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General => Image Sharing => Topic started by: Dune on September 06, 2019, 01:31:29 am

Title: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 06, 2019, 01:31:29 am
This will be for the same book, hence the black line. I don't know what to think of it, so I'd like some comments. Iron Age travellers, carrying new planks to repair the pathway that leads from dry ground through/over an enormous blanket bog. These bogs filled dips in the terrain with growing peat moss, dying off in the acidic depths, and growing several to tenths of meters high, like enormous sponges. Treacherous going. Several of these pathways have been unearthed in Holland and Germany.
I'm not sure if I like the cloud, e.g, making it too 'busy'. What do you think is missing or too much?
Two color versions too, between which it is hard for me to choose.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: N-drju on September 06, 2019, 01:51:59 am
Not bad at all I would say. But you know it yourself!

What struck me at first glance were the tree tops, which look, kind of, as they were repeating themselves. Not sure if this is model's or populator's fault, but you could consider reseeding:

treetops.png

And you might be right about the cloud in the background. My call - delete it, and exchange it for a wall of fog for... mystery. 8)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 06, 2019, 02:08:21 am
Thanks man. Yes, I know it is nice, but it can be better ;)  Good ideas. The first iterations I did didn't have any cloud and where very clean, which I liked. I also considered a very brooding dark sky, and some rays of sun poking through hitting the frontal area only.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: N-drju on September 06, 2019, 02:22:47 am
Hmm... Kind of hard to tell outright, but somehow I don't see this render having an ominous sky. The amount of light is just about right.

By the way, where's the sun in terms of heading / angle?
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: René on September 06, 2019, 04:37:27 am
The clouds don't bother me at all. All in all, I think it's a good illustration. As far as the colour variation is concerned: the readers will not be able to see the two versions anyway, but if I had to choose I would go for the more bluish version; it looks fresher.
If I had to comment on anything at all, it would be that I find the foreground very dark, but that could of course be due to my screen. I don't know how good the quality of the printing and paper is, but sometimes dark areas can get clogged up or show less variation in hues in print.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: mhaze on September 06, 2019, 04:56:15 am
I too find it dark.  I like the clouds but would like to see a moody version. Otherwise great work as ever.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 06, 2019, 05:55:25 am
Another iteration running, with dense fog and no clouds. So far it looks nicer. Increased sun strength to 10 (sun at just 50º east of north - which is where you look at - and 7º high). Increased fog glow to 2 and light propagation to 3, mix at 1.
I know about dark areas clogging up in print, so I'm very careful about that. Too dark, maybe increasing exposure will help. More GI just flattened shadows.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Tangled-Universe on September 06, 2019, 07:39:00 am
I'm with René, I like the blue'ish version better too.
I think the clouds are actually pretty good. The cloud layer perhaps has a bit too much presence, hence you like your version with haze only better already.
Perhaps you could push back that cloud layer and have it fade into the haze slightly, so that it looks more like it's at the horizon due to it's distance?
I do like the shapes, I wouldn't let go of it easily.
The cloud itself could use better render settings though.

I envy you're so prolific with TG, it's insane :)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 06, 2019, 09:12:58 am
Thanks Martin. Well, it's my dayjob, so I spend a lot of time in TG.
Here's a few more. I tend to go for the foggy one, as the whole is busy enough as it is. And I like the lightness of the sky. Pushing back clouds into mist, however, is something I like. Ryan Archer had a render ages ago where that was really beautiful, still have it in my head.
I need to get rid of the grain in these. I used defer all, AA6, first sample 1/256, robust. I'm still not very good at these technical settings, but I guess the original 1/16 would have been better. I don't want huge render times, as it will be rendered at 6600x3300 and reduced in size in book, so I must find a good compromise.
Further comments are always welcome!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: KlausK on September 06, 2019, 10:54:43 am
Hi Ulco, beautyful scenery you set up here!
I liked the clouds I must admit, but the foggy versions are very nice too.

My favourite version here is "HG_vng_test-10.jpg".
Mainly because I can see farther into the mist in the background.
The puddles and treestumps which are faintly to be seen back there make it a vaster deeper landscape.
And the colours almost feel like the dutch brown paintings of the great masters back then.

The groundcoverage in the foreground has less contrast which I think is good.

The yellowish tone overall pulls the elements of the scene together in a nice way.

The reflections in the puddle at front left were very sharp and dark in test-11. They are gone now which I think is better.

The highlighted farmer close to the cattle is a well placed eyecatcher in my view. A nice way of leading the viewers vision along the track.

I could imagine one or two persons or another cattle left of the first (left most) woman.
Or maybe a child at her hand.

The 3-5 trees (or what is left of them) makes this part of the scenery quite busy.
Maybe try with one or two of them gone for good?

The treestump ensemble on the right page in the middle left is quite busy too and the overlaps are not ideal I think.
And I wonder if they all would stand so straight up in the bog still. Composition wise it is fitting very well, though.
That`s it for now, I think. In any case wonderful work!

CHeers, Klaus

ps: attached are a few pictures of Storemossen in South Sweden.
I was there a few times hiking and it is actually the kind of landscape you are depicting here.
If vegetation there fits the timescope and the area of your illustration I could not say, of course.

The thing you first notice are the strong winds you encounter once you leave the woods and come onto the open plains.
That is why the trees do not grow very high, more like tall bushes. And the farther you are away from the edge of the trees
the more they are crouching and winding trying to grow in height.

Perhaps there is something in there which gives you an idea or two.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: N-drju on September 06, 2019, 11:51:56 am
That's a really good development. By adding more fog you also increased the amount of propagated light, automatically brightening the image up!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Ariel DK on September 06, 2019, 12:06:21 pm
Hi Ulco
In my opinion, the "autotoned" version is more nice to my eyes, especially because you get a good vanishing point in the image, that conduce the view through all the scene. you lost that sense of deep in the foggy version, but you gained more shine in the foreground, which is nice, especially in "test_11". my final advice if you don't want to add anything more to the scene: find an equilibrium between "Hg_vnwg_test-8_autotoned" and "Hg_vnwg_test-11", that would be perfect...
Cheers
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: dorianvan on September 06, 2019, 06:19:13 pm
Of the last three, I think the first (smaller) is best because the fog is not too dense and it is overall warmer image. Well done, but take a look at this image and it may help tweak yours to something even better.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Oshyan on September 06, 2019, 10:36:17 pm
I definitely like the misty version!

For render optimization, try reverting to the defaults for your given AA level, 1/256 is better with higher AA (e.g. 8 and above). So basically just uncheck "Customize". Then if there is noise in your clouds, specifically, if they are v3 clouds then try increasing Voxel Scatter Quality in the GI settings first, to 200 for example. Or if they are v2 clouds, increase Quality, but ideally not above 1. If that doesn't address the noise, try reducing the Pixel Noise threshold.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 07, 2019, 01:38:15 am
Thanks guys! I really appreciate the feedback. Here's another version. No color adjustments (yet), but I think finally I will do that to bring out more of the blues, but not too much. I also need some more ground cover in the front, especially at 6600x3300px. Small plants. And some of the grasses grow through the pathway, which I have to address. Less stumps was a good idea.
I rendered with MPD5 and AA6 in defer all mode, and robust sampling, but I'll uncheck customize and check out what happens. I found that defer all is sometimes very fast. Even for me  :P it's sometimes hard to find good equilibrium between speed and quality.
The low mist sample is great, but I'd like to keep the view over the ground. Maybe locally.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: masonspappy on September 07, 2019, 01:53:16 pm
Nice one! Looks the the guy on the right is trying to explain to the other dude how the cart landed in the bog. :)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: KlausK on September 07, 2019, 04:16:53 pm
I`d be quite happy with the changes if I were your client 8)
One thing at first glance: the child being completely in the shadow is almost black.
The calf is not so noticable even though it would be nice if the head got some more light too.
But I`d have a look at the position of the child once more.

CHeers, Klaus
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 08, 2019, 01:48:33 am
Thanks guys. I've already changed that child, as it struck me too. And there were grasses through the pathway and a branch in front, and they obstructed a clear view of calf and kid. I added some very low cranberrieplants, and increased number of branches of the internal grass. I'm also working on the guy that tried to get to his cart (but failed) :P
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: luvsmuzik on September 08, 2019, 04:52:03 am
Big Like this subject! ;D
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: otakar on September 09, 2019, 01:40:21 pm
Man, that's amazing. The atmosphere is perfect to me. I don't think I'd want to walk out on these planks, though. Looks way too precarious. There are some barren areas in the foreground. If it's mud, maybe a smoother wetter look would be beneficial. Just a thought.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 10, 2019, 02:33:55 am
Thanks. Some of the front barren areas have been overgrown in the meantime, but I guess an RT reflection may give it all an even wetter look than the now non-RT reflections of the mud. Only flattened parts of the mud have RT reflection to create puddles. The few pools (fractal warped SSS's) have been flattened from the total bulging blanketbog, and brought up again to a certain waterlevel.
I also made new cottongrass (Eriophorum angustifolium) and Narthecium ossifragum (bone breaker!).
Only thing that still needs change are the spoked wheels; they weren't introduced until the Romans came. And maybe I'll try some RT reflection on the mud too.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 03:17:44 am
Getting there. But I wonder - how did you get the 10 sun power value and still keep the entire image nicely lit without a "nuclear light" effect? I never even go above 5 fearing that it might be too bright. :o
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 10, 2019, 04:44:17 am
I don't know actually, just tried it and it worked nicely. I wanted that sky to light up. Maybe upping sunpower isn't a lineair increase?
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 10, 2019, 11:27:53 am
Tested with a decreased amount of RT reflectivity on the mud. Pretty nice, I guess. Wetter than without RT. Took longer of course, but I still think I can render the whole 6600x3300px in 8 hours or so.
I may even through a PF at it to get some dryer patches and some wetter.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 11:47:32 am
Wow! Good idea with the reflection settings, I love it. However, I'd drop the "dry PF" idea altogether. I think the dry - wet balance is already taken care of by the wet mud vs. puddles of water and it's all that's really needed.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Hannes on September 11, 2019, 09:46:18 am
Quote from: N-drju on September 10, 2019, 11:47:32 amI think the dry - wet balance is already taken care of by the wet mud vs. puddles of water and it's all that's really needed.
I agree, but who knows? Maybe it's an improvement, maybe not...

But imho you could add some irregularity to the reflections of the pools. They look a bit too perfect, like a mirror.

All in all a fantastic image!!!!!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 19, 2019, 03:33:19 am
The whole render is finished and off to the client. This is a small crop of it, but I really like the light.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Hannes on September 19, 2019, 04:02:48 am
Beautiful!!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: CredePendrel on September 19, 2019, 08:40:30 am
Agreed! The lighting in this shot is great! Very cool atmosphere.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: luvsmuzik on September 19, 2019, 10:53:53 am
Fantastic!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: j meyer on September 19, 2019, 12:46:24 pm
Mysteriously misty. ;)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: bobbystahr on September 19, 2019, 01:13:39 pm
Gorgeous lighting and over all image...just what we've come to expect from you sir! Very painterly.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: masonspappy on September 19, 2019, 11:42:17 pm
Wow that is nice!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Oshyan on September 20, 2019, 12:48:31 am
Indeed, lovely light. Very painterly.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: otakar on September 20, 2019, 05:02:56 pm
Oh you changed it from the last version, too bad you can't show the whole thing finished. It's very nice.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 21, 2019, 02:06:50 am
I can, but with watermark, and not the entire 6600px.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: luvsmuzik on September 21, 2019, 08:39:31 am
good grief child, I had not visited your gallery recently.......BRAVO!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: mhaze on September 21, 2019, 10:27:00 am
Just seen the final - beautiful!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: zaxxon on September 21, 2019, 11:44:59 am
The lighting is superb! Worthy of a Dutch Master.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 24, 2019, 06:34:19 am
Thanks guys. Here's the final (though reduced and with watermark). Client was happy :)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: bobbystahr on September 24, 2019, 11:21:25 am
A masterful work as always Ulco...it shows often that you were first a painter in your excellent composition sense. Thanks for sharing this with us mere amateurs
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: otakar on September 24, 2019, 11:24:34 am
Thanks for posting. Why is it so noisy though? Something happened when downsampling?
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 24, 2019, 11:32:02 am
Noisy? You mean the white dots below? They are cottongrass  ;)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: René on September 24, 2019, 01:48:07 pm
Beautiful with that golden light!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Oshyan on September 24, 2019, 02:58:47 pm
Quote from: Dune on September 24, 2019, 11:32:02 amNoisy? You mean the white dots below? They are cottongrass  ;)
No, he's right, it's quite "jagged" actually. Look at the grasses in the lower part of the image, for example. I would guess it's simply due to a non-ideal downsampling algorithm since this came from a full 6k image. It's virtually impossible for the image at this size to actually be noisy if it's been downsampled well. If you resized it in e.g. Photoshop, make sure you're not using Linear for resampling. Try Bicubic instead. Better yet use XnView and "Lanczos".

- Oshyan
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 25, 2019, 03:32:19 am
Well possible, as I just took a screenshot from my desktop (it happens to sit there) and used 85% quality. Also, there are tiny leaves and grasses with seeds that may scatter some dots around.
I can't really post good images out of respect for my client, but here are some crops at 100%.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Tangled-Universe on September 25, 2019, 06:20:34 am
Simply great work Ulco! I love how you managed to get nice rich contrasty lighting and yet have a hazy atmosphere. Really well done.
Love the stick stuck in the mud...oh wait...it's an arm! :P
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 25, 2019, 06:31:01 am
Thanks Martin. Yeah, the 'branch' is an addition I hesitated over, but the client is delighted. He probably has the same sense of humour ;)

I'll post a link if the book's out, but first there will be the Neanderthal book being presented in October.
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Oshyan on September 25, 2019, 02:13:36 pm
Ah, the crops look great! Doing simply a screenshot of your desktop might explain the jaggies in the previous image. Better to avoid screenshots of existing images and just open them and resize, but I know you were just doing a quick post of it, heh.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: bobbystahr on September 26, 2019, 10:46:21 am
Quote from: Dune on September 25, 2019, 06:31:01 amThanks Martin. Yeah, the 'branch' is an addition I hesitated over, but the client is delighted. He probably has the same sense of humour ;)


gave me a chuckle as well man!
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: otakar on September 26, 2019, 04:54:30 pm
Thank you for your willingness to post these. Spectacular! The screenshot just did not do it justice.

That arm, though. Creepy! I guess Halloween is just around the corner... :)
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: Dune on September 27, 2019, 02:16:26 am
What arm? It's a branch ;D
Title: Re: bog pathway
Post by: KlausK on September 28, 2019, 05:46:11 pm
This worked out very well. Great work.
And thanks - for reaching out to us here in the forum ;)


CHeers, Klaus