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Support => Terragen Support => Topic started by: choronr on August 19, 2008, 03:51:04 pm

Title: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 19, 2008, 03:51:04 pm
Does anyone have some ideas on how to prevent plants fron showing up on the water's surface?
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: old_blaggard on August 19, 2008, 04:01:59 pm
Distribution shader with height limitations...?
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: RArcher on August 19, 2008, 04:03:15 pm
Quite a few different ways to accomplish that.  The simplest would either be by restricting your population by altitude or slope, or you could mask out areas that your vegetation is applied (and not applied) using an image map shader.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: PG on August 19, 2008, 04:09:21 pm
Do you mean preventing reflections or preventing the plants from being seeded where you don't want them (i.e. where water is present)?
If it's the seeding issue then either OB's method or an image mask
if it's a reflection issue then disable visible to other rays checkbox on the object maker in the internal network of the plant you don't want to be reflected.
You'll still get the shadows but you can disable those by unchecking the cast shadows checkbox in the same place
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Tangled-Universe on August 19, 2008, 04:38:02 pm
Hi Bob,

I just sent you an e-mail to answer your previous questions as well as this one.

I'll past a part of it below for everyone else who's interested:

Sometimes I also run into slightly unlogical problems with restricting populations and almost any time the solution is to choose another surface node to let the population "sit on". I just saw your message at the forum for restricting populations from the water.
The suggestion I made above might help, otherwise it is indeed a matter of setting the minimum altitude 0,5 metre above the water with a fuzzy zone of about 0,1 metre.
For restricting populations I always use a surface layer. I create this manually close to the "object" group. So NOT via the "..."-button inside the population node. If you do this it is placed internally and is not easily accessible for adjustements.
Just give the surface layer a simple name like "Trees Dist". Then go to your population and manually type "Trees Dist" in the field for the distribution shader. It will automatically be activated and connected. You can see this in your node-network.
Now give the surface layer a full white color (color = 1, instead of 0,5) and make the proper adjustments for heighth and slope in the tabs. You can then use a breakup shader for controlling the breakup.
Tip: create low octave breakup-fractals and stretch them about 3-5 times on either the X or Z axis. This gives very realistic distributions. The fun thing of the new surface shader is that you also have a blend-shader.
This is very useful because you can also use this for restricting your populations by distance. However, you can also use a distance shader as blendshader for the breakup-shader, with the same result. But I find it handy.

Martin
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 19, 2008, 04:39:47 pm
Thank you all.

I have used a distribution shader; but, since the plants are on almost a flat surface, the distribution shader altitude and slope height limitation settings does not provide the restricted area where I do not want the plants to appear (on the water).

I do not know a thing about 'masks' but have used image map shaders. If I use an image map shader, wouldn't it block out the water and provide some other image? And, once again, I would have to use a distribution shader which seems problematical as I mentioned above.

I mean that I want to prevent the plants from showing up on the water - only on the dry ground in the foreground of the scene.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 19, 2008, 04:42:11 pm
Thank you Martin, I will work on this using your suggestions ...will get back to you later.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Matt on August 19, 2008, 07:19:18 pm
If the water is a Lake object, then it must be appearing only where the terrain drops below a particular water level, even if the terrain is fairly flat. You should therefore be able to use a distribution shader with a minimum altitude constraint to control the distribution of your plants. The minimum altitude should be the same as the water level in the Lake object. You will need to use a very low fuzzy zone (perhaps 0), however, if the terrain is very nearly flat.

Matt
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 19, 2008, 07:35:13 pm
Thanks Matt, I'll give this a try and get back to you.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 20, 2008, 12:04:55 am
Hi Matt,

First, when running the mouse over the terrain to determine the 'Y' altitude dimension, I find that it reads 1.059 km vertically from bottom up 45% towards the top; and then I get the same reading horizontally from left to right. I have been using a distribution shader since I added the plants. As you suggested, I set the minimum altitude to control the plants based on the same level as the level of the lake object which is 1076.4; and, no plants show up after populating. This included setting the fuzzy zone to '0' and tried up to 5.

Also, I deactivated the above and tried the slope setting. The minimum slope angle is set at 1.52 with a fuzzy setting at 0.01. After populating, I got three plants; two on the dry surface; one on the water. My coverage is set low because I wanted a minimum of plants on the beach. The plant in the water is close to the water's edge which may be ok. Perhaps I'll try more seeds to see what comes up.

Bob   
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 20, 2008, 03:52:49 pm
Hi Matt and Oshyan,

Well, I finally was able to get a population (only three plants which is ok) in the foreground. However, a full render produces more errors (unknown errors in ray trace and bucket). See attached image. I guess I'll have to try rendering without them and see what happens.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 20, 2008, 07:58:32 pm
Hi Matt and Oshyan,

I tried again rendering the scene after I deleted the small population in the foreground figuring it was the problem. Same results as the last render above. I'll try one more time by raising the clouds a bit perhaps getting some shadows on the hillside. If I uncheck the ray traced shadows in the render section, I will not have shadows. Beyond the next render, if I continue to have these results, I will scrap this project.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Oshyan on August 20, 2008, 11:55:08 pm
I believe the errors you're getting are from the raytracing system and may be caused by the water. Can you try simply disabling the water and see if the errors still occur? If that fixes it, try disabling everything *except* the water and the terrain. If the errors still occur, it will probably be useful if you can send us the scene for troubleshooting. We may be able to resolve some bugs with it.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 21, 2008, 12:10:16 am
Thanks Oshyan. Will try those suggestions and keep you posted. In order to send the file, I would need to post it at MediaFire since the heightfield load is a 4097 x 4097 32 MB DEM file of Moonlight Peak.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 21, 2008, 02:20:22 pm
Hello Oshyan,

Here are the results of your suggestions:

•   (1) After disabling the water, I started a render; and, before it got to the third GI buffer, I got the same error message as described earlier above - plus, a Runtime Error message.

        (2) This time I disabled the population and the five single objects (three 'XFrog' palm trees and two of 'lightning's' 3Bushes). I enabled the water and did another render. This time, almost the entire picture completed except one piece of the bottom buffer; and, received another error message reading: 'An unknown error occurred in a render thread.'

I have attached the .tgd file for your revue. Also, you may download the 'Moonlight Peak, CA' DEM file from my web site: www.imaginature.us . This file was used for the heightfield load in the image and is a 32MB, 4097 X 4097 size and can be found at the bottom of the download page.

Also, I used an image map file for the largest fake stones layer. This is attached to the e-mail I am sending to you. As mentioned regarding the vegetation, I used three single objects of the XFrog palm trees, one population of lightning's 3Bushes and two each of lightning's 3Bushes as single objects. You can determine which of these files were used by observing the .tgd file.

Remember also to address the issue I described earlier wherein a portion of the bottom of the preview window is lost after going to the 'node view' and returning to the preview window.

This image file is named 'Vista de Cielo'.

          Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Tangled-Universe on August 22, 2008, 05:33:17 pm
Hi Bob,

Haven't determined yet if it is the origin, a part of, or neither any of both are part of the problem, but why did you set the quality of your clouds to 438 samples which is equivalent to a quality of 6.88??
That's very very high. I see you've set your atmosphere samples to 16, which is very low.
The reason you've probably set cloudsamples this high is because of noise, but looking at these settings the noise is caused by too less atmosphere samples rather than cloud samples.

I'd go for atmosphere samples ~48 and cloud samples ~80. Same quality result and 15% faster rendering. Just checked that with 640x480 renders of your file without any models.
Those renders finished without any problems by the way, but haven't tried the full res yet, because lack of time.

Martin
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 22, 2008, 05:58:54 pm
Hi Martin,

Thanks for the tests. The reason the cloud samples are so high is that when I changed another setting (I wish I could remember which one), the cloud samples increased quite a bit ...so, I left it alone. I will try your suggestion once the problem is fixed. The final render was 1280 x 960 and took almost 3.5 hours ...then came the error messages.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 24, 2008, 02:29:34 am
Matt, Oshyan,

Any progress on this yet?
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 24, 2008, 03:56:32 pm
Hi Martin,

I tried your suggestion of resetting the Atmo/Clouds quality to 48/80 and re-rendered with the same results: TG Error message and a Runtime Error message.

Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Tangled-Universe on August 24, 2008, 04:07:00 pm
Quote from: choronr on August 24, 2008, 03:56:32 pm
Hi Martin,

I tried your suggestion of resetting the Atmo/Clouds quality to 48/80 and re-rendered with the same results: TG Error message and a Runtime Error message.

Bob


I had my doubts about that too. It was mostly meant to mention you about how these 2 settings relate to each other. Didn't really expect it to solve the problem and as you've tested, it didn't.
I didn't have had the time to fully test-render it on my machine.
Hope to do that soon.

Martin
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 24, 2008, 06:16:49 pm
Thanks Martin.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Matt on August 26, 2008, 12:47:18 pm
Bob, have you tried rendering this at a smaller image size? Does it finish rendering?

Matt
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 26, 2008, 01:56:14 pm
Hi Matt,

No, I haven't tried a smaller size. The render I tried was 1280 x 960. I will try a 1024 x 768; and, a smaller size if that don't work.

Question: I had sent Oshyan the .tgd and an image map file including instructions to get the terrain file on my web site. Do you have this?

Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 26, 2008, 05:11:30 pm
Hi Matt,

Here is a try with a 1024 x 768 render. One error message: 'An unknown error occurred in the render thread'. There were no warnings. So far, the errors are winning!

Bob

Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Cyber-Angel on August 26, 2008, 06:39:25 pm
choronr,

This may be along shot (Shot in the dark maybe) have you had a look in the Computer Management Tool found in the Administrative Tools in the Control Panel and looked at the Event Viewer and looked "Application" there maybe more information about the problem there weather its some application error or what have you, some thing to look at maybe?

Regards to you.

Cyber-Angel     
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 27, 2008, 03:03:34 am
Thanks C-A but everything looks normal here.
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 27, 2008, 01:16:43 pm
Matt,

Finally, the image rendered at 1014 x 761; kind of small but no problems.

Have you received the original .tgd file with associated files and run any tests to determine the problems?

Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Oshyan on August 27, 2008, 11:33:59 pm
I did some limited testing to see if I could reproduce the problem but I was unable to do so. I don't have all the files in the scene though. I rather suspect this may simply be running into the limits of your computer system though.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 28, 2008, 01:23:08 am
Hi Oshyan,

I had sent you a list of components that comprise my system some time ago. I doubt that this is the case. I've attached it again for your review.

Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Oshyan on August 28, 2008, 02:02:54 am
Unless you have Vista x64, then it's still more than possible that it's a memory limitation since - regardless of how much memory you have - TG can only use up to 2GB (just under realistically).

I will try to do some more tests this weekend, but unless you're having consistent trouble with other scenes I would just chalk it up to this one being demanding for some reason.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 28, 2008, 02:48:31 am
Thanks Oshyan. I have 32 bit Vista Ultimate; and, have been thinking about going to 64 bit. I will check on this since I read that once you load the OS at one or the other, you cannot reload the other ...don't know if this is true or not ...we'll see.

I appreciate your looking into it further; and, yes I have had some problems with other projects. Let me know what you come up with.

Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: Oshyan on August 28, 2008, 02:51:11 am
You can always dual boot with x64. It will generally set this up automatically if you install onto a system with an existing OS. You will get a menu when you start up your computer to choose which OS to use. As long as you install to a hard drive that does not already have an OS on it you can be pretty confident that your existing OS install will remain and all data will be intact. But if you don't have experience setting this sort of thing up yourself you'll probably want to have help.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 28, 2008, 03:08:05 am
Thanks for getting back Oshyan. I'll be talking to my tech friend tomorrow to see if we can load the 64 bit OS w/o problems. I'll get back to you on this. Again, in the meantime, if you find some other issues with the files, please let me know ...thanks.

Bob
Title: Re: How to prevent plant populations from showing up on water?
Post by: choronr on August 28, 2008, 01:41:36 pm
Oshyan, I think I'll wait until the final version is out and decide if I'll go to the 64 bit OS.