Chaos Vue 7
The idea for this image came to me when I saw Walli's dry grasses in the Cornucapia3D store. When I saw them, I was already working on a series of mineral landscapes and so my image "Chaos" was organized (atmosphere, color of rocks...) starting from the grasses, which are in foreground.
The steps are as follows:
- The terrain
- The materials
- Placement of the main objects (dry grass, tree)
- The Ecosystem painting and Ecosystem
- Render settings
Here are three images that I've created with these techniques and this same atmosphere (Fig.01 - Fig.03)
Step 1: The Terrain
To start, I have disabled the following options in the camera parameters so that the camera remains fixed and doesn't move with the terrain or objects (Fig.04):
- Lock height above ground
- Always keep level
Then, starting from several different types of terrain, I've created the basic structure and composition of the Vue 7 scene (Fig.05 & Fig.06).
Here are the steps that made it possible to create the various terrains:
1. First, I've created a new terrain with a resolution of 1024 x 1024; this helps to bring out fine details on the rock (Fig.07).
2. The terrain editor opens and displays a randomly created terrain (Fig.08).
3. Then I've reduced the "altitude minimum" parameter to remove the square edges of the terrain (Fig.09).
4. On certain types of terrain, when one modifies the altitude minimum parameter, hollows can appear inside the terrain (Fig.10).
5. It's very simply to remove these hollows; simply click once or twice on the Mountain option until you don't have any more hollows in the terrain (Fig.11).
6. This last option (Mountain) is interesting, but can sometimes remove sharp details in the terrain that you can use to add details. I use the Mounds option combined with the tools "Effect" and "Mountains"... Vue 7 has many functions which enable you to enrich the terrain detail (Fig.12).
7. After having created a terrain, I give it the desired proportions. It will be sometimes be necessary to flatten or to accentuate the sharpness and detail of the terrain. For that:
- Select the terrain in the "Top" view.
- In the example below, I used the Gizmo to reinforce the roughness (Fig.13).
- In step 1, the terrain does not have much roughness.
- In step 2, I selected the terrain (it passes in red) and the options "L" and "Redimensioning".
- In step 3, I selected axis "Z" (it turn yellow when the mouse flies over it) and by maintaining the left click, it's possible to increase or decrease its scale (on the selected axis).
- In step 4, the terrain has more roughness and detail.
Here is a render of the terrain (Fig.14).
Step 2: Atmosphere
For the atmosphere, I've slightly modified an atmosphere available with Vue 7: "The Big Ones" (Fig.15).
Here are the parameters that I used to modify this atmosphere (Fig.16 - Fig.18):
- I checked "Radiosity"
- I put the option "Quality Boost" at "-4". On very detailed scenes this value is sufficient to provide a good quality while still having a fast render.
- I removed the clouds
Note: by changing the option "Aerial perspective", it is possible to move the blue fog closer, or further away.
Then I've modified the sun by using the Softness option: I changed it to "0". That allows a fast render and emphasizes the details of the rocks by giving more dark and sharp shadows (Fig.19).
Here is a render with the new atmosphere (Fig.20 & Fig.21).
Next I have added a water plane. While difficult to see directly in the scene, with "radiosity" the water completely changed the atmosphere of the scene while adding tones of red (Fig.22 & Fig.23).
Step 3: The Materials
For this scene I've used only one material for the various terrains and the stones based on a Vue 7 material. If you want to create it, here are the steps:
1. Select a terrain (Fig.24).
2. Click on "Load material" (Fig.25).
3. Choose the material "Limestone" from the category "Displacement Materials" (Fig.26).
4. Right click on the material and choose the option "Edit Material" (Fig.27).
5. In the "Bump" Tab, un-check "Displacement Mapping" and put" - 3 " for the option "Depth" to reinforce the roughness of the rock. While "Displacement Mapping" brings an interesting look, it is greedy in RAM and the render is much longer with this option. Nevertheless, I sometimes use "Displacement mapping" and the option "Quality Boost" with the value of " - 4 ": the render is faster, the use of RAM is less important and the quality is often very good (Fig.28).
6. I changed the colors of the stone, and while playing slightly with the option "Overall color", I cleared up the overall color of the stone (Fig.29).
7. In the Tab "Highlights" I have increased the effect of the brightness. On the rock this effect accentuates the details and can also give a wet effect to the stone (Fig.30).
8. When the material is finished, I saved it in order to apply it to the other terrains, and for later use on the ecosystem of rocks.
9. Water is based on the "Muddy Water" material in Vue 7; here you can see screen captures with the settings for this material (Fig.31 - Fig.33).
10. Here is the result obtained with the material (Fig.34).
Step 4: Placement of the main objects in the scene
This stage consists of manually placing some elements. I've used the Vue 7 "Joshua Tree" and Walli's Dry Grass bundle in the foreground (Fig.35).
The remainder of the objects have been placed using both "Ecosystem Painting" and regular Ecosystems. Here is a render of the scene (Fig.36).
Step 5: The Ecosystem painting and Ecosystem
In the image "Chaos", I've added an ecosystem on a terrain located in the background of the scene:
1. Select the terrain on which you wish to create an ecosystem (Fig.37).
2. Edit the terrain material (Fig.38).
3. Check "Ecosystem" for material type (Fig.39).
4. Add the trees to the ecosystem (Fig.40).
5. I have changed the option "Scale" in order to enlarge the trees (Fig.41).
6. I un-check the option "Decay near foreign objects" so that the ecosystem applies to all of the terrain and modified the density of the ecosystem in order to have more trees (Fig.42).
7. I increased the overall size of the trees with the option "Overall scaling" (Fig.43).
8. Click on "Populate" in order to generate the ecosystem (Fig.44).
9. On the image "Chaos", I modified the ecosystem with the Vue 7 function "Paint" to add or remove individual trees (Fig.45).
10. Here is a summary of the functions of the "Paint function" used to create the "Chaos" image:
- Tool/Eraser: to erase objects
- In the part "Ecosystem population" combined with the option "Only selected items", it is possible to select a type of object to be removed or added (Fig.46).
11. Here is a render of the image at this point (Fig.47).
The rest of the objects have been placed with the function "Ecosystem Paint" (Fig.48).
I initially started to add stones on the walls of the landscape with the idea of creating a realistic roughness. I painted a great number of stones, of a small size in the camera view, with the following parameters (Fig.49).
The function "Restrict to selected objects" is very interesting, because it allows you to paint only on the selected objects. Here's an example with two selected terrains on which I will paint an ecosystem (Fig.50).
After having passed a first "layer" of small stones, I repeated the operation with larger stones, but in lesser amounts. I then did another layer with even larger stones, but with an even smaller amount.
I followed the same procedure on all the terrains. In some spots, I had to remove stones because their appearance wasn't realistic, and the stone of the cliffs became a little bit "organic". My mother, when she saw the first tests called this function "Cauliflower" (Fig.51 & Fig.52)!
I modified the material of the stones by using the same material I created for the terrain:
- Go in the Material explorer.
- Double click on the stone material (Fig.53 - Fig.55).
Here is the image with the stones painted on the various terrains (Fig.56).
On the background terrain, I've used "Ecosystem Painting" to add lots of trees. I've modified the option "Direction from surface" with the value "Vertical", so that the trees are quite vertical from the surface of the terrain (Fig.57).
Here's an image with the bottom of the scene finished (Fig.58).
To finish, in the camera view I've added grass and bushes on the top of the terrains in the foreground and to certain places on the walls. Here's a list of the various functions that I used (Fig.59 & Fig.60):
- Direction from surface: "Perpendicular" so that the grasses follow the shape of the terrains
- Only selected items: To choose the grass that I wanted to paint
- Restrict to selected object: to paint only on the terrains in the foreground
- Brush flow: a parameter not too high so that there is not too much grass
Step 6: The Render Settings
Here are screenshots of the general parameters that I used for the test renders. I've unchecked the options "Optimize Volumetric light" and "Optimize Last render pass" in order to have a better quality, especially on the "Atmosphere" (Fig.61 - Fig.64).
For the final rendering, I've used these parameters (Fig.65 - Fig.67).
And here's the final image (Fig.68).