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Thread: Gaea - Post your Instanced

  1. #1
    Registered User Marty3DGuru's Avatar
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    Gaea - Post your Instanced

    Hi all.

    I finally picked up Gaea now I have had a new computer for a short while. This thread is for Gaea and LW users. Post all your hints, tips and workflows or Renders for a gander.

    Rather than a monster scene I did a test for a small terrain. This first test I show you demonstrates how you can place instances without any weigh maps. You can use the maps generated inside of Gaea to place instances and this is using the point distribution, max points, but an image map from Gaea to control weight distribution.


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    'LW CAN IF YOU CAN BE ARSED TO TRY HARDER'

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    Frequenter
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    Hi Marty3DGuru.
    That is looking really neat.
    Gaea seems like a very interesting potential companion for LW but from all stuff I have seen so far I got the impression it was more or less for terrain only (yet). Could you share a bit what maps Gaea outputs for this and how you used them for your example?
    ______________
    lorenz

  3. #3
    Registered User Marty3DGuru's Avatar
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    Thanks!!

    Sure I can explain.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is the Gaea graph.

    You can see the distribution node is highlighted in the 2D map window. Gaea can create accurate data maps for growth, erosion, flow, vegetation and all sorts of maps. These maps are used to control the instances in my case. I random seed a few different maps and export the maps straight out of Gaea. Gaea caches the data as it goes along. If you up the resolution of the map, the data maps, flow maps and texture maps are increased in resolution so from a starting point 512k up to unlimited if you own the professional version of Gaea.

    You can use the generated sat maps for a colour map as I did, it is a 4K map, and I didn't spend ages on it, I used the various data maps to blend the final output colour map. You can either export a huge polycount real terrain and take it into Clarisse iFX as I have done, or build and generated a lower polycount mesh. In this LW example it is neither actually. What I did was create a flat plane in modeler, faceted the plane into a bit of resolution, in my case the terrain geo is only 16K polygons, no more.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    What I did was then use the actual displacement map from Gaea and used it to move transform as a texture falloff to create the surface. I could have used it as a displacement map, but I wanted a low poly solution to take into other packages.
    Last edited by Marty3DGuru; 05-28-2020 at 12:15 PM.
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    Registered User Marty3DGuru's Avatar
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    Then I got 1 Xfrog tree, 3 couch grasses, 3 rock variants and blended it all together using instances. I blended in some procedural maps onto the terrain for more variation, used some roughness and normal maps and set it up to render in Octane. The render was a simple render, just a test for this forum image, probably had no more than 200 samples on it and used a textured environment map and the whole thing rendered in about 30-40 seconds using Octane for a 720p image.

    By messing with the opacity of the distribution maps and inverting etc, I used this numerous times over to create randomisation. 3 simple rock meshes, fairly low poly count, but with lots of random rotations, size, scale and stretch created enough variation. Also used a -Y axis offset to push some of the stones into the dirt/ground.
    Last edited by Marty3DGuru; 05-28-2020 at 12:10 PM.
    'LW CAN IF YOU CAN BE ARSED TO TRY HARDER'

    LW2020 - LWCAD - ODTOOLS 2019 - OCTANE V4

  5. #5
    Frequenter
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    Cool! Thank you for the insight. So you can basically save out all of the node outputs as a map to use it for controlling distribution/displacements/etc. Is that correct? Looks like its definitely worth a closer look :-)

  6. #6
    Registered User Marty3DGuru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishhead View Post
    Cool! Thank you for the insight. So you can basically save out all of the node outputs as a map to use it for controlling distribution/displacements/etc. Is that correct? Looks like its definitely worth a closer look :-)
    Yes, you can save out the images as .png straight from Gaea without having to output them as a build. Just select the node, open up the 2d map and then save it out. Gaea is quite computational, you need a lot of RAM, you have to up the graph resolution to view in realtime if you want to save out the images straight from Gaea as it caches the build as it goes along. If it is running real slow then view it at 0.5 or 1k but then you would have to select which maps you want to mark for export and set the higher resolution needed. Builds can take a bit of time to be honest and Gaea is a little heavy on the computational times for higher resolutions.

    You can export the displacement maps to use it in LW or for Octane which can use a single poly plane and do micro-poly displacement. Either this way or export a low, to high, or to ridiculous like 8GB .obj polygonal mesh which was around 80Million polys inside of Clarisse iFX, which was nothing at all really for that program.

    Clarisse is ridiculous, lol. Imagine clone stamping an 80 million polygon mesh, just like dropping 6 sided cubes around a scene.

    The vegetation maps and growth maps can be a bit 1 pixel width spotty, and seeing as your using the luma from the image to control the instance distribution, your not going to get one instanced object for each pixel as the luma value won't be true black or white, more mix greyscale. I have adjusted them in Substance Designer to clamp and adjust values or even create a height map to convert to normal detail as well.

    One easier method inside of LW for more look dev flexibility is to play with the greyscale map opacity, really crank up the opacity values to silly values like 1000% and you can get more coverage or likewise tune down the opacity quite low for subtle coverages.
    Last edited by Marty3DGuru; 05-29-2020 at 06:41 AM.
    'LW CAN IF YOU CAN BE ARSED TO TRY HARDER'

    LW2020 - LWCAD - ODTOOLS 2019 - OCTANE V4

  7. #7
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    I wouldnīt mind to apply displacement maps. an 8Gig mesh sounds just insane.. :-} Even if dealing with the vegetation and growth maps sounds not as straightforward as I thought. Anyway, I will try it. Hope I find the time soon.

    Yes, clarisse just seem to eat them by the billions... I tried clarisse ifx once in the past, we ven got a full day demo of their team at our office, but I personally was hoping for an easier transition from inside LW to Clarisse - was dissapointed by how it imports assets and never really was very fond of the interface/workflow. Hmm, I am to deep into LW it seems. Even though Clarisse Builder looks just soooo flexible. Itīs way with nodes when it comes to scene setups is just amazing!

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