View Full Version : urban viz.

01-26-2004, 03:13 PM
kind of wip as the whole scene is not modeled yet but
I had to finish some images for today so let's consider these ones
are done…

urban study in Paris

01-26-2004, 03:14 PM
2d pic

01-26-2004, 03:43 PM
Nice clean piece of work there Lasco. Very fresh looking.
Have you got much more modelling to do to it?

01-26-2004, 04:28 PM
have a bit more to model about the project yes,
as it continues on the top left of the first pic,
and I also should modelize a bit more the existing buildings around
the area…
the longer is trees, LW does not allow to work
easy with them (placing them, changing instances… is a pain in Modeler as well
as Layout - but for different reasons, I'd love that LW has a real cloning / grouping
system !)

01-26-2004, 04:33 PM
Cool....nicely done!!


01-27-2004, 11:42 PM
Hey Lasco, this is great, for your trees, U should have a look at Random Cloner from Pawel Olas.... It has the feel of a maquette.... just a question , do you need to be architect to do this kind of job in France ?

Keep up !

01-28-2004, 01:47 AM
Hi Hervé,

I DO use random cloner of Olas, as well as Tree Designer of course :)
Well in some cases at least.
Actually it's usefull and at the same time may be hard.

I need to ALIGN trees quite acurately.
Unfortunately the cloning along curve of LW is not rich enough as it
does not allow you to rotate or re-size randomly the clones when you
generate them…
On the other hand Random cloner works with POLYS, not curves.
The tip I found is :
1/ Modeling of the terrain (not flat at all here as you can see)
2/ creation of a very small sized poly (triangle or rectangle) on a separated
3/ duplicating this poly in plan mode, along curve etc. so that there
is a poly at each place there will be a tree (in plan)
4/ drill the terrain (a copy of it) with the layer containing all my little polys
and clean everything else
5/ cloning trees with Random Cloner on the layer with all these little "base" poly
that are correctly placed in plan AND on Y axis thanx to the drill…
Generally I get 1 tree for 1 "base" poly, sometimes 2 as Random Cloner may "mistake" even with a distribution setted to 100%…

A bit long to do but did not find faster yet… now true that sometimes I can't do that because some of my trees are too heavy (5000 or 10000 polys) and so I can't afford having 10 or 20 instances of them on a single layer.
In that cases I clone them in the Layout in a separated scene to go faster,
and then load them in my main scene…

Now if you have better solution please tell :)

And no in France fortunately you don't have to be architect to do this job,
anyway I don't see why you should, this is just illlustration, not technical pic.
Besides it's not even really architecture but urbanism (technical points are not
that important here).

01-28-2004, 02:18 AM
Aaaaaaahhh dont go further, you absolutly need this plugin.... random cloner is cool, but as U said, a bit too random and it works on polys.... on the other hand, this one (I have it and it's super great as a real poly saver and time saver, it works with all the features of LW, a must have in your case...


You wont regret it)

it works two ways .... on polys... or on points... basically that's the mode for your case... make a subdivede poly in modeler, kill poly, save points, or just lay down some points manually, and HD_Instance will duplicate a tree or two, rotate them randomly, also size them a bit randomly, and the cherry on the cake, you'll also have a special shader that allows U to change the color of leaves randomly, U know like this one greener than this one, etc... U get the point...

So really, since Tree designer could be a bit polys consuming, this is the way to go...!

Cheers Lasco....

I should go to the border of France then.... here I think you need some sort of agreement from the gov... ah well, administration bulls...t


PS I am even using it with the grass generator... I made a patch of grass.... and the rest is same story as for tree designer....

Later, Hervé

01-28-2004, 03:38 AM
I know HD Instance and yes it looks cool, except that…it does not run yet
on my platform (Mac…).
However I'm not even sure I'd love to work with it as :
- the time saved with the instancing engine is good only when you really have
HUNDREDS of instance of a same models (that's what the developper says),
while in urbanism / landscape I have hundreds of trees to place but must
have different kinds of shape. Have not built enough models yet but
in such a scene I should rather have let's say 500 trees including
10 models and 50 clones for each (in that case I'm not sure HD instance is
that efficient)

- HD instance does'nt seem to love Shadow Mapping, which means that
you lose in return large part of the time saved with HD Instance as you
have to work in RayTrace

- Same thing for Radiosity : in urbanism using MonteCarlo is not absolutely
unusefull unless you like to wait for hours of computing… and since HD Instance
also does'nt seem to work with Backdrop Only…

well I did not try and compared all the "mixing" of theses different points
but am really not sure HD Instance would be that time saving for me
in every cases…

PS : the main trouble I have with trees anyway is that my graphic card is
not strong enough and so the working with hundred of them is a pain,
but I have no troubles with rendering as as you know hundred thousands of polys are not what take the more time to render for LW : the longer is radiosity
but if you just check "Unseen by rays" for your trees in such a scene you divide
you rendering time by 2 or 3 and the result is almost the same ;)

PS : I know that Olas is preparing a whole new version of Tree designer,
I mailed him an idea of a tip that could allow to save 25% of the polys for
the exact same result. He did not promise he will include that but found it interesting and said : "maybe…"

01-28-2004, 03:44 AM
I should go to the border of France then.... here I think you need some sort of agreement from the gov... ah well, administration bulls...t

mmm… well of course it seems quite annoying and if you look for a reason of
this agreement, I mean a "serious, technical" reason, of course you won't find
anything (at least I don't see anyone…)

On the other hand I guess there is maybe another reason that is that
Luxembourg tries that way to protect its workers :
Your country is so small, bordered by France, Belgium and Germany…
where there are so many architects, illustrators etc. that have troubles
to find job. Guess that without such rules you (mean you people in general,
don't know how to translate "luxembourgeois" ?) could have much more competitors…

if it's kind of protection for you it's not that bad !

01-28-2004, 04:13 AM
Hey lasco any chance of wire frames. I've done a few housing developments but it starts getting complicated when there on sloping ground and you need to creating the road's paths etc.

So I was hoping i might learn something form a wire of your slopes.


01-28-2004, 04:32 AM
Bonjour, your images are very nice & clear. I block out masterplans in a similar way when proposing general layout ideas. Funnily enough I was in Paris at the weekend, what a beautiful city.

I really wouldn't make them anymore detailed than you have already as it looks as though the design is in the early stages. Radiosity really gives it that 'model' look similar to a sketch Kappa board model.

I know you'll wince at this because you've put a lot of effert into the trees, but I've found 'lollipop' style trees (sphere on a stick) on models like this compliments the sketch design and can be a tremendous time-saver. Realistic trees can make the model look more simplistic than it is. If and when you start to model up the individual buildings then replace them with the high polygon ones.

Great to see this type of work here, cheers, ouvoir.

01-28-2004, 07:17 AM
ahhhh, stupid me, I did not realize U're on a Mac.... well... (you're right about Radiosity....)

So a new version of tree des. is on the grill..... hmmmmmmmm, miam miam...

and yes I guess you're right, lux gov wants to protect local dudes.... well... on the other hand there is not a lot of pepole in the country side in France.... but maybe not a lot of work either.... he he

01-28-2004, 07:54 AM
So a new version of tree des. is on the grill

there has been recently an interview of Olas here on Newtek's…
have a look…

Raz > I won't wince at all, I understand very well :)
Just know that :
- I did not plan to go any further in details on this scene,
I just have now to add more items as all the project is not
modeled (come back in a week and it's done:)

- I also sometimes use "sphere" trees, to be precise I jitter a bit spheres
and it's perfect. I use this when I work in "cartoon" rendering or
in real time (check my site if U want and have a look at the 1st urban
project, you'll see… oh, sorry but of course a player is needed…)

- The stuff is that sometimes I'm on a kind of limit between urbanism
(such views) and public spaces viz. when then I have to shoot a bit closer views.
And in these cases "sphere" trees really don't work… I need more "light", "realistic models…
Quality of landscape is as important as urban layout in such a project,
and if my client are happy that I don't go further in details for the buildings
they at the opposite like that I make precisely more efforts on trees…
it gives a less "hard" looking to the pics…

Lude > wait a minute I send you some screenshots of the WF ;-)

01-28-2004, 08:09 AM

here is a wf of the current step of the scene (without the buildings).

The best way I found for such models is to AVOID absolutely
everything that looks like paths extrusions for the roads !

Basically I work like this :
1/ I model the terrain creating less or more large polygons
For this it depends on the datas I have : sometimes partial 3D files,
sometimes just 2D with separately coordinates of points (in Z I mean)
so I have to put points in space one by one", sometimes else I
get ASCII files (text) with XYZ coordinates of points that I import in LW
thanx to a Lscript a kind guy here specially wrote for me that converts
text data in 3D points, and I play with this to get a mesh.

2/ I drill the plan in this model, that's all. Of course I don't drill
everything at a time, I do it progressively and create my surfaces.
Always also avoid booleans, there are pain and crashes really too often
compared to drill (slice is the option I use).

The difficult (and also interesting) thing is when you create your
starting meshe (the terrain with slopes etc.) to try to already get something that
is not too far from the plan.

I mean you may know that there is generally no geometric "relationship"
between a terrain mesh (that is kind of "organic", or "random" meshe)
that would be OK for a "natural" environnement, and a "builded", urbanized
mesh. It's important to have as less edges and polys as possible and also
to do your best so that the edges you'll have with your starting meshe
won't be too "disturbating" in the finale meshe you will have after drilling
your plan.
Because also, after drilling you have a quite long step than consists in
snapping and merging points so that you keep your meshe light and "understandable" in wireframe view…

The last thing that is very important is to ensure all your polys are FLAT
before drilling, else you'll get distroyed results with drilling, especially
drilling curves…

Once all this is done you can go further in for example selecting all the polys
of your road and extrud them 20 cm down or whatever you need, to create
the borders of the pedestrian ways…

first wf so…

01-28-2004, 08:10 AM
ops… here it is

01-28-2004, 08:13 AM
…and here's a second one that shows a previous step :
"terrain meshe" on foreground layer and drill meshe in background layer…
(oh, here I "stacked" all the 2 points polys of the plan but of course
you should go slower and drill only few lines at the same time)


01-28-2004, 09:24 AM
C'est pas Paris çà !?!
Far too clean to be Paris :D

I like the render, it's clear and colorful, i'm sure a proposal would sell well with such a maquette.

01-28-2004, 09:32 AM
cool i'll have a good look over this thanks man.

02-04-2004, 01:55 PM
in progress…
have 36 hours left to finish + render the last step

02-06-2004, 07:09 AM
final render…

02-06-2004, 07:10 AM

02-06-2004, 07:12 AM

02-07-2004, 03:14 AM
Looks great, some nice clean graphics. Sad that most clients didn't realize how much time and work even these relativly simple renderings cost.

Now lets add some cars, traffic signs, people..... ;)

02-07-2004, 04:15 AM
Sad that most clients didn't realize how much time and work even these relativly simple renderings cost.

Well on that one I'm glad of the result… client pays 4000 euros for this,
which took me between 2 and 3 weeks…
(quite long to do is to place trees, the scene is a bit heavy for my dual G4
and poor GE F 4 card)

02-07-2004, 04:56 AM
That sounds to me like a good price for your work, as long as there are not to many changes. But why did it took you so long to place the trees, its "just" a simple clone and move game, and later rotate some of the trees. My old G4 450 has also problems with high polygon scenes, the new G5 single 1.8 is much better for this, with more RAM also.

02-07-2004, 05:16 AM
It takes long to me because I'm yet testing different ways
to set trees…
My first way was to clone them in Modeler by groups of 10 or 20,
using random cloner of Olas for instance.
It allows to set rotation and scale transformations quickly
but now I think I won't use this again as it produces too heavy layers.

I now clone trees by groups in separated scenes,
and then load them in the main scene.
But even this way it can take time because of the graphic card.
There are 1 300 000 polys in the whole scene;

And especially what is long is to CREATE them, with Tree Designer.
Trees are very important for my renderings, I can't afford to use
only one model for all the scene, in this one there are 6 or 7 kinds
of trees.
The reducing of the size of a model takes much time,
the latest thing I found is to have the tree on a layer (loaded in the Layout)
and I cut and paste most of the branches on another layer that I don't load.
If necessary I progressively add branches on the main layer depending
on the point of view I need…

All this took me time to understand - I mus say this is one of my first
big urban scene, with hundred trees so I had to reduce many of my
models that before I used for smaller public spaces scenes…
I need more experience anyway to work faster…

PS : I'm working on a project much more larger than
this one, some images / videos can be seen there http://gpvmalakoff.chantiergraphique.com
(don't care about the first page, every images & videos are now "embeded"
in the flash movie)

02-07-2004, 05:27 AM
I absolutely love architectural renderings of this type, but I don't really understand why.

Can anyone explain why I should like these so much?

I think it's related to their simplicity (this isn't an insult, perhaps 'cleanness' would be better) and the fact that you are looking at some other place.

I feel a similar way about many radiosity/fake radiosity renders in general. Sometimes I think people spoil things when they actually finish off their work!

Paul (who doesn't really understand)

02-07-2004, 05:39 AM
temptation of "perfect" photorealistic images is in all our minds but :
1/ many of us (included me) don't have the skills or the tim and money
to go to this result, so when they say the image is finished off it's actually
not true and the "cold" looking of 3D is still there

2/ photorealistic renderings works better when they're about nice project
(like Ingo's images for example), but are even worse with low quality
architectural projects

3/ don't forget depending of the level of project things are
not fully decided - showing high-ended rendering would be a lie
and it's better to keep on an "intentional" level
Here for example of course the project is not to built RED buildings
without windows :) Just we propose to build that heights at that places.
After us there will be architects who will draw buildings exactly, one by one.

4/ The interesting point is to think "where" you should have realism and where
you should'nt. Many architectural 3D renderings are made of high-realistic models, textures etc. but rendered very poorly with basic RayTrace and
very hard, black shadows - that's a spoil for me.
I think better to target the opposite : non-realistic model but more realistic lightning (so use radiosity) because space is made by light before made by objects.

02-07-2004, 07:57 AM
For the trees i use an old version of Onyx Tree Pro, i have the plugin for Electric Image. You can nicely set the percentage of the foliage to make polygon count lower, it maybe worth a look although it costs a bit more.

Regarding photorealism or not, i guess lasco's pics are excellent for the early stages, so you dont have to show that much detail. But if you work for the investor its often better to go photorealistic, because if than he can sell everything before they build it, thats better than letting people visit the not finished building, which looks of course uglier than some nice renderings.

02-07-2004, 08:28 AM
You can nicely set the percentage of the foliage to make polygon count lower, it maybe worth a look although it costs a bit more.

I actually don't have issues with leaves as anyway the ONLY way to have
good quality and not too many polys is clip mapping.
Anyway Tree designer or should I say Leaves Generator that goes with it,
allows you not a percentage but to count EXACTLY the number of leaves
you want, as it allows you to take ANY model for base of your leave…
It can be a simple triangle poly or if you want you can put a 500 polys leave :)

My main issue is branches, because Tree Designer produces models
very very heavy fro specific reasons.
Basically I very often get such results for a single tree :
leaves = 300 to 500 polys (using clip map)
trunck+branchs = 2000 to 5000 polys…

But if you work for the investor its often better to go photorealistic, because if than he can sell everything before they build it, thats better than letting people visit the not finished building

I fortunately work mainly for public markets (well I work for architects that
work for public markets) so there is no question to "sell" anything,
the criterious to accept or not a project are a bit different.
The main danger with photorealism - at least by here - is that there's a risk
that as you said the final building does'nt look enough like the picture.
Not necessary because it is ugly made, but just because between
the image and the end of works there are often many changes in the project,
on materials for example, for technical, economical reasons or whatever…

That's why here architects don't always like or trust in photorealism…

02-08-2004, 01:19 AM
Hey great pics you have here Lasco ! Well Tree designer should be updated soon.... dont rally recall who told me that.... maybe you Lasco.... anyway, there is a nice new tut about photorealism and tree designer on Polas.net.... very cool ! .... 4000 euros.... mmmmmhh like $5,000.... not bad at all.... I am always amused at the differencies for a same job in the different countries of Europe....

Cheers, Hervé

02-08-2004, 01:37 AM
.... 4000 euros.... mmmmmhh like $5,000.... not bad at all....

I actually wished I make them also a little animation (flyover) for this
price but unfortunately did'nt have time for this, the deadline was to last friday…

02-08-2004, 02:05 AM
he yes a little flyover would have been very cool.... well you can alwys do so just for your reel....

Cheers Lasco

(Is Lasco your name or is it related to the "Grottes de Lasco " ??) just a stupid thought I guess... he he


02-08-2004, 03:02 PM
hehe… be sure I planed to make this flyover very soon anyway…
I'd like to even try some animated cutting on this terrain
but it's a bit long to set.

You targeted right : actually mon prénom c'est Colas,
but I created some graphic style (not in 3F at all) for urban project
that consists in "flating" everything in plans…
I'll show you some sample soon or check my site www.chantiergraphique.com

…and this style was inspired indeed by "primitive" graphics, Lascaux
or Middle-Age drawings…
So the nickname is both Lascaux and Lasco / Colas…

My mails are : [email protected] / [email protected]

1 point for you Hervé :)

02-08-2004, 03:06 PM
here's an example… this is my Lascaux style :)

02-08-2004, 11:18 PM
Woaw, very cool , I love those little graphics, they are very cute... !

Cool Site que tu as là.....

Juste une tiny remark.... il y a une faute de frappe dans le mot "plugin" sur la page d'acceuil tu as oublié le L de plugin...

Je trouve aussi les petites anim flash super !

Il faut que je fasse un site un jour..... un jour.... he he

Keep up your good work Lasco !!

02-09-2004, 01:25 AM
again !
oh yes I know about the mistake on "plugin",
everybody tells me that but each time I forget to correct it :)

thanx for comments anyway,