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mazoola
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Recent experiment

This is still definitely a work in progress, but I was pleased enough with a recent test render to want to share it.



I think I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel; unfortunately, I'm starting to think it's probably a white light source one foot in diameter at eight feet of elevation....

Maz
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HawkDawg
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Re: Recent experiment

What did you do to get that background scene in there?
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mazoola
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Re: Recent experiment

[Damn, I feel like I've answered this request a half-dozen times -- because I have, but every time something (power outage, connection drop, BSOD, brain freeze) has kept me from hitting the final 'post reply' button. Fingers crossed for better luck this time....]

What I planned to do was create a cylindrical object or curved wall large enough to encompass the entire modeled home and map against it the entire 200° panoramic view I shot from the roof. But that seemed like a lot of work and a lot of trial-and-error to get the scale and position accurate, so when I was preparing to render a test run of this image from this reply, I decided to fake it.

To create that background image, I used two 6-color boxes scaled to 51' x 20' x 1/8", each with a single component image from the panorama mapped to it. (As I recall, I ended up having to go with the 6-color box because textures wouldn't map correctly against the single-colored box models in the library. FWIW, the photo texture replaces the red face.)

Proper position and elevation were determined by watching the 3d view while wiggling the image object around manually. To visually match some photos I'd taken from the property, the panels ended up roughly 30' off the end of the house and about -5' in elevation.)

The back yard of the property is dominated by an enormous, oddly pruned Mediterranean cypress. To approximate its appearance, I started with a snapshot of its trunk and branches and created from it a transparent background PNG. I then mapped that image against a transparent box, scaled it to a similar size, and placed it between the cityscape images and the house.

The following screen shot highlights the three flattened boxes used to create the background.

The main problem with this approach is that the 'billboards' have to be manually tweaked before each scene. For instance, the render that opens this thread uses the same three image components as the one from the earlier thread -- but they had to be raised from 7' to 10' each, rescaled, and the race of some models altered.
[Dec 10, 2015 7:24:50 AM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
mazoola
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Re: Recent experiment

Oops, I meant this screenshot:

[Dec 10, 2015 7:27:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
okh
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Re: Recent experiment

If there is a nice (wide/panoramic) view around the plan (as in one of my projects) it is also possible to use a 360° panorama picture as sky texture, as the first example image below illustrates. Some photo experience makes it easier. But it is also possible to cut and paste a panorama from a street-view service. These two links give advice on aligning sky/horizon textures: 5976 Add horizon, and 5533 Floor Texture - Adjusting Problem

Or, as discussed here, just objects with texture images (could be semi transparent) flat, concave or convex is one way of doing it. The second example below uses a slightly curved object with a picture of a treeline. The sky is made transparent (removed) from the image on the object), so the SH3D sky will be visible in the background. The nice thing about the curved treeline, is that SH3D sun will render nicely along the treeline depending on time of day (very nice for sun simulation movies).

Both these methods have the advantage of not filling the plan with lots of trees and other outdoor objects that bloats the file, yet they will give fairly realistic renderings. And for me, it is quite important to be able to test what the view out the window will look like. For instance, will I see sun setting on a mountain from my favourite chair...

Or, the two can be combined. Horizon in the background - treeline (or whatever) in the front. Failing all that, some creative photo-editing of the rendered photos can also create cool pictures.

ok

Panoramic image as sky texture:


Curved object with image of trees, transparent at top (sky texture is just a gradient image seamless, 360°):

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HawkDawg
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Re: Recent experiment

So SH3D can use png images with an alpha channel for a transparent background?
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okh
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Re: Recent experiment

By the way, I remembered a couple things:
- Aerial view rendering and Virtual visitor rendering will give slightly different results, both in terms of light, sky and angles (see SF Feature Requests 668 . Experimentation and some trying and failing is to be expected to get it right.
- The picture above (sauna with laundry), is also a test of how the treeline and sky reflected in the little lake - which is a roundish object used as terrain with a reflective surface.
- It could be a good idea to do the outdoor stuff on separate levels (as mazoola does above) - or even in a separate file that can be pasted in for rendering and views later. While it is very nice to get an impression of the view out, it is usually in the way when working on construction/interior details.
- Mostly I like using a sky texture with a thin treeline (or whatever) at the bottom. Works well in rural/suburban areas (if supplemented by objects), for town locations, I would use something different. Or sometimes, use a sunset sky to match afternoon sun produced by SH3D rendering.

These simple sky textures are not really for the great rendering, but it helps break the horizon and get a feel when checking the 3D window. This is a simple (imperfect) example based on a picture taken from a hill nearby and stretched to a 360° panorama.
ok
pan_btsv_trig_horizon_clouds.jpg

[Dec 10, 2015 9:54:29 AM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    Hidden to Guest [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
okh
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Re: Recent experiment

So SH3D can use png images with an alpha channel for a transparent background?
Yes, at least if the alpha channel .png (or gif I suppose) is pasted to an object surface. Never occurred to me to test transparency images on the sky itself, but I doubt that would give any results of interest. Invisible (all transparent) and semi-transparent textures are quite useful tools to hide furniture elements and create other effects. ok
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HawkDawg
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Re: Recent experiment

Thanks ok. That's good to know, and thanks mazoola and ok for the other tips. biggrin

Now to see if I can add some background to the tri-level. cool
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mazoola
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Re: Recent experiment

I should have mentioned (and would have, if I hadn't then [as I am now] been posting from a friend's PC using the unbelievably crappy keyboard HP somehow thought appropriate to bundle with this overpriced machine), but my initial approach was to use a custom sky-sphere with the panoramic cityscape mapped to it. Unfortunately -- in addition to posing orthorectangular projection issues really didn't feel like addressing at the time -- that approach placed the cityscape visually at the horizon, when in reality it belongs more in the midground.


(It also seems to have something to do with relative elevation, as objects at a higher elevation than the camera's POV came across more authentically on the skysphere than did those at the same or lower elevations.) But Ok is certainly correct: Using the skysphere is both the simplest and the most flexible (in that eye lines in any direction are supported without scenery having to be adjusted) solution.

And I really hate this keyboard -- it's like the designer was nostalgic for the days of the PCjr.
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