June 2019 - Daz 3D New User Challenge - Scenes and Landscapes

Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,284

New User's Challenge - June 2018

Sponsored by DAZ 3D

Are you new to the 3D World? Are you at the beginning stages of learning 3D rendering? Have you been around for a little bit but feel you could benefit from some feedback or instruction? Have you been around awhile and would like to help other members start their creative journey? Well then come and join the fun as we host our newest render challenge!
 


"Scenes and Landscapes"

This month's focus will be scenes and landscapes. If you haven't noticed when you look at images made by the various 3D software some of the packages do a lot better then others in treating an expansive scene or a magnificent landscape. Ones that come to mind are software such as Bryce or Vue. Both have some built in features that make those wonderfully big expansive images come true. DAZ Studio on the other hand does not have any handy dandy features built into it but if you know the tricks there is no reason why you can't get those same kinds of results. For this contest we will be exploring the principles of how such scenes and landscapes are built and how to control the environment to create the sense of expansiveness a scene or landscape creates for the viewer.

There are some key elements that should be considered when creating a landscape, they are the inspiration, lighting, perspective and depth of focus. I have gathered some links for you that talk about each of these elements.


Inspiration:

Photos and Art:
Landscape Photography
Landscape 3D Art
Landscape Paintings
Surreal Landscapes

Perspective and Depth of Focus:

What a Painter Considers
What a Photographer Considers

Transform 3D Renders: Part 1
http://blog.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/tutorials/transform-3d-renders-part-1/
Transform 3D Renders: Part 2
http://blog.advancedphotoshop.co.uk/tutorials/transform-3d-renders-part-2/

Bryce 7

Bryce 7 Demo Reel

Things to consider when setting up your landscape:
As stated by Jon A. Bell in his book, 3ds max 6 Killer Tips, "For more realistic outdoor scenes, especially if you're seeing a distant horizon, you should always add a slight amount of atmospheric haze.... If you look at a distant mountain range (or if you don't have one right outside your window, just grab a travel magazine or pretend), you'll notice how colors become muted and washed out with distance. You can use just a slight amount of atmospheric fog (it depends on the scale of your scene), and the colors will determine the clarity or quality of your "atmosphere." For clear outdoor settings, using a slight bit of white fog is desirable; for sunset or urban settings (where the air might be more polluted), a slight yellowish or reddish cast makes your horizons look better." In DAZ Studio you have a couple of options in getting that affect. The first would be to add just a tiny bit of Depth of Field so that the objects become a bit more blurred and muted. Another way is to have a volumetric camera that will add the fog feature to the render.

 

Lighting:

Approaching Realism in DAZ Studio and Gamma Correction Demystified
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/54913/

Using HDR Files In DAZ Studio 3delight renders https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=okaYS1jeAew
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/37753/

and for Iray

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5FZ5gS9v50

https://thinkdrawart.com/how-i-light-my-daz-studio-iray-scenes

 

 

Handy tools for DAZ Studio ( note: these can help but are not in any way necessary):

https://www.daz3d.com/terradome-3-iray

https://www.daz3d.com/ultrascatter-advanced-instancing-for-daz-studio

https://www.daz3d.com/ultimate-grass--meadow-worldbuilder

https://www.daz3d.com/modular-cove-landscape-creator

https://www.daz3d.com/digital-kit-bashing--cities-landscapes-and-structures

 

Previous challenges and contests on the topic

https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/253991/june-2018-daz-3d-new-user-challenge-scenes-and-landscapes/p1

https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/171661/june-2017-daz-3d-new-user-challenge-scenes-and-landscapes/p1

https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/90721/june-2016-new-user-3d-art-contest-scenes-and-landscapes-wip-thread/p1

https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/comment/832212/#Comment_832212

 

 

Bryce 7.1

Bryce Landscaping

Bryce Basics

 


For a list of the current challenge rules, please see this thread : Challenge Rules
 


Closing Date: June 30, 2019

I will be checking in as will the rest of the Community Volunteers to try and help with anything you all may need.

Post edited by Richard Haseltine on
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Comments

  • TigerAnneTigerAnne Posts: 535

    I've been looking forward to this challenge! YAY!

  • edited June 2

    Hmm. Not easy. The first real render I did after re-starting with DS in March this year was on Good Friday and is attached (obviously is excluded from entry on date grounds amongst others). My wife and I had had to have our beloved cat 'Fluffy' put to sleep after he started suffering from his severe heart disease. We felt in a really dark and barren place and just needed a hug.

    Anyway, the image only consists of the two figures and an HDRI background that came with DS. Can I find the background preset again? Can I heck. But I found it at the perfect time to show how we felt. It surprised me how effective such a simple render could be.

    Doing a landscape deliberately is far from easy. Will have to think on it. However, it's far easier than painting it for someone as artistically challenged as I. The reason I originally got Poser 4 was entirely down to a frank and fair assessment of my skill level when drawing figures by hand. 'Hopeless' would be generous. 'Awful' would be fairer. frown

    Regards,

    Richard.

    Big Hug.jpg
    1000 x 1294 - 162K
    Post edited by richardandtracy_e725004c1a on
  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,578
    edited June 3

    Hmm. Not easy. The first real render I did after re-starting with DS in March this year was on Good Friday and is attached (obviously is excluded from entry on date grounds amongst others). My wife and I had had to have our beloved cat 'Fluffy' put to sleep after he started suffering from his severe heart disease. We felt in a really dark and barren place and just needed a hug.

    Anyway, the image only consists of the two figures and an HDRI background that came with DS. Can I find the background preset again? Can I heck. But I found it at the perfect time to show how we felt. It surprised me how effective such a simple render could be.

    Doing a landscape deliberately is far from easy. Will have to think on it. However, it's far easier than painting it for someone as artistically challenged as I. The reason I originally got Poser 4 was entirely down to a frank and fair assessment of my skill level when drawing figures by hand. 'Hopeless' would be generous. 'Awful' would be fairer. frown

    Regards,

    Richard.

    I had a very difficult time creating anything for almost a year after I had my beloved boy put to sleep.  Art can be therapuetic when you are ready.

    Your assessment of your skill level at drawing figures, or anything else for that matter, sounds about right for me as well. 

     

    Editted to add:  My "boy" was a Miniature Australian Shepherd. 

    Post edited by Kismet2012 on
  • Start of the new month, and a new idea to work with.

    june2019a.png
    1600 x 900 - 2M
  • dtrscbrutaldtrscbrutal Posts: 106

    @Shinji_Ikari_9th That is a very cool image! I like how you lit the scene in one color and used contrasting light on the vehicle and figure. It has a very otherworldly feel.
     I'm guessing the dark objects in the sky are meteoroids? I think those would look awesome with a rim/edge light.
     Another great set too!

  • TigerAnneTigerAnne Posts: 535

    This is not the entry. This is like the shell, the setting for where the entry image will be set. I decided to make a larger scene I could reuse for other stuff. There's going to be a lot more going on here eventually. Buuut, I don't like the... halos? around the trees on the left. Those aren't "real" trees, they're flat treescapes - my favourite way of backgrounding. The trees in the back on the right side are also treescapes, but there are no halos on them, so it's possible to get rid of, right?

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,578

    @Shinji_Ikari_9th That is a very cool image! I like how you lit the scene in one color and used contrasting light on the vehicle and figure. It has a very otherworldly feel.
     I'm guessing the dark objects in the sky are meteoroids? I think those would look awesome with a rim/edge light.
     Another great set too!

    I agree.  This is a very nice start.  Looking forward to seeing where you take this image.

     

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,578
    TigerAnne said:

    This is not the entry. This is like the shell, the setting for where the entry image will be set. I decided to make a larger scene I could reuse for other stuff. There's going to be a lot more going on here eventually. Buuut, I don't like the... halos? around the trees on the left. Those aren't "real" trees, they're flat treescapes - my favourite way of backgrounding. The trees in the back on the right side are also treescapes, but there are no halos on them, so it's possible to get rid of, right?

    Do the "halos" disappear when you change the position of the lighting?  The shadows from the smaller trees indicate to me the light might be hitting those background trees straight on and could be causing your halo effect.

     

  • TigerAnneTigerAnne Posts: 535

    @Kismet1212 Yes, those trees are right in the trajectory path. But this is how I need to have the lighting come into the scene, so I'll just have to make sure those trees aren't visible. 

  • CoryllonCoryllon Posts: 82

    ok I have a question: I'd like to do some of my scenes as continuations or a picture story of a character's life. Can I use a character from a previous contest as long as the scene is new and so is the pose for the character?

  • sueyasueya Posts: 360

    First version of my landscape with horse  and rider. Please give me some constructive feedback

  • Okay, here is my first attempt at this challenge.  There are some problems that I need the pro's help with.  Mostly they have to do with the mountain range in the background.  I have attempted to create the range in DS only, but have run into a problem as there is not any underlying mesh geometry with the mountain range.  I think I need to have the underlying geometry to be able to use the shader mixer on the terrain to give it a more realistic look, but am clueless as to how to achieve this.  I only have one PBR applied in the base color, but I need to add more detail.  Here is my underlying workflow to generate the mountain range:

    1) Locate the geographic area of interest using terrain party (https://terrain.party/) to generate and download a greyscale image map (see Lake Louise map).  I downloaded a 10 KM x 10KM image.

    2) Open DS and create a new plane primative, I used 100m x 100m with a 10 divisions (although I think divisions can be set to 1 based on this method).

    3) Select the plane and under the Surfaces tab go to the Displacement Strength tool and click on the triangle to open the dialog to choose the displacement map.  Browse to where you downloaded the greyscale image from terrain party.  Use the "Merged" height map that was downloaded (there are four different maps generated and downloaded, but merged seems to work best) and select it. 

    4) Make sure Displacement Strength is set to 1 (this can be adjusted later to change the height as needed).  Adjust the Maximum Displacement to achieve the desired results.  You will see I used 3,464 for mine, the reason for that was based on the topographic map of the region I selected to maintain the overall scale proportions.  Not sure if this is how DS parameters work for this, but it looked right (Mountain Range Displaced image before color applied)

    5) Go to Base Color and click on the triangle to open the dialog to choose the color map.  I chose a PBR rock texture I had downloaded.  I set the Glossy Layered Weight, Glossy Reflectivity and Glossy Roughness parameters all to 0.

    This resulted in the mountain range image texture in the render.  My problem is when I go to export this as an obj file, there is no geometry associated with the generated map, so it exports as a flat plane and I cannot use another software application to texture or paint the terrain more.  So my question to the pro's out there, is there something I am missing to export an obj or is this not possible as the terrain is being generated by a displacement map, which only shows up in the Iray render (go to texture shaded view and there is a flat plane), hence no geometry is generated.

    If I cannot add other textures to the mountain range, I may have to give Blender a try to see about generating a landscape and importing that into DS.  I hope that is not against the rules for this challenge.

    Lake Environment v1.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 2M
    Lake Louise 10KM Size Height Map (Merged).png
    1081 x 1081 - 2M
    Mountain Range Displaced.jpg
    1920 x 1717 - 1M
  • dragoneyes002dragoneyes002 Posts: 52
    sueya said:

    First version of my landscape with horse  and rider. Please give me some constructive feedback

    1) feet in the stirips  2) reins in her hands both of these can be morphed or scaled to where you need them. the horse is missing the tail material not sure if the main is as well get creative with some trees you can use the same tree and spin it a bit so it looks different increase its scale or decrease it the lighting is something you can play with once your happy with the scene 

  • dragoneyes002dragoneyes002 Posts: 52
    TigerAnne said:

    This is not the entry. This is like the shell, the setting for where the entry image will be set. I decided to make a larger scene I could reuse for other stuff. There's going to be a lot more going on here eventually. Buuut, I don't like the... halos? around the trees on the left. Those aren't "real" trees, they're flat treescapes - my favourite way of backgrounding. The trees in the back on the right side are also treescapes, but there are no halos on them, so it's possible to get rid of, right?

    if you can dirty up the house bricks change the base color from white to a light to mid grey just to get the house and the back wall in the same kind of look

  • dtrscbrutaldtrscbrutal Posts: 106
    edited June 5

    @TigerAnne The billboards aren't turned around backwards per chance are they?

     

    @Coryllon AFAIK as long as it's a new image you are good.

     

    @sueya That looks like a very good start! I think you need to do a bit of work on the riders pose. If the pose is a preset it looks like it is for a different kind of saddle, her boots should be in the stirrups and the reins in her hand. I suggest you do an image search for "horseback riding" and you will see what I am talking about. The other thing I see is the horse might not be on the ground, the shadows should be coming from directly under the hoofs.

     Are you using the advanced spotlight for this? You also might consider opening up the beam angle some to even out the light.

     Personal taste here, if your system can handle it, more flowers!  smiley

     

    @sisyphus1977xx That is a super cool write up! I that is a great way to create terrain. A great bit of info.

     I have no idea if this would work, but you could try creating a geometry shell on the terrain and save the shell as the .obj.

    Post edited by dtrscbrutal on
  • dtrscbrutal said:

     I have no idea if this would work, but you could try creating a geometry shell on the terrain and save the shell as the .obj.

    I will give it a try, but I think without the underlying mesh geometry the shell won't be created.  I am going to see if using dForce and dropping a plane on it will work, but again I think it needs the underlying mesh to work.  I could give it a go with a mesh plane and using dFormers to create the geometry, which I used to creating ocean swells before.

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,578
    Coryllon said:

    ok I have a question: I'd like to do some of my scenes as continuations or a picture story of a character's life. Can I use a character from a previous contest as long as the scene is new and so is the pose for the character?

    People have Original Character they like to use over and over again.  I do not see a problem with this.

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,578
    sueya said:

    First version of my landscape with horse  and rider. Please give me some constructive feedback

    If you have any I would change out her boots for something with a low heel. 

     

  • edited June 5

    sisyphus:

    There may be a way of getting a basic terrain colour for the area too. The terrain.party text file in the height map zipfile gives a range for the area shown. Calculate the middle point, go to Google Earth, enter the mid point and then scale the display to match the area displayed. Do a screen grab, take to an image editor and then use the screen grab as a bottom layer to give you colours for a higher resolution image, painting over the top. That way you only display your version & copyright issues should be avoided. Any mismatch between the terrain colour and geometry could be altered with the number in the Horizontal & Vertical tiles and the Horizontal/Vertical Tile offset. I found in another image I did that these are both floating point numbers and can have fractional sizes.

    My only other comment is: 'Wow, oh wow' to the whole way you're going about this. Amazing.

    If you can't get a texture added and creating a geoshell from the displacement map doesn't work, I may be able to adapt a lithophane generation program I've written to export an OBJ file. Wouldn't be hard to get it to create an OBJ file instead of a cnc G-Code text file. I have already done something similar for engraving the outside of a pen barrel where the program exported STL, OBJ, DXF & G-Code from the same input image & a few bits of extra data. I can only do Windows programs, though.

    Richard

    Edited to add: Ahh. No, the Tiling alters the displacement map too. So you'd have to crop one or other map if they don't match up perfectly. It's doable but less easy than I thought.

    Post edited by richardandtracy_e725004c1a on
  • TotteTotte Posts: 10,413

    This resulted in the mountain range image texture in the render.  My problem is when I go to export this as an obj file, there is no geometry associated with the generated map, so it exports as a flat plane and I cannot use another software application to texture or paint the terrain more.  So my question to the pro's out there, is there something I am missing to export an obj or is this not possible as the terrain is being generated by a displacement map, which only shows up in the Iray render (go to texture shaded view and there is a flat plane), hence no geometry is generated.

     

    basically, displacement is a render time thing, not a mesh modification thing. What you want to do  is to generate a mesh from the heghtmap, I think both Carrara and Bryce can do that, and many other programs as well, but keep in mind, the mesh will be huge if you subdivide it too much.

     

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 4,086
    Totte said:

    This resulted in the mountain range image texture in the render.  My problem is when I go to export this as an obj file, there is no geometry associated with the generated map, so it exports as a flat plane and I cannot use another software application to texture or paint the terrain more.  So my question to the pro's out there, is there something I am missing to export an obj or is this not possible as the terrain is being generated by a displacement map, which only shows up in the Iray render (go to texture shaded view and there is a flat plane), hence no geometry is generated.

     

    basically, displacement is a render time thing, not a mesh modification thing. What you want to do  is to generate a mesh from the heghtmap, I think both Carrara and Bryce can do that, and many other programs as well, but keep in mind, the mesh will be huge if you subdivide it too much.

     

    Bryce definitely can do it.

    The thing is that displacement is not affecting the mesh only the surface, not generating geometry, so if you added you displacement map again into the surfaces tab of your plane you would get your map but on a very low level. Iray especially is not good with displacement it works much better with normal map as it goes but even there creating distorion on landscape size would rip the mesh.

  • richardandtracy_e725004c1a said:

    There may be a way of getting a basic terrain colour for the area too. The terrain.party text file in the height map zipfile gives a range for the area shown. Calculate the middle point, go to Google Earth, enter the mid point and then scale the display to match the area displayed. Do a screen grab, take to an image editor and then use the screen grab as a bottom layer to give you colours for a higher resolution image, painting over the top.

    My only other comment is: 'Wow, oh wow' to the whole way you're going about this. Amazing.

    I had thought of doing that as I have used it in the past within Blackmagic Fusion when creating landscape comps.  I will give it a try here to see what it ends up looking like.  Yeah, I found the tiling parameters in DS can change the results, but when I did this in Fusion, taking the terrian party image and google maps image into a photo editor as you suggest and lining up the two image layers, then croping them so they end up overlaying each other correctly works well.  With the mountains in the background, I don't need as much detail as a mesh geometry (bump, normal, etc.) would provide, so if the image layering works and it looks good, that may be the solution.

    Totte said:

    basically, displacement is a render time thing, not a mesh modification thing. What you want to do  is to generate a mesh from the heghtmap, I think both Carrara and Bryce can do that, and many other programs as well, but keep in mind, the mesh will be huge if you subdivide it too much.

    I should have figured that the displacement was render based, as other programs work similarly.  I don't have Carrara or Bryce, but may see what Blender can do.  To say that my skill level in Blender is novice is being overly generous, but with the new UI in version 2.8, it looks like I will give it another try to see what works there. 

     

  • ariochsnowpawariochsnowpaw Posts: 74
    edited June 6

    Sunset Cove

    I've been eagerly anticipating this challenge because I almost never do Landscapes in 3D modelling but always do them in watercolor.  I also really have had working the displacement map angle in Daz on my list of things to mess with.

    @sisyphus1977xx beat me to the punch but the terrain is a simple plane with a displaement map that I generated in PS and the water is another plane with a wave map that I made a while back.  The result is very simple geometry with the added plants being the only real load for render times.  The scene renders very quickly which, given I have to use CPU rendering because my graphics card is AMD, is pretty awesome.

    I think I could still build more interest in the scene so I'd love feedback (as long as you don't say it sucks and make me pout).

    And right after posting this realized that I should probably go for wider panorama shot so I'll work on that

     

    Sunset Cove.jpg
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    Post edited by ariochsnowpaw on
  • TigerAnneTigerAnne Posts: 535

    Sunset Cove

    I love it! Now I want to go for a boat ride. laugh

  • L'AdairL'Adair Posts: 6,938

    Sunset Cove

    I've been eagerly anticipating this challenge because I almost never do Landscapes in 3D modelling but always do them in watercolor.  I also really have had working the displacement map angle in Daz on my list of things to mess with.

    @sisyphus1977xx beat me to the punch but the terrain is a simple plane with a displaement map that I generated in PS and the water is another plane with a wave map that I made a while back.  The result is very simple geometry with the added plants being the only real load for render times.  The scene renders very quickly which, given I have to use CPU rendering because my graphics card is AMD, is pretty awesome.

    I think I could still build more interest in the scene so I'd love feedback (as long as you don't say it sucks and make me pout).

    And right after posting this realized that I should probably go for wider panorama shot so I'll work on that

     

    What a great start to this challenge, @ariochsnowpaw. I agree, this will look really good as a panoramic image. It's pretty impressive that you created the terrain and the water using planes and displacement.

    If you have any birds in your runtime, a few flying across the sky in the distance, silhouetted with the sun behind them, would look really great. Another possiblity would be sailboat, again, in the distance.

  • CoryllonCoryllon Posts: 82

    Ok Folks, I am fighting with Daz studio right now, I willl have something for this, if I get it fixed in time,. RIght now I only have access to about 20 or less of my items. I'm working with Tech support

  • @ariochsnowpaw that is a really outstanding work.  Right now, I think I will abandon that image as I had a stray thought while I have been flailing around a bit with Blender and Daz trying to get my terrain created.

    For those that are interested, as richardandtracy_e725004c1a noted regarding using an image map to overlay the displacement, I have attached the colorized version with the overlay. 

     

    Mountain Range Displaced.jpg
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    Mountain Range Color Map Overlay.jpg
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  • dragoneyes002dragoneyes002 Posts: 52
    edited June 6

     Here is an entry done in daz 4.10 anyone else having auto save draft causing issues like not being able to delete the draft?

    TigerAnne said:

     

    swordwielding2g.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 2M
    Post edited by dragoneyes002 on
  • ...

    For those that are interested, as richardandtracy_e725004c1a noted regarding using an image map to overlay the displacement, I have attached the colorized version with the overlay. 

     

    That is phenomenal. Congratulations, superb result. Comes just as I completed a program to convert an image into a texture mapped height modified plane & de-bugged it to the point it works. Have not tried it with a 16 bit monochrome PNG yet, but it works with 24 bit colour PNG,  256 colour gif, 24 bit jpg & BMP. Seems to be a memory limit of about 1000 facets square for the output geometry.

    Regards,

    Richard.

     

  • CoryllonCoryllon Posts: 82

    So I am having all kinds of fun with my scene (not a battle/pre-battle scene like normal :) ) It's going to be a low-light render so I am having trouble playing with the light getting the angles perfect and of course I'm still having issues with Daz I cannot resolve that is keeping me from finishing the job, but once I get this done, this is going to be menacing and I'm enjoying it. A shame iray won't work for it, but thems the breaks. 

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