View Full Version : Who said lightwave can't do landscapes

04-02-2003, 08:37 PM
This image was created in about an hour from start to finish and took 44 minutes to render on a PII 450 256MB RAM. Those are real 3D trees in the distance as are the clumps of sword grass. I used HD_Instance to create the pic using instancing of several tree meshes and some other bits and pieces. Without it, this picture would contain about 3.5 million polys! There are over 50,000 trees in this scene and the terrain is 2sq KM in size.

What do you think?

04-02-2003, 09:53 PM
Is that grass growing out of the rock?

04-02-2003, 11:08 PM
its cool , but everything looks cloned...if those bushes and tree tops were HVs theyd look much more random...but of course it would take forever to render!
does HD do displacement or color changing? that would be cool...

how did you make the crazy clouds!?

04-03-2003, 12:02 AM
Hi guys,
some responses:
groodwanderer, yes that grass is growing on the rock!:confused:
HowardM, Yes they do look cloned because I have only used one tree variety for all of those large trees. Graham has just released an update which of all things allows colour shifting using a gradient or key colours- a fairly simple interface. As i said, this was done in less than an hour as a test of the plugin. I will work on some refined images now that I know it doesn't matter how many instances I put in. I will also work on improving the point positioning so that I don't have grass growing through my rocks:p
Also what you said about HV's was correct but the tree in front of the camera is also an instance! bet you couldn't do that with HV's...
They look good from a distance but you can actually track all around the terrain and they look just as good as your original mesh from any angle or distance.
As for the clouds, I don't know but its not what I wanted

04-03-2003, 12:54 AM
the overall feeling is good but i clearly see floating bushes in the distance.
try tweaking the bushes (and put em on the ground), the clouds and off u go :)



04-03-2003, 11:24 AM
I'm not real fond of the banding on the edges of the clouds
but it's a good start.

04-03-2003, 09:50 PM
I have made some small changes but am yet to add more large tree types to the terrain. THE ENTIRE TERAIN IS TO BE USED IN AN ANIMATION I have been preparing for some time now.
The two near trees are actually instances of the original mesh with tinting. The black coloured tree on the right has suffered fire damage in a recent scrub fire:rolleyes:
Comments appreciated.

04-04-2003, 08:19 AM
The tree on the right also looks to have a floating limb. Also trees that suffer large amounts of fire damage usually dont grow new leaves, if you are wanting that tree to be fire damaged I would recommend replacing that specific one with a no leaves version and further blacken and crack it to make it immediately obvious to the viewer that it has been burned.

The rest is looking pretty good, it still looks cloned, more variations in tree types would help tremendously, the clouds look much better in this latest post. Keep up the good work, I can't wait to see how the final looks.

If you have either marlin studios trees and foliage or the dosch equivalent you may consider adding some tree cards off in the distance in the forrest, it would be a cheap (render time wise) way to add more variation. The atmospheric perspective you have in there seems a bit light, at those distances I would think the haze would be a bit thicker.

Its really shaping up nicely though, I cant wait to see new renders :) (I love enviros)

-Neil Nafus

04-04-2003, 04:48 PM
Thanks for the comments Neil. As far as the modelling of the trees I am working on some better eucalyptus models at the moment. Although they do vary individualy quite a bit, that hill is 2km away from the camera. I am looking out my window to a hill 2km away at the moment and is is hard to pick out individual gums apart from the odd tall stragely one here and there and a couple of ghost gums(dead ones) sticking out.

The blackening of some trees was just a though although I don't have too much control over which ones unless I make a separate instance. You don't sound like you've seen a gum tree 3 months after a bush fire. It's what regenerates them and some of them need fire to seed:p

The haze may need to thicken up just a fraction- I toned it down considerably for this scene. I will post a short cut to a small anim of camera pan (way too short of course) as soon as I have enough frames rendered. (My machine is tsill to slow even using instancing for anim.:D
Keep the comments coming. They are really helpful because reality isn't always what people expect and that is often why something doesn't look right..?..?

04-04-2003, 07:43 PM
the new image is alot better!
have you tried SASlite for grass? it will REALLY liven up that flat texture mapped ground!
a few things I think need work...more AA because the grain really hurts the image , makes it look like CGI...
..the position of the sun also makes the brush look pasted on, cant see shadows....err actually, some of those little bits on the left do look pasted and have NO shadow!
..also the skytracer sky looks like the sun is to the left and in front of the camera...so youre lighting should mirror that.

the foreground leaves really need more polys and real leaf shapes...while your at it, detail some broken limbs or even small budling leaves...randomize....maybe add something other than foliage to give a sense of scale..
I think the forest in the distance will look better once you get rid of all that grain and maybe break up the color of the trees with procedurals....

keep it up!

04-05-2003, 08:26 PM
HIGHER AA New tree models, ghost gums, smaller trees etc.
the higher AA almost makes the ghost gums look like smoke. It also seems to blend the leaves a bit much losing some depth?
The tree models look AOK compared to the older ones but i think this is as far as I will go tuning it for a still frame.
This whole thing will be animated eventually so there isn't much point adding unless the animation really has a need for some individual feature.
Thanks for the comments so far:)

04-06-2003, 05:48 AM
That has come on a lot - I really like the sky. Is that skytracered? Any chance of sharing the settings?

A couple of very easy things for you to consider trying - to my eye the viewpoint is a little high, it feels like the viewpoint is about 12 feet (4 metres), in the air.

Also the shadows of the trees behind the viewpoint look a bit unrealistically sharp.


04-06-2003, 03:10 PM
wow, that's coming along nicely. The shadows are really black, though. I don't know if you're going to use radiosity for the final render or what, but I'd add another light coming from the other direction.

really cool scene, though.

04-07-2003, 04:00 AM
the shadows are like a curtain over the image, cutting the image.
dont like that


04-13-2003, 11:57 AM
Yay! Nice to see people using my pluggies :) I want to comment on some of the comments I've seen here :)

First, a nice way to get non-black shadows is to 1) use backdrop gradient radiosity set up to look like your sky and ground colors or 2) just go ahead and use a low blue ambient light setting.

Second, if the shadows are too sharp you can always use an area light :) That's going to cost some more time though and

Third, you can always use HD Instance to instance some large-ish patch of grass onto polys set up about the same size as the patch, allowing for some overlap to hide the edges. That makes real nice grass. Some users have even reported that this method is several times faster than SasLite!

Anyways, nice. You can see some of this same scene on the HD Instance gallery:


- Graham Fyffe
Happy Digital