View Full Version : long distance forests

08 August 2005, 10:54 PM
hello all ... :)
guys, im pretty dull with texturing and bumpmapping in general, so on this general level this is not necessarily a 'VUE only' question ...
lets say that i want to 'fake' aerial imagery, or even satellite imagery, with VUE.
say we're talking some 1500m for the aerials, and some 5000m+ for the sat 'footage'.

you think its conceivable to credibly fake 'long distance forests' that appaer on these images using the VUE texture editor, in conjunction with bump maps perhaps ?

the way i see it, forests, seen from far, are texured in two levels ...

a) by the tiny bumps of the treetops in the canopy
(kinda roundish in broadleaf forests and kinda pointed in conifers)

b) by ocasional breaks between 'forest-blocks', caused by rivers etc.

How would i go about to do that ?

I just got dizzy a bit with the texture editor, from all the possibilites it offers.
It looked there were some ways in there to do it but I couldnt put my finger on it yet.

Perhaps someone can recommend a particular bumpmap suited for this purpose.
Or technique.
Or even point me to the right trail of making one myself.

Actually, it'd be really cool if this could be taken the point of having the cuts between forest blocks be deep enough for these blocks to throw some kind of shadow.

Preciate all hints

08 August 2005, 12:08 AM
Can't remember... are you working with V5I? If so, I'll bet you can do this with ecosystems. A few months back, a bunch of us at R'osity Vue forum were playing with ecosytem placement controlled by simple grayscale maps. It takes some experimenting to get used to, but it's very effective. I don't recall any of us trying what you're describing, but I think this method would work like a charm. The 'textures' you describe could then be simplified 3d plants (for shadowing). Add in a procedural infinite terrain, and you could even animate the thing.

Sounds like FUN!

08 August 2005, 01:34 AM
Try this. Make a fairly flat train and change the material to Aerial map with a b&w bump map.


08 August 2005, 02:17 AM
Yes, VUE5I ...

Actually i got into VUE for this very reason. :)

Thing is, this is about forests at *quite* a distance, maybe best defined as far enough
as to where individual trees start beeing beside the point, and the 'forest as whole' comes across as a different beast.

I thought of working with several terrains, use the ecosystem technolgy for the
ones in the front, while inventing some textural solution for the more distant ones,
them beeing covered by mist anyways and all, in order to go easy on the polygon count.

When i noticed that i can blend the effects of several bumpmaps in VUE, aparently inside some hierachy, i wondered if could get to produce a texture consisting of
'shaded cracks in endless fields of tinytiny little green lightbulbs'
or whatever distant forests can possibly be best described as. :)

The greyscale mapping you describe would be similar to terrain texture greyscale mask mapping technique in Terragen, correct ?

And what do you mean whn you talk about 'simplified plants' ?
sounds very interesting.
(you mean that VUE automatically simplifies them with increasing distance, right ?
or is there another ways to build custom simple distant plants ?)

thanks for your patience and help ...

Sounds like FUN!

relief ! :)

08 August 2005, 02:18 AM
thanks for the tip :)
that would be for the cracks, right ?


08 August 2005, 09:20 AM
Hi doonee,

sorry for not being too responsive these days. A lot of stress right now.

Distant forest. There is an object as example in a collection that comes with Infinite - i think under misc - called distant forest. There you can see how something could be done. This was an objects done in Vue 4 a very long time ago. Maybe in combination with ecosystems is an option. But someone at Renderosity did a tutorial for grass. For Vue versions before eco was around. He is called bigbraader i think. You may want to look for this at Renderosity and check that out. Or contact this guy if you can't find it. I am sure he will help you.

08 August 2005, 08:44 PM
hey wabe !! :)
aok ?
thank you as always for the great tips ....
hope the stress is over soon.


08 August 2005, 10:51 PM
Good to know you have V5I! For the reduced plants, I was thinking of the polygon reduction option in Vue's plant editor. Turns out, it doesn't work so hot. My thinking was to use really simple tree top plants in the ecosystem. Something as small as 500 polys maybe. Then combine that with some of the material function tools, and drive it all with simple grayscale maps to provide area shaping or grouping. I think the results could be great, but admit I haven't tried it myself. Anyway, playing with ecosystems is so much fun, seems worth a try.

Whatever you try, I think the key is to make use of procedurals in some way. That'll help avoid a tile pattern from showing.

08 August 2005, 12:50 AM
sounds like a good idea ...

Turns out, it doesn't work so hot.
whats wrong withit ?

make use of procedurals in some way. That'll help avoid a tile pattern from showing.

thank you, dig :)

08 August 2005, 12:20 AM
The polygon tool in the plant editor does a decent job of increasing, but not decreasing. At least with the trees I tried. Did you try it... it makes a mess of the mesh even after only a slight reduction. I was really dissapointed by that. Actually, I'm surprised at how primitive that plant editor is. Guess I'm spoiled by the other tools I've used.

08 August 2005, 07:11 PM
An interesting tip is to make a foliage coloured material. Then make it partially transparent, that is 100% transparency driven by a function to you have a very small scale patchwork of transaprency, if you see what I mean? To resemble foliage at medium distance, ro plants at longer range..

If you apply that to a duplicated terrian of underlying on, then slightly raise/fire tree/rock it in the editor, you get interesting variations. Note the function for the transparency must be small in effect (scale)

08 August 2005, 11:37 PM
thanks steven, ill try this one ...

(did you notice that everyone posting on this page here is called called steve or steven or stefan ?..)
for whatever thats worth ... :)

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