Building Carrara Terrains Intro

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  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited June 2016

    Thanks I grabbed it and will give it a go later. Let me show you what I came up with... let me know if you see any settings that are out of whack. As you can see on the rendered image I've left Terrain Shaders at default... trying to get different lighting at the moment. I can always go back and refine the terrain better and come up with shaders that I like.

     

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    There's almost no such thing as a setting being 'out-of-whack' as long as it gives the wanted results ;)

    That being said, you might want to consider Not using the "Rescale To" setting if the rescaled size is the same as the world size, since it just adds unnecessary extra calculations.

    Man, I really Really like the terrain you've created here! Very nice!

    After I first started monkeying around with Terrains, I went through the Terrain Shaders in the browser and tried all of them to see what they were about.

    By the time I tried terrains in Carrara, I had already become quite familiar with tweaking figure (V4, M4, other content) shaders to get really decent results - for what I do. Seeing the list-style shaders used in these terrain shaders was new to me though... same sort of thing is used on Carrara's plant shaders. 

    So I tried substituting image maps (color, highlight, and bump) with some of the procedural results used for some of the distributed shaders - while leaving the ones that I liked alone. For example, one of the green rocky shader sets comes with a yellowish mustard bloom in certain high areas of what is otherwise green, and I really liked the effect of the yellow over the grassy texture that I tiled seemlessly over the green areas. Some of the rocky areas looked really cool to me, so I kept those as well.

    After a while, I started copying some shaders over to other lists to create different layer lists of my own.

    I've found that I really like using bump to help give detail so that I can keep the mesh resolution down to 513, while still getting some fairly detailed appearances happening.

    It's all very fun - and it just keeps getting better with more and more practice!

     

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    I started posting my ideas about saving my own presets to the browser, when I got requests to create some new presets for Carrara - which is where my Environkits idea came from. As an animator, I find it incredibly essential to have many presets saved for many different situations. It speeds up my set-building time so I spend MUCH less time creating scenes so I can get straight to the action.

    This image is an endeavor to make a lightning-fast render setup for a scene I need in an up-comoing sequence - this being a test render to see how it turned out

    You can see how, by using the elements that I've added to the browser with Woodlands, I was able to very quickly and easily set this up.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    edited June 2016

    These were also made using Woodlands and Merlin's awesome Saxon Settlement kit

    Daytime

    Dusk using a different camera (I always save several cameras at different angles)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    edited June 2016

    This one uses an EnvironKit Base scene used only for the atmospheric controls and lighting setup - featuring The AntFarm's wonderful "Neverhome" kit

    and this one using "Tomb of the Dead", a detailed texture pack for BRC - The Cloister

    Having presets saved that are already known to render the wanted style and speed can be invaluable!

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited June 2016

    Whacky is my middle name. :)

    I'll leave the world size at 100 and just use rescale to the size I want.

    Thanks I'm fairly happy with my latest terrain. After adding shaders probably be more pleased... too picky I am.

    Presently I'm changing/adding Shader setttings like color/bump making most Muti Layered etc. Tweaking shaders is fuun... it can get time consuming... but the results are worth it. I've learned, and still, more this year than since Carrara 4 about nearly everything... only because I've taken the time.. saving shader presets I've only started doing and is a must.

    I only have, so far, Starry Sky and Underwater Realms Environs... Woodlands is next on my list... hopefully the rest even later.

    Your test render is very good. Did you create the objects or are they content from DAZ/etc?

    I have [edited] a few things above. Took out "where are terrain shaders" since I realized where they where... under Shaders of course.

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    edited June 2016
    wgdjohn said:

    I'll leave the world size at 100 and just use rescale to the size I want.

    I would do the opposite, myself: Leave the world size at 500 and uncheck the rescale option ;)

    (less calculations to get the same results = cleaner workflow)

     

    wgdjohn said:

    Your test render is very good. Did you create the objects or are they content from DAZ/etc?

    The above five images were all created using DAZ content. The top one uses Woodlands with :

    Space Relic, a texture kit for The Core, by Stonemason, which I've duplicated and scaled to extend the prop and to give an upper side to the building. So the landing platform of the duplicate become the roof piece of the original, which is being landed upon. I really like the Space Relic textures for this great prop piece.

    Petipet's Starship Piranha,(landing on platform) like all of his products, is a true dream to work with. Plenty of details and working, moving parts, glow maps for the flames and weapons... I'm a huge petipet fan, and am collecting his entire store - which is fun because it's constantly growing.

    The fumes under the ship are made using a small Volumetric Cloud. 

    The big Starship in the sky is converted to Poser format by Simon 3D from a model by Skynet 2020 at Renderosity. 

    Most of the visible Woodland scene is the large wooded terrain piece that comes with Woodlands - rotated and placed to create the rocky, wooded slope and even the surrounding trees are from that piece. I just kept pushing and pulling until I got plenty of trees in the foreground and the slope the way I wanted it. Once I have it how I want it I save it right away as a new preset.

    (see other image posts for DAZ content used)

     

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Surprised I didn't have any of them... put em in wishlist for now. Thanks.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    wgdjohn said:

    Surprised I didn't have any of them... put em in wishlist for now. Thanks.

    Well, I have specific visions for various scenes that I will be using in my movies.

    When I made my first leap into Carrara (Buying it) my Wife also bought yearly Platinum Club membership and gave me an additional spending allowance. It felt like I was downloading for a month - I had so much stuff in that first set of orders! (it was actually an intense three days - not a month! LOL)

    I'm still a very satisfied PC memeber - constantly checking new PC releases as well as revisiting stuff from their immense back catalog of really, really cool stuff. My view is that, even when it's not on sale, DAZ content is an excellent deal. That doesn't mean that I can afford all of it, of course, but I never feel remorseful over a purchase here.

    Some of the environment pieces, like BRC Cloisters, aren't complete scenes. So even though I was buying them, I often avoided loading them - instead selecting a full scene set, like Neverhome or Saxon Settlement, for example. But now I no longer have that habit, and am having a lot of fun trying out beautiful pieces from my collection that I've not yet tried! BRC Cloisters being one of them, which I picked up in a huge sale bundle (or set of bundles) that landed me a bunch of expansions for it. That's no new set. It's been here longer than I have. Same with The Core and it's Space Relic addon. The thing is, DAZ 3D had a reputation of excelence right from the start - so ALL of the products here are quite awesome in the hands of those whom are looking for that specific item.

    I still have a lot of collecting to do. I have a wonderful list of cool stuff, but I hope to get up to the thousands and thousands, like 3dage has! :) I still need a lot more vehicles and I'd like to start collecting more plantlife - even though I have so much fun making that stuff myself. It's just fun for me to collect this stuff. 

    I just recently bought a bunch of cool model kits from the back-shelves of DAZ 3D! Cool older stuff like Power Pixie, Robot HD, Gargoyle Hound... and I'm always wanting to further my Predatron 3D collection of people and creatures!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    Wow. Sorry for the brief OT, but I was just looking at those early orders I made - getting Carrara and my piles of stuff to start off my collection with. Someone was just mentioning the Millennium Environment and/or the Multiplane Cyclorama a short while ago, and that Millennium Environment was my thing back then, which made Carrara seem really strange to me. The ME is Huge in Poser, but immensely tiny in the vastness of Carrara! LOL

    But I was just looking at how I bought what must be nearly the entire collection, save a few, of the expansion texture packs for that Millennium Environment. I recall asking here in the forums how to get them to work in Carrara. It took some getting used to, since I didn't want shadows on or from the surround planes, so I deselected their ability to cast or recieve shadows, set all lights to ignore them, and took the time to configure the shaders color maps into the glow channel, and set the brightness according to what I needed - and it worked fabulously! Man I spent a lot of time messing around with that environment and just loved it! 

    But nowadays it just seems a lot easier (to me anyways) to just build a gigantic scene in Carrara and use one of my atmosphere/lighting presets. Trying this in Daz Studio and Poser makes them cough up blood but Carrara handles large piles of stuff really well - especially if we optimize each thing as we bring them in, and keep good housekeeping along the way. And then it has this beautiful ability to render distant objects blazingly fast - almost as if it was just a background image!

    I bought one of X-Frogs billboard tree packs to add more Millennium Environment style goodness to my scenes. After buying and playing around with mmoir's Mystic Gorge, however, which uses all Carrara plant life, I was amazed at how quickly Carrara even renders those highly detailed plants when kept at a distance - so long as a small measure of care went into setting them up, which is actually pretty easy to do. So I started venturing away from billboard-style elements and going for actual geometry, which then led me into making my own terrains within Carrara - which was something that I was planning on Not getting myself into. But I got to liking it and that ended such a silly avoidance! ;)

    I had the same difficulties with terrains as many others have. I'd load a preset terrain scene and then load in a Daz figure, which was nigh-impossible to get to stand atop the terrain. The whole issue wasn't the terrain at all, but the fact that I was working in Carrara's "Large" magnitude scene scale! Once I started opening a Medium scene and then bringing in terrain, it all started working together quite well! 

    I love my Carrara experience so much that everything else that I try just seems to be an excercise in letting me down and wasting my time.

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Power Pixie... bought in 2006. Spent so much on DAZ content that have to let wallet fatten up again. Time now for some modeling again. Have used 3D modeler/animator since 90's. Time now to work on Terrains and Lighting. Just watched your video on Painting with Light tonight... away I go.

  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,476
    edited June 2016

    A couple of days ago, I made a faux whisky bottle. The label was rendered in Carrara (naturally), and used Noggin's Duck (from the store), on a Carrara terrain, and one of Tim Payne's sunset sky presets. I needed an extra light on the duck, but it's pretty much exactly as rendered.

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    Very cool, TangoAlpha! Love it!

    WDJohn, I have anim8or and have opened it a couple of times, but since I'm already modeling using Carrara's tools (and loving it) I felt that I just didn't need to learn another interface - but it certainly is a fine (and Free!) modeler. My friend, Phillip Staiger (Project Dogwaffle) has some tutorials on using it to make animated brushes for Dogwaffle. 

    Another tip:

    When I use content that comes with natural water, I always (so far) replace that water with Carrara's Ocean primitive. This example is Faveral's Medieval Docks. I also duplicated a few of the elements and placed them around for added depth and for reflections, shadows, etc.,

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    Oh... right! I've forgot to mention that this one, using a few duplicates of the Tomb of the Dead (BRC The Cloister) along with Ruins of Alecto, is actually set within the Cave Creator preset from Badlands! That helps to create such a dark environment while still using Gamma Correction = 2.2

    I've also played a lot with the fog settings in the realistic sky editor, which is also used even though the bulk of the visible scene is underground. I enjoy trying many different ways to manipulate Carrara's incredible atmosphere system - the Realistic Sky editor being (currently) one of my favorites. The scene also uses multiple low intensity (brightness = 1) dark colored lights using the EnvironKit's skydome.

    Added tip: Since I need my renders to be ultra-fast, not minding the small hit taken on realism, I open my light replicator and change the minimum distance of replicated objects from the default 280 to 980, which changes the total number of replicated lights from 88 to 11. It still acts as a great skydome, yet doesn't have nearly the softness in the shadows. Which reminds me... I also take soft shadows off of the sun light.

    I have a few other scenes that I've been building within the Cave System because I love the scary feeling it gives. The actual animations done within this setting are turning out really nice!

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    TangoAlpha,  Very Nice label... lighting looks good to me... I'm only guessing that the extra light you want is a fill for the underside of the left wing but but it might wash out other areas... only a guess. The Terrain makes the render work.

    Dartanbeck,  Medievil Docks I saw in one of your videos where you did an experiment with a greenscreen and using Carrara and Dogwaffle but changed to different program which name escapes me at the moment. I have The Cloister but don't remember using it in a render. Thanks for the settings... saw them in yet another of your videos... probably watched 4+ also 1 or 2 I'd watched before.

    For Terrain DEMs I have Natural Scene Desisgner and all their DEMs but have not used it in quite some time.

  • MarkBremmerMarkBremmer Posts: 190

    Such nice work (and info) in this thread.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    Such nice work (and info) in this thread.

    Thanks, Mark :)

    'Tis a very fun and interesting topic. I remembered that we had something like this back in the old forum - I felt we needed to keep the topic fresh, since it's such a strong feather in Carrara's cap ;)

    No terrain object in this one, but since wgdjohn brought up Starry Sky for Carrara, I thought I'd post some Carrara volumetric cloud magic, since it is somewhat related. FYI: The (what appears to be) holes in the center are actually three volumetric clouds turned black with high opacity!

    Varying the setting on volumetric clouds can bring all manner of special effects to our table. Same thing goes for Carrara's Plant editor - those tools (and shaders) can be used to make a lot more than just recognizable plant life! 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    This one features Winnston1984's (from Renderosity) wonderful Wave Runner triple-mast tall ship, floating on the ocean primitive surface of Underwater Realms

    To make the Deep Space Heavy Cruiser look a bit more wrecked as it sits on the bottom of the sea, I've duplicated it and turned it over with some repositioning. It made the effect look a lot more like a crash than just a ship in the water. Petipet's little escape pods made a nice additional touch. That's one floating up by the Wave Runner, too ;)

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Dart,  Got questions. :)

    • Your Render Camera... do you drag it down onto scene tab/or blank area and then manually adjust it before setting Directors Camera to that position?  I've been just loading in a camera for rendering and setting it's position to Directors Camera... just opposite... am I.
    • I've been modeling rocks, different sizes, boulders and rock structures for use in terrains. Should I post these here for feedback or where?

    I've quite a few other models in the works but only some are vaguely terrain related... so far. Perhaps I should open my own discussion for myself and others. Been getting re-aquainted with all the Model Room tools and learning more of them I never used before.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    I usually aim the camera that open with the blank scene, then give it a name. Then I'll duplicate that camera, give it a new aim, give it a new name. But when I'm working on building the scene, I then switch to Directors Cam and work from it, until I decide to aim one of the render cams.

    Use your own judgement

    If you feel that the rock modeling fits within this thread, by all means: use this one. Or you could start your own, new thread with a modeling title... or....  :)

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634

    Thanks, I'm currently using your method and "set position to" and when I add one from the menu.

    Until I come up with something decent to spectacular on rocks or very terrain related I am opening up a new thread on modeling in general for Q&A... ran into a problem/defect making a wall which doesn't fit any of the many topics I searched through yesterday. Gotta go and think of spiffy name that might attract any/everyone.

  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,301

    Walls can be simple to model,.

    you can use a simple plane to quickly create floors and walls,. or use the tools in the vertex modeller to create a wall panel,. then adapt that wall panel to add a Window,. or Door.

    In the vertex modeller,. you could ceate a polyline and extrude it up to create a wall

    the surface details such as Bricks or blocks,. are all down to the shaders you use.

    You could use the modelling tools to create a wall section and use extrusion to model some blocks, ..but by using displacement and normal or bump maps, you can create the same thing with less effort and have more flexibility to change the surface look.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,391

    I've been thinking of doing more fantasy renders but realized there aren't a ton of cave sets out there, just realized that Dart's Badlands kit has 2 cave presets so loaded them up to have a look.  Gigantic very impressive caves, one of them you could practicaly fit an entire underdark city in.  Don't want you to spill any essential secrets, but can't help wondering how you did such an impressive job on these Dart.  I'll probably need to create some smaller cave passages for my fearless adventurers to go dungeoneering in.  Hope this doesn't count as offtopic, but I'm assuming all this was done with carrara terrain building tools.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    edited June 2016

    Speaking of Modeling, and being in the Building Carrara Terrains thread, I'd like to share something fun:

    Owning Carrara, we have this powerful and fun modeler at our disposal which is the Terrain modeler, into which we may import texture maps as height maps, which get converted into a 3d mesh. 

    So here I just imported a bump map for a brick wall into the Terrain modeler (world size set at 10' x 10') and adjusted the height of the effect, as well as the resolution of the mesh, to my liking. 

    In the Texture Room, I've changed the shader from a Terrain shader to a Multi Channel, and brought in the accompanying texture map for the color, and still loaded in the Bump map under the Bump channel, but later found that it isn't needed at all. As it turns out, this renders a LOT faster than if I'd have used Displacement onto a flat plane, as well as being immensely easier on the working view.

    Anyways, while this might not be the greatest way to try and make 'real' geometry, it does help when we need something - and we need it fast!

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    edited June 2016
    Jonstark said:

    I've been thinking of doing more fantasy renders but realized there aren't a ton of cave sets out there, just realized that Dart's Badlands kit has 2 cave presets so loaded them up to have a look.  Gigantic very impressive caves, one of them you could practicaly fit an entire underdark city in.  Don't want you to spill any essential secrets, but can't help wondering how you did such an impressive job on these Dart.  I'll probably need to create some smaller cave passages for my fearless adventurers to go dungeoneering in.  Hope this doesn't count as offtopic, but I'm assuming all this was done with carrara terrain building tools.

    Hi Jon!

    The gigantic nature of those scenes are great for filming in because just a slight rotation and/or translation can create and entirely different part of the passage. Who really needs the opposite side of the cave passage getting in the way of the camera?!!! ;)

    How I did it was incredibly complicated and might take a really long time to explain*... but I'll try:

    I selected the ground terrain and typed: Crtl D to make a duplicate

    Rotated the duplicated terrain to the upside down position and positioned it around to my liking.

    That's it!

    Have a look under "Environment Controls" to see how I've achieved cooperation of the lighting of it... it's pretty cool how it all works.

    *   pardon the kidding around thing! ;)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,391
    Jonstark said:

     

     

    How I did it was incredibly complicated and might take a really long time to explain*... but I'll try:

    I selected the ground terrain and typed: Crtl D to make a duplicate

    Rotated the duplicated terrain to the upside down position and positioned it around to my liking.

    That's it!

    :)  Made me lol    Thanks for the tip! 

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814

    I love taking scenery kits, like the GIS stuff, Mech Bay, all manner of different buildings and props, etc., and loading it underground into that Cave system - something that hadn't occurred to me much at first. The whole EnvironKit series is meant to be atmospheres for "ease-of-use" in using content in Carrara - so I'm not sure why that hadn't occurred to me earlier. It's also fun to use elements from the kits in scenes that might have little or nothing to do with the kit it came from. For example, I like using the terrain piece from the Evergreen Block from Woodlands for stone walls and/or small stands of grass - just delete all of the plants (or not) from the piece. That particular piece is what I use for making rough, uneven ground. I remove the plants, set the height and rotation, duplicate it, move it/rotate it/elevate it, duplicate it again and again... fun stuff and makes wonderful (and fast!!!) natural looking rough land, like in the foreground of this image.

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,814
    Jonstark said:

     

    :)  Made me lol    Thanks for the tip! 

    Tee hee hee!

    Yeah... this was done inside that Cave system, and I've even lowered the ceiling of the cave for this one, which is a film stage for an animation

  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    edited October 2017

    Thanks 3DAGE,  I have created a topic for Modeling Objects in Carrara - Q&A  to hopefully get folks to post to. My problem is the 3rd post.

    3DAGE said:

    Walls can be simple to model,.

    you can use a simple plane to quickly create floors and walls,. or use the tools in the vertex modeller to create a wall panel,. then adapt that wall panel to add a Window,. or Door.

    In the vertex modeller,. you could ceate a polyline and extrude it up to create a wall

    the surface details such as Bricks or blocks,. are all down to the shaders you use.

    You could use the modelling tools to create a wall section and use extrusion to model some blocks, ..but by using displacement and normal or bump maps, you can create the same thing with less effort and have more flexibility to change the surface look.

     

    Post edited by wgdjohn on
  • wgdjohnwgdjohn Posts: 2,634
    How I did it was incredibly complicated and might take a really long time to explain*... but I'll try:

    I selected the ground terrain and typed: Crtl D to make a duplicate

    Rotated the duplicated terrain to the upside down position and positioned it around to my liking.

    That's it!

    Cool. I can picture it now. With Errosion/Rain turned on you could end up with some stalagtites also.

    What I'm thinking of for an ouside view to the cave entrance is changing the terrain to a vertex object and, going to the vertex room of course, start messing with polygons etc and then extrusion to form an opening. Am I on the right track?

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