New Plants

200518

I’ve imported a couple of plants I haven’t used before – the European Spindle Tree and the Dog Rose, from the European Shrubs collection. I think I need to start adding ‘more details’ as Vladimir would say.

Basic

200517

This is about as simple as it gets. In WM used a basic noise with a simple polygon as mask input, plus some thermal erosion. Material in Blender is just blue for the rock and brown for the talus with a bit of noise for bump, although the height map already had more than enough bump in it, but a bit too regular. I did comp in the cloud layer, which I got from PhotoBash.

Someone did ask me on BA how I made my terrains, so there are now a couple more posts than views. I might have to wait quite a while to post again if I want to keep them in sync. I got a few likes too. Mustn’t let it go to my head.

I tried same scene with a different seed in the noise generator, and edited the tree materials a bit. Plus found an HDRI with clouds I like.

200517b

And here’s another take, from the same basis.

200517c

Atmosphere

200513

So many landscape images have a range of misty mountains in the background, so I thought I’d use my new mountain range (yesterday’s post) to achieve that. As I’ve also been working on my xFrog collection I thought I’d add in a few of the trees I’ve been Blenderizing lately. Blenderizing involves collecting all the variants of a given species into one blend file with materials fixed for Blender. A few other changes too, such as making each specimen a single object instead of separate trunk, branch and leaf objects, which is what they generally are in the objs I got from xFrog.

Splat

splat

This rather crude image is a proof of concept. I separated three shaders using an RGB splat map, and could potentially differentiate up to eight different shaders (for a single material) using this method. Also it’s a lot quicker to paint on the map rather than the terrain, and maybe just touch up the boundaries on the mesh itself.

Mountain Range

mountain_range

This is from a Udemy course on creating a mountain range in World Machine. Basically a whole lot of radial gradients laid out to suit. Could be useful for some applications, especially for background mountains.

It also gave me an opportunity to solve a problem that I’ve had for a while, namely how to paint materials as one can do in Unity. To do this I had to apply all my modifiers (subdivision and displacement) and use texture paint. By setting the shader to emission I could paint a black and white mask directly on the terrain fairly well, as the talus in this image. Not quite perfect but I can easily go back and fix it. Then I used that image as factor to a mix shader to separate rock and dirt. The viewport was surprisingly repsonsive given the four million polys I was working on. I’ve had a lot of problems with texture painting in the past but this time it just seemed to work. I don’t know what I did differently. I must try a splat map sometime. There’s a separate RGB node that I could use for different textures.

Incentive

200510

The number of views of my sketchbook thread on BA went up by another digit, so I spent a bit of time this morning producing something to upload. I’m mostly doing tutorials at the moment, and not producing much, so I guess it was good to have some incentive to actually produce something.

My workflow for these images is pretty settled now. Create terrain in WM and export 4k maps, an OpenEXR for the height and 16bit pngs for things like deposit, wear, maybe talus if I have thermal erosion. The maps (other than height) generally need some levels/threshold adjustment in Krita. Then create terrain in Blender, scale up a bit. and use the maps with adaptive subdivision for the height and various rock/soil/grass materials for the materials.

I’ve gone back to using HDRIs for the lighting. I might use RealSky for some images but it’s slow and apparently clouds are not it’s main focus, according to the developer.  I’ve downloaded some cloud alphas from Photobash.  Haven’t used them yet but they might be a good solution. Matching lighting might be a problem. I guess I could render cloudscapes out of Vue with similar lighting and perspective to my Blender scene.

RealSky

I had a response from the developer of RealSky to my query about artefacts in the cumulus clouds, and he said that there’s nothing they can do about it and the focus of the addon is the light and not the clouds. I’m wondering if I should just go back to HDRIs. The problem with those is you don’t get any perspective effect of clouds at the top being closer and those at the bottom further away. Or I could just try to make my own, which I’ve already started looking into.

I decided to stick with the post count thing on BA, and brought them into sync by deleting a couple of fairly uninteresting posts. In future I can upload multiple images in a single post, or just pick the best I guess. Anyway it’s all a bit silly. So now back to World Machine.