut in 1916. We often don't appreciate how much second-growth forest has been restored to the U.S. northeast over the past hundred years. I've decided to sacrifice a little accuracy for esthetics here, and will include more trees than were actually present.

Beginning to settle on a camera angle and time of day, which is now set at daybreak on September 24, 1916. Thinking about including a low layer of ground fog as a final touch, but that's a few weeks away.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 03, 2018, 05:35:35 PM
Stunning progress. As you say you're still tweaking the ground cover might I suggest trying adding the stones preset as a child to your ground as the I'm guessing, fakestones you have look rather uniform in size and distribution and the stones preset is a network of 3 sizes nicely distributed and easily tweaked. I use it as a stones starter often.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: masonspappy on September 03, 2018, 05:40:46 PM
Wow! That is coming along very nicely!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 03, 2018, 06:15:38 PM
Quote
As you say you're still tweaking the ground cover might I suggest trying adding the stones preset as a child to your ground as the I'm guessing, fakestones you have look rather uniform in size and distribution and the stones preset is a network of 3 sizes nicely distributed and easily tweaked.

Thanks, Bobby. And yup, those rocks definitely need some TLC. I'll look into that preset. Is this the one you mean? https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=21511.0 (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=21511.0)

Quote
Wow! That is coming along very nicely!

Thank you! Inch by inch . . .
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 03, 2018, 07:59:44 PM
Quote
As you say you're still tweaking the ground cover might I suggest trying adding the stones preset as a child to your ground as the I'm guessing, fakestones you have look rather uniform in size and distribution and the stones preset is a network of 3 sizes nicely distributed and easily tweaked.

Thanks, Bobby. And yup, those rocks definitely need some TLC. I'll look into that preset. Is this the one you mean? https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=21511.0 (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php?topic=21511.0)


no, that's a for sale item from Luc, the one I men is in a preset package available from the page you get Terragen along with the free trees and a file of simple objects.

it's here:
https://planetside.co.uk/free-downloads/
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 03, 2018, 08:00:30 PM
lots of stuff in there that I continue to learn from
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 04, 2018, 02:47:49 AM
Quote
no, that's a for sale item from Luc, the one I men is in a preset package available from the page you get Terragen along with the free trees and a file of simple objects.

Thanks for the reminder, Bobby. I think I downloaded those presets once upon a time and poked around, then (as these things go) got busy and forgot all about them. I'll take another look.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 04, 2018, 02:57:40 AM
Quote
no, that's a for sale item from Luc, the one I men is in a preset package available from the page you get Terragen along with the free trees and a file of simple objects.

Thanks for the reminder, Bobby. I think I downloaded those presets once upon a time and poked around, then (as these things go) got busy and forgot all about them. I'll take another look.


for me as a pretty much full red green colour blind afflictee I find them indispensible. Till that pack happened I'd been relying highly on image maps but the presets give me accurate starting points and things for me turn out better.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on September 04, 2018, 05:37:03 AM
It all fits very well together. Really fine work, Steve! And I see you've already got the hang of Speedtree too.
I have a small suggestion regarding the waves on the canal. You may consider concentrating those on the central part, as the banks often shield the water from wind. We have a river at 300m from here and I often notice how smooth the shore areas are, while central river is more choppy. But it's really minor.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 04, 2018, 05:54:09 AM
Really impressive progress and a marvelous view so far! I love watching this project growing, all the details and the realism!

Please be careful with the planned fog - It could destroy the mood and the fascination of the picture if it's used to obtrusively. I think it will be a masterpiece if there are not too much clouds or things like this distracting from all the lovely details.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 04, 2018, 02:36:22 PM
Quote
I have a small suggestion regarding the waves on the canal. You may consider concentrating those on the central part, as the banks often shield the water from wind.

Thanks, Ulco. There was something bothering me about the water surface, and that might be it. I'll give it a try.

I'm finding SpeedTree to be very intuitive and quick. It's really good at mimicking natural growth patterns. I've been taking lots of tree photos to use as references, building up a library of leaf and bark textures in the process. Interesting and good fun.

Quote
Please be careful with the planned fog - It could destroy the mood and the fascination of the picture if it's used to obtrusively.

That's good advice, Nils. I was thinking of a shallow, light layer of vapor just over the canal . . . though I don't want to lose the reflections. So it might be too much.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 09, 2018, 05:26:06 PM
So I did a little investigation and learned that, in fact, the waves on the canal do extend from berm to berm.

[attach=1]

At least in this section, where the canal is on a steady east-west course and the prevailing winds are out of the west. But, this just goes to show that you shouldn't take anything for granted and that you should check every detail. Thank you for raising the question, Ulco.

New rendering with tweaks to haze and bluesky densities. More of a painterly early morning look, I think, which is what I'm aiming for here. Comments? Water surface is now a reflective shader which cuts the rendering time by more than half – necessary now because the times are becoming much more significant. Surface needs work.

[attach=2]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 09, 2018, 05:29:16 PM
Gobsmacked by this iteration man...mind completely blown!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 09, 2018, 05:43:07 PM
Thanks Bobby. I've been looking at this for far too long, so I'm mostly seeing things that need to be added or fixed. Several more weeks to go I think. But at least things are starting to add up.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on September 09, 2018, 06:36:02 PM
So great watching this growing!
Looks already so good that I'd like to visit that place :)

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on September 10, 2018, 06:57:17 AM
There's so much detail in this work that you could easily render and print it very large for a museum. What's your purpose anyway, private goal, commission?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: mhaze on September 10, 2018, 08:08:36 AM
Brilliant work!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on September 10, 2018, 11:38:02 AM
Another WOW! Atmosphere so perfect, love this image!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 10, 2018, 04:51:24 PM
Quote
There's so much detail in this work that you could easily render and print it very large for a museum. What's your purpose anyway, private goal, commission?

The inspiration was the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, which is taking place now. The anniversary of the opening is 2025. The idea was to do a series of landscapes showing different parts of the canal at various moments in time, from the days of the packet boat through the second enlargement in the early 20th century. No commission so this is being done privately and with no firm plans yet as to what to do with the images. But first I wanted a good proof-of-concept to shop around to see if anyone's interested. I may get posters printed at my own expense to sell locally, but we'll see.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 10, 2018, 05:09:25 PM
Quote
There's so much detail in this work that you could easily render and print it very large for a museum. What's your purpose anyway, private goal, commission?

The inspiration was the bicentennial of the Erie Canal, which is taking place now. The anniversary of the opening is 2025. The idea was to do a series of landscapes showing different parts of the canal at various moments in time, from the days of the packet boat through the second enlargement in the early 20th century. No commission so this is being done privately and with no firm plans yet as to what to do with the images. But first I wanted a good proof-of-concept to shop around to see if anyone's interested. I may get posters printed at my own expense to sell locally, but we'll see.


I'd buy a poster for sure.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DannyG on September 11, 2018, 12:18:51 AM
Lots to look at for sure. Excellent light and details. Congrats
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on September 11, 2018, 05:20:31 AM
Thanks for explaining, Steve. You still have years.... a setup like yours is worth exhibiting big in a local museum, or made into VR setup for some company. Time enough to shop around indeed.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 11, 2018, 06:38:00 PM
The plan was to complete at least two of these each year. Research took more time than expected, and the work itself has been slow going. But the experience should help me work more efficiently next time and I'll have a collection of models and other assets to build on. Honestly though monetizing this isn't my top priority. It's just a such a pleasure to be working on this kind of project. Despite the gaps and inaccuracies (there will always be some despite one's best efforts) it's pretty cool to be able to bring a scene from the past back to life. Terragen is perfect for this.

And thanks to all (again!) for all the encouragement.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on September 12, 2018, 05:43:34 AM
I agree not everything needs to be monetized (new word for me), but it's worth showing to the (local) public anyway, one way or another!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on September 12, 2018, 11:53:33 AM
The plan was to complete at least two of these each year. Research took more time than expected, and the work itself has been slow going. But the experience should help me work more efficiently next time and I'll have a collection of models and other assets to build on. Honestly though monetizing this isn't my top priority. It's just a such a pleasure to be working on this kind of project. Despite the gaps and inaccuracies (there will always be some despite one's best efforts) it's pretty cool to be able to bring a scene from the past back to life. Terragen is perfect for this.

And thanks to all (again!) for all the encouragement.


Art for Art's Sake is often the most rewarding way to go forward....but money comes in soooo handy
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on September 12, 2018, 02:43:24 PM
That it does.  :D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: the first seer on September 18, 2018, 06:39:28 PM
Great work!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 07, 2018, 08:24:01 PM
A quick test of some new foliage. Been spending the past few weeks making models of trees and wildflowers native to this region and appropriate to early fall. This was the first chance I had to blend a few of them in a single scene. In the process I learned the advantages of using .tgo files, especially with assets like these that will be used over multiple projects. Some extra work upfront but worth it.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on October 07, 2018, 10:24:21 PM
Oh wow, this is *gorgeous*! The variation in the plant distribution is very realistic to my eye, as is the coloration overall. I only wonder if the fuchsia flowers need a little something to make them more realistic. They are perhaps too uniformly bright? Maybe darken or desaturate *very* slightly, then add a bit of soft specular, and maybe play with the translucency a little? I know it's hard to nail this stuff, it's so close already...

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 08, 2018, 01:41:53 AM
Thanks, Oshyan. Beginner's luck, I guess. I especially appreciate the feedback and agree with your comments on the fuchsia flowers (New England asters). The stems and leaves seem oversaturated to me as well as the flowers. I've been using a translucency setting of 0.35 or 0.4 for leaves and flowers across the board, and 0.2 specular with an IOR of 1.0 and roughness set to 0.35. I'll try to tone the asters down a bit.

Any thoughts on render settings? I have detail set to 0.7 and AA to 6.0. GISD is enabled for global illumination but all of the other settings (I believe) are left at the defaults.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on October 08, 2018, 01:48:19 AM
A quick test of some new foliage. Been spending the past few weeks making models of trees and wildflowers native to this region and appropriate to early fall. This was the first chance I had to blend a few of them in a single scene. In the process I learned the advantages of using .tgo files, especially with assets like these that will be used over multiple projects. Some extra work upfront but worth it.

(Attachment Link)

Well done and I'll defer to oshyan's colour comments as I'm colourblind but I don't know if you know this but TG likes all assets to be in the same dir as the geometry so I often save all scene models to the same dir and copy their textures there as well.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 08, 2018, 02:32:42 AM
Thanks, Bobby. That's something I learned the hard way some time ago. I try to remember to copy all related assets to the new directory when saving a .tgo file. Fortunately Terragen is very good about flagging missing pieces and helpful when it comes to tracking them down.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on October 08, 2018, 06:05:16 AM
Wonderful test, Steve. You got the hang of ST real quick.
You could try adding an empty surface layer after the default flower node, pull another line to a desaturation node plugged in as child, add a PF and a transform shader set to world as mask for the desaturation node and/or the surface layer. If desaturation node is not masked by PF + transform let it have a constant white.
These settings look okay to me, maybe a bit more translucency, but that wouldn't do much I think, as seen here from above without much light passing through. Did you lower opacity?
Detail setting can be lower, as there's not ground visible.
Oh, and textures for tgo"s don't need to be all in the same folder, as long as they stay where they are.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on October 08, 2018, 12:35:04 PM
Not only a builder, but a naturalist as well, excellent stuff!  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 08, 2018, 03:16:38 PM
Quote
You could try adding an empty surface layer after the default flower node, pull another line to a desaturation node plugged in as child, add a PF and a transform shader set to world as mask for the desaturation node and/or the surface layer. If desaturation node is not masked by PF + transform let it have a constant white.

This is exactly what was needed here. Thanks so much for sharing – I can see where this technique can be applied to many situations, not only foliage. I took some green out of the leaves and reduced the opacity of the blooms slightly.

[attach=2]

Quote
You got the hang of ST real quick.

ST has a short but intense learning curve. I've been pretty much living there for the past few weeks. But holy cow you can make anything.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on October 08, 2018, 03:24:42 PM
  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on October 08, 2018, 03:32:28 PM
Quote
You could try adding an empty surface layer after the default flower node, pull another line to a desaturation node plugged in as child, add a PF and a transform shader set to world as mask for the desaturation node and/or the surface layer. If desaturation node is not masked by PF + transform let it have a constant white.

This is exactly what was needed here. Thanks so much for sharing – I can see where this technique can be applied to many situations, not only foliage. I took some green out of the leaves and reduced the opacity of the blooms slightly.

(Attachment Link)

Quote
You got the hang of ST real quick.

ST has a short but intense learning curve. I've been pretty much living there for the past few weeks. But holy cow you can make anything.


This as I've noted before, the very best and most helpful forum I've ever learned anything from...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 08, 2018, 07:14:20 PM
Quote
This as I've noted before, the very best and most helpful forum I've ever learned anything from...

Couldn't agree more.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on October 08, 2018, 09:08:28 PM
Hard to do a fully direct comparison as the render size is not the same, but the foliage adjustment definitely seems to be an improvement. The flower change is more subtle, but definitely not a bad thing, an improvement if anything. Might still need a tad more toning down, but of course it's tough to balance as many of these kinds of flowers *are* quite bright - almost unnatural seeming - even in real life.

As for detail, AA6 seems fine, as Ulco said it's the terrain (MPD) detail that's not necessary here since almost all the terrain is completely covered by plants (which are ray-traced and thus not affected by MPD but by AA for quality). MPD of 0.5 is probably fine in this case and should save you a little render time.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 08, 2018, 10:11:05 PM
Whoops – I should have checked the image size before uploading the second one. I've gone back and updated the posted image so the dimensions are now the same. There's a slight difference in overall density as I'm just eyeballing the conversion from 32 bit.

Took another look at my reference images and I believe you're right – the blossoms need to be more pale and less saturated. We'll give it another go.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on October 08, 2018, 10:19:43 PM
Ah yes. I can see it was already a notable improvement though. :)

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 09, 2018, 05:21:16 PM
OK, I think this one's getting very close. I went back to the original aster models and tweaked the materials and displacements. Overall they blend in much better. If anything the saturation might be bumped back up ever so slightly, but I'm leaving it here for now. Thank you, Oshyan and Ulco, for the feedback and suggestions. This is much improved over the first render.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on October 09, 2018, 05:25:09 PM
I agree to much improved and I'd leave the asters as they are as they seem to blend in nicely as in real life.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 09, 2018, 05:29:41 PM
Thanks, Bobby. They're very "showy" flowers, so it's good to get them right.

Have to say I never paid much attention to wildflowers before. Much more tuned in now after spending a few weeks trying to identify them. Amazing how quickly they come and go. Quite a show here from late August through the end of September.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on October 09, 2018, 06:38:11 PM
Thanks, Bobby. They're very "showy" flowers, so it's good to get them right.

Have to say I never paid much attention to wildflowers before. Much more tuned in now after spending a few weeks trying to identify them. Amazing how quickly they come and go. Quite a show here from late August through the end of September.


for sure, kinda blink, and y miss a whole species heh heh heh
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on October 09, 2018, 08:01:06 PM
Very rich and natural distributions, I like it. These are rendered with path tracing? I don't think I need comparisons when it comes to my attention to detail. Shadows in TG have always been a nitpick for me.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 09, 2018, 08:53:32 PM
Thanks. No path tracing here, I'm still using TG 4.1. (Is the path tracer available for the Mac?)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on October 09, 2018, 09:12:36 PM
Thanks. No path tracing here, I'm still using TG 4.1. (Is the path tracer available for the Mac?)

Oh really? Are you using post processing? Definitely much darker shadows than TG creates under sunlight.

And I'm not sure if Frontier is on Mac or not.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 09, 2018, 09:44:31 PM
I render everything to 32 bit and do as much image correction there before converting down to 16 or 8 bit. I just like the room it provides when adjusting highlights and shadows. In this case it's a pretty straightforward conversion – as straight as Photoshop's HDR Toning panel allows – and the shadows are boosted slightly (lighter) than they are in the original.

They are still a little dark, I think, but maybe that should be fixed in the render. I tend to slightly underexpose my renderings, so maybe it's a lighting issue. GISD (global illumination) is also enabled. Let me try a couple things.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: WASasquatch on October 09, 2018, 10:11:24 PM
I render everything to 32 bit and do as much image correction there before converting down to 16 or 8 bit. I just like the room it provides when adjusting highlights and shadows. In this case it's a pretty straightforward conversion – as straight as Photoshop's HDR Toning panel allows – and the shadows are boosted slightly (lighter) than they are in the original.

They are still a little dark, I think, but maybe that should be fixed in the render. I tend to slightly underexpose my renderings, so maybe it's a lighting issue. GISD (global illumination) is also enabled. Let me try a couple things.

In general, I think it looks nice, very realistic. The Photoshop HDR does well with shadows as it brings out some of the dark values over lighter ones.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on October 09, 2018, 10:32:05 PM
OK, good. I did check the exposure and it looked fine, and GISD definitely enhances the shadow detail. So perhaps tweaking those settings might improve things. But I'll trust your eye on this.

Definitely looking forward to path tracing.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 16, 2018, 12:56:24 PM
Latest iteration. Foliage is in place and surface details finished, aside from a few inevitable tweaks. Just need to add a few more models and clouds, and make final adjustments to lighting and atmosphere.

This is beginning to look like the final camera angle. I'll know once everything is in place.

[attach=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 16, 2018, 01:12:36 PM
Oh my, this has turned out more real than almost any CG I've ever seen...extremely well done mate...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on November 16, 2018, 01:23:35 PM
This is a very well done render! Great job everywhere.
There is only one thing calling my attention and it is the ship. When I looking at it it looks like a model without textures as the whole thing is overall one grayish color. I think IMHO some colors would help there. Perhaps flags on the ship?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 16, 2018, 01:31:14 PM
Terrific work. I can't wait to see this a little bigger, if you ever plan to post such.

Perhaps some bushes/shrub up against the sheds, some dirt and crates and general (railway) stuff lying around? But you may have thought of that already.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 16, 2018, 02:58:40 PM
Quote
Oh my, this has turned out more real than almost any CG I've ever seen...extremely well done mate...

Thanks, Bobby. I want this to be as photorealistic as possible, and as the renderings get larger I'll probably add more detail in the surface displacements, etc. It's getting to the point where rendering times might be an issue, though.

Quote
There is only one thing calling my attention and it is the ship. When I looking at it it looks like a model without textures as the whole thing is overall one grayish color. I think IMHO some colors would help there. Perhaps flags on the ship?

That's a fair comment, but I'm pretty sure this is a fairly accurate depiction. The names on the sterns were usually painted with colorful scrollwork (not visible in this scene) but otherwise these unpowered barges were strictly utilitarian, pretty drab and poorly maintained. Here's a closer rendering from earlier in the project.

[attachimg=1]

Part of the problem is that all the historical source images are black and white, so it's hard to know what colors they were painted. Modern-day replicas and models generally depict them as being whitewashed. But you've made me curious so I'll dig some more.

There are two more barges to add and a steamer. (The steamer to push one barge and tow two in line.) Maybe I'll give the steamer a flag! Why not? :D

Quote
Perhaps some bushes/shrub up against the sheds, some dirt and crates and general (railway) stuff lying around? But you may have thought of that already.

Yeah, there's going to be barrels and crates stacked in the terminal area in the lower right, maybe some abandoned railway or farm equipment. Plus (getting ambitious here) a horse-drawn wagon loaded with produce (large fruit warehouse nearby) and several human figures, people waiting for the trolley, etc. At the rate this is going that means several weeks of modeling yet, but the end is in sight.

The great thing is I'm building up hours of experience and good collections of clip files, foliage, buildings and other assets. The next scene should go much faster. (That interurban passenger car is going to see some use again, too. Too much time spent on that to use once and file away.)

Edit: I'll post higher resolution renderings as soon as I can get them done.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 16, 2018, 03:04:46 PM
Great to see the ship up close as well. May I add another idea; make a wet waterline on the ship, a bit darker, perhaps dirty green from algae, and a bit of (RT) reflection. Easy to add in the object with a distribution/surface shader (use Y) under the default shader for the hull.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on November 16, 2018, 03:16:48 PM
Wow! That looks unbelievable real  -  and beautiful! Great work!
I like Ulcos idea with the waterline on the ship.. will you give it a try?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 16, 2018, 03:17:05 PM
Good thought. Duly noted and added to my to-do list.

It's been several months since I've looked at this model, so the entire shading network will probably get updated anyway.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 16, 2018, 03:20:12 PM
Only RT reflection under water will increase rendertime, so I always add another layer for the actual reflection with a minimum altitude (water), as child of the max altitude surface/distri layer with the darkening stuff.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on November 16, 2018, 03:27:38 PM
WOW I just love the details of the ship on the close up render. Stunning work man!
I agree with Dune about the water line. That is a great idea. Otherwise if you need help with cpu power for rendering I might able to help. Got 2 ice-cold hexacore Xeon here doing nothing.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 16, 2018, 04:10:03 PM
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Only RT reflection under water will increase rendertime, so I always add another layer for the actual reflection with a minimum altitude (water), as child of the max altitude surface/distri layer with the darkening stuff.

Yes, I can see how that would help. Thanks much for the tip – let me give it a try.

Quote
I agree with Dune about the water line. That is a great idea. Otherwise if you need help with cpu power for rendering I might able to help. Got 2 ice-cold hexacore Xeon here doing nothing.

Thanks! I appreciate the offer. I think I'm OK. I'm at 3-4 hours for a 1920x1080 rendering, which seems reasonable given the scene. MPD=7.5 and AA=12.0. Most everything else left at default. Render times increase geometrically with larger sizes, though I think I can reduce MPD and maybe AA to compensate.

For larger renders of this type of scene, what kind of range for these values should I be looking at?

Past time here to add a second machine for rendering.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Kadri on November 16, 2018, 05:22:25 PM

Very nice work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on November 17, 2018, 05:00:17 AM
Given how much of the ground is covered by vegetation, which are ray-traced anyway, I'd reduce MPD. 0.6 is probably fine.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 17, 2018, 06:01:45 AM
Yes, for my big renders I standardly use 0.6 and AA6. Usually they end up on walls or big panels, so either needn't be much bigger, as resolution isn't higher then 100dpi, and for the biggest walls even 50dpi. I don't think AA of 12 would make much difference on that low resolution, and if people stand away a bit anyway.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 17, 2018, 04:26:08 PM
Thanks Oshyan, Dune. I appreciate your guidance here. I had to increase the AA on the small renderings (1920 wide) to avoid noticeable aliasing on the gently curved utility pole wires. I suspected that I would be able to reduce that as well as the MPD as the size of the renderings increase. I'll run some test strips with the lower values.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on November 17, 2018, 10:21:12 PM
Yeah, that's a bit of a unique case, very fine lines are hard to anti-alias. I wonder if the new adaptive anti-aliasing options (New Curve and Robust Sampling) would help there. You can test lower AA with Max Samples in a crop of the utility pole wires to see what the *minimum* AA level is for smooth lines there. Then at higher levels if you use adaptivity (e.g. 1/64 first samples), it's just up to the adaptive sampling system to make correct choices for how to assign samples there.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 18, 2018, 03:04:18 PM
Quote
Quote
Only RT reflection under water will increase rendertime, so I always add another layer for the actual reflection with a minimum altitude (water), as child of the max altitude surface/distri layer with the darkening stuff.

Yes, I can see how that would help. Thanks much for the tip – let me give it a try.

After I replied to this it occurred to me that the canal surface does not use a water shader. It's just a surface layer with a reflective shader in the node tree. There is no transparency. The minimal amount of transparency that I was getting with a water shader didn't seem worth the additional (and substantial) render time. So this suggestion is moot here? If so I'll file it away and will definitely use it on future projects.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 18, 2018, 03:12:26 PM
Here are two high-resolution test strips, each 3840x432 pixels. I can see a few details now that need to be fixed. MPD=0.6 and AA=8. The wires look perfectly fine to me. But there's a noticeable moirι in the foreshortened vertical slats on the interurban car, so I assume AA will have to be increased to fix this. I'll run some more tests on this area.

Running a much higher resolution test strip at full poster-size resolution, 9000x1000 pixels. That should be ready by this evening.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 18, 2018, 03:16:40 PM
Quote
Yeah, that's a bit of a unique case, very fine lines are hard to anti-alias. I wonder if the new adaptive anti-aliasing options (New Curve and Robust Sampling) would help there. You can test lower AA with Max Samples in a crop of the utility pole wires to see what the *minimum* AA level is for smooth lines there. Then at higher levels if you use adaptivity (e.g. 1/64 first samples), it's just up to the adaptive sampling system to make correct choices for how to assign samples there.

Upgrading my maintenance plan soon so I can run TG 4.3. Looking forward to trying this.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 18, 2018, 03:48:20 PM
That should make a difference with the(I've yet to experience)Path Tracing....
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on November 18, 2018, 04:03:05 PM
i love the high res render. the amount of details are just awesome!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on November 18, 2018, 04:30:08 PM
Truly amazing!! The lighting looks so beautiful. It's quite difficult when the sun is more or less behind the camera, but you did a great job here. And the details are fantastic!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 19, 2018, 05:57:19 AM
Awesome detail! Everything comes out very nicely. I don't think you need to bother about the RT reflection 'under' water indeed. But I'd check anyway. Most important issue is the highlights that may occur under the waterlevel, but likely there are not parts that would make them in this setup.
May I make a few more suggestions; dirty up the poles, especially the lower end, where they sink into ground. Rain splattered dirt/mud againts them and such. Same goes for the buildings at front. If the poles are a pop, it's easy, if it's all individual it's more work, if it's one object, well easy too.
And I would give the plant objects alongside the road just a tiny tilt of 3Ί or so. They have some kind of evenness to them (but this is really nitpicking).
And perhaps roughen up the stretched lines on the dirtroad a bit more, some bigger, some smaller?
And a last thing (sorry); give the waves a bit more variation, like wind patches. They seem very even.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 19, 2018, 01:25:04 PM
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Truly amazing!! The lighting looks so beautiful. It's quite difficult when the sun is more or less behind the camera, but you did a great job here. And the details are fantastic!

Thank you, Hannes. The light has been a challenge from the start, because I want to use a legitimate angle. (It would be much easier if I could just put the sun wherever I liked.) The time frame is very narrow, early fall between 1914 and 1917. At the moment the angle is set for 6:45 a.m., September 24, 1915. The light seems a bit harsh to me now, but there will be scattered cloud cover that should soften it.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 19, 2018, 01:34:52 PM
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May I make a few more suggestions; dirty up the poles, especially the lower end, where they sink into ground. Rain splattered dirt/mud againts them and such. Same goes for the buildings at front. If the poles are a pop, it's easy, if it's all individual it's more work, if it's one object, well easy too.
And I would give the plant objects alongside the road just a tiny tilt of 3Ί or so. They have some kind of evenness to them (but this is really nitpicking).
And perhaps roughen up the stretched lines on the dirtroad a bit more, some bigger, some smaller?
And a last thing (sorry); give the waves a bit more variation, like wind patches. They seem very even.

These are all great suggestions, thank you. I've added them to my running list of things to fix. I also want to fix the diffuse shader on the railroad ties – it repeats and creates a pattern when the ties are foreshortened. Add flashing and soot stains to the post office chimney. And dirty up the interurban car's windows – they are far too clean. Detail work like this is easy and kind of fun, and the cumulative effect makes a huge difference.

I've run into a snag with the print resolution test strip. The renderer was chugging right along but hit a small area about 75 percent of the way through that stopped it dead in its tracks. I need to investigate the surface shaders of that area to see what's holding things up.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on November 19, 2018, 08:58:22 PM
Such "hang ups" are most often due either to very rough/extreme displacement, reflectivity with ray-trace enabled, or both (the worst :D ).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 19, 2018, 09:44:20 PM
Yup, going through a process of elimination and testing displacement just now. I think that is the culprit. There are vertical pits displaced beneath each of the bridge piers, right where the render was hanging. If that's what it is I should be able to dial those back.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on November 20, 2018, 04:24:31 AM
mhh… something wrong with the internet or the forum? I can't load the picture. I'll try it later again… so curious!

At the moment I only get this:


[attachimg=1]
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on November 20, 2018, 05:10:49 AM
They take a minute, they're quite wide, but they do load. If you specify them in a different way than "attach=1" it might work better.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 20, 2018, 03:33:54 PM
Quote
mhh… something wrong with the internet or the forum? I can't load the picture. I'll try it later again… so curious!

Quote
They take a minute, they're quite wide, but they do load. If you specify them in a different way than "attach=1" it might work better.

Sorry about the file problems. I've resaved them at a lower quality setting to reduce the sizes and reattached them to the original post above as end-of-post attachments. Oshyan, if the sizes of these large images present any problems at all, please let me know and I will host them on my server and post links here instead.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 20, 2018, 03:39:16 PM
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Such "hang ups" are most often due either to very rough/extreme displacement, reflectivity with ray-trace enabled, or both (the worst :D ).

It was the displacement. I cleaned it up and the small patch that was hanging now renders in a few minutes. Life is good.  :)

I haven't done any side-by-side comparisons yet, but rendering with "Defer all shading" seems significantly faster. Here are two chunks from the print-scale test strip. "Robust adaptive sampler" was also enabled. MPD=0.6, AA=6.

These should be the last large attachments for a while. I'll try not to make a habit of posting these.  :D

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 20, 2018, 03:39:40 PM
I wonder if they post if you rotate them 90Ί  ;) In answer to the previous post, that is...

Incredible detail! Even all the bolts on the bridge. What a lot of work you put into this, fantastic!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 20, 2018, 03:43:15 PM
That might work. Let's see if the new attachments give anyone problems. I've learned to avoid very wide attachments, anyway.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 20, 2018, 03:48:54 PM
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Incredible detail! Even all the bolts on the bridge. What a lot of work you put into this, fantastic!

Thanks! That kind of detail can make a difference, even when it's hovering on the edge of perception. If you can't see the details themselves, they always cast shadows.

Edit: I'm so impressed with the renderer's ability to handle all this data. There are gigabytes and gigabytes of meshes and surface textures in this scene, in addition to all the fractal displacements and color. If you use a little common sense it just chugs along and renders whatever you give it with no complaints. Hats off to Matt and the other people at Planetside.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 20, 2018, 03:55:59 PM
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Incredible detail! Even all the bolts on the bridge. What a lot of work you put into this, fantastic!

Thanks! That kind of detail can make a difference, even when it's hovering on the edge of perception. If you can't see the details themselves, they always cast shadows.


Now lets hear a hip hip hooray for TG's polygon handling ability. This scene would jam up in many programs...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 20, 2018, 03:57:27 PM
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Now lets hear a hip hip hooray for TG's polygon handling ability. This scene would jam up in many programs...

See my edit to the post above. Looks like our thoughts crossed each other!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 20, 2018, 09:41:14 PM
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Now lets hear a hip hip hooray for TG's polygon handling ability. This scene would jam up in many programs...

See my edit to the post above. Looks like our thoughts crossed each other!

noted...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 21, 2018, 05:49:49 AM
Echo echo!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 21, 2018, 02:39:58 PM
Echo echo!

Well you should know for sure given the massive scenes you make and use Z Brush as well which is a poly intensive app for sure.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on November 22, 2018, 07:42:53 AM
Really fantastic details! Tried to count the bolts of the bridge - gave up ;)
I love this project! Great work!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 22, 2018, 02:34:36 PM
! Tried to count the bolts of the bridge - gave up ;)


you too heh heh, I tried as well
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Jo Kariboo on November 27, 2018, 03:29:58 AM
Congratulations, it's a very well done and impressive project!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 29, 2018, 04:28:24 PM
Thanks, Jo.

I had a bit of a scare earlier this week. The working file stopped . . . working. My worst nightmare. I spent a day tearing the scene down, trying to find the culprit, but it didn't seem to be anything in particular. Once it reached a certain level of development, it would crash TG on open. No delay, no warning.

Ended the day feeling very disheartened. (There goes a year's work. Oh, well.  :() But the next morning something told me to check out the painted shaders. There were several in the scene. A forum search turned up several references to painted shaders causing problems similar to mine. Turns out they are best used in moderation. So I spent a couple of hours converting them to images, and the scene is now up and running again.

I keep daily backups, so in the end just lost a couple of hours' work.

New rendering of reconstructed scene with a few more details and an early cloud test. Altocumulus Castellanus, out of the box. They have a nice effect on the foreground-background contrast of the lighting, which is now very close to where I want it.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: otakar on November 29, 2018, 04:34:00 PM
Wow, what a tour de force! Glad you found the issue. What are you planning on doing with the final render? Is this a commercial project?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on November 30, 2018, 05:47:44 AM
Oh, that must have been horrifying. But how did you find the culprit when TG crashed every time? You checked the tgd itself in a text editor? That's something I'm always afraid of when going on and on adding stuff, but it never happened so far.

One (last) question/remark; do the barrels have metal rings? They look so bland (if that's the right word). Maybe also dirty them up....

The whole image is absolutely a masterpiece, I certainly hope to see it in great detail one day (even with the watermark, which I well understand).
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on November 30, 2018, 01:18:07 PM
Some minutes ago I watched "Mission Impossible - Fallout"   ---   But the story about your crashes scared me a lot more!
Happy to hear you found the solution!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on November 30, 2018, 02:03:25 PM
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Oh, that must have been horrifying. But how did you find the culprit when TG crashed every time? You checked the tgd itself in a text editor?

I opened the file in Oxygen (an XML editor) and did side-by-side comparisons with earlier versions to see what might be going on. But I didn't try to make any changes. The solution was simpler – I keep a folder of daily backups and kept backing up until I found a file that opened. Since it was a holiday week here I hadn't been making many changes, so even though I had to go back 3-4 days I didn't lose much work.

The final clue was "good" files would often go bad when they were resaved with a "Save as." There was mention of this in one of the forum posts. This happened even when no changes were made before resaving.

Once I had a good file I stripped everything out except the painted shader nodes and used an orthographic camera to convert them into images. Then I opened the good file again and replaced the painted shader nodes with the image maps. (The resulting file was 70 percent smaller!)

Painted shader nodes are great for tweaking displacements, but from now on I'll use them more sparingly and not at all for color masks.

Quote
Some minutes ago I watched "Mission Impossible - Fallout"   ---   But the story about your crashes scared me a lot more!

Yeah, the part that worried me was that I'd hit some kind of wall – memory limitation or something – that would prevent further work on the project. It was pretty discouraging at first.

Quote
Wow, what a tour de force! Glad you found the issue. What are you planning on doing with the final render? Is this a commercial project?

Thank you! My plan is to use this as a proof of concept for a series of historical illustrations. I hope it becomes a commercial project.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on November 30, 2018, 02:24:46 PM
Whew...I know that feeling. And thanks for the reminder that Painted shaders  are convertible and much smaller size as such. I don't use them as much as I used to but may change my process given your success when I do.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on December 01, 2018, 05:57:13 AM
Thanks for explaining, Steve. Sweaty, tense work, I can imagine, not very nice. I'm sure you can get good commissions out of this, seeing the amount of dedication and eye for detail. Hat off!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on December 01, 2018, 12:25:00 PM
Thanks, Ulco. There's no way this project would have gotten off the ground without this forum. The suggestions and guidance you and others have provided have been a tremendous help. The project has become a graduate-level course in Terragen . . . soaking it up and taking notes . . .
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on December 29, 2018, 04:47:07 PM
New update. The fleet is finished and in place, three unrigged boats and a steamer to provide propulsion. The steamer is based on an actual boat that worked on the canal from 1883 to 1919. Also a small flock of Canada geese heading south for the winter.

Just a few more models to go. A few days ago I learned that the original lyrics to the song were "15 years on the Erie Canal." At the rate this project is going, that perhaps would be a more appropriate title for this thread!  :P

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on December 29, 2018, 05:58:19 PM
Fascinating! 8)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on December 29, 2018, 09:08:09 PM
Nice update! It's definitely coming together now, getting close eh?

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on December 29, 2018, 09:17:13 PM
Better and better with every update...keep em coming .
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on December 30, 2018, 06:13:36 AM
Fantastic again! This is going to be really awesome and worth a huge museum backdrop. The goose is really good too; did you make it yourself?
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on December 30, 2018, 05:32:50 PM
Thanks all. Only a few models left. I can nearly see the light at the end of the tunnel and have started planning the next landscape, which in some ways will be simpler than this one.

That's my Canada goose model. The mesh took just a couple of hours but then I spent much of the next day working on the texture. Tried painting it by hand but I'm no artist. :P  After a couple of false starts I ended up piecing it together from parts of licensed stock images.

I don't have much experience with modeling and rigging organic shapes and have decided that it's time to change that.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on December 30, 2018, 05:46:09 PM
Thanks all. Only a few models left. I can nearly see the light at the end of the tunnel and have started planning the next landscape, which in some ways will be simpler than this one.

That's my Canada goose model. The mesh took just a couple of hours but then I spent much of the next day working on the texture. Tried painting it by hand but I'm no artist. :P  After a couple of false starts I ended up piecing it together from parts of licensed stock images.

I don't have much experience with modeling and rigging organic shapes and have decided that it's time to change that.


you could convert that Canada Goose to a Golden Goose by selling it at Danny's NWDA...just a thought.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on December 30, 2018, 06:13:52 PM
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you could convert that Canada Goose to a Golden Goose by selling it at Danny's NWDA...just a thought.

Thanks, Bobby. I appreciate that you think it might be worthy of NWDA. But the stock-image textures would present a licensing issue, even though they've been modified beyond recognition.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on December 30, 2018, 07:26:44 PM
Quote
you could convert that Canada Goose to a Golden Goose by selling it at Danny's NWDA...just a thought.

Thanks, Bobby. I appreciate that you think it might be worthy of NWDA. But the stock-image textures would present a licensing issue, even though they've been modified beyond recognition.


Riiiight, I wasn't paying attention to that bit.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on December 30, 2018, 07:39:05 PM
These are great additions. Brings in fact more live there!
Love the picture more and more :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on December 31, 2018, 06:42:03 AM
You're a terrrific modeler. Birds and animals are hard to do if you don't have a bit of insight in their anatomy and behavior. But texturing is indeed the most time-consuming part. I may have to do some species of ducks in various postures, but I'm not looking forward to it   ::)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on December 31, 2018, 03:09:30 PM
You're a terrrific modeler. Birds and animals are hard to do if you don't have a bit of insight in their anatomy and behavior. But texturing is indeed the most time-consuming part. I may have to do some species of ducks in various postures, but I'm not looking forward to it   ::)

It's really too bad there isn't a Poser or DAZ for Fauna instead of the dress up dolls they currently market...That'd be really handy.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on January 01, 2019, 03:10:54 PM
Thanks, Ulco. So much of modeling involves reflex and muscle memory . . . after several years it is finally becoming second nature so I can perhaps try some things that I've avoided so far. I'm collecting art and anatomical references for humans and animals and hoping that I can learn enough to make good models. Anyway it's interesting to learn.

You have a background in biology as well as visual arts, correct? A useful combination.

Quote
It's really too bad there isn't a Poser or DAZ for Fauna instead of the dress up dolls they currently market...That'd be really handy.

That would be handy, agreed.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on January 01, 2019, 03:17:50 PM


Quote
It's really too bad there isn't a Poser of DAZ for Fauna instead of the dress up dolls they currently market...That'd be really handy.

That would be handy, agreed.

I really should look before I leap, DAZ has multiple (6) pages of models

https://www.daz3d.com/animals
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on January 30, 2019, 04:32:27 PM
Model of Studebaker farm wagon, c. 1910. This is probably the last artifact for the scene. Just need to add horses, a driver and some produce. That and a few more human figures and we can call this done. My insistence on creating all original models is stretching this out beyond all reason . . . but I'm learning a lot and bottom line, it's been fun.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on January 30, 2019, 05:14:28 PM
Model of Studebaker farm wagon, c. 1910. This is probably the last artifact for the scene. Just need to add horses, a driver and some produce. That and a few more human figures and we can call this done. My insistence on creating all original models is stretching this out beyond all reason . . . but I'm learning a lot and bottom line, it's been fun.



I hear the 'beyond all reason' bit...when I moved home to do 'Mom Care' to keep her in her home I had a lot of free time and was just learning modeling so I measured and modeled every feature of this 1905 bungalo. Mom used to chuckle every time I came up from the basement to measure and sketch something else. Did it inside and out and it only took a year heh heh heh...went out the window in my first computer in a burglary some time ago and I've naught but a very basic frame and basement ...maybe I'll do that up again...it was a lot of fun I agree
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on January 30, 2019, 05:41:20 PM
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I hear the 'beyond all reason' bit...when I moved home to do 'Mom Care' to keep her in her home I had a lot of free time and was just learning modeling so I measured and modeled every feature of this 1905 bungalo. Mom used to chuckle every time I came up from the basement to measure and sketch something else. Did it inside and out and it only took a year heh heh heh...went out the window in my first computer in a burglary some time ago and I've naught but a very basic frame and basement ...maybe I'll do that up again...it was a lot of fun I agree

Yeah once you get started it can be hard to stop. You just keep drilling down and adding more detail. So sorry that you lost all of that work!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on January 31, 2019, 06:42:01 AM
Hell of a wagon, Steve!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on January 31, 2019, 03:08:12 PM
Thanks. I was lucky to find a set of hand-drawn scale drawings of a Studebaker farm wagon that someone made and put online almost 20 years ago. Amazing what people make available, and what you can find if you look hard enough. The diagrams showed only the running gear (wheel assemblies). The box and seat are based on photos.

I've always wondered why wagons from this era had cambered wheels. I think the answer is because they are "dished" to increase strength and prevent warping, and then tilted out to keep the lower spoke perpendicular to the ground. It's interesting, what you can learn.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: masonspappy on January 31, 2019, 05:39:06 PM
Quote

Yeah once you get started it can be hard to stop. You just keep drilling down and adding more detail. ...

The more you model, the more tricks and techniques you learn. and the more tricks and techniques you learn the more intricate your models can be.
Very cool model!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on February 01, 2019, 05:42:37 AM
Oh yes! A pleasure to see a bit of the "making of" the Studebaker :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on February 01, 2019, 05:47:20 AM
Echo. Thanks for showing your workfile.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 03, 2019, 06:55:00 PM
No problem! I know this is a Terragen forum, but these models will be placed in a TG scene, so what the hey . . .

Never modeled a four-legged creature before. Here is the horse model after a few hours' work. Right now I'm focused on rerouting edges so the underlying muscle groups will seem natural. Very much a work in progress. Many shapes and proportions not quite right yet. Modeling is being done in Silo, a really lightweight and fast character modeling app.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: cocateho26 on February 03, 2019, 11:20:52 PM
Wow, this project is coming along really well! The model work is awesome as well as scene composition and attention to detail.

The one thing that detracts for me is the color scheme of the trees. There is a sameness to some of the tree models that make them stand out as being too alike, kind of contrasts with the attention to smaller details. I've got a couple simple files I use for color variation, all you have to do in plug them into the color function and tweak to your liking.

All in all an awesome scene!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 04, 2019, 12:22:40 AM
Hello, cocateho26. Thank you for the kind words and also for sharing the clip files.

I'm aware the there is a sameness to the colors of the trees (actually, very subtle differences ;)). But the colors are based on observation. The date of the scene is September 24, 1915. In this area (the scene is in my neighborhood) the trees don't really start to turn until the first week of October, and they peak two or three weeks later.

I did experiment with more vivid colors (see some of the earlier renderings in this thread), thinking I could cheat a bit. But as last fall came and went I realized that it was more important to be authentic.

I wanted the low morning light and also wildflowers. Sept. 24 seemed a good compromise. It's more late summer than fall and several varieties of wildflowers are still in bloom. They soon disappear. So the choice being more colorful trees or wildflowers, I went with the wildflowers.

There will be more scenes in this series and I want to do at least one at peak leaf season. So stay tuned!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 07, 2019, 04:31:05 PM
Little more detail (and a head).

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 07, 2019, 04:34:32 PM
Little more detail (and a head).



lookin good!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 07, 2019, 06:01:08 PM
Thanks. I'm just grateful at this point that it looks more like a horse than a giraffe or a goat!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 07, 2019, 08:12:25 PM
Thanks. I'm just grateful at this point that it looks more like a horse than a giraffe or a goat!

LOL
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on February 08, 2019, 05:51:05 AM
Very handy to work with these photo's as backdrop, you got the shapes really perfect. Seems like you built it up poly by poly (from the hooves up?), whereas I start with a cube and pull stuff out of that for the first crude shape.
Texturing will be a challenge!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 08, 2019, 02:58:25 PM
I usually start with primitive shapes, too – cubes or cylinders. This was a cube, several iterations ago. I haven't done a lot of modeling of natural shapes, so this is a nice change of pace. It's a completely different way of modeling than say, making a bridge or a wagon. We'll see how the details go . . . it just has to look convincing from a distance. You're right about the texturing – that will be a challenge since my painting skills aren't all that great.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: luvsmuzik on February 13, 2019, 01:43:30 PM
Great start! Is this mesh mirrored and bridged to connect? I had a freebie model, but some flaws with hip connections so animating and texturing were really a bummer. I forget, is the tack on the wagon, or are you gonna add to horse? This is where being able to position neck and head with bones comes in.....(always something, isn't there?) I am sure you will perfect it however you do this.  :)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: mhaze on February 13, 2019, 02:38:43 PM
This just gets better and better! Very impressive work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 13, 2019, 03:24:13 PM
Quote
I forget, is the tack on the wagon, or are you gonna add to horse? This is where being able to position neck and head with bones comes in.....(always something, isn't there?)

That's the next step. I'm thinking that part of the harness will be attached to the model (straps and belly band) and the rest (traces, reins) will be added when they (there will be two horses) are combined with the wagon. Working from old photos and figuring it out as I go.

The base horse model is finished for now. Main mesh was made with Silo, mane and tail added in Maya. Besides the harness it still needs to be rigged and shaded.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on February 14, 2019, 06:24:11 AM
That's a great horse! But somehow it seems there's something off at the lower feet. The lowest joints should maybe moved a bit down or altered, or the angle changed. It's worth to perfect this!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on February 14, 2019, 07:02:58 AM
wow Dune. you got eagle eyes for sure to spot this. :D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on February 14, 2019, 02:06:05 PM
wow Dune. you got eagle eyes for sure to spot this. :D

actually Dune just groks proportion...I noticed that as well...looked a bit off and would have done a comparison except was beat to it. should be a dawdle to move those joints down a bit from the wire view.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 15, 2019, 02:58:02 PM
Thanks, Ulco. Glad you mentioned this. I'd hoped to make any necessary updates by now but have been pulled away on a deadline project. I'll look into it and post an updated rendering soon. Fortunately the UVs haven't been mapped yet, so this is a good time to make fixes.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 19, 2019, 02:00:08 AM
Well, I started fixing the lower legs and one thing led to another . . . tweaks to hooves, front leg joints, chest, neck and head. I'm seeing one or two details that might need further adjustments but I'm otherwise ready to call this done. I made a turntable video and wonder if I could post it here. (.mov file, about 1 MB. Rather not link to an external source for something this trivial.) In the meantime here are four frames that show it from various angles. No mane or tail – those will be redone. Then on to the harness and shading.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on February 19, 2019, 05:57:49 AM
Wonderful. I think it's perfect now. Great job. Btw. you can post a few movietypes: mp4, mov, avi, flv.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: mhaze on February 19, 2019, 11:40:49 AM
Superb Model!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on February 19, 2019, 03:16:18 PM
Thanks! It's pretty close. He's a little thin for a draft horse, but maybe he can be bulked up a bit. I know I'll see other things during rigging and shading. Next one will be better.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 03, 2019, 05:09:50 PM
Horse No. 1, posed and harnessed and ready to go. Working on his partner now.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: mhaze on March 03, 2019, 05:21:01 PM
Brilliant modelling!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 03, 2019, 05:22:10 PM
Horse No. 1, posed and harnessed and ready to go. Working on his partner now.

well from a mainly inorganic modeler's PoV...WOW....
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 03, 2019, 05:37:43 PM
Thanks! The coat needs to be a little more reflective . . . I added a fine-grain displacement to simulate the hair and that seems to be interfering with the specularity. Have to experiment with that balance. (The models will be in the middle distance in the scene, so maybe no displacement is needed.)
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on March 04, 2019, 05:39:39 AM
So great work!
Good luck with the reflections.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 04, 2019, 05:40:59 AM
Very fine modeling indeed. Great work. Good enough to sell on its own. For mid distance I wouldn't bother with bump. It's luckily not a wild or Shetland horse with a rough hairy coat. Some PF across its coat may be nice to give some variation (in both texture and shine). And some dirt on the feet and hooves...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 05, 2019, 07:18:46 PM
Wagon and horse assembly, with a load of fresh apples. Only lacking a driver now.

Quote
Some PF across its coat may be nice to give some variation (in both texture and shine). And some dirt on the feet and hooves...

Once it's placed in the scene I'll experiment with this. Maybe a surface layer or distribution shader to add dirt to lower legs and wagon wheels. Good suggestions, thanks.

Quote
So great work!
Good luck with the reflections.

Thank you! I think the reflections looks pretty good now and balance the surface texture. Another thing to fine-tune once it's in place with the real lighting and environment.

Funny how these individual models take on lives of their own. This will be small detail in the overall scene. But this one's an investment in future scenes, because I know I'll be using it again. (Plus it's fun.)

Edited to add the photo.  :P
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on March 05, 2019, 08:18:45 PM
Looks fantastic! Awesome model.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 05, 2019, 09:06:00 PM
Looks fantastic! Awesome model.


echo
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on March 06, 2019, 05:20:30 AM
I can only admire! Cool!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 06, 2019, 05:51:41 AM
Your skills are obvious. Terrific work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 06, 2019, 04:38:56 PM
Thanks, Ulco. Modeling seems to come naturally to some people but it certainly doesn't for me. I'm not an artist by training and that's probably a prerequisite for anyone who aspires to be a really good modeler.

Anyone interested in organic modeling should take a look at Silo. I can't recommend it enough. It's lightweight, fast, and focused exclusively on subdivision modeling. And it's relatively inexpensive. Its sculpting and UV tools are rudimentary but you can move the model into ZBrush or another app to finish up.

As far as Terragen goes everything I've learned is because of the good people at Planetside and everyone on this forum. Such a great community. I've learned so much over the past year and am eager to start on more scenes to put that knowledge to work.

Edit: New avatar, Doc? Nice!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 07, 2019, 04:23:56 PM
New POV. The scene was getting cluttered and that was bothering me. This angle is cleaner and puts the bridge front and center where it belongs. A better composition, I think. Need to fix parts of the scene that were not visible before and add a few details (leaves on the water etc.) and people.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 08, 2019, 12:56:37 AM
I agree with this PoV...love the way it shows the wake.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on March 08, 2019, 04:19:27 AM
Though I like the original POV too, this one is even more impressive!

...New Avatar? - No - an old one I modified with grey hair and grey beard for more realism ;D
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 08, 2019, 05:42:42 AM
I agree, this POV has more power (though I too liked the other one), but if all modeling is finished, you can render every POV you like.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 08, 2019, 02:29:44 PM
Very true, of course! But I am thinking about turning this into a printed piece, so will have to choose eventually.

Quote
I agree with this PoV...love the way it shows the wake.

Thanks, Bobby. May reduce the displacement on those a bit. The boats are going just 3-4 mph.

Quote
...New Avatar? - No - an old one I modified with grey hair and grey beard for more realism ;D

 :D

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 08, 2019, 09:17:20 PM
A new wrinkle . . .

I've been using a reflective shader for the surface, not a water shader, because it shaves off rendering time and with low camera angles it looked OK. But now the high camera angle means that the water surface should be partially transparent in the foreground where the angle is greatest.

No problem using a water shader instead, except the path tracer doesn't yet support it. I know we've been warned about using the path tracer for production but now that I've been using it I don't want to give it up for this scene. The quality difference for foliage, objects, and shadows is just too great.

What to do? Have to think on this.

With partial opacity applied to the water surface it might be possible to fake it. But AFAIK opacity is either on or off, nothing in between.

Maybe two renderings (path traced and standard) could be composited in post. :P

Open to suggestions here . . .
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 09, 2019, 06:05:39 AM
The latter is the easiest; just a crop front water render and some fiddling with color matching in PS. Otherwise you could transport the land colors through an 'adjust saturation' node to a surface shader (where you input in color tab and you can adjust the color darkness) before the reflective.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 09, 2019, 01:38:23 PM
Ahh, OK. Thanks Ulco. Your second suggestion might be more practical with shallow bodies of water where the bottom is mostly visible. Filing this away for future use . . .

I was able to extract an accurate mask by assigning a luminosity value of 1 to the water surface and rendering out an emission render layer. Once the two renderings (standard and PT) are done I can make a test composite. Don't see any reason why this wouldn't work.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: archonforest on March 09, 2019, 02:53:20 PM
Love the new POV a lot!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 10, 2019, 08:32:13 PM
Quote
Love the new POV a lot!

Great, thanks! I think I'll probably go with it.

Here's a composite image with the standard renderer for the foreground canal surface and PT for everything else. Water shader reflectivity settings need to be tweaked but it looks like this approach will work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 11, 2019, 01:28:38 AM
That's working...well sussed out man.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on March 11, 2019, 06:33:29 AM
Good combination! Seems to work.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on March 11, 2019, 07:12:29 AM
Smart idea, and I have to keep that in mind.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 11, 2019, 02:18:17 PM
Thanks. The purist in me wants to do everything in one go in Terragen, but sometimes it's best to take the path of least resistance.

Appreciate everyone's patience with this slow, incremental project. It's nearly finished, I promise!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Oshyan on March 12, 2019, 07:56:48 PM
I too love the new PoV! There's a fantastic sense of scale and distance, and the different elements of the scene are better separated and highlighted, while remaining cohesive and natural.

As far as the issue with PT and water transparency, that will be fixed in 4.4. So unless you're planning to render and print really soon, I wouldn't spend too much time trying to resolve it through other means. By the time you're ready for final render I reckon 4.4 will probably be out and you'll be able to do it all in one go *and* probably have better results (the path traced transparency and refraction ought to work a bit better than the current effects do).

- Oshyan
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on March 12, 2019, 08:33:46 PM
Hooray! That's terrific news, Oshyan. I was hoping that might be the case but decided not to ask. Don't want to seem too impatient. :D

Thanks for the feedback on the POV. Glad you like it.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on March 13, 2019, 02:38:33 PM
Thanks. The purist in me wants to do everything in one go in Terragen, but sometimes it's best to take the path of least resistance.

Appreciate everyone's patience with this slow, incremental project. It's nearly finished, I promise!

Patience be damned,it's more anticipation of what you'll do next keeps me coming back...
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 16, 2019, 04:05:10 PM
Beginning to populate the scene with a few human figures, starting with the teamster. This was my first complete human model and wow, what a learning experience. The base mesh was easy but adding clothing and rigging were other matters entirely. I tip my hat to all those production riggers whose credits you see at the end of feature films. Not an easy skill to master.

Texture detail is low-level but this model will be a very small detail in the final scene. All in all I'm very happy to be done with this wagon assembly.

Also attaching a workspace view of the base mesh.

Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: bobbystahr on April 16, 2019, 07:06:20 PM
looking really good. Have you ever seen this program?
http://www.makehumancommunity.org/
looks really interesting and if my workstation ever works again I'm getting it for sure.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Hannes on April 16, 2019, 07:59:08 PM
Fantastic models, Steve! Looking forward to see them in your scene!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 16, 2019, 09:40:46 PM
Thanks Bobby, Hannes.

I've used MakeHuman for some previous non-Terragen projects. It's a lot of fun to play with. My recollection is that it generates a basic rig along with the mesh but you have to do the skinning. That may have changed since I haven't used it for a while.

My plan is to put together a custom assortment of base meshes that can be easily adapted for different body types, etc. Hope it works out because I'm going to need something approaching an army for the next scene . . .
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: Dune on April 17, 2019, 06:38:48 AM
Good job, Steve. Have you tried DAZ. It's not perfect, but probably good enough for your distant figures. Easy to get some postures, even premade. Textured too.
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: DocCharly65 on April 17, 2019, 02:24:43 PM
Really nice models!
Title: Re: 15 miles on the Erie Canal
Post by: sboerner on April 17, 2019, 03:01:41 PM
Thanks Ulco and Doc.

Quote
Have you tried DAZ. It's not perfect, but probably good enough for your distant figures. Easy to get some postures, even premade. Textured too.

I appreciate the suggestion, Ulco. I probably would do that if this were a deadline project or something for a client. I may still do so if I can't make enough figures with the kind of quality that the scene needs. But learning how to model, rig and texture human figures has been a long-term goal of mine. I've never had a need before, so this gives me an excuse.

Here's the lift bridge tender. Same mesh, different outfit. This will probably be it for this fellow in this scene.