CG Nature - Maya & Vray Proxies

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  06 June 2012
I wasn't aware SpeedTree had such options to be honest, as it's a bit out of my budget. Sounds very cool! If it has an option for sky-sensitive leaves and perhaps phyllotaxy options, it would be a clear winner, for sure. Those are the main botanical factors that the other apps leave out, except Onyx, so far as I'm aware.
Commodore 64 @ 1MHz
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"Like stone we battle the wind... Beat down and strangle the rains..."
  06 June 2012
Learn from Multiscatter for 3dsmax. It has no comparison. They have a version called Carbonscatter, but from my last test,.. it doesn't compare at all.
Best option for Maya is to make vray proxy's of Xfrog objects, and scatter them with a Maya script called spPaint. Set it to Instance.. and set up rotations.

Also we have used Speed Tree standalone here at work.. Its quite amazing. You can 'draw' a spline from branch to branch and set up your tree. You can arrange its branches from root, to branch to leaf,.. and swap out the leaves..(don't do geo, do alpha maps for these). And it also will export fbx's with animation of it blowing in the wind. Check out the demo. Its really f'n cool.

Though in the end at work, we chose to do quick Xfrog trees with its huge library, and made Vray Proxy's out of them, and scattered them with spPaint. Done. Some close anim was done with alembic for Maya.

And some Vue for background.
  05 May 2013
Wow, this discussion was so amazing to read.

For an upcoming spot, I am doing few tests massive (in terms of landscape feel) scenes in Maya with EcoSystem. And of course V-Ray is the primary render engine for the job. Before I list down what I am trying, have you guys watched Alex Alverezís Gnomon Plant DVD? Itís worth a million (at least for me). The texturing part of the DVD is bloody brilliant with its UV-Splitting method, the same thing can be used for V-Ray and with twice the ease compared to Mental Ray, and the linear work flow also is easier in V-Ray with all this texturing. Instancing and using PFX wasn't that new however, itís been discussed on Forest Thread before, if I am not mistaken.

Coming to speedTree, itís an awesome software on its own but I somehow felt itís a little wacky with V-Ray (even with its V-Ray FBX exporter) but the Mental Ray one is usable, never tried applying on the MIA Material though. When inside Maya, itís a little difficult to edit the shading (defaults to Phong for some reason, even with V-Ray FBX exporter). And the UVís on the trucks and branches are chaotic (even when exporting unWrapped Mesh). So now I am mixing & matching workflows together.

So here is what I am doing, by the way if anyone noticed a flaw in the workflow please point it out as it will be a great help:-

1. Creating terrain, rocks & atmosphere in Vue.
2. Creating a tree library in speedTree, exporting truck and leaves separately (reason for this is to custom shade the leaf in V-Ray but shade the Truck and Branches in speedTree) and later instancing in on the terrain, by particles or may be with spPaint tool.
3. V-Ray Proxy for grass population after handPainting the grass (I find using instance for grass even with custom texture for particles is not that great for the image), here is a hand painted grass in Vue -
4. Creating shrubs, bushes & small plants with paintEffects and may be even SpeedTree and texturing & shading them in Maya (similar to Gnomon DVD method).
5. Generating Hero Ivy with speedTree and remaining ivy with IVY GEN tool, reason for this is that IVY-GEN tool creates very geometrical leafs for ivy, and that takes away realism for Hero Plants.
6. Light, render everything in Maya and comp the BG and atmosphere in Nuke (Vueís Pano HDR will be useful for this)
So thatís the workflow for now, proxy with instancing, speedTree with Maya and V-Ray.

I agree to couple people who said Vue has problem, because before this workflow I solely wanted to do everything in Vue. However, say you bring a car into Vue (opening Vue inside Maya) and trying shading it, itís absolutely hideous even with V-Ray Mtrls, I think it somehow converts it to Vueís shading Ė And Linear WorkFlow is muddled up by this. And Vueís render is impractical for larger number of framesÖ.
Here is few tests I was doing before with Vue Ė at 4k it was 8-10 hours for a noise free render, though I was happy with the lighting, render time is simply insane. So finally decided that Vue will do good for BG and 3D atmosphere renders.

Last edited by govindk : 05 May 2013 at 11:31 AM.
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by refract: Learn from Multiscatter for 3dsmax. It has no comparison. They have a version called Carbonscatter, but from my last test,.. it doesn't compare at all.

That's not quite true at all.

VRayScatter For Maya is pretty much identical to Multiscatter for 3DS Max - it is made by the same devs.

I love it and combined with VRayPattern For Maya I think it is the best solution for grass and nature in Maya currently.

Carbonscatter is by a completely different company from Vue.
  05 May 2013
Sorry, I must be confusing Multiscatter with the Carbon scatter from Vue. 2 different things. I beta'd the early VrayScatter, but it had barely any options. Nothing close to MultiScatter for Max.
I'll see if I can get a later version from them to test out. Thanks.
And mannn.. I hope you're right. Because I love Multiscatter for Max , and really hope all those features are in Maya.

And this earlier comment,. "Just wondering why is everybody talking about Proxies when doing forrest and massive instancing. Proxies are almost useless if you don't have raytracing acceleration structure that supports massive instancing."
Vray supports 'deferred' loading of proxys, which means it keeps those instances off your scene for fast workflow and can chew through them during rendertime.

Another add.. Just found this on their website.. looks awesome.

Last edited by refract : 05 May 2013 at 06:44 AM.
  05 May 2013
Here's an upcoming new plant/tree creation tool from the douches at Eon, but it certainly looks above and beyond everything I've worked with so far! This of course doesn't address scattering methods, but if we can get proper phyllotaxy from Eon, that would be an amazing upgrade!

Plant Factory

Commodore 64 @ 1MHz
1541 Floppy Drive

"Like stone we battle the wind... Beat down and strangle the rains..."
  05 May 2013
Very informative thread so far!

I know it's for Max, but has anyone tried GrowFX for plant creation? ForestPack has been mentioned here, so I'm just wondering.

"Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."-Bruce Lee

  05 May 2013
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