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Making of "Vue Galleries Headquarters"[VUE如画美景制作教程]  

2011-12-19 21:35:53|  分类: VUE资源 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Each week, Cornucopia3D is turning the spotlight on a member of the Vue community. There are so many interesting people doing wonderful things with the Vue line of products, we wanted to share the wealth!

After receiving requests from other Cornucopia3D members who wanted to see how she created her beautiful image, Drea decided to sit down and write out a tutorial that everyone could follow along with. A talented and prolific artist, she has jumped into Vue 10 and is happy to share her experiences with all of us.


 


Making of "Vue Galleries Headquarters"
                                                             by Drea Horvath

As I was playing with the new features of Vue 10, I noticed how much more accurate the results were for a physical water model, especially near shorelines where the terrain emerges from the sea. My idea was to make use of this new feature and to create a nice tropical island.

As you can see on this reference image, the transition where the terrain emerges from the sea is strongly visible; the color of the sea changes from deep blue to very light blue nicely. You can also spot submerged "peaks" which are still under the surface, but they turn the color of the sea lighter around that area. I also love how we can see the underwater vegetation  and reefs near the shore. I wanted to include all of these in the scene.

Step 1 - The terrain
I thought it would be fun to give the island a shape of a semi-submerged crater. Despite its weird shape, the terrain was pretty easy to make. It's a standard, 1,3km × 1,3km terrain, with a resolution increased to 512×512 for more refined details. In the Terrain Editor I reset the terrain, increased its resolution and hit the Peak button a few times until I got the shape I wanted. Before closing the editor, I hit Zero edges, so I got one crater-like terrain to work on.

Before adding sea, I lowered the height of the terrain a bit in the viewport to reduce steepness and achieve a more prominent transition from shallow to deep water.
Besides the terrain in focus, I also loaded a second, 1km × 1km large terrain and placed it next to the other one. I also used the peak button to generate this terrain, but since I wanted it to be completely submerged under the sea surface, I didn't need to increase its resolution.
Step 2 - The sea
When I loaded the sea, I made sure that the top of the main crater terrain in focus was emerged, but the top of my second terrain was submerged right under the surface. This gave a little more detail in the sea. As I've already mentioned before, for the sea material I used physical water model. This is the default water model in Vue 10.

You can see my water settings above. My goal was to create a bright, clear tropical water. To give a nice turquoise color to the water, I set the Absorption color to RGB 42, 155, 174. I left the Scattering color at default. For the absorption mode I chose Direct volumetric light; it looks more accurate than Fast ocean, still it's not as slow to render as Indirect volumetric light.
To enhance the details, I opened the water editor (right-click on the water, Edit object), enabled Displaced water surface, and increased the amount of foam over waves just a little bit. Since I view the sea from high above, underwater caustics was not enabled. It would have made the water look noisy near the shores.
Note that physical water needs a certain quality boost in order to get rid of the noise, so I set a boost of +4 before the final rendering.
Step 3 - Materials & Ecosystem
The material I applied on the terrains is a multilayered mixed material. The two main materials are the sand layer and a grass material layer for underwater vegetation. This gave some extra detail to the sea.
First, I opened the material editor, and switched the terrain's material type to Mixed material. For the sand I loaded Sand - Flat from Material Layers, and for the underwater vegetation I loaded Large scale pale grass, but basically any kind of grass material would be fine. In the Influence of Environment tab, I marked distribution dependency, I selected the 2nd material to be visible at low altitudes, and set the Influence of altitude to 29%. I decreased the slope influence to zero; this time it was not needed at all.

The next step was adding some complexity to the distribution of these materials; to make the underwater vegetation scatter near the shores in an irregular way. I opened the Function Editor by right-clicking the distribution function preview and selecting Edit function, and added two noise nodes. I set the fist one to Perlin noises - Gradient, set a Scale of 3, and I set the Wavelength to 6 on each axes. I left the Origin at zero on each.

For smaller details, I set the other node to Cyclic noises - Cyclic cellular patterns - Chipped. Note that cyclic patterns were introduced in Vue 10; you will not find them in previous versions. If you have an earlier version, select Cyclic patterns - Chipped. Since I didn't want my underwater vegetation look like tiny grains in the water, I had to set a very large Scale of 300.
I connected the two nodes with a Combiner, I set the Combination mode to Add, and connected it to Distribution. On the screenshot below you can see the distribution function with the settings of the second noise node. I copied this mixed material to the other terrain as well.

The next step was adding another grass layer, this time on the top of the sand. In the material editor, I selected the sand material, and switched its type to Mixed material. I loaded Prairieland from QuadSpinner's Grasslands as the grass. Setting the material distribution was much more simple here; I set the Influence of altitude to 100%, and the slope influence to zero, so the distribution was dependent on altitude only. This gave a nice sandy shoreline. This is how the material preview looked like after setting the distribution:

A template of the basic layout can be downloaded here. The scene file contains the terrains with highlighted material distribution which you can examine and replace with your preferred materials, the atmosphere and the water. Note that since the new physical water model is applied on the water material, this water model will NOT work in previous versions, and the file itself may not load into previous versions of Vue. You can replace it with any other water material, but it will need further tweaking to make it look similar.
The last step regarding materials was adding ecosystem on the grass layer. Since I view the island from the distance, I didn't need to focus on very small details. I selected the grass, switched its type to Ecosystem, and added a layer of Alder - Late Spring trees. To make them look more realistic, later I selected their leaves' materials in the material browser and desaturated their green color. I set the Overall density to 70% and the Decay near foreign objects to 2%, and hit OK. I did NOT populate the terrain yet; I did that step after adding spline roads.

To make this terrain really look like a tropical island, I added another ecosystem layer with two species of palm trees from AsileFX Jungle pack:
- Plant_Palm_0011
- Plant_Palm_0012
I left the Density at 50%, and the Decay near foreign objects at 5%. To make the scattering of the palm trees less uniform, I marked Variable density, and connected a grainy fractal node to the density function.

When I was done, I hit OK without populating the terrain, and moved on to the next step.

Step 4 - Splines & Objects
I thought it would be fun to make use of another new feature in Vue 10, so I decided to add spline roads that lead to each part of the terrain. I clicked on the Road spline tool, and started adding points to the terrain, all the way to the end. I set a pretty narrow width (3.41m) to fit the terrain, and in the Terrain effect tab, I selected my terrain and increased the depth to 9.36m. With this function the terrain's surface under the spline adjusts to the spline, but for the best effect, the width of the terrain influence has to be significantly wider than the road's width.
When I was done with the spline settings, I hit OK, and adjusted the spline's points to the surface when it was still needed. After this, I added another spline, leading to the other direction, with the same settings.

There is no paradise without yachts and beach houses, so I placed some cool objects in the scene. After that, it was time to populate the ecosystem.

Step 5 - Lighting & Atmosphere
The goal with the lighting and atmosphere was to make it as realistic as possible. Let's see the Light tab first. I used Global Radiosity, set the Gain to 2, changed the Bias color to a very dark green (RGB 18,19,17), pulled the Light balance towards Sunlight, and the Ambient light towards "From sky".
In the Sky, Fog and Haze tab, I set the Sky mean altitude to 6km, darkened the Haze color to RGB 19,20,21, set its ground density to 10%, and the Aerial Perspective was set to 10, for more subtle lighting. I used volumetric sunlight, and added a quality boost of +4. These were the most important steps; you can see my lighting and atmosphere settings below.

Step 6 - Rendering
The goal with the render settings was to get a high quality render in a short time. For this, I used a custom render profile, starting from Final.
In Render options, I ticked User settings, and loaded Final preset from the Environment folder inside my Vue installation. In order to get a good-looking render, it needed some modification, especially in the Anti-Aliasing settings.
For such a scene with a distant view, we don't need Depth of Field to be enabled. So I unticked that.
After that, I decrease Advanced Effects quality to 40. It may sound too low, but higher AA settings would compensate it. If you have a powerful rig, you can leave it at 46%, but if you need to save time, a value of 40% is enough, but do not go below that.
I made the most significant changes in the AA settings. First I ticked Texture Anti-aliasing; I needed that to avoid artifacts on materials. Then I clicked Edit, and made the following settings:

As you can see, I switched the AA method to Sharp. This is a bit slower than Crisp, Crisp would need higher numbers of subrays per pixel and higher quality settings to get rid of the noise. I increased the number of subrays to min. 4, max. 16, and increased the quality to 70%. In Texture AA, I left the texels per ray at 4/12, but increased the quality to 60%.
Finally I set the render destination to screen, and set a resolution of 1920×817 (I previously set the aspect ratio to Panavision). On the screenshot below you can see the rest of my render settings, with the changes marked.

With the settings above, the scene was rendered in less than two hours (with an i7 2600k and 16 GB DDR3 RAM).
Step 7- Postwork - adding boat wakes in Photoshop
The raw render looked pretty nice, though it missed something that showed that the boats in the middle were not just floating but were in motion. So I decided to add boat wakes. I opened the render in Photoshop, added a new layer, and selected a splash brush preset from a collection you can download here. Since the painted area is tiny, any kind of splash brush would do its job, they wouldn't look too different.
When I selected my splash brush, I decreased its size to 10px. Before painting the boat wakes, I needed to add some variations to the brush. I clicked on the Brush button on the right, and enabled Shape Dynamics. The following settings were applied:

As you can see, I also enabled Scattering. I set the Scatter value to 30%, the Count value to 1, and I left the Count jitter at 0%. I left Both Axes unticked, and both controls off.

I also left Smoothing enabled.
With the settings described above, I zoomed on the boats and painted the boat wakes. When I was done, I set the Opacity of the layer to around 80%.
After some contrast and level corrections, my work was done.
We've reached the end of the tutorial; I hope you enjoyed reading it and found it useful, informative and easy to follow. Thank you for reading!
Drea


 

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