Render time 22 hours.
Source file size 130mb.
Increased number of light sources and the ammount of undergrowth. Lowered the brightness of the volume grass but was unable to increase the complexity of it's light responce due to the number of light sources in the scene it just caused my computer to grind to a halt. I think it needs a bit of colour on the right where it is a bit dark, I've considered possibly flowers or maybe an animal of some sort - but usually when I try that it looks a bit wooden. Any ideas? Got about 100mb of source file space left, things usually stop working for me at around the 250mb point. So there is still some headroom for adding models.
Better, better. Particularly the middle and lower right has much improved and that tree over there at left isn't fishin' anymore. You know, this is sort of a fairy place (it could still be real, though) and a sitting character (Gandalf style) leaning with his back on the tree might look appropriate. That tree there, the one I love so much, already looks a bit like Treebeard. Flowers, I think, would make it kitschy, animals - not a good idea, too common. It would spoil the magic that is inherent in this picture.
Join Date: 06.04.2006 Comments: 2622
This scene is just great in general. 95% of the work has been done.
As for secondaries, there should not be very many in a given scene. A total of 2 to 4 secondaries that are far away and that don't cast shadows, will work fine for this and most other scenes. In Safe at least... I used 4 light directions. One primary as the sun, two secondaries on each side and one more secondary opposite the primary. Other words, primary source at north (sun), secondary sources at 90 degrees east and west (at low but equal intensity), and a secondary source at 180 degrees south ( at an even lower intensity than than the secondaries at east and west.
All of my secondaries are positioned far far away, far outside of the scene. The secondaries don't cast shadows and have no fall off so they don't have to be close by or "inside" the scene. The effect is the wrap around visible in the second draft of Safe.... Notice the branches and how the light gradient appears. There is a slightlly dark line along the height of the trunk, indicating where my 4th and weakest light source is located. You can tell what directions the secondaries come from, and their relative intensity levels. Too many secondaries from too many different angles will illuminate objects too evenly and will begin to look flat like 2d ambient. It is possible to "overdo" the secondaries, though here you are still very much in the good. The secondaries are used in theory to mimic the atmospheric and surface bouncing of light and caustics of the primary light source. I suggest increasing the intensities of a few secondary light sources when you want more light. Simply adding more and more weak lights may not have the effect you plan on, while adding alot of render time. Think more symmetrically, go down to just 3 or 4 secondaries placed at 90 and 180 degrees, and then maybe you can relieve some of the calculation stress on the volumetrics, and finally realize the shadows settings you want for the volumetric grass. the grass is the final step.
I will also e-mail to you my basic secondary light set-up, the one I e-mailed to Jesuis. You and Horo both know what you are doing and don't need it as such but it saves time and writing space. You will hear from me soon.
This version is brighter. I like it both ways, as the lighting still seems appropriate and real.
Join Date: 06.04.2006 Comments: 2622
on the verge of a discovery
David. A couple of days ago an idea hit me that will prove useful in solving the grass issue once and for all for the future of all brycers.
I'm working on a scene now that has many thousands of trees in it. Jesuis and I were discussing these issues last month and I had an idea at the time using simple meshes to represent complex trees. Far enough away they look like perfectly normal trees. But as of the other day, I have found something even better. It's soooo good!
What is this miracle idea? Basically, it takes advantage of the tree lab's ability to be modified so specifically. What you need in this scene is a way of producing what looks like thousands of blades of grass without killing the computer with poly counts or rendering issues. Here's how I propose you do it.
Create a regular tree. Kill all gravitational influence. Set the branch start angle and end angles to some low value of 35 or less so that most of the leaves stick straight up. You can use as many segments as you want. Branch thickness should have a starting value of 1 and can go as high as you want from there. It won't matter because the branches won't be visible in the end.
The leaf shape should still be the default, which is great because of the curve and over-all shape. The cleverness of this approach comes from using the tree's leaves to look like thousands of blades of grass. Create a photo in psp7 of a small clump of 3-4 individual grass blades. Import it into the leaf texture with an alpha mask to cut out the shape of the grass blades (only 3-4 blades) as a blend transparency material. Now, The leaves should no longer look like leaves but look like grass. Now you can flatten the tree along it's height. Each curved leaf now looks like 4 curved blades of grass. Place the tree so that all of it's trunk and branches are underground, leaving only the leaves that look like grass above ground. Result, you've got lots of grass and it's naturally curved. The tree lab automatically randomizes the rotation of the leaves. Depending on the number of segments and leaves per branch, you can create very dense grass. One tree can give thousands of "blades" of grass. With just a few trees built this way you can carpet the entire scene with grass. I'm using the same idea to build a jungle canopy of trees. I have applied billboards as the leaf texture and buried the branches to leave only the leaves with the billboard texture exposed, creating a perfect and randomly organic looking canopy with humps and bumps and all of that. From far away it works almost too well.
You are already busy testing lots of things so I will submit the image over the next few days and you can judge it's effectivenes from my trials. So far though the effect is so good I would almost call it a "solution."
Join Date: 01.03.2004 Comments: 2227
That is a good idea and certainly one worth exploring. I've seen Tonkin use flattened trees to good effect, although not quite in the way you describe. In the past I have tried to use terrains but the spikes are just too straight for the purpose. Also I've tried using wings to make grass, but again the results have been less than satisfactory. Now trees? I does sound promising. Due to a bug in 5.5 I've not really done a great deal with bryce trees over the time of that use... however, thankfully B6 is free of this problem and will allow such experiments.