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Thread: Grass with HDI/explanation + files

  1. #1
    Super Member Hieron's Avatar
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    Grass with HDI/explanation + files

    Grass has been my nemesis for a while and I had some serious issues with it. When I saw the thread about Autograss for Max I supposed it was time for another go at it, using the instancing plugin from Happy Digital. I need grass :P

    End result:



    Rendertime for 720p: +- 7 minutes

    Attached is a movie to show that it holds up in animation and the scene + models to render it. Did not add 2 textures I was unsure about regarding the rights.


    It is basically the tutorial as on the HDI site, but with GI and weightmapping on each leaf and the ground to force some more depth in. And 2 extra objects to get a bit of clovers and flowers :P

    Then add about 8 hours of tweaking, rendering and testing and I got the above. I'm pretty sure that those objects and settings can now be used pretty well on other jobs without taking the 8 hours again to set it up.

    The image is perhaps not the best know to mankind regarding grass, but it is good enough so that I know I can use it in prod. and finally overcome my grass issues

    Hope you find a gooduse for it, and if you can improve the look/renderspeed I'd be very gratefull if you pass back the improvements.


    ps: The movie has DoF and slight MB done in post. More importantly it has "Neat Video"plugin applied to it, to do temporal blurring on the grass in the distance. Without that it is almost impossible to get rid of sampling issues when using a few pixels to visualize zillions of poly's.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
    nice work, and a great share ...

    Cheers!
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  3. #3
    Just wish I had HDinstance to actually play with that. Absolutely stunning!

  4. #4
    Sinner Saved by Grace Larry_g1s's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Hieron, really great work.
    Larry Vasquez | Genesis One Studios | company showreel

    Someday, I will be a CG animator (student at iAnimate.net).

  5. #5
    Padwan Learner of LW Brian_7's Avatar
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    This may sound like a "noob" type of question but, how many types of grass blades did you model? I know the premise of HDI but, your grass looks SO REAL!!!

    Brian

  6. #6
    areté adk's Avatar
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    ... great grass and a great share Hieron. Thanks a bunch

    Played around with this and works like a treat & looks fantastic. Not sure you could actually speed it up too much (it looks quite optimised to me), as I'm not much of an authority on AA / GI optimisation. Only thing of note is the daisy flowers using transparency instead of clip maps. On a few it seems fine but if you have a lot of these it would slow down considerably from my experience.

    I was actually going to post a few questions on the related topic of sampling / AA issues on scenes such as these where you have a lot of detail / polys squeezed into a few pixels in the distance & how to best handle such issues. Would be great if you could setup AA based on distance to camera but alas I think I dream too much. I wonder how others deal with this in animations where such heavy blurring might not be possible because of the need to preserve those details ? Any tips / hints would be greatly appreciated.

    Brian_7 - there seems to be only one blade of grass that's randomly cloned & scaled into a patch of grass of about 250 blades ... this is the patch that's then cloned by HDI.

  7. #7
    Super Member geo_n's Avatar
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    Thanks for the scene. It looks great!
    How come your q6600 renders it in 7 min and it rendered in mine in 12min? Did yo overclock?
    Also what was the workaround with the weightmaps? Never encountered that.

  8. #8
    Registered User AdamAvenali's Avatar
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    i think i may have broken the scene haha

    i downloaded your file and then opened it and hit F9. my GI time was 16 min and my render is currently at 46 min and is only at 10%. i am on a Q6600. could it be that i told it to ignore the missing images when opening the file?

  9. #9
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    for the speed issues...

    be sure to use HD Instance 207 and not 206

  10. #10
    Super Member geo_n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by praa View Post
    for the speed issues...

    be sure to use HD Instance 207 and not 206
    yep used 2.07. just hit f9.

  11. #11
    Super Member Hieron's Avatar
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    Hey guys thanks a bunch!

    Yes, make sure to have the just new 2.0.7 version!

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamAvenali View Post
    i think i may have broken the scene haha

    i downloaded your file and then opened it and hit F9. my GI time was 16 min and my render is currently at 46 min and is only at 10%. i am on a Q6600. could it be that i told it to ignore the missing images when opening the file?
    Probably the version issue, the files should not matter at all...

    Quote Originally Posted by geo_n View Post
    Thanks for the scene. It looks great!
    How come your q6600 renders it in 7 min and it rendered in mine in 12min? Did yo overclock?
    Also what was the workaround with the weightmaps? Never encountered that.
    On the rendertime: my sig is not correct anymore, I have a i7 920 now as my main which is not overclocked btw. My previous Q6700 was overclocked to 3.4 ghz and would probably be slightly faster (not sure, these i7's sure are nice). The weightmap problem is that if you use more than 1 instancing layer in HDI and on top you use weightmaps to place them, they get messed up. The solution is to just clone the groundplane (make them invisible) and do 1 layer per clone instead of all on 1 groundplane. Graham seems to know this issue and will probably be able to fix it real soon. In the meantime doing it like this will work fine.


    Quote Originally Posted by adk View Post
    ... great grass and a great share Hieron. Thanks a bunch

    Played around with this and works like a treat & looks fantastic. Not sure you could actually speed it up too much (it looks quite optimised to me), as I'm not much of an authority on AA / GI optimisation. Only thing of note is the daisy flowers using transparency instead of clip maps. On a few it seems fine but if you have a lot of these it would slow down considerably from my experience.

    I was actually going to post a few questions on the related topic of sampling / AA issues on scenes such as these where you have a lot of detail / polys squeezed into a few pixels in the distance & how to best handle such issues. Would be great if you could setup AA based on distance to camera but alas I think I dream too much. I wonder how others deal with this in animations where such heavy blurring might not be possible because of the need to preserve those details ? Any tips / hints would be greatly appreciated.
    On the transparancy: I believe that HDI does not see it if I use clipmaps on the object that will get instanced. I tried at least and moved to transparancy right away. If HDI does see clipmaps I'd switch it..

    On the blurring: details in the distance are hard to preserve with so little pixels to show them I guess.. making them smooth is surely an issue though.. something MB did not fix at all. Therefore the NeatVideo plugin, it blurs in time (can do spatial too) and thus takes out the jittering.


    It is just 1 blade of grass indeed, with a weightmap over it's length. I tried using HDI first to just clone the 1 blade, but it keeps crashing if I fill in a instance per meter of 1000000 :P (which is the *only* time I encountered any issue such as a crash or so, when filling in a bizarro number )

    So I did a "random point cloud" in modeler, scaled to 0 in y and used Point Clone on the blade to these points. That patch can then be used by HDI just fine and probably works better too. This is according to the tutorial btw.


    The shot can probably be improved speedwise, since I noticed that the grass is a bit crowded when the weightmap on the ground is 100%. Dropping the 12 per meter to 8 or so should still work, but the area where weightmapping varies between clovers and grass then needs some attention. Since the animation is smooth, perhaps the GI settings can be lowered too.

    I dropped this into a current project and under 1 minute I had grass working in it. Sure needs tweaking etc, but it copies over easily. Only issue is that the general GI settings govern the HDI. And then you have to set the object properties to tweak it for everything else in the scene.. doable though.


    ps: the animation does some odd glitches (vague movement of the cube for instance), it is due to the DoF plugin I think, it sure is not in the render.
    Last edited by Hieron; 09-02-2009 at 04:14 AM.

  12. #12
    Pixel and Poly Pusher JeffrySG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobian View Post
    Just wish I had HDinstance to actually play with that. Absolutely stunning!
    :agree:

  13. #13
    Registered User AdamAvenali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hieron View Post
    Probably the version issue, the files should not matter at all...
    thanks, i will check it out!

  14. #14
    Super Member dmack's Avatar
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    So what are the changes from 2.0.6 to 2.0.7? There needs to be an update .txt with these...

  15. #15
    Super Member Hieron's Avatar
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    Just bugfixes I guess.. no clue about the changes.

    ps: Clip mask does work, so removing transparancy from the flowers to clip mask makes it a very small bit faster.

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