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General => Image Sharing => NWDA Theme Challenge - Travelers => Topic started by: RogueNZ on June 05, 2020, 09:58:11 am

Title: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 05, 2020, 09:58:11 am
Thought I better start a thread, but before I share any full images I'm going to ask some questions - just spent the good part of a day working on an issue only to learn that any pixel in an image mask can only be 0 or 100% opaque, nothing in between, as explained here:

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,17613.0.html (https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,17613.0.html)

My goal was to make a field of fireflys's, so I've made an image mask with a black background, and had been trying to use 'Alpha from Colour' to generate soft transparent edges, but obviously the edges would come out sharp. I also tried using the image directly as a mask with similar results.

Can anyone think of a way around this within the rules of the competition (i.e. rendered within one application)?

Was thinking of maybe creating a 3d model and using a glass shader but that will likely make render times unbearable.

I also tried DoF to minimize the hard edge issue, but found another issue where. Only seems to occur when focusing far away (30000) rather than focusing up close - is this known behavior?

Cheers
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on June 05, 2020, 11:54:56 am
Depends on what you want. If it's only a small population of fireflies I'd make an object, or even use the internal stones, and pop on a displaced PF (so they fly at different heights). If it needs to be a huge field of fireflies, maybe a very low quality cloud can make the 'pixel-like fireflies'.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on June 05, 2020, 12:41:50 pm
A challenger appears. 8)

You are right in that "alpha from opacity" will leave considerable (if up close) edge.

Have you perhaps considered using Jordan's light generator? Not sure though if this fills your needs.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: WAS on June 05, 2020, 01:22:42 pm
I had this same issue actually. I was trying to focus on a firefly on some grass (actual object) but all the PS fiireflies exploded. Were we doing the same sort of entry? Lmao (I'm not actually entering, just playing).

So I made the random light generator in discussion.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 05, 2020, 08:33:24 pm
Thanks for the suggestions. WAS I had seen your light populator the other day but had no idea it was related to fireflies haha. Gave it a go, excellent tool but I'm pretty set on getting the light-trail effect you see in photo's.

I thought of a potential workaround, using halftone effect to create a dithered black and white mask. Problem is, Photoshop can't use this filter on images more than about 20k x 20k, so the effect is obvious up close. But works well for further away!

I may end up having to filter each firefly separately and composite into a bigger mask separately.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on June 06, 2020, 03:28:18 am
You could probably just create a tiny object with a (bio)luminescent surface. Give that surface a luminosity value that wouldn't disturb the atmosphere (anything below 2-3). Then, populate like Ulco suggests.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 06, 2020, 08:46:07 am
I think that approach would still result in sharp edges. I'm pleased with the solution I came up with, works well at medium/far distances, closer will need more work. Still not sure what was up with that DoF issue I posted before :/

Anyway here's where I'm at... wasn't sure about the direction I was going with the spaceship etc, had thought about instead going for a horseback rider or similar, but I quite like the contrast between modern and rustic.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on June 08, 2020, 05:05:43 am
Wow, a really stunning image. :) The fireflies turned out nicely if you ask me.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Jo Kariboo on June 12, 2020, 12:53:37 pm
Very beautiful and mysterious atmosphere!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: WAS on June 12, 2020, 01:02:23 pm
Yeah the trails
Quote from: RogueNZ on June 05, 2020, 08:33:24 pmGave it a go, excellent tool but I'm pretty set on getting the light-trail effect you see in photo's.

That's a good point, though I will add that these photos have just having timing and exposure to capture the streaks, which are also not really that pleasant in firefly photography. Award winning photos usually use shutter timing and exposure to capture the moments the fireflies spark, and capturing their path. See the following from Norton Creek firefly event 2020. Trying to minimize streaking is usually what they're trying to do.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: luvsmuzik on June 12, 2020, 01:34:42 pm
I did some fireflies a couple years ago when I got brave enough to use my cartoonish firefly model:

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,24693.0.html

I used small cloud puffs for the glow and a luminous value on the firefly taillight.

I like this scene very much, nice work! :)
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Hannes on June 17, 2020, 05:20:00 pm
Your last one looks amazing!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 22, 2020, 06:26:33 am
Thanks guys. Making lots of little progress but not yet ready to render big.

Help needed. I've placed three primitives in my scene that I want to export in the same relative position and orientation into Blender to do some further modelling. I've created the three primitives in Blender, and given them the same relative offsets and rotations as the Terragen objects. However the rotations don't work, I'm guessing because the rotation scheme used by Terragen (world relative??) is different to Blender (Euler rotations, Quaternion or Axis Angle)? I'm not sure if there is a way around this...

Can anyone think of an easier way to export three primitives from Terragen, or set the same primitives up in another 3d program?
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: luvsmuzik on June 22, 2020, 09:15:45 am
This would be too simple.....are you using the new Blender 2.8? I know that there are more options for importing now....would the rotation preferences be chosen upon import? I really do not know much except that there are options...WAS or Hannes or many others can probably jump in here.... :)
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Hannes on June 22, 2020, 09:47:18 am
I don't know much about Blender, but to me it would be the easiest way to create the objects in another app (Blender or whatever you want), edit them, until you're happy with it, and THEN import into TG. There may be a way to do it the other way round, but I think it's a bit cumbersome.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: masonspappy on June 22, 2020, 03:00:31 pm
Quote from: Hannes on June 22, 2020, 09:47:18 amI don't know much about Blender, but to me it would be the easiest way to create the objects in another app (Blender or whatever you want), edit them, until you're happy with it, and THEN import into TG. There may be a way to do it the other way round, but I think it's a bit cumbersome.
I agree with Hannes. Best way is to edit to your satisfaction in blender, then import into TG. Remember that you can also export an OBJ from TG as a TGO file once you've got your companion files like spec and display file set up the way you want. It will also save you a bit of memory, usually.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 22, 2020, 03:18:52 pm
Thanks for the suggestions,reason the reason I started with terragen was to get the position of the objects correct relative to terrain features and cameraecamera view. I'll give the Obj export a go
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: luvsmuzik on June 22, 2020, 03:31:48 pm
Isn't all of this dependent on the object origin....and if it is changed rotation inside of TG, does TG export with the new rotation applied as a new origin including rotation? I know you have to know which z is up and it is always confusing me.....
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: masonspappy on June 22, 2020, 06:05:07 pm
Quote from: luvsmuzik on June 22, 2020, 03:31:48 pmIsn't all of this dependent on the object origin....and if it is changed rotation inside of TG, does TG export with the new rotation applied as a new origin including rotation? I know you have to know which z is up and it is always confusing me.....
Apparently not. I just now loaded an .OBJ, rotated 90 degrees and raised it up a few feet, then exported as .TGO. THen loaded same .TGO back into Terragen. Even though it was TGO it still retained the original coordinates of the .OBJ file. So apologies if I created any confusion.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on June 23, 2020, 01:22:12 am
Also, I am pretty sure a displaced (displacable) object won't keep its displacements after exporting, if that's what you want. I would just eyeball it, and adjust if needed externally, and re-import.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 23, 2020, 02:17:40 am
Thanks for running that test masonspappy, it was on my list of things to try.

The attached image shows what my aim is - I have positioned the rods in Terragen, and wanted to export them to Blender so I could model the wiring between them. In this photo I have just drawn the wires as a mask, and projected onto a card inside Terragen. This worked ok and will probably be sufficient, but I'd rather have it modeled, especially because there is some weird aliasing going on that I'm not sure how to fix.

Other issue I'm having is banding in the suns shadows, you can see it on the rocks. Doesn't improve with increased AA either.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on June 23, 2020, 03:52:14 am
Quote from: RogueNZ on June 23, 2020, 02:17:40 amOther issue I'm having is banding in the suns shadows, you can see it on the rocks. Doesn't improve with increased AA either.

May I ask what are you using as a rock? If this is a native, displaced cube it might be the source of the problem.

I had a similar trouble with a wild shadow being cast out of nowhere on the cube object. Matt has confirmed this was a bug.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on June 23, 2020, 08:15:32 am
The cliff is just the displaced terrain. Narrowed the cause of the banding down to the lamps, turning them off (or turning off cast shadows) removes the banding. They were saved out of Blender but maybe putting them through Poseray might have an effect? The models themselves look solid.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on June 23, 2020, 09:56:01 am
I'm glad you narrowed it down. :) In that case, I would suggest you take a thorough look at how this object looks like in Blender (unless you have already done it) and look for any loose vertices or edges. They will not be visible when rendered out, but may affect how the shadows are interpreted.

It must have something to do with the object if, like you say, turning off the shadows solves the problem.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: luvsmuzik on June 23, 2020, 11:17:44 am
I think it is the card obj...
I put some wire in file sharing maybe useful, just a curve with an array and a bend modifier. Good luck!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: WAS on June 23, 2020, 11:34:07 am
As far as matching up, no, your best is to just microexport as a single object, and edit that, and import back and align back with current in-place primitives.

Also the issues with aliasing is probably the haze and the robust sampler. This creates really low-res objects and terrain edges at a distance for some reason. Posted about this recently. Normal MPD 5 AA3 scene under robust looks very jagged compared to how it looked back when I was on free edition before robust. And I was even limited to only 720p then where these lower res issues are more prominent to begin with.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on June 24, 2020, 01:14:35 am
I would still eyeball these poles (and wires), as it seems pretty straightforward. Maybe measure a few distances, make a primitive row of poles around a corner, import in TG, check, adjust, import, check, adjust, and when good, finalize in detail and add wires. Then import finally and do shaders.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Jo Kariboo on June 24, 2020, 11:49:55 am
I wish you to solve the import problems. So far with what you have presented I expect a high quality image!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: DannyG on June 26, 2020, 03:05:53 am
Lots of mystery in the last one. As with previous challenges I am sure you will make a proper showing
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 01, 2020, 07:54:23 am
I'm at wits end, and not going to finish at this rate. I gave up on the transparent card method for the wire, instead modeled my own. Just when I think I'm done, and despite the model looking perfectly fine in Blender and Poseray, TG decides to render the OBJ like this (see blocky wire, ignore cube)
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on July 01, 2020, 09:12:22 am
Quote from: RogueNZ on July 01, 2020, 07:54:23 amJust when I think I'm done, and despite the model looking perfectly fine in Blender and Poseray, TG decides to render the OBJ like this (see blocky wire, ignore cube)

I'm afraid that loose vertices cause the blocky wire. This is exactly what have happened to me, while I was designing my recon crafts:

https://planetside.co.uk/forums/index.php/topic,27883.0.html

If you have made a cut-through of a block for your wire, TG may simply be reading "complete" faces, ignoring all else.

I really hope you can solve this in time.
:(
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on July 01, 2020, 09:15:00 am
Weld them in Poseray may help.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: sboerner on July 01, 2020, 06:12:05 pm
Can you post a screenshot from Blender of a closeup of the wire model? Maybe in wireframe mode?

I'm not sure if the contest rules would allow it but, if so, I'd be willing to have a look if you want to send an obj of the wire by PM. I made extensive use of wire objects in a recent scene and had no problems.

This is certainly frustrating. The background and lighting of the last image you posted look terrific. It would be nice to get this sorted.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Barefoots on July 01, 2020, 09:07:33 pm
Hey Rogue,

I agree with previous post..last image you posted looks great. Don't give up on it. Having technical issues is so frustrating. Knowing something should work but not knowing why it isn't causes major irritation.
Your'e not alone in that. 

This is my first NWDA comp I am having a go at. I don't have Terragen, so I using 3dsmax & vray (I work part time in arch viz). I am not fluent in these tools either and never have to do big environments. This has been a massive challenge for me with hours of technical frustrations & somewhat wasted effort. Fortunately & unfortunately, due to slow start to year and co-vid I have had less work. I chose time to sit down and work at it & view the process as training or "personal development/getting balder"! :P

Looking forward to seeing your final. 
Hopefully I can finish mine too.
Greetings from across the Tasman. :) 

PS. EVen though i don't own Terragen, I am a big fan. I remember when I was in my early teens and my father bought home the first Terragen. It blew my mind! I spent hours making mountains. :D  I joined the forum because I aiming to enter the comp & have been following the conversations being had about it. Hope that ok with everyone. 
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 01, 2020, 09:41:55 pm
I tested the model in a fresh scene, and it seems to render perfectly fine Oo It also looks fine in Blender/Poseray. I'me trying to debug why my scene in particular renders it incorrectly. I've tried creating default render and camera nodes and nothing seems to help. Now deleting all other nodes to find a cause.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 01, 2020, 10:58:53 pm
3d preview with mouse over the object (object shows correct when hovered, but renders blocky). This is in a project with no other nodes, and default render node  :-X
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 02, 2020, 12:32:31 am
This is definitely a bug, and somehow related to world position. The object renders fine near the default scene origin, but move it to where my contest scene camera is located, and it renders blocky.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: sboerner on July 02, 2020, 02:08:51 am
Very strange. How far from the world origin are you? Any displacements applied to the object?

I don't use Blender so I could be wrong here, but the edge loops in your wireframe look suspicious to me, as if there might be some nonmanifold geometry lurking there. Could just be the screenshot, though.

Welcome to the forum, Barefoots!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on July 02, 2020, 02:14:26 am
Maybe the problem is in the initial off 0/0/0 location of your object? Though I wouldn't understand that, but that has its issues with pops. It looks as though it's displaced... so no displacement added, rendered the default way?
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on July 02, 2020, 02:29:03 am
Quote from: sboerner on July 02, 2020, 02:08:51 amI don't use Blender so I could be wrong here, but the edge loops in your wireframe look suspicious to me, as if there might be some nonmanifold geometry lurking there. Could just be the screenshot, though.

Good point. I also found these somewhat puzzling.

line.jpg

@RogueNZ - I'd suggest you remake the object in Blender using a stretched and bent cylinder primitive for the line. I used it several times now for wires and it has never been a problem. I can even make you one if you wish, as long as you provide the specs.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 02, 2020, 03:40:11 am
No displacement applied to any objects. The model does look weird, I believe that was after welding vertices in Pose Ray. The tutorial I followed uses individual cylinders duplicated along a curve, but I re-meshed in blender, and again in Poseray, the mesh looks better but still the same issue.

That's an Xfrog model loaded into the same location, so I'm now less concerned about my model quality. In some of my previous renders there have been similar looking issues but ignored them - see the blocky tree (leaves removed).

At the start of the project I centered the planet at 0 0 0, so the scene is located somewhere near 30669, 6160570, 1653730. I guess this is my problem. I don't think it's feasible to shift my entire scene as the fractals will get messed up etc.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on July 02, 2020, 04:50:00 am
@RogueNZ - I have just made an object test at the coordinates you have shared above and can confirm the same happens in my case.

Here is how my scout craft looks like when rendered at your coordinates:

serious_glitch.jpg

Which, of course, has been carefully sculpted in Blender and Poseray first.

This is definitely Terragen's fault.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on July 02, 2020, 04:56:58 am
Still strange as people have rendered starships off the planet as well.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on July 02, 2020, 05:05:35 am
Also, take a look at how the object is "dancing" when the camera is being moved. A telling sign that something is just not right:

2020-07-02 10-54-23.mp4

As if the renderer could not resolve the object's exact location and trying to haphazardly "average" the vertex / face coordinates. ???

Quote from: Dune on July 02, 2020, 04:56:58 amStill strange as people have rendered starships off the planet as well.

Perhaps they were putting the spaceships near zero coords and adding planets in the distance. Planets do work well, regardless of coordinates.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: amandas on July 02, 2020, 05:12:50 am
Clipping planes? Try setting near clip plane as huge as possible, far clip plane as low as possible. I am pretty sure it is a floating point inaccuracy, not a TGN bug. Rule of a thumb is to have camera always close to world origin or render in a localized coordinates (not sure TGN allows that).
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 02, 2020, 05:43:39 am
Thanks all for your help, and to N-drju who was able to replicate the issue! At least I know my issue is not solvable without some seriousness headaches trying to shift the scene, so I'll have to work around it. Will learn not to move the planet origin next time! I suspected it could be a floating point accuracy issue, but like Dune pointed out it's not been a common issue even with people rendering very large scenes plenty of times before. The other confusing thing is that the object looks fine when hovering the mouse over it in the viewport (or in the non-raytraced preview).
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: sboerner on July 02, 2020, 11:48:47 am
QuoteI am pretty sure it is a floating point inaccuracy, not a TGN bug.

Could very well be. I placed a model at the same coordinates and can confirm RogueNZ and N-drju's results. Another good reason to work near the world origin, I guess.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: j meyer on July 02, 2020, 11:57:57 am
Strange effect, but nonetheless good luck to you.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: masonspappy on July 02, 2020, 02:35:49 pm
Quote from: N-drju on July 02, 2020, 02:29:03 am
Quote from: sboerner on July 02, 2020, 02:08:51 amI don't use Blender so I could be wrong here, but the edge loops in your wireframe look suspicious to me, as if there might be some nonmanifold geometry lurking there. Could just be the screenshot, though.

Good point. I also found these somewhat puzzling.

line.jpg

Looks like some extraneous plane's lurking inside the mesh. Did you cut this with the Blender knife tool?  If you select "wireframe" mode (or maybe "x-ray mode) in Blender you might actually see the planes if that's what this is. It looks like some stuff I've had to fix in the past.


@RogueNZ - I'd suggest you remake the object in Blender using a stretched and bent cylinder primitive for the line. I used it several times now for wires and it has never been a problem. I can even make you one if you wish, as long as you provide the specs.

Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Kadri on July 02, 2020, 02:46:22 pm

I learned this especially with the VR contest in the past.
I tried to make a scene with two planets and one scene on planet 1 and on planet 2 at the same time.
I got all kind of problems on planet 2. You just have to plane in the beginning if you need something like that or-and just cheat.
The best is certainly just working near the default planet. If your scene is not something drastic you will be fine.
Anything excessive you will have to cheat in this or that way (like using easy things like small planets, small spaceships etc.)
This is the same in every other 3D software so far i know.
Good that you found the problem at least. I am curious of your project. It looks quite promising.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 06, 2020, 07:11:51 am
Whew, got it finished in the end, minus the fancy rope work. Looking back, I almost think this is too cluttered, the simplicity of some of the earlier renders seem a bit more pleasing to look at. But I hope the extra detail and effort might impress some judges!

Thanks all for the assistance along the way! It's been a busy few weeks so apologies if I didn't respond to a suggestion
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Dune on July 06, 2020, 07:38:19 am
Great final. You don't really miss the wires. Good luck!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Barefoots on July 06, 2020, 08:41:52 am
Really nice. Great mood.  8)
Glad to see you got it done.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Kadri on July 06, 2020, 10:15:58 am
Nice image. Good luck.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: sboerner on July 06, 2020, 10:48:55 am
Terrific result, and plenty impressive as is. Good luck.
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Jo Kariboo on July 06, 2020, 10:58:12 am
Very nice picture. I really like the light. You have found a very good alternative to your cable problem! Good luck!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: N-drju on July 07, 2020, 03:56:41 am
I'm happy you made it on time. This was a really nice project. :)
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: Hetzen on July 07, 2020, 08:40:38 am
Lovely image. A very accurate resemblance to that controversial moon shot that famous photographer put out a few years back.

https://petapixel.com/2018/02/06/peter-lik-called-photographers-faked-moon-photo/
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: luvsmuzik on July 07, 2020, 11:03:27 am
Many senses of travelers represented here! Great mood and lights! Good luck!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: KyL on July 07, 2020, 04:29:33 pm
Great mood, and great sense of scale too!
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 08, 2020, 03:11:21 am
Thanks all! Some excellent entries this year, thanks again to NWDA crew for organising :)
Title: Re: WIP - Rogue's entry
Post by: RogueNZ on July 09, 2020, 04:14:37 am
Quote from: Hetzen on July 07, 2020, 08:40:38 amLovely image. A very accurate resemblance to that controversial moon shot that famous photographer put out a few years back.

https://petapixel.com/2018/02/06/peter-lik-called-photographers-faked-moon-photo/

While I've seen that photo before and probably that same article, I don't think the image crossed my mind as I was making mine, but then again perhaps something subconscious going on? If anything I probably drew more from moon silhouette photography like that of Mark Gee: http://theartofnight.com/2013/01/full-moon-silhouettes/ (http://theartofnight.com/2013/01/full-moon-silhouettes/)