Landscape Previsualization Question

donaldvfdonaldvf Posts: 0
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

Is anyone using Carrara to previsualize landscape design options? A friend of mine asked me to show him how to overlay plants, features, objects on a photo (backdrop). Would it be better done in a dedicated program or using Photoshop?


  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,847
    edited December 1969

    donaldvf said:
    Is anyone using Carrara to previsualize landscape design options? A friend of mine asked me to show him how to overlay plants, features, objects on a photo (backdrop). Would it be better done in a dedicated program or using Photoshop?

    You would need models of your plants and trees. You could use a shadow catcher which would be a shader function. It's under lighting models when you create a shader. Since it's a shader it can be applied to any object. Any object behind an object will be masked by a shadow catcher object.

    The other thing to consider would be how intricate the terrain would be. If you have model plants and trees you wish to use, it may be easier to mimic the light sources and render out images of your objects with the Alpha channel option enabled in the render room and save in a format that allows alphas, such as tiff, png or Photoshop. You can then composite the 2D renders in your image editor.

    I hope some of that makes sense! ;-)

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I haven't used it exactly the way that you are asking about -- but it would be fairly easy I think.

    A simple image editor -- the Gimp is free -- to build a heightfield for the terrain and you're done. As EP noted, you'll want models of plants and tree to make it look really good. Those are reasonably priced in the DAZ Store.

    Now doing real archviz work could get trickier...but the basics are simple.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,945
    edited December 1969

    As a landscape foreman for well over twenty years, I've been pondering this myself. Thinking back to all of the blueprints that I've artistically drafted for the really artsy company I started with, near mature size tended to be more important than using exact plant depictions. Then again, these are top down views I used to draft. Nowadays, most of the big firms are using Eagle Point Land Cad stuff, and also is top down, generic, but colored version of what I used to draft by hand. You can get more artistic looks with it, but most companies don't dedicate all of the time necessary to do so.

    This all said, I was thinking of the possibilities of actually doing it in Carrara as pointed out by Evil Producer. But rather than having to create actual replicas of each plant, just a good similarity to illustrate the look would likely make for a great sales tool - by helping the salesman show the client his ideas with actual images. Top Down prints have really saved many in the industry, by being able to express their ideas without truly naming every plant right up front, allowing for further design to take place after the initial presentation. I always presented complete plans, well documented with plant lists and occasionally a perspective sketch for areas where the top down view wasn't good enough to my liking.

    Top down would be really easy with Carrara - but actually so would perspective. I just uploaded a friendly picture in another thread next to this one... I guess posting it a third time to show you something would be okay. But Koukotsu, an artist who does some really cool renders and shares them in the Post Your Renders thread, always used Ambient Occlusion in her renders, and I was inquiring about it. I can't remember if it was her, or Evil Producer, who put the bug in my head to rneder out the result of the AO using multipass... so I tried it and made this sketch-style image. I'll put a more photo-real style image below it to show what that looks like too...

    But although this is different than what you're talking about, I know that I could use my site measurements to create a landscape architecture presentation using Carrara - and it would likely be faster and better for me than drafting either by hand or on computer. If you look at the last of the promo pictures that you scroll through for the Carrara 8 Pro sales page, it shows a new feature for the plant editor that looks most useful for this. The latest enhancements that they did for Carrara 8 Pro already, are very good. I believe I could do it.

    For a more artsy look, Project Dogwaffle Pro has just added to their particles brushes: Foliage brushes that use "rules" that you may set, or pick from a huge list of presets, and they automatically create the trunk, branches, leaves and blossoms. You have the ability to create your own and/or edit existing ones and save them -= so you could keep building your library as the job requirement dictate. Just some more food for thought. ;-)

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  • donaldvfdonaldvf Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thx. Good thoughts. Some similar to my thinking. I think his thoughts are to show what a mature tree, or bush, or hedge etc. might look like in a particular situation or maybe a pond - stuff like that. Sort of to get his clients thinking about final product and get them enthused.

  • Design AcrobatDesign Acrobat Posts: 434
    edited December 1969

    Once you have the terrain set, which can be done with accuracy somewhat in Carrara, one can use an 2D editor like Photoshop to make a distribution map for plants, buildings and objects. A Google map of the desired area gives one a good idea of what's there in the way of structure and highways and there a many maps available on various government servers that can be used for terrain topology. By the way, Bryce can import some types of these topological maps (which can be exported as a terrain if so desired into Carrara.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,945
    edited April 2013

    Well, for this sort of thing, I would use poly points to create the shapes of the beds and so fourth if I were to replicate. Otherwise, I'd likely just create a great looking foliage for the plants I want, and sink it into the ground.

    And yes... Maturity is what we like to show the howe owners - because what they first get is usually much smaller. With Carrara, we could easily show them both.

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
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