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Ceciliabr
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

@ohk
Thank you! smile

Terrains in the form of objects, have the advantage of being influenced by light and shadow, as well as absorbing and reflecting the general atmosphere ( mid-day/evening/sunset) Panoramic screens are not.

And: Terrains are not big files. But realistic textures (for people who don't fancy tiled lawns) can take a lot of memory.

However, the reason my file is 8GB, is due to far more than the vast terrain. "The Ugly Cabin", as it was immediately baptized by my stepdaughter (7), has two sets of extremely detailed interior decoration – one spanning from 1950 to 1972 (-ish), and one that is a bit more modern (2015).
(Maybe I should post some renderings in the Gallery? – or maybe NOT?)


I have taken the liberty of cutting out a tiny-tiny piece of Denmark ( just to try the link provided by Hans), and texturing it with grass(that does not look like tiles).

Here is a picture of a low-poly-terrain (94kb) textured with an equally small texture. Renderingtime: 2 seconds.




... and I have also made the files downloadable for anyone who wants it.

The zip contains a directory that holds 2 versions in 3DS-format. One low quality – 94kb ( the one on the picture), plus a high quality file of 3.2 Mb.
The directory also holds a downsized obj-file, and an SH3d-project file (made with 5.2a and might not work in previous versions) that shows how it can be used:

http://ceciliabr.com/sh3d/CBR-terrain.zip

It's free for anyone who find it useful.

Vary the size, both height, width and depth to create variations, and experiment with textures.





C
[Feb 27, 2016 2:07:02 PM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    http://cecprojects.wordpress.com [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
okh
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

Hmmm, this got my attention. My curiosity is primarily related to what kind of accuracy you can get with the tools you mention. As I need an accuracy of < 1 m contour lines for my actual projects with terrain, I have usually outlined 3D terrain based on accurate maps with the help of a laser measure. But it is not a favourite task.

Your file, however, looks as if you have generated a pretty high accuracy - higher than what is possible with say Sketchup+Google Earth terrain. And I agree that textures with tiled terrain is generally depressing, but it is possible to get away with a pretty good look with reasonably small (seamless) texture files.


ok

PS - Of course, I also agree that the horizon/sky textuure is useless for generating light/shadow and general atmosphere. But I will still need a horizon to show mountains in the distance, but as you say, that is probably less of an issue in Denmark... And the curved forest-lines (and cliffs/rocks) for backgrounds can still be useful as they will render quite nicely, because they will also shade fairly nicely with sunlight renderings.
[Feb 27, 2016 4:21:37 PM] 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 
Ceciliabr
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

No, you don't need a horizon image to show mountains in the distance:




You need a terrain and a texture to create a mountain – but you don't need distance.
You can use almost any terrain to create an illusion of distant mountains – it's just a matter of dimensions: height, depth and width.
3D is all about illusions, whether you use a screen or an object to create them.
We are pre-programmed by nature – we KNOW that mountains are big,
even when they are small and close.


Here is a tree, made in Poser with a group of cloth-planes.
Un-textured it looks nothing like a tree, but textured with an image of ferns, it suddenly creates an illusion.


[Feb 27, 2016 5:14:57 PM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    http://cecprojects.wordpress.com [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
Ceciliabr
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

@okh:

Yes, you can create terrains with great accuracy using Photoshop and Vue, once you get the hang of it, because it can take some time if you are very particular about the details. For me it works better to create landscapes from a number of different terrains, placing them om different levels and patching them together i SH3D.

I'm not a Sketchup user, so I wouldn't know what are the limitations, but from what I understand a lot of people dislike it.

Here is a snow mountain I just made (3.2 mb) if you want it. I'm sure you can re-size the texture and reduce the total size to around 1mb)

http://ceciliabr.com/sh3d/Snow-Mountain.zip

Yea...
[Feb 27, 2016 5:35:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    http://cecprojects.wordpress.com [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
okh
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

..use almost any terrain to create an illusion of distant mountains – it's just a matter of dimensions... pre-programmed by nature – we KNOW that mountains are big.
Thanks for that, very cool mountain model. A mini mountain-range for rendering is a brilliant idea for gorgeous imagery with beautiful sunsets over a mountain range, never thought of that. Still, for my purposes, the sky texture also has some advantages.
1) It does not clutter the plan,
2) the perspective is better if the primary goal is to see which view you get from which window (see also SF Feature requests 668) - even if this may be a bit geeky, I prefer a mediocre view where the bearing (i.e. the navigation term) is as correct as possible.
But clearly the two can be combined, and the mini-model approach is perfect for great renderings.
Sketchup ... a lot of people dislike it.
True, and some for good reasons. But there are very many people who love it too. The 3D warehouse is a testemony to that. Sketchup can, for instance, generate terrain models based on Google Earth data. But the accuracy is insufficient for my purposes.
..create terrains with great accuracy using Photoshop and Vue...
Terrain creation as such is not a great problem. It is the data collation that sucks. Which is why I am curious as to whether the approaches you describe use geo-data (contour lines, elevation points) with a high level of accuracy (< 1m). Google earth data must be around 50m (between contour lines), standard topo maps are often around 20m. However, a decent survey map will have a resolution (< 1m). Now, being able to have a ready-made terrain model of high accuracy would be useful.

ok
[Feb 28, 2016 8:30:52 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 
Ceciliabr
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

@ okh:

..the sky texture also has some advantages.


Interesting. I have yet to find a method for getting anything usable from a sky texture. And i have really tried:


I did a test a long time ago, called the Snowmantest ( for some reason). I was trying to understand why my beautiful evening-sky looked like it had been painted by a two-year-old with a vanilla-strawberry soft-ice.
The snowmantest was really simple. I used this image to texture the sky.




I opened the file again to day, just to see if anything had changed i v5.2. Placing the camera facing east, I saw this in the preview-window:



And this when it was rendered at high quality:




Tilting the camera upwards, I saw this in the preview-window:



And this when it was rendered at high quality:



So there's not only the distortion, there's also the significant difference in how the sky appears in the preview-window, compared to the high quality rendering, to take into consideration when constructing an image that will display correctly on a rendered image.


My little experiment with terrain.party seemed to give quite an accurate result when imported in Vue.
But of course I can't import 8 sq. kilometers ( the smallest part you can get) into SH3D, so I have to use Photoshop to select a smaller area, a process in which the accuracy is lost due to the uncertainty regarding the exact size of the selection.


When it comes to the accuracy I was referring to earlier, it was not meant as a topographic accuracy for modelling perfect replicas of actual places. I was just referring to a relative accuracy in my own creations.
I have have during a long period of time, slowly been able to create a 32-step grey-scale palette that gives me a predictable outcome, but it's not based on any scientific tables or algorithms, just on my own tryings and failings.


C
[Feb 28, 2016 5:26:38 PM] Show Printable Version of Post    View Member Profile    Send Private Message    http://cecprojects.wordpress.com [Link] Report threatening or abusive post: please login first  Go to top 
mazoola
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

Your hand-crafted heightmaps are terrific! I remember, far more years ago than I care to recall, briefly working on a never-finished game that somehow was supposed to combine text adventure with ray-traced images; as I recall, the player was supposed to take some actions/find some clues textually and some graphically. Then I quit my job and was handed another one, and I found myself flying around the U.S. working on a number of very early (OK: It was 1993) video-on-demand trials that burned through hundreds of millions of dollars and did little other than to demonstrate a number of ways one could not cost-effectively do VOD.

Anyway, in the shuffle my questionable little game design fell through the cracks -- but not before [and here's where I pull this back to the topic at hand] I discovered just how difficult it was to hand-carve believable terrain using heightmaps. In my experience, at least, what seems a realistic range or transition almost always is too exaggerated for real life -- possibly because we're used to seeing abrupt transitions in topological maps, where the transition in color space is out of scale to the underlying change in elevation. (Or an inverse response: Upon first opening the heightmaps from terrain.party, I thought the application must have failed, as they appeared to be solid blocks of dark grey.)

As you say, it's taken you much time and effort to master the art of terrain design. While I've not been able to examine your work with fjords, from the mountain- and water-scapes you've shared, I suspect you're a regular Slartibartfast!
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Ceciliabr
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

@maz

He-he.
On my first cellphone I had "Don't Panic" as my welcome message. I am among the lucky owners of "The Illustrated Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy" (1994), and haven't looked at it for years until now, so thanks for reminding me. smile

I found a very nice blog about hand crafting height maps some time ago. That's really where I got the idea. But unfortunately it seems to be deleted.

My handcrafting is mostly limited to small objects, like hills, paths, roads, ponds, lawns, trenches and so on - things that are next to impossible to make just by manipulating auto-generated procedurals.

Making very small variations in height is of course dependent upon applying a general height reduction after the model is created.


cec
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okh
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

@Ceciliabr: Like snowmantest. A grid is a good idea. It admit I did struggle a bit until I managed to find the right balance between resolution and picture perspective (see thread 5533 ). And it works best for an eagle's nest: terrain elevated 5-10m + 360 panorama image + trees. I hesitate to share, because the place is kind of private - but there it works kind of well.

@Maz - Yes, clearly Slartibartfast quality terrain. Somehow I do not think Ceciliabr's DK location tells the full story. She may just have more mountain/fjord experience than she lets on. A terrain is easy, a good terrain is very difficult.

ok

PS - The reference to HG2G annoys me a bit though, but just because a little accident with a boat, water and mobile deprived me of the original BBC production I kept on my phone. And now that I think about it, I also had a HG2G text based DOS game from the late 80'ies that I should probably rescue from a floppy...
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Ceciliabr
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Re: high quality pictures at night - outside

An equirectangular projection... well, I learn something new every day.

You are absolutely right about my location: I lived in Norway from 1994 to 2014.
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