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chewsti
05-09-2010, 07:13 AM
This is an asset I'm working on for my first environment artist demo reel. I'm currently having issues with the roofs. I am trying to add a slight bowing to the roof so they are not perfectly straight and am hopeing to find a way of doing it without moving all the tiles individually. I have tried useing soft select and latices in maya, but these do not work because all the tiles are instanced. If any one knows of a solution to this I would appreciate it. Any other comments and critiques are appreciated as well.

http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/128/0/a/chinese_environment_wip_5_by_chewsti.jpg

embryotic
05-10-2010, 04:16 AM
I think you'll have to kill the instance? - drop the poly count - uninstance - warp the mesh and smooth at render time?
I assume this isn't the angle you will be using,
For Environment shots, I think the wide establishing shot is always a winner, if you have another shot which is tight like this, you can use a camera move that really puts the viewer in the shot - like a higher up 'dolly on a wire shot' that moves into a POV

Bergquist
05-10-2010, 04:46 AM
about your query,
you're screwed... never instance all the tiles like that, ever. If you need to, you can use a reference stand in from another scene file, so when you make changes to the original, they all change, but for the most part instances are evil, hehe

you might try selecting all of them and duplicating normally, then deleting the instances and working with a lattice or something on the new duplicates... but i'm not even sure that will work

but yep, instances are evil... I feel sorry for you bro, this is definitely a dilemma if you really feel the need to "bend" the roofs

on the up side, the roofs are just perfect dups all the way down the line, so it wouldn't take long at all to just duplicate the original over the whole roof again. Shift-D is your friend! hehe

chewsti
05-10-2010, 05:58 AM
I originally had them all non instanced but after adding the second roof it was causing my renders to crash. I'll drop the poly count even more and try again, or I might just not bend the roofs if that doesn't work. We will see what tomorrow brings I guess. For now here is some more progress for today. Thank you for the comments so far.
http://fc08.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/129/2/e/chinese_environment_wip_6_by_chewsti.jpg

kanooshka
05-10-2010, 02:25 PM
I'm not sure how this would work with instancing but you could always rig the roof to get the bend you want. Throw some bones in perpendicular to the roof tiles and then use a spline deformer and maybe cleanup the weights a little.

In the end not instancing would be a much better option. Instancing would only be useful if the objects were all exactly the same. In this case each roof tile would need a slight curvature to them which would be different for each piece.

Kev3D
05-11-2010, 08:43 AM
If the bend is only subtle, you shouldn't notice that the individual tiles don't bend. In fact, if you think about it, if they're made of ceramics (I'm not familiar with Chinese architecture) they shouldn't bend at all.

I haven't completely fleshed this idea out but could you not parent each tile to they're own locators and make a lattice that influences the locators only?

lightcache
05-11-2010, 12:29 PM
does it have to be real geo?

it would be alot easier to do the tiles with a displacement map. saving on memory issues somewhat. plus u could bend the roof to your hearts content. the other dudes right though. the tiles themselves dont actually bend.

depends on how focused you want this peice.

chewsti
05-12-2010, 07:23 AM
Haven't had as much time to work on this the last 2 days as I would like. I decided to more on from the roof and see if the bending effect really is necessary once the rest of the model is finished.

Lightcache: I guess there is no reason I need it to be real geometry. Displacement should work perfectly. Thanks.

Morlankey: I'm not trying to bend the individual tiles, I'm trying to place them on the roof after it has been bent.

kanooshka: Using bones won't work because they effect the verts.

So here is some more progress for today. Thank you everyone for your suggestions so far.

http://fc06.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/131/3/8/chinese_environment_wip_7_by_chewsti.jpg

PowderMonkey
05-12-2010, 09:14 AM
what sort of environment is it? game? film? tv? something else? this will dictate your level of detail. going with what's already been said, i'm assuming it's film quality for the rest of this post

have you planned your camera angles and camera move? does the camera move? once you know what the camera is doing, you can build the rest of the scene around that.

for example, if the camera starts at the shot you've posted slightly above the roofs, and gently sweeps down to the street level shot, then you can do a fair bit of optmising. the roof immediately in front of the camera is close to the camera, so spend a lot of detail on it. the roof over the main wall, to the back of the shot, is far away from the camera, so you can use far less geometry on the tiles and still pull off a convincing shot. the roof camera left is significantly far away from the camera that you can lower the detail on the tiles, especially the ones right at the far end of the roof - perspective makes it harder to see the individual tiles that far away.

additionally, if you do have the gentle camera sweep down to street level, the roofs are only visible for a relatively short time. the viewer's eye will be drawn to the roof right in front of the camera, and once the camera dips down to the street, they will start looking around the street, as that's what you do when you walk around in a street. therefore, you want to spend your detail on the roof at the front of the shot, and on the street level objects.

alternatively, if the camera sweeps over the rooftops, you'll need to spend more detail on the roofs, and less on the street.

unless you are creating an environment for a game, in which every angle of the scene can be explored, think about your camera move first. do some basic low poly blocking to visualise what the finished scene will look like, plan your camera, and lock it off. once you've done that, don't build anything that the camera can't see. spend detail on things that are close to the camera, optimise things that are farther away. perspective, line of sight, camera moves, and depth of field cover up a multitude of sins.

texturing and lighting also hide dodgy geometry when it's farther away from the camera.

in one sentence:
cheat as much as possible.

chewsti
05-14-2010, 12:35 AM
PowderMonkey - You are correct this is intended to be a film environment. I took your advise and blocked out my cameras and was able to reduce the poly count of the scene by about 600,000 tris so thanks a whole lot.

I'm almost done with the modeling and decided to get rid of the physical sun and sky and work on my lighting before doing the interiors of the buildings since they will be very dark. Critiques on modeling and lighting would be appreciated, I'm going for a clear sunny day for the lighting. I will post a play blast of my cameras soon.

http://fc05.deviantart.net/fs70/f/2010/133/8/d/chinese_environment_wip_8_by_chewsti.jpg

http://fc02.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2010/133/b/2/chinese_environment_wip_9_by_chewsti.jpg

chewsti
05-14-2010, 08:36 PM
And here are the rough camera cuts.

http://www.vimeo.com/11745702

PowderMonkey
05-21-2010, 04:46 AM
looking good =)

can't wait to see the finished piece.

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