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Thread: Add sparkle to a lake of blood?

  1. #1
    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    Add sparkle to a lake of blood?

    I am trying to make a lake of blood, have the displacements as I want them and it is animated. The only problem is that an image of the lake looks like a carpet more that a liquid. What can I do to add some shimmer? It does reflect nicely, but in this image there is nothing to reflect.

    Any help? Thanks alot!

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  2. #2
    Super Member SplineGod's Avatar
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    Whats the lake reflecting?

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    Dielectric Noder
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    The lake should reflect clouds and perhaps buildings but it depends at which angle your looking at the water.

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    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    It's surrounded by mountains and has some bodies in it. It ought ought to reflect a plain blue sky and the the mountains and debris (It's the aftermath a very big war.) I would put the other geometry in it, but the fellow in the picture has a crown with so much geometry that my computer doesn't have the memory to open all those polygons, so I figured I'd do a pass with him first, and then a separate scene with the lake and other stuff. Is that feasible and logical?

  5. #5
    The most important thing, besides what is being reflected, is having Fresnel for the reflection. Water (or blood) will reflect more at glancing angles than perpendicular angles. This will add realism and depth to the image. Simplest way is to add the Fast Fresnel shader and uncheck everything but Reflectivity. It's value should stay 100%, this is the value at glancing angles. The Reflection value (under the Basic tab) will only effect the perpendicular value now, and should be set to 5 - 10%.

    But if you want this to shimmer it'll have to be reflecting something rather bright and pretty small, like the sun. An HDR with the sun in it would be your best bet, but you can also use Specularity and place a light wherever it looks best.
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  6. #6
    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    Toby, thanks for that suggestion. It's simple, yet I'm not familiar enough with shaders and plugins to know what to do with them. I have more to add to the scene, but it certainly makes a big improvement over what was there before. Thanks again!

    By the way, ryder133, I did add a cloud reflection map. When I increased the reflectivity it lightened the blood up too much, but with the clouds AND the fast fresnel shader, it looks much better.

    Thanks you guys for your help!
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  7. #7
    Profesor Pixel Poo Mr Rid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claudians View Post
    ...When I increased the reflectivity it lightened the blood up too much, ...
    Your diffuse and reflection values added together should not total more than 100%. So if reflect is 30, dif should not be more than 70, otherwise a surface becomes unrealistically bright.

    And I have never needed Ray Recursion Limit (Render Globals) more than 2 for reflections.
    "O K, so what's the speed of dark?"

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  8. #8
    I think the blood could be a bit smoother; it's a little too wrinkly to look like blood, which is thicker than water - also it would help to have multiple layers of the procedural at different scales. Unfortunately, bump tends to disappear at glancing angles, so it will still look like a mirror in the distance, using displacement instead would be much better but would require a much higher poly count.

    Your fill light also looks too strong, the sun should probably dominate the lighting here, everything else should be much less intense. Some color in the lights would also help, one with a slight blue tint to represent the sky, one with a red tint for the blood, and slight yellow from the sun.
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  9. #9
    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    Thank you Mr. Rid. That's a good tip that I didn't know about. You're right - it does look more realistic. It seems to emphasize the reflection color more than the light color, but it doesn't really affect the brightness. I checked with someone who is colorblind and he couldn't tell the difference. Thanks again.

  10. #10
    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toby View Post
    I think the blood could be a bit smoother; it's a little too wrinkly to look like blood, which is thicker than water - also it would help to have multiple layers of the procedural at different scales.
    Actually, the lake does have a displacement map. It turns out that the values are really small because I wanted the lake to ripple along the side of the horse. (You end up not seeing the rippling, and there are not enough polygons in my 10 km square of blood to get the detail.) When I set the bump value to zero, that's when I saw that you really can't see the displacement unless it's animated. Very long, gentle waves. But getting to the point, I do have multiple (5) layers on the displacement map of ripples whose reference objects are separate nodes.

    Quote Originally Posted by toby View Post
    Your fill light also looks too strong, the sun should probably dominate the lighting here, everything else should be much less intense. Some color in the lights would also help, one with a slight blue tint to represent the sky, one with a red tint for the blood, and slight yellow from the sun.
    That advice helped with the coloring. Thanks.

  11. #11
    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    I do follow advice, and it sure looks better than when I first started. Of course, I do need to adjust lighting again. Some things are a little too bright. If there are other tips you may have, feel free to tear it apart. (The horse and character are supposed to not have "real" hair - it's the look.) Thanks guys!
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  12. #12
    Looking good, the blood looks very liquid-y now! How many lights are in your scene? You may get a big improvement just by turning off everything but the sun, and turn on backdrop radiosity. It looks odd the way the hills fade to black, radiosity would fix that. Shadows still seem to be missing too...
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  13. #13
    Dielectric Noder
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    I recommend using Skytracer 2 for the sky as it will act as something for the blood to reflect.

  14. #14
    Registered User claudians's Avatar
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    toby and ryder133, I have heeded the advice from both of you. I will post a picture as soon as I have something composited. I keep crashing, because there is so much in the scene. It just keeps building, but I suppose the more details, the better. Through the help of this forum, I think this scene will be the best looking one in the animation that we are working on! (I hope that won't be a bad thing amidst so many experts here.)

  15. #15
    Dutch Bacon
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    Quote Originally Posted by claudians View Post
    ... I keep crashing, because there is so much in the scene.
    Why don't you start compositing some of the things together? I would surely composite the background mountains.

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