Mini challenge: Create a landscape in EI

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Old 04 April 2006   #1
Arrow Mini challenge: Create a landscape in EI

Hello!

Time for another mini challenge, this should tide us over until the particle playground challenge is ready.

You mission is to create a photo-realistic landscape in Electric Image (still shot)..

The main requirement for this mini-challenge is that your scene must contain both mountains and water. A sense of scale is key, the landscape must appear daunting or vast, think Brobdingnagian in scale! Pick your weather, time of day and time of year carefully.

There are several ways to go about creating landscapes in EI.

1. A height map with Image2Mesh - http://homepage.mac.com/akondratiev/universe/
2. The Run-wave deform.
3. The free Erosion plugin from the Igors and Konkeptoine.
4. Importing a terrain from another application (such as Bryce).
5. A combination of the above.

Post your scene stats and describe how you create your geometry. Think carefully about either using a high res detailed base mesh or using a low res mesh and adding bump/displacement/ deformation for detail inside EI.

Remember atmospheric haze (fog) and keep your camera in a physically plausible location (ie. Not halfway down a cliff).

Use Global Illumination if you can (Skylight and bounce), an occlusion pass will also help to add depth. Post-production is allowed, but please say what you do.

This thread is to be a discussion of various approaches and techniques. The final image isn't the most important thing, its the route you take getting to it, however, having said that.....

I look forward to seeing what you come up with! The person behind the nicest image will receive a signed coconut courtesy of Brian.
Ian

NOTE: I have found that Image2Mesh does not play nicely with GI, the solution is to export I2M models, run them through transporter and then to re-import them (which also saves on Camera having to create the geometry at render time, so this will save you time in the long run).

This thread will be moved to the WIP lab once it has taken off...

Last edited by halfworld : 04 April 2006 at 02:44 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2006   #2
Hi, Ian

Nice idea with terrains! Just a quick note: as we remember, Erosion can use height maps as well (and blur them)
 
Old 04 April 2006   #3
Too true! Sorry Igors, I forgot to mention that.

Another thing I forgot to mention is Sky.... With stills I always pop in a sky in photoshop, but, you lot might not.... Go go go

Ian
 
Old 04 April 2006   #4
Cool idea

Especially as I've become really lazy using Vue for this kind of thing. I'm up to my eyeballs with work, but will try to make some time for this.
 
Old 04 April 2006   #5
360

Originally Posted by halfworld: Hello!

Time for another mini challenge, this should tide us over until the particle playground challenge is ready.

You mission is to create a photo-realistic landscape in Electric Image (still shot)..

The main requirement for this mini-challenge is that your scene must contain both mountains and water. A sense of scale is key, the landscape must appear daunting or vast, think Brobdingnagian in scale! Pick your weather, time of day and time of year carefully.


I only had time for a Mini-mini-challenge, 60 min max.
So, not very Photo-realistic, no mountains, no water, to compensate that, I made it a VR ;-)

http://eias.groothuis.com/stuff/rocky.mov


Cheers

Hans
 
Old 04 April 2006   #6
nice one, hans!

and Ian: nice idea and great height maps! i'll try and post something in the next few days.
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Old 04 April 2006   #7
800x800 maps are up now as well, along with instructions on how to use them with the Erosion plug-in. Which looks like it might be the way to go, i'll post some images on Monday...

Go play!
Ian

Last edited by halfworld : 04 April 2006 at 12:43 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2006   #8
My Landscape...

http://www.caperaa.com/TadoussacSmall.jpg

Hi, I don't know if I can submit this still. It's a part of a work I just finished 3 weeks ago (10 stills, 4 animations). I began it 2 years ago. My client was not very speedy ;-).

This is a study case for the implantation of a bridge over a river in province of Quebec in Canada. It's a mix of photography and 3D Modeling.

All the structures are modelised with Illustrator,Form•z and EIAS (PlacerDeposit, PathFinder). The terrain come from real elevation data (number) converted in height map and processed with Image2Mesh. The mapping of the landscape is done with an assembly of 4 aerial B/W photography and colored by Hand. The water is done with Psunami. The Background is a composition of 12 photography made in Stitcher and "color ajusted" in Photoshop. The position to take pictures (to match the Camera location) was determined by GPS. The sky and the clouds come from 2 Spherical maps and applied on 2 differents concentric spheres. The position of the sun is calculated with Helios from NL. There's no Global Illumination, one sun and 4 lights to complete. Maybe I forgot somthing...

The real chalenge was to fit the 3D Model (bridge and landscape) with the Background photography. I was a little nervous about the distortion correction made by stitcher. But everything fits perfectly. And of course, a little job of Photoshop was done to finish this still. In theory, this "picture" should be as is in the real life ;-)

(sorry, but English is not my primary language, I hope everything is clear)

Laurent Capéraà ing.
Images et Technologies
Québec, Qc, Canada
 
Old 04 April 2006   #9
Well, if you would all pardon my french... Bienvenue laurent! Ça fait plaisir de voir un autre québécois sur CGTalk. This is excellent work. Would it be possible to see some animations?
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Rick
 
Old 04 April 2006   #10
Hi,
Here's my contribution.

http://www.geocities.com/aziz_cg/te.../bythewater.jpg

Terrain was based on 512x512 Mordor terrain map provided by Ian (thanks Ian!). Terrain generated using Image2mesh, then triangulated using Dicer, exported and reimported (to solve hatching artifacts that appeared when using GI during my first test render).

Landscape textured using - aStorm, Dirtlayer, Vlife, FractalFoam, Gradient (all in diffuse channel).
Water textured using - aStorm (Diffuse), CrumpleR (Bump).
Sky textured using two layers of Sky (Konkeptoine shader) (Luminance).

One broad spot set to 0.1 intensity. Narrow spot set to 0.5 for light rays. GI sky light 0.2. Light rays generated using an Ubershape plane, deformed using runwave and textured using AG Mondo Cloud for clipping.

Light fog to distance.

A depth map was rendered using fog. Depth blurring done in Photoshop using depth map. Minor levels adjustment.

What a way to spend the weekend. But it was fun and I learnt a few new things.

Aziz.
 
Old 04 April 2006   #11
Excellent Aziz!

The light rays are a great touch. Your water is perhaps the nicest I've seen that uses the crumple shader. I wonder how it would look from the water level....
The only crit I have is that the mountains seem a little (and I mean a little) smooth... Take a look at the Noise Factory, it's the best damn shader that comes with EI and it can be useful for getting rid of that smooth hill look...

For some reason I think that Mordor map is the first one everyone goes for, It's the one I choose too

Although, I have now switched to a mountain one. I'm using runwave for the water although my water plane is close to a million polys at the moment in order to get the wavelet scale right.... I'll try to post soon.

I'm also using I2M, I've found (I'll prepare myself to feel the wrath of the Igors here) that the Erosion plug-in is great on it's own but when I add a weight map I simply cant get predictable results.... I also get a lot of file write errors when using a map that has already been put into the Erosion_Maps folder....

I'll post some screenshots tomorrow.
Thanks Aziz!
Ian
 
Old 04 April 2006   #12
hi,

finaly i kicked myself to actually start this today. seems like i missed a criteria, my mountains are hills, at best



now my setup:

first i looked at your highmaps, ian, but there was no nice bay, so i painted my own .
erosion was my first try, but like ian mentioned, it is pretty unpredictable. either i use it wrong or erosion is not doing what i want.
i2m to rescue! great tool! fractal noise and noise factory for breaking it up a little. my sand texture from project phoenix and a custom painted footstep for the foreground.
color is only a gradient in Y direction from dark blue for the water over azure, sand, brown, green and grey. yah, that simple.

the water is a überplane (about 600 divisions - in camera ), deformed with runwave (2x) and the good old crumple shader. it is about 30% transparent to give it a little depth (see gradient on landscape). the foam is some simple luma-maps set to screen mode to better blend together. some power particle basic emitters for the fun of it placed around some über-rocks. two über-rocks for the distant clouds.
i think thats all in eias.
a little photoshop aftertouch - level adjustment, desaturation, highlight blurring and darkening of the edges. and ready.

edit: if this was a real project, there would be much more work needed, around the waterfront for example, but for a few hours work i am pretty happy with this.
second edit: no GI on this, because i wanted fast test renders without adjusting the lighting or diffuse values at the end. maybe i'll do one tomorrow and edit it in here.

have fun, i had it!
uwe
__________________
http://www.orangefx.de

Last edited by bronco : 04 April 2006 at 12:43 PM.
 
Old 04 April 2006   #13
Good lad Uwe!

Thanks for taking the time, I really like your foam and spray!

In your GI version (that you ARE going to do I would up the AA sampling to 2x2 to get rid of the jaggies on the crumple shader (I'm sure you would do that anyway though!

Great stuff, just a little further to go!
Ian
 
Old 04 April 2006   #14
Originally Posted by lCaperaa: The position to take pictures (to match the Camera location) was determined by GPS.

I was a little nervous about the distortion correction made by stitcher. But everything fits perfectly.


Hi Laurent,
Nice of you to share and good work!

I've found when rotoscoping that you need one of two things to guarantee a match, either:
1. The exact camera location in 3D (provided by accurate context information).
or
2. The correct focal length.

Of course, both of them would be best.

When you panorama images you lose the focal length, so the camera position becomes really important... But doing it by GPS!? That's great! I wish we could do that!!

Ian
 
Old 04 April 2006   #15
Aziz, Uwe, you made great images. Really love the colors in your image Uwe.
Congrats both fo you. This challenge is interresting I hope to find some time to participate.
__________________
Rick
 
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