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Use hair as grass?
Posted: 15 September 2013 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi,

You may think I have been smoking some, but in the discussions on what Bryce 8 or 9 should have, there was the issue of ‘not proper grass creation’ in Bryce. That’s true, as far as I know. David Brinnen made some tutorial about using leaves of pine trees as grass; very nice idea and I got some nice results. Someone else, sorry, forgot who and too lazy to look for it, stated that the grass problem in Bryce was similar as the hair problem in DAZ Studio and mentioned products for making hair in DAZ and “could they be used for grass in Bryce?
Now, that is a nice thought. The simple answer must be: “yes!”
I do have ‘Look at my hair”. But since I hardly render humans, I have not used it a lot. This idea (not mine, why didn’t I think like that?) led me to make some quick attempts.

Workflow: create landscape in Bryce—> copy (export - import or Bridge) to DAZ Studio and select there—> open Look at my hair—> create hair—> export as obj—> import in the Bryce scene with the landscape—> texture—> render.

Here are my first ‘quick’ attempts. Not very good yet.
Need to play a lot with it to find the proper size of the landscape,  correct hairstyle, thickness, height etc. And you can export with more or less ‘hairs’ (per unit) and much can be improved there too.
First three are made on a large lanscape with default amount of hair per unit in the export.
Last version contains two times the same ‘grasshair’ slightly moved and with different textures to make it more lively. They are made on a smaller landscape with more (5 times) hair per unit in the export.

So, here they come. I see potential, but much work to get something really great.

What do you think?

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grassterrain-hairtest1.jpggrass-hair2.jpggrass-hair3.jpggrass-hair4.jpg
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Posted: 15 September 2013 11:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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  The idea definitely has merit.  I love the density of the bottom picture the best, although the leaves seem a bit wide for grass and look like some other type of vegetation.  The other renders seem a bit thin to me, perhaps they could use some scattered thicker clumps here and there, or maybe I’m just basing that on the last time I saw grasses growing in the sand dunes on my local coast.
  Another option, if you don’t want to repeatedly export/import your terrain, would be to import just a clump of grass instead of the entire scene full of grass, and use Bryce instancing to cover your terrain with it.  You can use the default, with the grass objects instanced straight up and down, or there’s an option when painting instances to have the instanced objects point out at angles based on the angle of the terrain at the point where they are located. 
  Admittedly, the few times I have tried this I have ended up manually going in and rotating many many instances to make it a bit more random in appearance.  Although with proper arrangement and selection of a group of grass clumps rather than just a single identical clump perhaps that could be avoided.

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Posted: 16 September 2013 12:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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@hansmar:  The first three images remind me of burned out forests, rather than grass.  The fourth image is more grass like but lacks definite definition of individual blades to give me the opinion its grass.  That image is definitely in the right direction and with a bit of tweaking will probably be very close to looking like grass.

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Posted: 16 September 2013 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hansmar,

Fantastic work. I had not had an opportunity to test the theory before I posted about it in the other thread, but I assumed it would probably work. The examples you have uploaded are moving in the right direction for sure. I have a couple of questions.

1. What is the polygon count of the mesh hair object?
2. How much detail did you use in the terrain export?

These questions have importance because I have found that a model comprised of 1,000,000 polygons takes about 100mb in memory while running an instance of Bryce. Depending on the number of polygons per strand of hair and the density, one may be able to paint grass over a significant area while still remaining under 1 million polys. The polygon count is important also in the way of smoothing. A model holding a million polygons will take forever to smooth in Bryce, so another indirect benefit of importing the mesh via the bridge is that it is already smoothed.

The resolution of the terrain that is being exported over to DS is important as well. Retaining fine details is very challenging when the terrain is at a 4096 resolution.

Thanks for taking time to test this theory, it does look most promising.

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Posted: 16 September 2013 03:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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@hansmar - great idea! I like it when people think out of the box. This is not yet ready to use but there is a great potential that it will eventually. Thanks for showing.

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Posted: 16 September 2013 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Great idea, I have Garibaldi and will play with that when I get a chance.  Recently been playing with the instancing lab learning some dos and don’ts (it loves to crash).  Here is a render using an instanced grass picture (maybe xfrog?) on a transparent plane.  Needs work but shows potential.  Unfortunately, the scene that produced this render now makes Bryce unhappy, and will not open without crashing.

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Forest_2_a_TA.jpg
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Posted: 16 September 2013 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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JStryder - 16 September 2013 03:46 AM

Great idea, I have Garibaldi and will play with that when I get a chance.  Recently been playing with the instancing lab learning some dos and don’ts (it loves to crash).  Here is a render using an instanced grass picture (maybe xfrog?) on a transparent plane.  Needs work but shows potential.  Unfortunately, the scene that produced this render now makes Bryce unhappy, and will not open without crashing.

I have seen a render done in DS where the person used Garibaldi hair to make grass. Looked good in DS, would love to see how it would translate to Bryce.

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/index.php?&ACT=50&fid=4&aid=92057_nqrTjnTuuCxn8eabTJOC&board_id=1

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Posted: 17 September 2013 02:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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This a a rather pitiful attempt at instancing a small patch of Garibaldi hair, exported as a .obj from Garibaldi (Daz bridge does not work for Gari Hair), imported into Bryce, set to any old green material and instanced over a plane.  Admittedly it does not look much like grass, but little effort was spent trying to make it so.

The .obj hair file is 174 KB, the Bryce file with about 100 instances of the hair patch is 883 KB and when loaded takes up only about 54 K according to Task Manager.  So it seems that Bryce would probably handle many more instances of the patch before barfing. Also, I set the instances much closer than necessary to achieve a dense look, so one could probably cover a larger area with the same number of polys.

I don’t have LAMH so can’t compare, and haven’t played around much with Garibaldi settings.  Reportedly, Gaibaldi specializes in hair only so may not be able to generate a blade-like hair; its grass will look more like a fescue than a rye.

One of my regrets in life is spending too much time watering and cutting lawns, like so many in suburban America.  So I am not feeling like working on the perfect virtual lawn at the moment.  But I can see the potential, it seems like with a little effort and not too much memory one could model a passable lawn.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 03:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I couldn’t resist one last Garibaldi grass scene.  The grass is a bit rod-like unless scaled way down, in which case more instances are needed and memory may be a problem.
The rendered scene is 2.8 MB file, takes only 93K memory when loaded.
There may be better grass objects out there to be instanced over a scene, but one advantage to the Garibaldi exported hair grass is efficiency.  Few polys are needed.
The main point is, Garibaldi hair can be imported into Bryce as a .obj for whatever use you can put it to, but you will have to supply a texture.

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Garibaldi_meadow.jpg
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Posted: 17 September 2013 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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chohole - 16 September 2013 05:36 AM
JStryder - 16 September 2013 03:46 AM

Great idea, I have Garibaldi and will play with that when I get a chance.  Recently been playing with the instancing lab learning some dos and don’ts (it loves to crash).  Here is a render using an instanced grass picture (maybe xfrog?) on a transparent plane.  Needs work but shows potential.  Unfortunately, the scene that produced this render now makes Bryce unhappy, and will not open without crashing.

I have seen a render done in DS where the person used Garibaldi hair to make grass. Looked good in DS, would love to see how it would translate to Bryce.

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/index.php?&ACT=50&fid=4&aid=92057_nqrTjnTuuCxn8eabTJOC&board_id=1

Thanks Pam.  That grass looks painted on the terrain directly from Garibaldi, which will work in Studio but maybe not in Bryce.  Playing with this last night, I could not get Garibaldi to apply hair to a terrain imported from Bryce to Studio.  Garibaldi recognized the terrain but would not let me paint hair onto it, don’t know why.  If Garibaldi could apply hair onto a Bryce terrain, it “should” be possible to export the hair as a .obj from Garibaldi and render in Bryce right on the terrain, to get an effect similar to the image you linked to.  However, trying to export a larger patch of hair applied on a plane primitive did not work for me last night—could not import into Bryce—not sure what the problem was.  So there may be an issue with larger hair patches, needs more exploration.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 02:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I could ask Barry to pop in and tell you how he did it.  I don’t use DS and he is new with Garibaldi.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 02:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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chohole - 17 September 2013 02:08 PM

I could ask Barry to pop in and tell you how he did it.  I don’t use DS and he is new with Garibaldi.

Thanks.  I would like to know what he used for the terrain.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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JStryder - 17 September 2013 02:24 PM
chohole - 17 September 2013 02:08 PM

I could ask Barry to pop in and tell you how he did it.  I don’t use DS and he is new with Garibaldi.

Thanks.  I would like to know what he used for the terrain.

He used the terrain out of this set   http://www.daz3d.com/the-tent which, is apparently just a basic ground Plane.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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chohole - 17 September 2013 02:46 PM
JStryder - 17 September 2013 02:24 PM
chohole - 17 September 2013 02:08 PM

I could ask Barry to pop in and tell you how he did it.  I don’t use DS and he is new with Garibaldi.

Thanks.  I would like to know what he used for the terrain.

He used the terrain out of this set   http://www.daz3d.com/the-tent which, is apparently just a basic ground Plane.

Thanks again!  I guess I will experiment with exporting a Studio contoured ground plane to Bryce, with the hair grass exported from Garibaldi.  That might work.

I might also ask futurebiscuit if he has any idea why the imported Bryce terrain cannot be populated with hair in Garibaldi, perhaps there is a simple fix.  No idea whether he is a Bryce user, but he doesn’t seem to be much into modeling terrains and is not much interested in supporting exports to applications outside of Studio.  So no high hopes there.

Searching for a fix I earned that Carrara hair can also be used for grass/moss.  http://www.daz3d.com/forums/index.php?&ACT=50&fid=66&aid=74301_nzecxSbjpVUOWlWjqXxG&board_id=1 Anoth.er thing to try.  Have played with Carrara’s instancing lab a bit.  It seems more versatile and powerful than Bryce’s.  If only I could get Carrara to produce a render that I actually found appealing!

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Posted: 17 September 2013 04:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Yes.  I have seen some good renders out of Carrara, but have yet to produce anything yet that I would willingly share.  But it is early days yet I suppose, after all I have been playing with Bryce for about 15 years, and only about 15 days with Carrara so far.

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Posted: 17 September 2013 07:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Agree - there is beautiful stuff out there, but not so easy to achieve attractive renders just using the default shaders or lights, or at least the ones I’ve tried so far.  It seems there are a few more tricks to learn.  It’s been fun nonetheless, and I have experienced the thrill of easily making Carrara do stuff I could never do, or only with more difficulty, in Bryce.  So looking forward to learning more.

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