PDA

View Full Version : Desert terrain help



KevinFlynn
09-13-2014, 02:18 PM
Hi,

How would one go about generating a terrain in lightwave? (no modeling, It has to be completely procedural)

I would like to generate a photo realistic terrain to match this image: 124232

Note, I'm not trying to exactly recreate this particular terrain, just something that has the same characteristics

I would also like to produce this without the aid of world machine or anything else that needs to be paid for, but if you have a suggestion for some other software or plugin (free or cheap) please comment!

prometheus
09-13-2014, 02:35 PM
ah..those background mountains...think you need too find the right fractals to work with for a starter..and to do that you need to play around a lot with it to get to know them.
But first..are you allowed to use images? and then use displacement mapping? you could do a lot with photoshops, or why not after effects wonderful noise, but then again you might not have that.

ridged multifractal, dented, and with nodes...check the crackle fractal, also get dpontīs fractal in the rman collection, using rocks etc.
then itīs a matter of scaling fractals sizes right, tweaking and turning..try inverted modes etc..
within the same subdivided grid you will be using for displacement, you can use multi layered fractals and reference those fractals to different nulls, and position them, use falloff..or better yet an image mask to level out edges etc.
And you do not necessary have to use just one terrain object, you can use two or more, and not just a divided poly gridplane, but that depends on you not wanting to model it?

I would probably attack it with multi sectidon of divided planes, and move around the peaks individually and also get different looks on the peaks than trying to acheive it in one single terrain object.

JohnMarchant
09-13-2014, 03:47 PM
The mountains would be hard proceduraly, can you use displacement images that would sort out the main mountain, then combine with procedurals for the floor and mix in with the mountains. The overall shape of the mountain will need texture displacement or allot of messing around with procedurals to get right.

prometheus
09-13-2014, 03:58 PM
why is it limited to procedurals and no options to sculpt it?

vonpietro
09-13-2014, 04:35 PM
i've seen tumble weeds generated by instanced HV's that looked pretty good.

prometheus
09-13-2014, 05:13 PM
i've seen tumble weeds generated by instanced HV's that looked pretty good.

uhhmm...you canīt instance Hvīs

particles and hvīs are probably what you think of, and yes..there was long time ago a tutorial with applying hv (volumetrics) on to particles in a desert, but thatīs really no issue now..and should probably be better of
using geometry bush and instances.

the issue is more shaping the mountain, and also get that high detail...best aproach, sculpt it main shape or even all of it in zbrush...failing owning that, get free sculptris...mix sculptris main shape with procedurals for midlevel detail
add higher detail with normal map or/and bumps

Why it need to be completly procedural I donīt know?

OFF
09-13-2014, 08:01 PM
You can try to use the technique as here, a video of Dan Ritchie:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zE9ygSeN5lA#t=197

ary3d
09-13-2014, 11:31 PM
I use only procedurals for my 3d works, Lightwave have a great amount of textures and Denis Pontonnier made a port for some more textures http://dpont.pagesperso-orange.fr/plugins/Textures.htm

here you can find some post of procedural stuff that I made:


simple ground example:
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?132780-My-entry-on-the-CG-Society-Challenge-TEN-all-Lightwave-)&p=1301312&viewfull=1#post1301312

free scene with several displacement objects:
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?139754-Winter-is-comming

my last procedual work:
http://forums.newtek.com/showthread.php?143237-Procedural-fun-wip


Greetings, David

JohnMarchant
09-14-2014, 01:51 AM
Yes David procedural are very powerful indeed and great for landscapes. However if you are trying to reproduce a certain landscape, say a mountain range then an image map is a better starting point or sculpting. Procedural s whilst powerful are very hard to control and get the look you want. They are great to create new landscape types but trying to recreate an existing one is easier with a starting displaced image map.

However you work is a constant inspiration to everyone.

Kaptive
09-14-2014, 05:23 AM
As mentioned above, the best approach in my mind is to use Sculptris (free from http://pixologic.com/sculptris/ ) to create the basic form. You can do this pretty quickly and get the exact result you want. The mesh adapts to where the detail is in sculptris so it is very efficient. Just import a subdivided flat mesh (export it as an obj from LW) and go to work on it.

Once you are back in Lightwave, if the mesh is too high, just use poly reduction + (qemloss) to make it a bit more managable. Do it a couple of times and you'll barely notice a difference in quality.

Then you can go to town on textures and instancing. I create a lot of landscapes in my work and this method is one of the fastest when you have a specific look in mind. You could spend/waste a lot of time with procedurals and deformation maps getting the wrong results. Go for the direct approach and create exactly what you want. Use reference from photos and try and transfer as much of what you see into the sculpt.

Hope this helps.

prometheus
09-14-2014, 08:53 AM
As mentioned above, the best approach in my mind is to use Sculptris (free from http://pixologic.com/sculptris/ ) to create the basic form. You can do this pretty quickly and get the exact result you want. The mesh adapts to where the detail is in sculptris so it is very efficient. Just import a subdivided flat mesh (export it as an obj from LW) and go to work on it.

Once you are back in Lightwave, if the mesh is too high, just use poly reduction + (qemloss) to make it a bit more managable. Do it a couple of times and you'll barely notice a difference in quality.

Then you can go to town on textures and instancing. I create a lot of landscapes in my work and this method is one of the fastest when you have a specific look in mind. You could spend/waste a lot of time with procedurals and deformation maps getting the wrong results. Go for the direct approach and create exactly what you want. Use reference from photos and try and transfer as much of what you see into the sculpt.

Hope this helps.


I agree with you , sculptris for main shapes and perhaps texturing is probably an easy workflow..and affordable, then throwing it in to lightwave for further displacements if you want too..
this was my very first doodle in 10 seconds for the shape in sculptris..and it wasnīt intended to be a rock really, just turned out that way, now when I get the hang of it..and spend time to actually plan doing a nice rock, I think it can
work well.

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=123989&d=1409599295

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=124028&d=1409780474

prometheus
09-14-2014, 08:59 AM
Note that you would often want overhangs or sheered peaks, and you can not do that with procedurals mapped on y axis only, you have to use normal displacement, and that is quite slower to use when dealing with dense meshes.
so actually sculpting or model shape the initial shape with that in mind helps avoid stretching a procedural with normal mapping too much..also to be aware of when stretching from a simple grid, you do not get smoot uniformed divisions and as such there will be large polygons and fewer polygons in those areas..and thus a loss of quallity, unless very very high amount of subpatch divisions.

you donīt necessary need to sculpt the main shape in sculptris, if you know how to lay out the main shape in modeler first, and furter tweak with magnet,dragnet etc..
thereīs also in modeler options to use textured point map to create weight falloffs..then scale and move the shape with the help of such mapped falloff.

OFF
09-14-2014, 08:59 AM
This landscape has been made using the Howler 9.5 demo version.

124253

djwaterman
09-14-2014, 10:06 AM
This landscape has been made using the Howler 9.5 demo version.

124253

That looks real, was it totally created in Howler or does it use actual land data?

ary3d
09-14-2014, 04:10 PM
Great examples Michael, now you gave me the sci-fi itching ;D

prometheus
09-14-2014, 06:02 PM
Great examples Michael, now you gave me the sci-fi itching ;D

thanks..and that was only from a 10 seconds doodle of my very first sculptris, so you can imagine if I were to put my mind to it, and do some proper stuff, I think it would rock...however, donīt think I will have the time to focus on that..have to see further on.

I am also experimenting with backdrops and different ways to achieve best animated clouds that actually casts rays and shadows on to the landscape( leaving hypervoxels alone for sometime) , light and shadows that pass over a landscape is very important for the realism and the dramatic and contrassted look in a certain image, sometimes I just throw in a cloud plane and make it transparent and not seen by the camera so it just works as a shadow caster, but it should at least match a backdrop cloudscape, so I still have to investigate working with that or animated clips on a spherical dome, ideally the very exact animated clip ...should be the same that casts the shadow..up till now I havenīt found a good way to approach it though.

You can often see a lot of 3d images with cloud images mixing..but very few adds shadows from them, so nothing to block out the sun..and without that it gives a very artificial look in images.

OFF
09-14-2014, 07:20 PM
That looks real, was it totally created in Howler or does it use actual land data?

I downloaded the map terrain height from the satellite. Then uploaded it to the Howler, and using filter 3d designer has created a topographically accurate geometry.
Height map size was 20,000 at 20,000, approximately. So then I had to manually cut the water level to facilitate the number of polygons of the model.
The total number of polygons redacted model is approximately 8,000,000.

spherical
09-14-2014, 09:56 PM
it should at least match a backdrop cloudscape, so I still have to investigate working with that or animated clips on a spherical dome, ideally the very exact animated clip ...should be the same that casts the shadow..up till now I havenīt found a good way to approach it though.

Over on the Thea Render forums, one of the guys who does some darn impressive coding wrote an image loader to do an animated sky with an HDR sequence employing IBL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVYZqUMwz2Y

IIRC, we can load sequences onto geometry, so an inverted hemisphere running an HDR sequence should be doable. Can Textured Environment load sequences?

shrox
09-14-2014, 10:15 PM
I agree with you , sculptris for main shapes and perhaps texturing is probably an easy workflow..and affordable, then throwing it in to lightwave for further displacements if you want too..
this was my very first doodle in 10 seconds for the shape in sculptris..and it wasnīt intended to be a rock really, just turned out that way, now when I get the hang of it..and spend time to actually plan doing a nice rock, I think it can
work well.

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=123989&d=1409599295

Still waiting for you to blow my ship up. Boom.

prometheus
09-15-2014, 05:34 AM
Over on the Thea Render forums, one of the guys who does some darn impressive coding wrote an image loader to do an animated sky with an HDR sequence employing IBL. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVYZqUMwz2Y

IIRC, we can load sequences onto geometry, so an inverted hemisphere running an HDR sequence should be doable. Can Textured Environment load sequences?

yupp..ive been messing with animated clouds on domes, and in textured environment both, so textured environment works as it should with animated clips, you can even pick a youtube clip, if you have the rights for it that is...and use that, downloads in mp4 should just be renamed to mov format and it should work..at least in 32 bit version, donīt know with quicktime in 64 since it lacks support.
though itīs a drawback to use textured environment if you want raycasting of sunrays..so mapping on geometry is the way to go.

the issues with mapping on to domeīs, it should not looked wrapped/stretched, then you need to project a sunlight casting itīs rays through it without getting artifacts on the cloud map that is on the geometry, I think you could use one dome with a pre-processed cloud map that is supposed to be semi transparent with a sort of alpha extraction, and that is used to project the sunlight and even faked godrays, the geometry and map itself, should be hidden, then you have another dome with the same cloud map but not in alpha mode, this map should be fully visable as the cloudmap to be seen.
A good animated spherical HDR cloudmap is probably the best, but it might not be easy to get hold of nor available for free.

hereīs faked rays, ( volumetric lights through a transparent cloud plane and fractal textures) it should be possible to project animated cloudmaps, if you
have a good spherical map that is.
http://vimeo.com/57671552

prometheus
09-15-2014, 05:38 AM
Still waiting for you to blow my ship up. Boom.

Thanks for the verification, thought you might get offended if I did:)
Seriously...I need to do some fixes on my computer and also install the latest nvidia drivers..which hasnīt been a priority, I need that to work with turbulenceFD properly..
hypervoxels would only be semi decent in regards to todays standard.
Will have that blow up job in mind for things to do.

Michael

Ivan_B
09-15-2014, 07:15 AM
Hey Kevin, I know this is not what you were asking help for, but I thought I'd share a different approach to what you might be doing.

Rather than create a full on terrain and hope to texture and light it to look realistic, you could try using a matte painting (Background image of your terrain etc) and "Front Project" that image onto some basic geometry and do some basic camera dolly's with your main geometry comped on top of it...If your looking to do massive camera motions than this might not be the way to go.

I'm about to make a tutorial on it in the next day or so...its very easy and very effective.

KevinFlynn
09-15-2014, 11:09 AM
I need to generate a 10km - 100km terrain, which is probably too big for any hand modeling or sculpting.

KevinFlynn
09-15-2014, 11:13 AM
Using data from this site (http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/Coverage%20map%20viewfinderpanoramas_org3.htm) I was able to create this unity terrain: 124283 I want to add more detail to my height map in lightwave, but in a procedural way because of the size of the terrain.


Thanks to every one who has responded so far! I am amazed at the speed and quality of responses on this community!

SteveH
09-15-2014, 12:56 PM
If you have sketch up you can grab terrain data from Google. You can zoom in to get more detailed geometry that overlaps and then bring it into Lightwave and it looks pretty good depending of course on how close your camera is going to be to the terrain.

prometheus
09-16-2014, 02:54 AM
sketchup...well only for the basis of a landscape perhaps, could be a starting point...but you would have to tweak the mountains anyway with some sheering or slightly overhang boulders on the top.

Using a 10 km divided grid to sculpt shouldnīt be a problem, you can always just rescale it back and forth, but for that sample I donīt know...I suppose you actually are going to animate it?
I would suggest treat the landscape in parts and not as one single terrain object.
apart from the main desert plain..wich a simple plane might do, you have the base terrain that are just more raised levels of the ground ..but still smooth, then comes the rock parts with more detail on that.

prometheus
09-16-2014, 05:39 PM
Using data from this site (http://www.viewfinderpanoramas.org/Coverage%20map%20viewfinderpanoramas_org3.htm) I was able to create this unity terrain: 124283 I want to add more detail to my height map in lightwave, but in a procedural way because of the size of the terrain.


Thanks to every one who has responded so far! I am amazed at the speed and quality of responses on this community!


Ah...though I think that site has too low resolution for the height maps..you need higher resolution I think, but depends on if you need to get closer to the terrain.

you can also register a free account over here...
http://earthexplorer.usgs.gov/

and after you log in you can zoom in on some areas..in search critera click your first point and move your mouse to select point 2 and 3 and 4 to get an area to choose...then and drag you region of interest..then click on results, to the left you will have
returned results where there is any datasets, and you can download it ..I suggest start with aster global dem, you will get tif files, and you should increase either opacity a lot or texture amplitude and use automatic sizing.

See images..

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=124315&d=1410910644

http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=124316&d=1410910692

124315

124316

KevinFlynn
09-24-2014, 04:17 PM
Thanks For the link to earth explorer, it's the best elevation data website I've seen yet!

prometheus
09-24-2014, 04:46 PM
Thanks For the link to earth explorer, it's the best elevation data website I've seen yet!

Your welcome, and if you do find high res areas with some nice terrain, I advice you to feedback where it is to us if you can :)

I would still recomend you learn the free sculptris, there is a limitation in heightmaps in the way that you can not get any data that deals with normal displacement (cliff overhangs etc, nor bridging blending of rock pillars etc)
for that you would need to model in lightwave or zbrush prefered.

Sculptris is however easier to use and navigate in, you can easy paint decimate the landscape with the reduce poly brush, so where you have flat areas with less detail..you just run that over it, you can paint mask areas and reduce..or you can increase detail where you paint, painting textures are nice and you get perfect mapping once you export it to lightwave...thereīs really no issue with scaling, you simply paint sculpt the flat grid as you want it, then scale it in lightwave.

One good thing about using sculptris, the deformation of the sculpted geometry has a better poly distribution and with a control of how much detail strength you want it to be when painting new bulges etc, so the quality should look better than if you were to simply displace a divided grid with textures in lightwave, you will get gaps from such displacement techniques in areas where normals or displacement are very strong.

I would also recommend get hold of world machine, the standard edition isnīt expensive, and the only thing you might want from the pro version ..that is tiled output, but standard will do fine if you export out terrain with zero edges.

I tested to paint deform basic shape in sculptris, then painted a heightmap on that geometry,exported as png, loaded to worldmachine just to use it as the main terrain shape..then i just added erosion filters from world machine..you could very well use displacements in lightwave too and render out a heightmap .load it in to worldmachine for erosion, that is if you want to mix lightwave procedural main shapes with erosion filters.

worldmachine compare chart..
http://www.world-machine.com/download.php?page=compare



and main page...
http://www.world-machine.com/

you can try the demo for as long as you want with basic edition..just to learn it, exports at 513x513 is somewhat to low for high quality stuff, you would need standard edition that has no limit except for you ram
4097x4097 is usally enough..but you can go higher if your machine can handle it.



hereīs a sample of sculptris main sculpt the erosion filters from world machine...I have to wrestle a bit with mixing and blending ground textures with the painted terrain object...in this case I instanced the terrain maybe three times and rotated and scaled it differently...sky is dpont sunsky and clouds are hypervoxels...just fiddling and I need to work on it


http://forums.newtek.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=124440&d=1411495217

raw-m
09-28-2014, 08:52 AM
What a great thread! I had no idea Sculptis was free, a clever way of getting people into Zbrush.

A different approach, although not necessarily for desserts, I was looking for something similar and found this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85zRZy3Vi6g

It's for C4d but could easily apply for LW.

prometheus
09-28-2014, 09:09 AM
What a great thread! I had no idea Sculptis was free, a clever way of getting people into Zbrush.

A different approach, although not necessarily for desserts, I was looking for something similar and found this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85zRZy3Vi6g

It's for C4d but could easily apply for LW.

Welll.you should look in to this tutorial by our fellow Good Lightwave artist Ivan Barbarich recently posted, for lightwave using camera mapping, pretty much the same thing...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y27spSDSNxg

raw-m
09-28-2014, 10:25 AM
That's a good one, I'd missed that. Helps me keep the faith in LW a little longer (hope the modeling thing is addressed shortly (but not for this discussion)).