suggestions for a thatched roof?

DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

Starting a project that will have an old country cottage. looking for suggestions to have a thatched roof. Here is an attempt to do it with a replicator. I don't like the result, and am not sure that the replicator is the way to go. Would I be better off using the hair modeler? Have you made a thatched roof before? If so, how did you do it?

Don't worry too much about the current shaders or terrain for the cottage. They are just place holders.

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Comments

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,031
    edited December 1969

    Hair may not be a bad idea, and it's the first thing I thought of.

    What you have doesn't look too bad. Perhaps a smaller sized replicated model would help, or maybe grouping into thatch bundles and replicating the group would help.

  • Aave NainenAave Nainen Posts: 1,106
    edited December 1969

    I think I would try these new grass shaders, the options are endless! You could use the shaders on primitives and perhaps that way you could tip and tilt to "drape" the thatch.

    http://www.daz3d.com/new-releases/grass-shader-for-daz-studio

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,104
    edited December 1969

    I'm thinking a thatch texture, with a transmap to feather the edges
    and a few stray bits of straw on top?

    you could make the texture in Carrara

  • HeadwaxHeadwax Posts: 9,104
    edited December 1969

    here's a quick go with hair, good suggestion hair,

    Doc4.jpg
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  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,579
    edited December 1969

    There are several thatched cottages in the village up the road, and the thing about them is, you can't really see the individual reeds. With that in mind, you could probably treat it like fur. (what you've built looks more like sticks than thatch)

    The ridge would probably need to be a separate construction, since it's typically built up above the main roof and can be quite ornate, even on a simple cottage. Here the reeds stretch from one side to the other. If you don't plan to show the cottage from the back, I guess you could style it like a comb-over? and then make a vertex lattice to go over the top.

    Don't forget too, that modern thatch roofs are covered in chicken wire to stop the birds from pecking them. (may not apply to fantasy settings!)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited May 2014

    Thanks for the suggestions, everyone.

    Headwax, I think you are right about using a texture and transparency map for the fringe, sort of like prop hair. Also, your hair render looks promising. Tim, thanks for the info on actual roofs. Very helpful. I gathered some reference photos for vintage cottages, but nothing beats firsthand observation. Aave, I don't have that Daz grass model but I have a similar model by Mmoir. I will play with that.

    Again, I very much appreciate the thoughts and suggestions. Hope to post an update over the weekend or early next week.

    Post edited by Diomede on
  • That Other PersonaThat Other Persona Posts: 381
    edited May 2014

    Check out Google images...

    thatched roof japan

    thatched roof


    The hair roof does look nice...

    Post edited by That Other Persona on
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    Check out Google images...

    thatched roof japan

    thatched roof


    The hair roof does look nice...

    Thanks for the suggestions. I agree, Headwax did a great job with the hair. And I bet he did it in less time than it takes me to arrange a mixer in the shader tree. ;-)

    For reference, I have been focusing on cottages in Ireland. I am not trying to copy any particular one, but ideally it could be something in the latter half of the 1800s or the first half of the 1900s, in a relatively poor area.

    Here is a link to an image of buildings used in filming Darby O'Gill and the little people. I'm not trying to recreate these buildings, but I like the look of the roofs.

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_tw5hXrbf1kg/TCVYbpqBSiI/AAAAAAAAAU4/eW1a9djTbaw/s1600/D2.jpg

    I don't think I will use the replicator approach when all is said and done. Hair is probably better. In any case, I will post an update with the results of several different approaches, no matter how each comes out.

    I am attaching pics of my improved (but still unsatisfactory) replicator approach, along with some other reference images gathered from the web.

    improved_replicator.jpg
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    LdellCottage001.jpg
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  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    Tim_A said:
    (what you've built looks more like sticks than thatch) ...

    Don't forget too, that modern thatch roofs are covered in chicken wire to stop the birds from pecking them. (may not apply to fantasy settings!)

    You are correct! I can reduce the size of individual pieces to reduce the stick look, but at some point it makes more sense to use strand hair, or to finesse the whole thing with a shader with a transmap.

    Thanks again.

  • DUDUDUDU Posts: 1,942
    edited December 1969

    Diomede,
    If I can allow myself to deliver an opinion…
    I make a film since 3 years (not animation) which has for topic “straw”.
    Here, in Belgium (country of the straw), there are still craftsmen who carry out this kind of roofs.
    The realization of Head Wax is very impressive, especially the very realistic texture, but for the straw, your approach is more logical considering than the pieces do not finish with some points and have approximately the same diameter over all their length.
    As EP suggested, you should decrease the dimension of each wisp of straw (diameter only) and increase the number of those.
    If you use surface replicators, make embossings in your basic roof to be more realistic.
    When you finish, your councils will be very useful for me because, in each one of my films, there are technical explanations and histories in 3D of synthesis…;-)

  • SileneUKSileneUK Posts: 1,885
    edited December 1969

    Hi Dio,

    Am packing to go out the door for the weekend and just caught your post.

    Have a look here, this guy did a complete renovation of an old Irish thatched cottage. The ones here I see here in the southwest UK are so tarted up for the well-off that they have lost true character and look all chocolate-boxy.

    Neat project you have chosen!

    http://www.grahamscottage.com/restoration

    xx :) Silene

  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 33,604
    edited May 2014

    laurenwbr said:
    Hi Dio,

    Am packing to go out the door for the weekend and just caught your post.

    Have a look here, this guy did a complete renovation of an old Irish thatched cottage. The ones here I see here in the southwest UK are so tarted up for the well-off that they have lost true character and look all chocolate-boxy.

    Neat project you have chosen!

    http://www.grahamscottage.com/restoration

    xx :) Silene

    Don't you just hate it when they go for the neat and tidy as against character. Round here the stone cottages with slate roofs have all been rendered, (smooth rendered) so they no longer look like stone cottages. Silly thing is they did the front, but not the side.

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • TangoAlphaTangoAlpha Posts: 4,579
    edited December 1969

    The thatch does look quite old on those roofs - you can see it's getting pretty scrappy. But compare them to something like the hobbit houses in Lord of the Rings, which looked like the entire village had been freshly thatched the week before (which of course it had!), completely ruining the sense of realism, imho

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 18,108
    edited December 1969

    Just be sure to be mindful about how important the actual roof is to you.
    Obviously you want it to look nice or you wouldn't be going through all of this effort. But replicated straw roof details can drag your scene to a crawl. Drop in your characters and start to try and pose them... you may need to turn off your replicators first! ;)

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    Great responses, everyone. Thank you. I won't be able to do much experimenting right away, but I will post some comparison screenshots when I start making progress. Probably Monday.

    For those interested, I came across this youtube video on making European-style thatched roofs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FMkKoHzQrY

    As Tim mentioned, an important feature will be the wire netting or lattice. The video gives an explanation of how that is done.

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 31,474
    edited December 1969

    there is another way you may consider
    carrara will render normal maps so creating a small very detailed thatched section and rendering it to create a normal map to use in the displacement channel of a model using overlapping planes on the roof like thatch sections.
    you can create diffuse, opacity spec etc maps too in one go

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,031
    edited December 1969

    there is another way you may consider
    carrara will render normal maps so creating a small very detailed thatched section and rendering it to create a normal map to use in the displacement channel of a model using overlapping planes on the roof like thatch sections.
    you can create diffuse, opacity spec etc maps too in one go

    That's a great job thinking outside the box, Wendy! I don't have normal maps in my version of Carrara (7.2 Pro), so I'm not used to thinking about using them.

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 31,474
    edited May 2014

    I think you do
    Multi-Pass
    add normal vector

    I duplicated some twiggy leafless trees

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    Doc2.png
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    Post edited by WendyLuvsCatz on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,031
    edited December 1969

    I think you do
    Multi-Pass
    add normal vector

    I duplicated some twiggy leafless trees

    Isn't that different from a normal map that you would use on a figure or object? I thought that was in the texture room and then you could export the object and it would bake the normal map during the export process. I seem to remember it was quite a big deal when C8 came out because you could use and generate normal maps.

    I can see I'll have to do some research into this.

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 31,474
    edited May 2014

    mind you it is not working too well for me
    very little if any displacement but lots of calculating
    actually increase amplitude and whole thing just shifts down
    no displacement just bump very sad

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    Post edited by WendyLuvsCatz on
  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 31,474
    edited December 1969

    the trees themselves exported as an obj and reimported may work duplicated
    this a bit rough
    renders quick

    Doc16.png
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  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,114
    edited December 1969

    I used a replication method for the thatched roofs of houses in my Fantasy Village set:
    http://www.daz3d.com/carrara-fantasy-village

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    I used a replication method for the thatched roofs of houses in my Fantasy Village set:
    http://www.daz3d.com/carrara-fantasy-village

    And I own your fantasy village! How did I not remember that? I will be taking it apart and putting it back together again this weekend.

    Great work, Phil.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    the trees themselves exported as an obj and reimported may work duplicated
    this a bit rough
    renders quick

    Hadn't thought about using the trees themselves. Interesting approach. Thanks for the suggestions, Wendy.

    As for using normals from a render pass, Headwax had suggested combining a texture approach with some stray replicators, and I think your normals renders might be useful in a combination along those lines, even if the deformations are not competely satisfactory on their own. Definitely worth experimenting more.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    Diomede,
    If I can allow myself to deliver an opinion…
    I make a film since 3 years (not animation) which has for topic “straw”.
    Here, in Belgium (country of the straw), there are still craftsmen who carry out this kind of roofs.
    The realization of Head Wax is very impressive, especially the very realistic texture, but for the straw, your approach is more logical considering than the pieces do not finish with some points and have approximately the same diameter over all their length.
    As EP suggested, you should decrease the dimension of each wisp of straw (diameter only) and increase the number of those.
    If you use surface replicators, make embossings in your basic roof to be more realistic.
    When you finish, your councils will be very useful for me because, in each one of my films, there are technical explanations and histories in 3D of synthesis…;-)

    Thanks Dudu. I did some "thatch roof" searches that are specific to Belgium. Wow! Great suggestions. There are some beautiful buildings. Here is an example. This specific building is too modern for my project, but there are many other wonderful examples that will be great references. I had no idea that Belgium was the country of straw.

    belgium_thatched_roof.JPG
    1600 x 1200 - 380K
  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    laurenwbr said:
    Hi Dio,

    Am packing to go out the door for the weekend and just caught your post.

    Have a look here, this guy did a complete renovation of an old Irish thatched cottage. The ones here I see here in the southwest UK are so tarted up for the well-off that they have lost true character and look all chocolate-boxy.

    Neat project you have chosen!

    http://www.grahamscottage.com/restoration

    xx :) Silene

    Silene, thanks so much for the link to the restoration project. This is very helpful for my project as a whole, not just the roof.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited December 1969

    diomede64 said:
    Great responses, everyone. Thank you. I won't be able to do much experimenting right away, but I will post some comparison screenshots when I start making progress. Probably Monday.

    For those interested, I came across this youtube video on making European-style thatched roofs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FMkKoHzQrY

    As Tim mentioned, an important feature will be the wire netting or lattice. The video gives an explanation of how that is done.

    For those interested, here is an other great reference. It is a set of search results in the US Library of Congress's print and art collection. It includes photographs of thatched roofs from around the world.

    http://www.loc.gov/search/?q=thatched+roofs&in=original-format:photo,+print,+drawing

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 5,114
    edited December 1969

    Google Image search (or equivalent, other search engines are available..) is just such a great tool for reference photos!

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 12,573
    edited June 2014

    Test #1 - using normals in the bump channel of the shader tree

    I did find some time to do a few quick tests of a method that relies on a normals map, similar to what Wendy suggested. Like her, I was dissatisfied with the results, but I will report what I did so people can experiment on their own, or if I miss something obvious.

    The plan - generate an normals image that would have strands of straw-like objects in slightly messy rows, then insert the map (normals) in the bump channel (and an ingredient in the color channel) of a cube and a plane to be used as the roof.

    Steps
    - I started with thin vertex cylinders that I distorted slightly to look like sticks.
    - I textured the cylinders with mixtures of gradients of yellow to brown.
    - I replicated the cylinders on a brown plane (moved the hot points to make sure the strands lay slightly above the plane.
    - I duplicated the result twice, then rotated the planes very slightly and partially slid them over each other.
    - I added "normals" to the multipass output menu and rendered out the image.
    - I applied the "normals" map to the bump channel of the object used as the roof. I experimented with planes, cubes, etc. I tiled the normals map seamlessly in order to make the strands narrower. I also added the normals map as the driver of the gradient for the color channel in the shader tree for the roof. I made sure the number of tiles matched in the bump channel and the color channel.

    Here are some screen shots of this method. I will not be pursuing it much further because it doesn't seem much better than just applying a texture to the roof, but chime in if you think the method is capable of significantly better results.

    PS - This is a different model for the cottage itself. I experimented with the spline modeler. It is not the final model.

    5_plane_roof_render.jpg
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    1_straw_cylinder_vertex.JPG
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    Post edited by Diomede on
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,031
    edited December 1969

    In the bump channel, is there an option to use it as a normal map or does it assume the normal map is a bump map?

    Also, not sure how well it would work in the color channel to drive a gradient as I though normal maps were in color. Wouldn't that cause issues with the color gradient?

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