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News => Announcements => Topic started by: Kevin Kipper on March 30, 2021, 09:21:32 pm

Title: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on March 30, 2021, 09:21:32 pm
Hi Everyone!

Ever since I was introduced to Terragen in 2011 I've been enchanted with its production capabilities and possibilities.  It's been a joy working with Matt to create this video tutorial series "Terragen for VFX" and we're happy to announce that the first videos have been posted under the new Learn > Video Tutorials section on the Planetside website. 

https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-tutorials/

In this series we'll take a step by step approach to show how Terragen can be used in a visual effects production pipeline in order to create a final shot that might appear in a Hollywood blockbuster movie or in a high production value television series.

The first videos in this series explore the challenges in taking a pre-visualised scene, created in the 3D software package of your choice, and bringing it into Terragen, where the low resolution geometry acting as placeholders can be modified with many of Terragen's tools and feature sets.  In the end, we'll have created a naturalistic looking terrain that preserves the important features of the pre-visualised data and is ready to serve as the foundation for the rest of the environment, including the atmosphere, sky, clouds, forest populations and texturing. 

Part 01 - Introduction
Part 02 - Setting up a 3D Scene
Part 03 - Importing Camera Motion
Part 04 - Importing Null Objects
Part 05 - Importing 3D Objects & Apply Motions
Part 06 - Loading Heightfields
Part 07 - Heightfield Erode Operator
Part 08 - Localized High-Res Heightfields
Part 09 - Fractal Detail

Introduction to Skies, Forests, and Textures
Part 10 - Clouds Hide Aircraft
Part 11 - Thunder Clouds
Part 12 - Distant Clouds
Part 13 - Volcano (animated) clouds
Part 14 - Wispy clouds
Part 15 - Atmosphere and Lighting
Part 16 - Populator Overview
Part 17 - Creating Masks
Part 18 - Evergreen Forest Populations
Part 19 - Deciduous Forest and Shrub Populations
Part 20 - Texturing Mountains & Cliffs
Part 21 - Texturing Grass & Meadows
Part 22 - Texturing Snowy Mountains

Coming very soon:
Terragen for VFX: Rendering

We hope you enjoy these videos and learn something new!

Kevin
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kadri on March 30, 2021, 09:32:11 pm

Hi Kevin,

I already had heard about this series in Facebook and have watched it. Very nicely done videos. Keep it up.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Dune on March 31, 2021, 02:15:01 am
Interesting, and I will certainly take a look!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Hannes on March 31, 2021, 11:41:02 am
Cool!! Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Ariel DK on April 04, 2021, 05:06:29 pm
Hi & thanks Kevin! Following the series! Very amazing results, i can't wait for more  :)
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: masc on April 07, 2021, 08:32:45 am
Hi Kevin, thanks for the series, it is really interesting to follow this step by step, and yes I did learn something new!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on April 29, 2021, 01:01:42 pm
Hi Everyone!

The second group of videos in the "Terragen for VFX" series are now available on our website and YouTube channel. 

https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-tutorials-for-vfx-series-2-clouds/

In these six videos we focus on the sky, atmosphere, clouds, and lighting used in our example shot, which can be seen here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zr_tfsQCOlY&t=6s

In each video title listed below, we take you step by step through the visual effects production pipeline as we developed the dynamic sky environment in Terragen.

Introduction to Skies, Forests, and Textures
Part 10 - Clouds Hide Aircraft
Part 11 - Thunder Clouds
Part 12 - Distant Clouds
Part 13 - Volcano (animated) clouds
Part 14 - Wispy clouds
Part 15 - Atmosphere and Lighting

We hope you enjoy these videos, learn something new, and look forward to hearing your comments.

Kevin
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Dune on April 30, 2021, 03:56:47 am
Cool videos again. Very well put together and clear for all, I'd say. One thing I miss in the videos is the vapor trail how-to for those who want to know. Or perhaps I missed it. I'd say a moving-with-aircraft simple shape combi (or camera steered mask, or blue-node setup) would do, catching the cloud as it passes through it. But it might be a nice addition to the series.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: SILENCER on May 03, 2021, 12:28:04 pm
Kipper is legit.

Worked with him at Foundation Imaging and years later at a different facility.
Listen to the man.

Glad you're on board at Planetside!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on May 04, 2021, 02:12:36 pm
Hi Dune,

Great question about the vapor trails.  We ended up rendering those in Lightwave 3D as a separate volumetric render element, and based on a particle simulation.  

We simply ended up running out of time to do this in Terragen and get the shot done, but it would be an interesting challenge to try and recreate it there.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: WAS on May 04, 2021, 02:33:09 pm
Why was there a time-constraint?

I'd love to see something like this done in TG with perlin manipulation and functions. It would get into more of the technical customizing side of things.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on May 04, 2021, 03:16:02 pm
Hi WAS,

I apologize if that wasn't clear.  It was a self imposed time constraint to complete the video tutorials, not a time constraint based on Terragen's capabilities.

One of the challenges in the shot is the speed at which the aircraft and camera are traveling.  With the method used for the shot, at about Mach 2 or 680 meters per second, you've pretty much left the particle source of the vapor trail behind in a few frames.  That's why I think it would be an interesting challenge to try and replicate, or create vapor trails in general, in Terragen.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on May 04, 2021, 03:17:35 pm
Hi Everyone!

Wow, it seems like the second installment in our video series "Terragen for VFX" just went up and already the next group of videos have been released! 

The first two videos in this group provide an overview of Terragen's populator feature and various techniques to create masks which are used to control where the forest populations can exist in the terrain.  The remaining videos focus on the specific approach to creating the evergreen and deciduous forest that make up the Pacific Northwest environment in our shot.

https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-tutorials-for-vfx-series-3-forests-n-populations/

Part 16 - Populator Overview
Part 17 - Creating Masks
Part 18 - Evergreen Forest Populations
Part 19 - Deciduous Forest and Shrub Populations

We hope you enjoy these videos and learn something new!

Kevin
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Dune on May 05, 2021, 02:30:58 am
Thanks Kevin. The basis for a vapor trail is very simple; camera(s) at the location of the engine(s), pointed backwards, attached to a simple image map of a soft white circle in black. Restraint the distance over which the vapor should extend in a distance shader from that same camera. Multiply. That masks any cloud that's around. To increase its density multply by a factor (constant scalar).
The hardest thing is to move the cams with the aircraft, so they stay in place at the engines'.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on May 05, 2021, 12:43:12 pm
Hey Dune, great suggestion.  I'll give it a try as soon as I can!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: archonforest on May 06, 2021, 09:28:51 pm
Big thx for these videos!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on May 18, 2021, 02:16:13 pm
Hi Everyone,

The next installment in our video series "Terragen for VFX" is now available on the website!

https://planetside.co.uk/terragen-tutorials-for-vfx-section4-texturing-mountains-cliffs/

In these three videos we explore the process of texturing the landscape's mountains, cliffs, grasslands, meadows and snow covered peaks.

Part 20 - Texturing Mountains & Cliffs
Part 21 - Texturing Grass & Meadows
Part 22 - Texturing Snowy Mountains

We hope you enjoy these videos and learn something new!

Kevin
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: WAS on May 18, 2021, 06:50:04 pm
I was curious, is this series going to branch out with new scenes made? I mean, will we get other stuff focusing on different aspects, such as ground-level distribution and realistic surfaces?  Not trying to bash on these, as these are amazing. Just curious because I know some peoples work here is absolutely stunning when it comes to groundwork distribution of plants. I am even curious how these are done
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Dune on May 19, 2021, 02:57:15 am
They are very informative and clear, and should get new users on the road real quick!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: WAS on May 28, 2021, 02:58:37 pm
My quickie videos have gotten hundreds of new views (literally like from 20-40 views to 600+), likely due to these videos hitting YouTube. More people are definitely searching Terragen on YouTube.

Would really like to do more but I need a new CPU. If I cut CPU cores to record, TG is painfully slow to even demonstrate with. I could do it if I had a 1080p monitor, but I have a 4k ultrawide, and 1080p isn't supported and fuzzy and blue toned.
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: Kevin Kipper on May 28, 2021, 04:22:09 pm
WAS, it's great to hear that your videos are getting more views. 

In answer to your question above, yes, we're very interesting in developing additional tutorials and content that highlight different aspects of Terragen, or of specific interest such as the ground-level distribution or even more realistic surfaces as you mentioned. 

I encourage everyone to submit any ideas for topics that you're interested in learning more about, and we'll start looking into them to determine the best way to explore them in more detail, whether it's a video or wiki page tutorial.


Thanks!
Title: Re: Video Tutorials: Terragen for VFX
Post by: WAS on May 28, 2021, 04:30:54 pm
Aweomse! I am definitely interested in ground distribution. Maybe something like a farm plot, which takes into account architectural objects and distribution of plants around them. I have setup a simplistic way of just mixing 3 types of vegetation (or more with secondary masks) with RGB mixes, which works pretty good, but also very chaotic and I wonder if there are better ways to do this. And at 32 years old, I'm really ready to just be shown. :P :'(

PS I realize in retrospect a lot of our users are a lifetime older then me... I just mean I've been using TG for years since TG 2 came out and some areas still make me shy away years on.