# How do I get a reasonable light? Less intense shadows?

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• Posts: 917
edited December 1969

pumeco said:
Like I said, I've never tried it, but that's definitely the way I would do such a thing.

Unless of course once you tried it you found it didn't work the way you thought it would. If that were the case I imagine you would then do it differently, or pull your hair out like Rashad. :)

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Can't for the life of me imagine what the difference is, I mean what difference can it make whether it's a terrain or a water plane he's intersecting?

Mind you, he's a peasant there for a start, because it means he took absolutely no notice of what I said about volume and water. If he wants modeled waves (which is good), then he needs to do it with one of them symmetrical rock things or imported geometry so that the water has a volume, I'm not sure the Bryce water plane has volume, or maybe it has, dunno.

I'm just waiting to see what he says in case I'm misunderstanding what he's getting at. I was hoping he'd posted again last night, was going to do him a silent video showing him how to do whatever it is that is stumping him with the waterline.

• Posts: 917
edited November 2012

pumeco said:
Can't for the life of me imagine what the difference is, I mean what difference can it make whether it's a terrain or a water plane he's intersecting?

Mind you, he's a peasant there for a start, because it means he took absolutely no notice of what I said about volume and water. If he wants modeled waves (which is good), then he needs to do it with one of them symmetrical rock things or imported geometry so that the water has a volume, I'm not sure the Bryce water plane has volume, or maybe it has, dunno.

I'm just waiting to see what he says in case I'm misunderstanding what he's getting at. I was hoping he'd posted again last night, was going to do him a silent video showing him how to do whatever it is that is stumping him with the waterline.

Well if I understand correctly what he's said already then he didn't use a water plain, he used a terrain with a water material applied. I just made the commented I did because I found it amusing that you were so certain of how you would do something to the point of advising someone who has tried, even though you yourself have never tried.

Post edited by LordHardDriven on
• Posts: 0
edited November 2012

Like I said, I need to know what he's getting at before I can give it a go. I'm confused why a terrain would be any different to using a plane, so that makes me think he's getting at something else. I've not tried it before because I have no interest in rendering organic things (apart from women). The only time I ever used Bryce productively was for some prototype product shots some years back.

Trees, water, skies, all that stuff has no interest for me in rendering.

Post edited by pumeco on
• Posts: 19,414
edited December 1969

Water materials look completely different when they are applied to a terrain rather than applied to a volume of water, or even a water plane.

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Yeah I know, that's why I said to use a volume rather than a plane or whatever.

What I meant was what I said; using a plane for the procedure of getting a template should be no different to using a terrain to do the same thing. That's what I said and that's all I'm asking about!

• Posts: 4,274
edited December 1969

It depends whether the terrain used is solid or not. The important part for water is the surface, it is there where the refraction happens. Though water is not a surface, most of the time a surface gives good results - depending on the view angle.

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

WTF, yes I know, but like I said, I'm asking him why using a terrain to make the template is any different/harder than using a plane to make a template. The sea can be solid black and the sand can be white to make the template, surface properties aren't important just to make the template. Rashad's post suggests that he can't make the template using a terrain, but he can using a plane.

Anyway, no worries, too much time spent, going round in circles here.

• Posts: 265
edited December 1969

The main issue is the render time especially with the cloud slab, pretty much makes premium effects unreachable.

Yes, this is fundamentally related to your struggle with the water realism in this scene. You are trying to achieve a highly realistic result with what amounts to a low resolution subsample of a much larger image.

Just in case anyone has forgotten, Rashad is "zooming in" on one small area of one of his "mega-scenes". Most of his, and Bryce's, resources are being applied to stuff that isn't displayed in the images he is showing in this thread, but are nevertheless consuming memory, processor cycles and time.

Rashad, you are perfectly capable of creating a beach scene to totally "pwn" all previously created beach scenes. You just aren't going to do it whilst also being able to render this same file from all potential angles and distances. I'll be delighted if you prove me wrong, but I seriously believe you are flogging a dead horse here.

If you devoted all of your (and Bryce's) capacity solely to producing this viewpoint, you would quickly solve the problems. You could render your complex sky in isolation, from this viewpoint, and then apply the result to a 2D plane behind the geometry. Render time slashed. Multiple massive terrains could be entirely at your disposal in this viewpoint, instead of being applied to a majority-unseen landscape. A realistic water effect for this viewpoint could be developed straightforwardly if done without reference to how it might also appear from three thousand feet up, three miles away at three hundred and thirty three degrees.

;-)

• Posts: 1,855
edited December 1969

I believe everyone is missing pumeco's question. The question concerns making a mask, a template as pumeco has put it.

Would the mask, template, be different if a terrain were used instead of a plane? This I believe is the question pumeco is asking.

• Posts: 0
edited November 2012

Well I'm glad someone understood me, cheers Guss!

I was tempted to install Bryce last night just to see what he was on about, even without the info, but I'm fighting for disk space and I'm tired of moving stuff around onto a bloody USB stick and having to uninstall stuff temporarily. Anyway, after reading Peter's post I get the feeling it might be a terrain resolution thing he's talking about, and If so, I have no input because I've never attempted one of those mega-scenes.

Post edited by pumeco on
• Posts: 917
edited December 1969

pumeco said:
Well I'm glad someone understood me, cheers Guss!

I was tempted to install Bryce last night just to see what he was on about, even without the info, but I'm fighting for disk space and I'm tired of moving stuff around onto a bloody USB stick and having to uninstall stuff temporarily. Anyway, after reading Peter's post I get the feeling it might be a terrain resolution thing he's talking about, and If so, I have no input because I've never attempted one.

I understood your question too but like I said, I found your comment "Like I said, I’ve never tried it, but that’s definitely the way I would do such a thing." amusing because it doesn't make sense to say you're sure something you've never tried is the way you would definately do something. How can one be sure about something they themselves have never done? So I was just poking fun at that. I didn't mean to make you get all defensive.

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

I'm not getting defensive, a bit annoyed perhaps because it seemed no one understood a simple question.

The reason I knew it wouldn't be any different without trying it is because it's obvious there would be no difference, didn't need to try it. Wouldn't have mattered whether it was a terrain, plane, naked Vickie or whatever else he was intersecting. If one is white and one is black then you have a template when you hit render, there was nothing to figure out there or even test. I wasn't thinking about Rashad's mega-scene stuff and there was no mention of it in his post.

Anyway, forget I posted, back to normality - lol

• Posts: 1,034
edited December 1969

_ PJF _ said:
The main issue is the render time especially with the cloud slab, pretty much makes premium effects unreachable.

Yes, this is fundamentally related to your struggle with the water realism in this scene. You are trying to achieve a highly realistic result with what amounts to a low resolution subsample of a much larger image.

Just in case anyone has forgotten, Rashad is "zooming in" on one small area of one of his "mega-scenes". Most of his, and Bryce's, resources are being applied to stuff that isn't displayed in the images he is showing in this thread, but are nevertheless consuming memory, processor cycles and time.

Rashad, you are perfectly capable of creating a beach scene to totally "pwn" all previously created beach scenes. You just aren't going to do it whilst also being able to render this same file from all potential angles and distances. I'll be delighted if you prove me wrong, but I seriously believe you are flogging a dead horse here.

If you devoted all of your (and Bryce's) capacity solely to producing this viewpoint, you would quickly solve the problems. You could render your complex sky in isolation, from this viewpoint, and then apply the result to a 2D plane behind the geometry. Render time slashed. Multiple massive terrains could be entirely at your disposal in this viewpoint, instead of being applied to a majority-unseen landscape. A realistic water effect for this viewpoint could be developed straightforwardly if done without reference to how it might also appear from three thousand feet up, three miles away at three hundred and thirty three degrees.

;-)

Yep, true indeed. It's a dead horse. Bryce is probably too limited. I realize this project is outside of Bryce's comfort zone, which is why I am doing it, hoping to find out what tools Bryce needs to be added to the toolset to accomplish these types of scenes.

• Posts: 1,034
edited December 1969

pumeco said:
I'm not getting defensive, a bit annoyed perhaps because it seemed no one understood a simple question.

The reason I knew it wouldn't be any different without trying it is because it's obvious there would be no difference, didn't need to try it. Wouldn't have mattered whether it was a terrain, plane, naked Vickie or whatever else he was intersecting. If one is white and one is black then you have a template when you hit render, there was nothing to figure out there or even test. I wasn't thinking about Rashad's mega-scene stuff and there was no mention of it in his post.

Anyway, forget I posted, back to normality - lol

Sorry for the heated debate in my absence. I'm not able to contribute as I would like, apologies to all. Its all pretty simple when it boils down.

I'm still without internet service at home so I am posting from work again......

I guess the only thing I can say is that I have already done things in the manner Len would do it. Problem is that it doesnt look right as evidenced by my renders. I will explain and I might jump around a bit so bear with with me.

The basic problem is that where the sand and the water converge there is a phase change. Phase changes are always a challenge.

The size or detail of the scene is not itself the issue, more-so to do with the multiplicity of viewpoints. That's what leads to trouble.

If I was to do it in the simple way, build the scene to be rendered only from 1 viewpoint, I might be able to pull off what Len suggests. But because specular and reflection are both viewing perspective dependent, when I move the camera my specular and reflection will also move. Often times this will cause a polygon that once displayed lots of specular to appear without any specular simply because the camera no longer aligns with the key light source as it used to.

It is a flaw to my thinking to rely on specular and reflection to do the marrying of sand to water in this case for several reasons. If the water is a flat plane you can assume that all normals are facing the same direction giving the same specular highlights to the camera view. But if the terrain surface is dynamic, then many of the polygons will face in different directions, meaning that there will be a lot less specular to hide behind. Kind of like how a smooth surface reflections more than a matte or bumpy one, its the same idea.

Terrain water, even with the same material settings as an infinite plane will look totally different due to the specular, reflection and refraction being chopped up by the waves. Now, refraction is another consideration.

Sometimes we are concerned only with the surface of the water but this too is an error. There is a certain amount of volume to consider. As the real world examples showed the water changes color based on its depth. The deeper the water the more light it absorbs and redirects. Thus I have used a terrain but set it to "solid" so that the water has volume at deeper depths just like real water. The problem in Bryce is with the Volume and Transparent Color Channels. These channels do not care whether a swatch of water is a milimeter in depth or 12 feet, it will still color them in the same way, like colored glass. Once again Bryce's lack of absorption ruins my plans for ultimate water. (FYI Len, that dragon example of in-scattering David made with the jade dragon is not actually possible to repeat. He literally "broke" the material lab to pull that off. Needless to say he had to hack it, its not yet native to Bryce. Maybe in the next version, but not yet today.) To force some degree of inscattering, I have applied an altitude filter that is white at the top and dark blue near the base. It should create a sinking feeling. But surprisingly this still did not bleach my coastline. For that I had to do a top view render where I could blend the water along the edges to be clear compared to further out. But as evidenced, its still not enough.

Now lets go back for a moment to Len's exercise that has led to debate. Len is not wrong in his proposal. Problem is I already tried it and it doesnt work. The basic idea of Lens post is that I create a water surface, place an object into the water, then apply filters to the object so that it reaches the proper level of specular and reflection at the point where the water touches it. In theory this should create a seamless progression from dry sand to wet sand to full water.

But due to the scale I am working from, the waves pattern of the water surface prevents me from being able to match these ideals perfectly. Even after creating a top view mask, I am still unsatisfied with the way it looks when viewed up close.

Here are a few hand drawn examples made with basic MS PAINT to explain why the mask idea fails at least when it comes to blending the water into the sand.

• Posts: 0
edited November 2012

Sorry for the heated debate in my absence. I'm not able to contribute as I would like, apologies to all. Its all pretty simple when it boils down.

I'm still without internet service at home so I am posting from work again......

I guess the only thing I can say is that I have already done things in the manner Len would do it. Problem is that it doesnt look right as evidenced by my renders. I will explain and I might jump around a bit so bear with with me.

The basic problem is that where the sand and the water converge there is a phase change. Phase changes are always a challenge.

The size or detail of the scene is not itself the issue, more-so to do with the multiplicity of viewpoints. That's what leads to trouble.

If I was to do it in the simple way, build the scene to be rendered only from 1 viewpoint, I might be able to pull off what Len suggests. But because specular and reflection are both viewing perspective dependent, when I move the camera my specular and reflection will also move. Often times this will cause a polygon that once displayed lots of specular to appear without any specular simply because the camera no longer aligns with the key light source as it used to.

It is a flaw to my thinking to rely on specular and reflection to do the marrying of sand to water in this case for several reasons. If the water is a flat plane you can assume that all normals are facing the same direction giving the same specular highlights to the camera view. But if the terrain surface is dynamic, then many of the polygons will face in different directions, meaning that there will be a lot less specular to hide behind. Kind of like how a smooth surface reflections more than a matte or bumpy one, its the same idea.

Terrain water, even with the same material settings as an infinite plane will look totally different due to the specular, reflection and refraction being chopped up by the waves. Now, refraction is another consideration.

Sometimes we are concerned only with the surface of the water but this too is an error. There is a certain amount of volume to consider. As the real world examples showed the water changes color based on its depth. The deeper the water the more light it absorbs and redirects. Thus I have used a terrain but set it to "solid" so that the water has volume at deeper depths just like real water. The problem in Bryce is with the Volume and Transparent Color Channels. These channels do not care whether a swatch of water is a milimeter in depth or 12 feet, it will still color them in the same way, like colored glass. Once again Bryce's lack of absorption ruins my plans for ultimate water. (FYI Len, that dragon example of in-scattering David made with the jade dragon is not actually possible to repeat. He literally "broke" the material lab to pull that off. Needless to say he had to hack it, its not yet native to Bryce. Maybe in the next version, but not yet today.) To force some degree of inscattering, I have applied an altitude filter that is white at the top and dark blue near the base. It should create a sinking feeling. But surprisingly this still did not bleach my coastline. For that I had to do a top view render where I could blend the water along the edges to be clear compared to further out. But as evidenced, its still not enough.

Now lets go back for a moment to Len's exercise that has led to debate. Len is not wrong in his proposal. Problem is I already tried it and it doesnt work. The basic idea of Lens post is that I create a water surface, place an object into the water, then apply filters to the object so that it reaches the proper level of specular and reflection at the point where the water touches it. In theory this should create a seamless progression from dry sand to wet sand to full water.

But due to the scale I am working from, the waves pattern of the water surface prevents me from being able to match these ideals perfectly. Even after creating a top view mask, I am still unsatisfied with the way it looks when viewed up close.

Here are a few hand drawn examples made with basic MS PAINT to explain why the mask idea fails at least when it comes to blending the water into the sand.

You'll either believe me or not when I tell you this, but that's pretty much what I suspected you were getting at.

Thing is though, looking at your diagram still tells me that it should work. You've confirmed (and conveyed) perfectly what you're getting at, but surely all you have to do to fix that is to ensure that the start point of the gaussian-blended part doesn't start until you're past that safe-zone?

In other words, all you need to do is make sure that you don't just blend it, but also that the blend starts at a point sufficient enough to allow for the differences in geometry height that are causing the problems. Think of that allowance as the safe-zone, and because the surface of the water has exactly the same surface properties as the closest edge of the sand, you shouldn't have any problem as long as there's sufficient distance to allow for the highest point that would otherwise give you problems.

On your diagram you need another part, and it falls somewhere along that area you have specified as the "gaussian progression". Where exactly, is going to be dependent upon how high the highest point of the problem is (the part of the water that deviates the most).

.

Post edited by pumeco on
• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

BTW, you're a master at MS Paint, Rash' :mrgreen:

• Posts: 0
edited December 1969

Ok, I did you a diagram, always nice to let rip with the Wacom now and again, let my talent show and stuff :lol:

- The Blue line shows the geometric edge of the water.
- The Green line is the bit you're missing and is the safe zone.
- The Red line is where the Gaussian ends.

What's important to note here is that between the water edge and the green line is actually the sand, but between those two lines you need to match the properties of the water. Then, between the Green line and the Red line, you need to create the Gaussian fade. Anything past the red line is pure sand.

What you're doing wrong is creating a Gaussian fade between the Blue line and the Red line. You really need that Green line to create a safety zone, and that safety zone is set so that it just compensates for the largest deviation in view of the camera. In other words, whatever peak or wave is giving the most problem, that's the boundary you set the Green line to. You can even set the green line past where it is needed if you wanted to.

But that safety zone is needed.