# Planetside Software Forums

## General => Terragen Discussion => Topic started by: Sp34k on May 16, 2009, 12:20:13 pm

Title: Q: making path of water
Post by: Sp34k on May 16, 2009, 12:20:13 pm
Hallo my friends

I've been looking at some stunning pictures here on the forum, many of you guys got some serious skills with Terragen 2, and while wathing the pictures I got inspired.. I wan't to create a moutain with water running down.. But how do you make a path of water? All that I am able to do is making a specific level of water (the basic) - I wish to expand my horrizonts and take the next step towards creating beautiful Terragen images..

I hope that I made myself clear enough, otherwise just ask me what I mean more specific..

Regards,
Mike
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: rcallicotte on May 16, 2009, 01:31:09 pm
Waterfalls are an ongoing discussion with different members here.  It's a good one.  Do some searches for waterfall and see what's been done already...let us know your findings, too.  That's part of the fun and health of this forum.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Hetzen on May 16, 2009, 05:55:52 pm
Ok, I've just been playing around with this, trying to distort a lake object with an offset powerfractal, which does what it's told, except: The problem is trying to flatten the offset. Sure you can define the area you want the river to flow, you can also distort a lake object to be a couple of meters higher than the groove you've just painted in with a paint shader, yet lower than the surounding terrain (think water surface), what you can't do, is clamp the altitude over an area to keep the water surface flat in x/z to a specific path vector over y, ie downhill. So what you would get is the water conforming exactly to the terrain, except an offset lower. So any dips in the terrain is reflected in the shape of the lake object. What you need to do is flatten this at specified altitudes along a vector path.

I've been playing around with field generation through voronoi noise recently, which I've got to sort of work, and hope to put into the NWA (NWDA, NDWA?) competition  :P But think I could have done with a "blur function over area". Now there is a smooth step node in the functions list, which sort of sounds like what I want, but have absolutely no idea what it needs to work, ie how does the point in it's calculation know what the step is in x,y,z is?(asuming it works in an area) I could also seriously see a very good use of some sort of "fast blur" in either x,y,z or any combination, which may get around sorting out the flatness over altitude with a down hill river for example.

Planetside?
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Oshyan on May 16, 2009, 08:45:26 pm
Blur effects are usually "raster" effects, so they don't tend to work too well with procedurals. I could be wrong about that being the case in TG2, that's just what I recall *in general* in the CG world.

As for the original question, while you could do most of what's needed in TG2 decently (particularly using the Painted Shader), ultimately you need a proper shape in your terrain that works well with a river filling it. This is harder to achieve in TG2, though also possible (again mostly with the Painted Shader). If I were aiming for this, I'd probably just set the terrain up in a 3rd party app like Geocontrol or World Machine and then place the water with a mask (generated in the 3rd party app) or painted shader in TG2.

It's going to be difficult to get a river of proper "depth" regardless, but in a pinch (and especially from a distance) a colored surface with reflectivity can suffice.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Hetzen on May 16, 2009, 09:38:51 pm
Well, I'm a little lost on what the "smooth step sclaer" function is, or how it works out where the steps are coming from if it's not a rasterise function. I've managed to clamp voronoi noise to a degree, to create stone walls thinner than the voronoi differnce scaler noise function through bias scaling to create the following PoC, but would like to add more grey into it's 'clampness'. Smooth step scaler would sound like it's the trick, yet it struggles on hard black on white differences, so I have no idea how it's supposed to work.

Here is what I've achieved, using voronoi to define fields/field stone walls, and field edge populations. Still very much wip and very much more proof of concept, so ignore it's crudeness. But there is a limit it seems I can clamp the noise, so it would be usefull to blur that result to get a little more resolution at the scale I want it. If you look at the centre parting of the nearest 3 fields, there is a grey line on the left hand side of the wall, which as far as I can tell, is the limit of the colour correction (read contrast) I can get out of the function to get the width. Adding a little blur would give me a few more steps to tighten up that line.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Oshyan on May 16, 2009, 09:43:02 pm
Well, honestly I'm not a function node expert, so I can't help much there. I presume you've read the reference on this though? http://www.planetside.co.uk/docs/tg2/noderef/window_1_16_2.html

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Hetzen on May 16, 2009, 09:59:06 pm
;) Yes I have. And all I can asume is that it needs a grey scale, rather than a black next white difference step betweeen points, hence the need to blur that to give me more grey to play with.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Goms on May 17, 2009, 05:40:09 am
The smooth step scalar works with two constant scalar nodes.
You can use it Like this:
(http://img20.imageshack.us/img20/3728/clipboard01z.jpg)
To get something like this:
(http://img199.imageshack.us/img199/64/35407125.jpg)
scale, seed, step start and step end are constant scalars.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Hetzen on May 17, 2009, 07:20:01 am
Thanks Goms, much appreciated. That is how I had set it up. The problem I had was getting the step to smooth at very small scales. I got around the problem with using a conditional scaler in the end.

Sorry for dragging this thread off topic.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Sp34k on May 17, 2009, 02:53:59 pm
Alright I've done alot of research here on planetside and from other sites.. Ehm from what I've learned, then I need to know more about the basic facts, people don't 'really' explain step by step how to create a waterfall, also I need to get more knowledge about creating the right terrange etc.

So before jumping into creating a waterfall, I guess that I'll have to do even more research about more basic stuff and then one day, return to the waterfall.. I didn't expect it to be that hard..
Also I have no idéa about how to use the internal network, ehm so.. First more practice, research and alot of scr*wing up ;)

One day I'll probably return to this topic and show a waterfall image, who knows :)

Best regards,
Mike
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Oshyan on May 17, 2009, 03:10:36 pm
Doing a convincing waterfall is actually quite difficult, both in TG2 and most other apps. There are several attempts of varying quality around the forums here, but all of them took a bit of work. While I understand it could be considered a "basic" landscape feature, in creation terms it's more of an "advanced" problem to solve. The same is true of convincing waves crashing on a beach, for example.

- Oshyan
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: cyphyr on May 17, 2009, 03:58:10 pm
To be honest (God I hate that phrase) I think your chasing your tail here. Well actually it depends on what your trying to achieve. Apart from waterfalls most rivers are either wide and flat (you could just use small water planes stacked and offset) or if their on a slope they don't look much like water, not in a clear watery sort of way. In most cases if a river/stream is going down the side of a mountain it cuts deep ravines and thus hides most of its actual visible water, all you can really see is the effects of where water has passed. Only where it has pooled can you actually see any water. Of course if your camera is set up right next to the stream you'll see plenty but for most landscape shots theres really not that much too see. Grab some images from google that show the effect your after. Then people here can give much better and more relevant advice. And also remember that many of the possible solutions will be situation specific, ie they will work great sometimes but at other times will be entirely inappropriate.
Good luck and let us see your wip's :)
Richard
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Goms on May 17, 2009, 04:13:02 pm
cyphyr is absolutely right.
Also, how hard or easy it is, depends on what you want. a close-up shot from inside a canyon with high slope, is really hard. a distant shot from a waterfall on a scarp, is "easy".
You can taker a look at the "image" and the tgd attached. I should give you an idea about how to make a waterfall with clouds.
The cloud is made with a painted shader that paints in 3D.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Sp34k on May 17, 2009, 04:24:29 pm
Hallo cyphyr, its a little funny that you reply to my topic because it was from your picture I got the inspiration.. I saw two of your pictures: http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=5982.0 (http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=5982.0), and I know your skills are way higher than mine (but nothing is inpossible) - so back to my point, I wanted to create a picture in the same POV but with a moutain or a hill in the background with water floating down..

This was the best picture that I could find: http://www.muche-net.de/sea2002/pics/water_stream.JPG (http://www.muche-net.de/sea2002/pics/water_stream.JPG) as you can see my friend, the way the water is streaming down is beautiful.. I don't know if you can follow my imagination, but if you take one of your pictures and then insert a moutain/hill in the background with water streaming down.. :)

btw, those two pictures you made are extraordinary, they catch my taste 101% :)

Goms:
Im not sure if I catch your point, but, do you say that it's possible to make a waterfall out of clouds? Sounds weird to me but my knowledge is not big in Terragen, I'm more into photoshop so I need to change my way of "thinking" when it comes to creating landscapes:) I'm open to any idéas, suggestion and what so ever..

Regards,
Mike

Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Goms on May 17, 2009, 04:30:44 pm
The Picture you got there is pretty much what i did in the attached tgd.
The form of the terrain is used to get a cloud in the right shape.
If you think about it, the smaller the waterdrops are the more cloudy do they have to look. And if you look at pictures with h higher exposure, you just see a cloud.
so try to model something like the terrain in the picture and draw with a painted shader an it. Maybe i have time to write something more in-depth about this tomorrow.
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Sp34k on May 17, 2009, 05:00:44 pm
Dear Goms,

I have to admit that I'm still not 100% sure how to do all those things.. First of all, I'm amazed over how you even made those waterfalls.. The first tricky part is to make the terrain like that, I can't really shape terrange and all that, I'm trying to do a research for tutorials or a guide showing how to make your own terrains..

Like on your picture you showed with the waterfalls, it's unclear to me how you even made the terrain so flat and how you ended it like that (where the waterfall starts to go down).. I still struggles with understanding how to put textures on trees etc. (I have to keep trying) - So I really appreciate your help and your brilliant idéas, but it's still rather unclear for me where to start, what settings to adjust and what "shader" and all that I should use.. I'm not even into the shaders yet, I find it difficult to understand at the moment..

But I started with terragen 2 for a week ago so I can't make anything "WOAW", you can see some of my work on www.sp34k.com under Portfolio and then 3D.. If you ask me "how did you make that", then im not 100% sure because I try alot of things to see "what happens if... and if... and what now?".. But I'm doing all I can to learn and find solutions to my problems/questions..

I just tried with drawing, but all that happens is that I make those white strokes on my render-preview (or what it's called) - nothing happens :)

Regards,
Mike
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: cyphyr on May 17, 2009, 06:31:41 pm
lol
Quote from: Sp34kbecause I try alot of things to see "what happens if... and if... and what now?".. But I'm doing all I can to learn and find solutions to my problems/questions..

Think thats how we all learned :)
Do you have any experience in any other modeling packages? The scene you looking to make (judging from you photo) would lend itself well to specific modeling in another package. Exporting the terrain and building a flowing structure (river like, look at the demo of realflow) around it.
good luck
richard
Title: Re: Q: making path of water
Post by: Sp34k on May 17, 2009, 06:47:46 pm
Haha, yeah just like everybody else:) I learn more and more for everday..

The only software I have experience in is Photoshop, but after some years it all seems the same so I wanted to expand my horrizont, so Terragen 2 was my choice and I'll stick to that:)
But from what I can see and read on the internet, then I need to start on a way lower stage.. I just looked at some realflow and to me it looks pretty hard, it doesn't bother me though but I wan't to learn WHAT the settings does, insteed of knowing how to do it.. If you know what I mean?

Anyways.. I guess I'll have to keep trying different settings in Terragen 2 to understand what they do.. My goal for now is learning how to make a good terrain that fits my imagination and idéas, insteed of making some random terrain and then find a good POV, then I wan't to learn how to make the scene as I want it, and then learning how to put textures on objects/ground..

And when I have the right knowledge, then I'll return and hopefully understand what you guys are suggesting me to do:) Thanks to you all, cyphyr, Goms and Oshyan..

Regards,
Mike