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General => Image Sharing => Topic started by: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 09:51:38 am

Title: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 09:51:38 am
Hey everyone!

Going to steal a great idea from N-drju and start my own "World and Ideas threads". I am hoping this will help contain my ramblings into one post instead of clogging up forum real estate. Hot of the heels of my Gravel Road work I am hard at work trying some new.

Recently in Blender I started building ruined walls and ended up creating a really cool looking material that combines a stone wall with a mossy texture. The results in Blender look really good and I wanted to export the model and use it in my Terragen scenes.

The only way I know to use multiple materials with an .obj is to bake the textures into a single texture atlas. That in-itself isn't that hard in my models there are a lot of 'hidden faces' that have UV's but are not seen. I have tried to find the best way to retopo the model and spent hours trying to delete faces but don't have a good solution yet. You can see all the black in the bake map; these faces need to be removed to make room for the rest of the texture. In "Ruins2.jpg" you can see serious issues on the round tower. Trying to resolve that now.

I would be very interested in hearing from others how they go about this. Dune and sboerner have amazing examples of 3d models in their scenes and textures look amazing! I am curious as to the software used and if you are only using single materials for object?? or Baking textures or some other magic?

Once my computer is free, I will going to try exporting the wall and use only a single concrete texture to see if I can make the .obj work without baking the texture sheet separately.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 10:29:07 am
Ok so this Rounded Tower was exported with a single material; no baked texture here. To be honest it doesn't look any worse than the other examples. So should I give up on texture baking altogether?
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Dune on September 16, 2019, 10:31:49 am
I never bake any materials onto the object, but use tiled textures on different parts. I can further combine these with other materials in TG (merge shader and mix by PF) or add procedural variation and/or textures.
I don't know Blender, but I use Lightwave for hard objects, and ZBrush for soft ones, also use ZBrush for making the UV-maps, and often Lightwave again to shift parts of the UV map around. Finally, almost always Poseray to check, do normals again if needed and merge object parts.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 10:38:55 am
Quote from: Dune on September 16, 2019, 10:31:49 amI never bake any materials onto the object, but use tiled textures on different parts. I can further combine these with other materials in TG (merge shader and mix by PF) or add procedural variation and/or textures.
I don't know Blender, but I use Lightwave for hard objects, and ZBrush for soft ones, also use ZBrush for making the UV-maps, and often Lightwave again to shift parts of the UV map around. Finally, almost always Poseray to check, do normals again if needed and merge object parts.
Interesting so if I had two textures for an object, 1 stone and 1 moss, I can combine/overlay them on the object themselves in Terragen with a merge shader?? May have to give that a shot. Thanks Dune!

EDIT: I think it worked great! Rendering new image. Man, that opens possibilities and will make my job modelling easier. Thank you Dune!

EDIT2: Updated render....includes a transform shader with a PF for moss distribution as per Dune's amazing suggestion. Oh this makes me happy! Leanring something new that I can use over and over again now!
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Dune on September 16, 2019, 10:49:31 am
Yes, if you use a transform shader set to world position after a PF (used as mixer for the merge shader) for the moss distribution, it will distribute patches of moss all over the wall. Stone and moss thus can have their own bumpmaps.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Hannes on September 16, 2019, 11:08:43 am
Most of the time I use just a surface layer after the regular shader to create moss or dirt, masked or broken up by a PF driven through a transform shader set to world position as Ulco mentioned. You can use altitude or slope constraints, which is great, when you want your stuff only on horizontal surfaces for example.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 11:14:36 am
Quote from: Hannes on September 16, 2019, 11:08:43 amMost of the time I use just a surface layer after the regular shader to create moss or dirt, masked or broken up by a PF driven through a transform shader set to world position as Ulco mentioned. You can use altitude or slope constraints, which is great, when you want your stuff only on horizontal surfaces for example.
OK awesome! Thank you for your advice Hannes! Looking forward to trying this new technique out!
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: N-drju on September 16, 2019, 11:14:49 am
Quote from: CredePendrel on September 16, 2019, 09:51:38 amGoing to steal a great idea from N-drju and start my own "World and Ideas threads".

I am glad you admitted it yourself, because otherwise you'd have a hundreds-of-thousands euro worth of lawsuit on your hands. 8) One way or another, some guys are coming to your doorstep... :D  

But in all seriousness it's of course just a title, though I appreciate the mention. ;) I hope your thread will be successful and be a place where ideas get exchanged. I myself will gladly put my two cents from time to time if you don't mind. Happy rendering!
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Dune on September 16, 2019, 11:28:42 am
@Hannes; problem with that method is that in the moss, the bump of the default shader will still be present. With merge shader you can separate those. Unless you smooth.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Hannes on September 16, 2019, 01:34:32 pm
Quote from: Dune on September 16, 2019, 11:28:42 am@Hannes; problem with that method is that in the moss, the bump of the default shader will still be present. With merge shader you can separate those. Unless you smooth.
That's a point!
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 18, 2019, 09:27:50 am
Tried a couple more things....Not happy; The tower looks like a toy. At least the wall sections in the previous renders looked semi real.

The mound that the tower sits on is a simple inverted crater. I really want to add some more detail to it. I would love the tower to be sitting on a rocky outcrop over looking the forest. Is the Fake Stone shader suitable for this? I know that GeekAtPlay has a "rock tower" type tutorial. Maybe that can be adjust to have a flat top so the tower and sit there properly.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Dune on September 18, 2019, 11:22:49 am
If you use a soft circular simple shape instead of the mound, you can use that as a mask to 1. raise the ground to a mound (use a surface shader's displacement tab), 2. add huge (20m) fake stones in the same surface layer (child input) masked by the same SSS (color hardened [white down] to cover more of the mound), with appropriate PF sizes and colors as surface input. Then put your tower on one of the rocks. Have the fake stones followed by a transform shader set to world.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 18, 2019, 12:43:25 pm
Quote from: Dune on September 18, 2019, 11:22:49 amIf you use a soft circular simple shape instead of the mound, you can use that as a mask to 1. raise the ground to a mound (use a surface shader's displacement tab), 2. add huge (20m) fake stones in the same surface layer (child input) masked by the same SSS (color hardened [white down] to cover more of the mound), with appropriate PF sizes and colors as surface input. Then put your tower on one of the rocks. Have the fake stones followed by a transform shader set to world.
Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I will give it a shot and report back.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 19, 2019, 08:24:34 am
OK, so I started it in a new project file just so I could properly learn the concept first before applying it to my current scene. I definitely think I get it, its just about tweaking those stone values! The mound still seems a bit flat to me. I want to try and make it look like the background terrain a bit (Black Circle).

Here is what I tried...I added a Displacement shader to the mound SSS and added a PF to it. In the view-port it looked like it added details but on the render it didn't show any difference (Mound2). I then added the PF directly to the Mound SSS but it made some crazy spikes shoot out of the ground lol, not what I was going for and so ugly its not even worth an image. Lastly I tried adding a Strata and outcrops shader.....seemingly no results on my mound (Mound2 again).

Today is going to be a busy day at work so I may not get to try again till later on. Thanks in advance for anyone's help/advice.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: luvsmuzik on September 19, 2019, 10:57:04 am
Very cool project! Curious if you made your castle ruins? you may have already said...sorry if I missed that. :)

You could also use a tg rock or invert a crater for your mound.......these can usually handle a PF displacement.

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,22434.0.html    (inverted craters, tower tutorial)
https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,23401.0.html

Here is an inverted crater for a mound. I left it rounded. Other shapes can also be used by displacing a cube.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Dune on September 19, 2019, 11:03:34 am
The simple shape is a mask, so input in it doesn't work. Use the SSS to displace something, so pull its output to the displacement tab of a surface shader. Default is 1, but set it 100 and you'll see something happening. Make the SSS a soft circle, say 90% with a bevel or smooth step. You can also add a PF between the SSS and surface shader, as an in between mask. Adjust the colors to your needs; black is no displacement, white is 100%, so you could set a 0.7 grey color in the low color, and adjust sizes to maybe 10/200/0.1 for a 100m diameter circle, then set color roughness to something less than 1, or you'll get ugly spikes. Experiment.
The simple shape can also be used directly to displace, but I never actually use that.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 19, 2019, 12:30:01 pm
Quote from: luvsmuzik on September 19, 2019, 10:57:04 amVery cool project! Curious if you made your castle ruins? you may have already said...sorry if I missed that. :)

You could also use a tg rock or invert a crater for your mound.......these can usually handle a PF displacement.

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,22434.0.html    (inverted craters, tower tutorial)
https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,23401.0.html

Here is an inverted crater for a mound. I left it rounded. Other shapes can also be used by displacing a cube.
Thanks luvsmuzik! Appreciate the comments. Yes, I made the walls and tower myself. I used an add-on for Blender called "Wall Factory" then I used Blender's built in physics system to destroy them. It really was a lot of fun. As per my post, I too started with an inverted Crater but it really wasn't the results I was trying to get at. Your image definitely has the displacement on it I was trying to achieve. Thanks for the links, will take a look later on after work.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 19, 2019, 12:53:01 pm
Quote from: Dune on September 19, 2019, 11:03:34 amThe simple shape is a mask, so input in it doesn't work. Use the SSS to displace something, so pull its output to the displacement tab of a surface shader. Default is 1, but set it 100 and you'll see something happening. Make the SSS a soft circle, say 90% with a bevel or smooth step. You can also add a PF between the SSS and surface shader, as an in between mask. Adjust the colors to your needs; black is no displacement, white is 100%, so you could set a 0.7 grey color in the low color, and adjust sizes to maybe 10/200/0.1 for a 100m diameter circle, then set color roughness to something less than 1, or you'll get ugly spikes. Experiment.
The simple shape can also be used directly to displace, but I never actually use that.

ok, so I really thought I could understood this but alas no. I do have the output of the SSS going to the displacement tab of a surface shader; its displacement is 30. I had no problem added the PF between the SSS and surface shader. I played with the scale values but the end result still looks the same.....I posted a snap shot of the node tree and a copy of the project file for reference.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Dune on September 20, 2019, 02:36:58 am
I made some small adjustments to your file. See what can learn from this setup. I'd also advise you to name each node you use! Much easier to see what each one does, if the number of nodes increase.
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: CredePendrel on September 20, 2019, 07:41:50 am
Quote from: Dune on September 20, 2019, 02:36:58 amI made some small adjustments to your file. See what can learn from this setup. I'd also advise you to name each node you use! Much easier to see what each one does, if the number of nodes increase.
Once again, thank you Dune for taking the time to share your wisdom. I really appreciate you taking the time to provide .tgd's and to respond to every comment. I promise I am going to work hard to make you proud lol.  There looks like a lot here, I will take some time to digest and experiment. Thank you!
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: Hannes on September 20, 2019, 07:57:33 am
That looks indeed cool!
Title: Re: Crede Pendrel's Worlds and Ideas
Post by: bobbystahr on September 20, 2019, 04:38:02 pm
Quote from: Hannes on September 20, 2019, 07:57:33 amThat looks indeed cool!
echo