Here's another project I'm working on, still very WIP. A Stone Age settlement along a river near the Dutch coast. Based on exact locations. The houses are not exactly as they are meant to be, but I put them in for the time being. Some human activity will have to be put in as well. And some cattle, but it's hard to find a nice grazing (brown) cow. I'll probably have to fake something in XFrog that would look reasonable from a distance. Any comments are welcome, of course.
your views on the dutch landscape are always looking very good, I'm sure this will end up with a lot of detail just like the medieval versions.
Do you also paint the rivers and small lakes?
Yes, almost anything is based upon PS painted masks.
Nice concept - love the depth and sense of scale here - I would make some of the greens a little darker
How now brown cow.
Lightwave used to have a cow object in its distribution. This may be public domain now. It had the black white coloring, but it should be easy enough to change this. The only problem is the breed. It think it is a guernsey. Stone age cows would be quite different.
Please forgive any ignorance, should there not be a ring ditch around settlement as there is evidence of else where in Europe notably the UK? If the settlement depicted followed, the pattern of other settlements of the Stone Age and beyond into the bronze and iron ages and certainly in use in the Roman period, there would be a ring ditch around the settlement, with its entrance centered on the road.
The inside of this ditch would have a wooden palisade for defense and to protect the livestock at night form animal attack. If to your knowledge the Dutch did not do this then forgive my error.
Regards to you.
As ever, your ground cover surfacing is superb.
Thanks for your comments. I've been busy modeling an 'old race' cow (not a racing cow) in XFrog today. From a distance it will look okay. It even has horns!
@ Cyber-Angel: In this case they are very primitive farmers settling here and there on the higher grounds. They didn't have defense systems. Anyway, that's what the archeology bureau tells me. Or they haven't found the remnants (ground coloring) and don't know. This is what they want, anyway. Only have to work on the buildings....
Another one of these! Even though it's not finished, the level of detail and variety is astonishing. Very inspirational once again!
I echo Otakar...can't wait for the final!!
Pretty damned good so far. Can't wait to see a close up of an Xfrog cow! ;D
Curiously waiting... This is already good looking :)
Looks good so far! I'm curious to see all the details you're probably going to add in.
Looking forward to your next iteration :)
Well, Hetzen, the cow really looks quite ok. I'll post a render. XFrog is the only modeling prog I can use, and with a little fiddling it works for many things. Although I would really need some (better) Stone Age houses with sagging roofs, and they cannot be produced easily in XFrog. Perhaps with a leaf as roof, but the texturing will be hard. So close up things are what I made and I change details in PS afterwards. At least I have the shadows and such in place.
Send me an image of what you want modeled. I'll be glad to build you some long houses. I can't do cows. For some reason I freeze up or just do not get organic modeling.
That's a great offer Njeneb! I earlier had some guys modeling these houses, but somehow it didn't work out to perfection. These archeological people are quite fussy. Please give it a go, if you have time, I'd be very obliged!! I'll mail you some photos.
Anyway, here's my XFrog cow, quickly put up in a 5 minute setup. Horrible from close by, but in the distance it's quite ok.
It's a better cow than I would have been able to do.
.... xfrog cows, I wouldn't have reckoned this possible!
Completely bowled over. Ingenious! ;D
It has limitations, a roof from a square or flattened box cannot be bumped or tortured into another shape. I also made this fortress in XFrog. http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=8374.0 (http://forums.planetside.co.uk/index.php?topic=8374.0) Although you can't see all the details in this render.
Dune, what are you talking about? These cows are better that some models I've seen posted. Created with a tool not designed for such a thing, it's quite a feat! I am sure they'll look stellar from a distance (as seen in your first render). You can put them up in your NWDA store, maybe ;)
I put the cows (and sheep) in, and from a distance they look great. Some extra buildings, cloud cover, although not entirely as I want it, etc. Still work to do, though.... I have to hear from the archeologists about the density of the woods, although I do like it like this.
Impeccable work. Who knew they had helicopters in the Stone Age? :D Are you planning to make any Stone Age people?
They did have hot air balloons. They used them for heavy lifting, and to send their troublesome kids into the air, causing the emergency services to begin massive rescue efforts. ;D
Still busy with this thing, and still waiting for an answer regarding the density of woods near the river. Anyway, just some details to add for your perusal. I think I've got the ground covered now. Will be continued...
I love the details on the paths.
This looks marvelous. Your buildings look great.
marvelous is the word yes !
good job so far !
Such vision and recreation; outstanding work!
From my hot air balloon these buildings look quite ok, Henry, but up close they suck.
Very cool! Now you just need a good auroch model .. :P
A nice flyover and this could be the beginning to some wildlife documentary or another Tomb Raider movie. :P
Yes, I really have to consider ugrading to the animation version.
I finalized this commission and considered it a good idea to share it. A 5200x3250 render at 0.5 and 4 took only 4 hours, which is incredibly faster than with previous builds, where I sometimes had it rendering 48 hours. Very satisfied. It's by the way not Stone Age but Iron Age, but who cares for a couple of years.
All structures and animals where modeled, I only painted some people, smoke and did some fresh straw on the roof. The bird (Gavia stellata) I painted in PS. Enjoy.
And detail 2
Fantastic work Ulco! Very convincing and nice details :)
I especially like the first one. The farming lands with those crops look very good.
Like the cane near the water, are they models too?
Incredible, and very impressive. Great sense of scale there.
Possibly the best image I've seen produced in TG.
Ulco, these are really fantastic! I downloaded them, they are soooo great. Thanks for sharing these!
Very nice images , Dune . Your painting skill shows it :)
Thanks guys ;D
@Martin: yes, the reeds are a model; a bunch of reed stems actually.
Here's some more details.
The guys at Planetside should have these on their brochure's and on the site.
You have really upped the ante on what can be called awesome!
Dune just curious ;do you use one big image map- texture or many small and-or big maps ?
How big are your maps in general ?
astonishing details...I love this!
@Kadri: the ground cover is regulated by 5 maps (reeds, grass, some more bushy areas, the peaty area where the cows are, and sand). The latter needs to be the most precise to get the little trodden paths, so is 8000x8000px greyscale TIF. The others I reduced to 50% or 25%. In total I had 14 maps, the rest for the different trees and shrub, and the water. The water was an overall mask, reduced, for the distant river, and a cropped, but larger one for the closer pools and streams (it takes some calculating where to put them, so they overlap ok). Also 4 painted shaders to get the mud and the reeds in the front pool, and the cows and sheep in there respective places. The buildings were single objects, just put in place. Most maps where around 14-20MB, some 50MB.
I had TG crash on the first try to get the 5200x3250px image rendered, but lowered the cache, and that worked. 2.86GB used.
It would be good to have a way to reduce the mask size, and still keep the black-white(-grey) a precise as needed (bitmaps are not accepted, alas). It is of course possible to crop the masks, as large areas are black, but that takes more calculating to fit them in.
Thanks for the detailed explanation , Dune :)
Wow, Ulco! That's a lot of great work, fantastic!
It would be cool if the image masks could be baked into surface shaders of some kind. It might save on memory use.
I continue to be amazed at the skill level made evident in your work. And the images are so enjoyable to look at, so much detail everywhere...
What I seem to gather from the explanations is that those high res masks are necessary because you render in high res. So if I wanted to minimize the file sizes for the masks I'd have to limit myself to lower resolution renders if the result is still to look decent.
i really like your trail masking work. :)
I think the image mask resolutions depend on how much precision you need. Ulco's pathways would have to be very large. But some of the plant populations could use low res image masks.
Henry/njeneb hits the hammer on the nail. Some masks could also have been done with the painted shader, but I prefer to work on one PSD layered file with all the masks above each other. It is then easy to draw a textured soft white along e.g. the waterline for a reeds mask. Perhaps selecting the water in the layer beneath and filling the reed layer within that selection with black again if you don't want the reed into the water. Things like that. Do some blobs here for trees.....
I then copy the layer, make a new file and paste, reduce size until it still shows the amount of detail needed. And then a very small pure black and white bitmap of a few kB's would be my favourite for 'undetailed' masks, but bitmaps are not swallowed. So it's 8bit greyscale.