UltraScenery - new territory [Commercial]

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  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 14

    blosse said:

    barbult said:

    So, I tried a picnic scene. I ended up modifying my technique a bit. I made the layer mask a little larger than the actual picnic blanket, because at actual size, I was still getting some grass pokethrough at the edges. The grass clumps are rectangles of grass blades, so the ones adjacent ot the blanket would still overhang into it. After generating the UltraScene with the mask, I came back and manually added some extra grass clumps near the edge of the blanket to fill in the blank spaces in a way I could control.

    Picnic Under the Oaks

    Picnic under the oaks

    I see your pictures often use masks.

    How do you create the mask so that it will be where you want it in the picture?

    What steps and software do you take to make the mask?

    Here is a message where I described the way I created this mask. 

    Post edited by barbult on
  • blosseblosse Posts: 37

    barbult said:

    krysis163 said:

    I just started with US and tried a picnic scene.
    But my first problem is, that the grass and flowers go through the picnic blanket and the genesis body.

    In another discussion https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/comment/5464316/#Comment_5464316 they suggest either use InstaEdit or render two images, with and without grass and stitch them in Photoshop.

    I do not like the idea of the two-render-stitch solution. So I purchased InstaEdit and tried.
    It do what it promised, but the flower meadow from UltraScenery generates a mass of nodes. I limited it by only convert the instances overlapping with my picnic scene but even with that it generates 10-thousands of nodes.

    Is there any other possibility?
     

    @ krysis163 Yes, there is a much better option. What you need is a layer mask in the Build tab. The layer mask tells UltraScenery to NOT put any instances in the masked out area. What I would do is place the picnic blanket in the UltraScene and then view the scene with the built in Top View (not just looking top down from a perspective camera). Frame the scene so you see the entire terrain. Then take a screenshot of the terrain area. Then in an image editing program, make a mask with black where the blanket is, white every place else and a tiny bit of gray around the margin between the black and white. Crop the image to only include the entire UltraScenery terrain square. Save that image as a PNG or JPG file. Then in UltraScenery, load that mask image into every layer that you want to keep out of the blanket area (grass, trees, etc.).

    Return InstaEdit for a refund, if the only reason you bought it was to solve this problem. It has some bugs that were never fixed, and it is unsuitable for a large bunch of instances, as you discovered. Submit a help request to Sales Support to return it.

    Thank you, barbult.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 20

    This is a combination of UltraScenery Grasslands and some wildly colored trees and bushes scattered with UltraScatterPro. The guy is Holt 8 but I applied the Altern8 Edward (no maps) setting to make him less ruddy. I used HedgeMaker to create a mask to keep the long grass and daisies from poking through Holt. I find HedgeMaker masks pretty useful for quick masks like this that don't have to be real precise. The camera uses Depth of Field, focused on Holt's right eye.

     

    UltraScenery UltraScatterPro Holt Altern8 Edward.jpg
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    Post edited by barbult on
  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 23

    I liked those colorful trees and bushes so much that I created material presets for the UltraScenery Oaks props. I generate the UltraScenery scene, like normal, and then apply the materials afterwards. I didn't bother to make new ecologies. I just created several hierarchical material presets to apply various color schemes to the Oaks. This is an old scene that I called up and applied one of the material presets. I love the colorful dreamy quality.

    USC River 1 Oaks 8 Cassini Sky 5 colorful.jpg
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    Post edited by barbult on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,629

    barbult said:

    I love the colorful dreamy quality.

    Very cool! Dream is exactly right 

  • richardandtracyrichardandtracy Posts: 2,054
    edited June 23

    That is sooo weird. Dreamlike, yes, but not sure if it'd be a good one if I saw that... Feels like chemical assistance would have been needed to get there, & the world is odd enough already for me to want such assistance. wink

    Regards,

    Richard

    Post edited by richardandtracy on
  • DaventakiDaventaki Posts: 1,242

    I like it its pretty!!!!

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139

    Daventaki said:

    I like it its pretty!!!!

    I think so, too, but I'm sorry it gave Richard nightmares! laugh 

  • UthgardUthgard Posts: 756

    barbult said:

    I liked those colorful trees and bushes so much that I created material presets for the UltraScenery Oaks props. I generate the UltraScenery scene, like normal, and then apply the materials afterwards. I didn't bother to make new ecologies. I just created several hierarchical material presets to apply various color schemes to the Oaks. This is an old scene that I called up and applied one of the material presets. I love the colorful dreamy quality.

    It's a gorgeous scene, particularly with how well the colorful clouds play with the trees, as if they are continuing the brushes of blue and pink against the sky. Once again, you have taken an already impressive tool and showed us another direction in which it can be pushed smiley

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139

    Thanks, @Uthgard! You encourage me to continue experimenting and exploring.

  • memcneil70memcneil70 Posts: 1,972

    barbult said:

    I liked those colorful trees and bushes so much that I created material presets for the UltraScenery Oaks props. I generate the UltraScenery scene, like normal, and then apply the materials afterwards. I didn't bother to make new ecologies. I just created several hierarchical material presets to apply various color schemes to the Oaks. This is an old scene that I called up and applied one of the material presets. I love the colorful dreamy quality.

    @barbult

    Totally love this! The colors make me think we landed on an alien world where the chlorophyll in the leaves interacts differently with multiply suns/stars. 

    (As I tried to write this, our fire alarm went off and my brain went flatline. I hate fire alarms and a stove that also decided to talk to hell at that moment.)

    Keep up the great work.

    Mary

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139

    memcneil70 said:

    @barbult

    Totally love this! The colors make me think we landed on an alien world where the chlorophyll in the leaves interacts differently with multiply suns/stars. 

    (As I tried to write this, our fire alarm went off and my brain went flatline. I hate fire alarms and a stove that also decided to talk to hell at that moment.)

    Keep up the great work.

    Mary

    Yikes! I hope you have things under control again. Smoke alarms go off when my husband broils in the oven. I hate it, too. 

  • memcneil70memcneil70 Posts: 1,972

    Yeah, my flatmate had turned the burner to low, it instead went full blast. Happened earlier this week when I thought I had turned off a burner and it was full on. It looks like I need to call in the apartment maintenance and I hopeit is a repair only. We have a coil electric and they are replacing them with glass units. We like to use cast iron when cooking. 

  • ecks201ecks201 Posts: 170

    Just getting started with this.

    Is there any way to make the road/track follow the contours of the ground?
    In my first few tests, the landscape seems to come down to meet the track, rather than the track adjusting to match the landscape.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 25

    ecks201 said:

    Just getting started with this.

    Is there any way to make the road/track follow the contours of the ground?
    In my first few tests, the landscape seems to come down to meet the track, rather than the track adjusting to match the landscape.

    The basic UltraScenery product comes with two different dirt track features. Dirt Track 1 follows the terrain and the Dirt Track 2 adjusts the terrain to make a flatter track.

    Once you have a good understanding of UltraScenery, if you want to change the features, you can make a copy of the feature's JSON file and make changes to suit yourself. Howie Farkes has given us permission to "hack" the JSON files for our own use. Those JSON files control things like how the feature adjusts the terrain. I have a whole forum thread about experimenting with UltraScenery.

    Dirt Track 1.jpg
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    Dirt Track 2.jpg
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    Post edited by barbult on
  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 26

    So, that question posted by @ecks201, about making the track follow the terrain, spurred me to give it a try by modifying the JSON file for dirt track 2. It was pretty easy, and I'll write it up in my experiments thread when I get the chance later today. Edit: Here it is.

    This is the result, comparing terrain with no features to terrain with my new dirt track 2, which I modified to very closely follow the terrain.

    These are bare terrain renders, with all the vegetation hidden.

     

    Post edited by barbult on
  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139

    Following on from the previous message, this is a comparison between the original Dirt Track 2 (which smooths out the terrain) with the modified Dirt Track 2 (which follows the terrain closely). Both are bare images to easily compare the terrain shape.

    Original Dirt Track 2 Terrain Bare.jpg
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    Dirt Track 2 modified relative 0 Terrain bare.jpg
    2000 x 1500 - 2M
  • sandmanmaxsandmanmax Posts: 902
    edited June 25

    Not to totally side-track the discussion of the dirt track (because I really need to know about that as I will explain below), Here is the latest image I've been playing around with.  I totally fell in love with the Albert Mansion and got obsessed with remodeling it (all done with shaders and surface settings) and bringing in the bulldozers and giving it a proper garden (Ultrascenery).

    I had some problems getting things to work.  First, is related to the path situation above - I was trying to create a custom height map that would provide a nice flat spot for the mansion to sit on but I wanted to use barbult's brick path shader technique to create the walkway.  So I tried to use the features with the paths but they wanted to put a nice little rise where the track goes.  It makes sense for a path to be built that way but I couldn't balance the house on it.  I did figurr out there are some maps that Howie uses that create this effect but I didn't feel like hacking a json file.  Is there another way to flatten out that path hump in the landscape? I finally gave up and created a totally flat terrain and used Code66's Auto Paver to create the walkway.  The 2nd issue was trying to create a height map with a flat spot at one end.  It either wanted to create mesas (when the map had distinct edges) or added lumpiness if I used any noise at all to make a gradiant more interesting. Any tips for height maps when you want something to look a specific way?  And last, I wanted to use HDMI for lighting but I kept getting clouds showing through the trees at the horizon line.  I ended up creating a 2nd scene (both of these are Harpwood) and just rendering my own huge tree-line and merging them in Photoshop.  You still see the white thru the trees on the left.  Is there anyway to deal with that?  I tried rendering the ground, I tried a Denki Gaka sky that had ground in the image and then rotated the dome in an effort to bring it high enough up show the tree.  It didn't seem to work. Any suggestions?

    (The tulip beds are ultrascatter pro.)

     

     

     

    Albert Mansion Remodeled Small.png
    1067 x 600 - 1M
    Post edited by sandmanmax on
  • sandmanmaxsandmanmax Posts: 902
    edited June 25

    Here's another view of the cloud problem  This is what it looked like when I only had the primary ultrascene.

     

    Clouds at Ground Level.png
    181 x 257 - 87K
    Post edited by sandmanmax on
  • sandmanmaxsandmanmax Posts: 902
    edited June 25

    And this all led to a request for Howie:  Every time I needed to regenerate the 2nd scene behind the house, US would reposition it directly on top of the main scenery and I'd have to move it back to where to I wanted it.  Is there anyway to tweak US so it retains the scene's translate settings?

    Post edited by sandmanmax on
  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 25

    @sandmanmax - a couple ideas about your clouds showing through

    1. Did you select extend background in the UltraScenery build tab. That can help fill in gaps.
    2. You could use the HDRI for lighting only, and use an image in the Environment tab (not Environment section of Render Settings) for your scene background. You could even create that image with a completely separate UltraScenery build and a densely wooded ecology to fill the entire terrain. Light it with the same HDRI, for consistency of lighting and to get your clouds. Save that render as an image and put that image in the Environment tab as a Background.

    By the way, that AutoPaver did an excellent job! I think that looks better than the shader on the path would have. That sometimes get too repetitive. You did a nice job renovating the Albert Mansion, too. The tulip borders lead the eye right ot the mansion. It is a great result all around.

    Post edited by barbult on
  • Jason GalterioJason Galterio Posts: 2,092
    edited June 25

    I am trying to figure out what is introducing the waves to this landscape. I figured this was the place to come.

    I am using this greyscale as a height map. I've lowered the resolution of the greyscale for display purposes. The original file is 1500 x 1500.

    I have the max. altitude set at 50 (which is extreme, but I was trouble shooting). The features are set to none. The Ecology doesn't matter as each produces exact same wave. I turned the nature visibility off so that I could see the terrain. Here is the result.

    Where are the random hills coming from? And is there a way I can turn them off to reflect just the greyscale.

    On a whim I changed the resolution of the greyscale to 1500 x 15 (width) just to see what would happen. It produced an indential wave pattern.

    US-Greyscale.jpg
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    US_Screenshot.jpg
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    Post edited by Jason Galterio on
  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 26

    Jason Galterio said:

    I am trying to figure out what is introducing the waves to this landscape. I figured this was the place to come.

    I am using this greyscale as a height map. I've lowered the resolution of the greyscale for display purposes. The original file is 1500 x 1500.

    I have the max. altitude set at 50 (which is extreme, but I was trouble shooting). The features are set to none. The Ecology doesn't matter as each produces exact same wave. I turned the nature visibility off so that I could see the terrain. Here is the result.

    Where are the random hills coming from? And is there a way I can turn them off to reflect just the greyscale.

    On a whim I changed the resolution of the greyscale to 1500 x 15 (width) just to see what would happen. It produced an indential wave pattern.

    The Noise part of the terrain definition in the Scene tab is probably causing your "waves". Turn Brightness to -100 (solid black) and the noise contribution should be eliminated, using only your height map. 

    Edit: corrected brightness value and added illustration

     

    Screenshot 2021-06-25 202216.png
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    Post edited by barbult on
  • Jason GalterioJason Galterio Posts: 2,092

    Yep. That's exactly what it was. I had no idea that the Noise window was still active when you use the Image Map.

    One correction though, Brightness needs to be set to either -100 or +100 so that the auto generated field is either all black or all white.

    Thansk!

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139

    Jason Galterio said:

    Yep. That's exactly what it was. I had no idea that the Noise window was still active when you use the Image Map.

    One correction though, Brightness needs to be set to either -100 or +100 so that the auto generated field is either all black or all white.

    Thansk!

    You are correct. I typed that in a hurry without opening UltraScenery. I should know better. I'll edit the original to correct it. Thanks for the feedback, Jason. 

  • Jason GalterioJason Galterio Posts: 2,092

    barbult said:

    Jason Galterio said:

    Yep. That's exactly what it was. I had no idea that the Noise window was still active when you use the Image Map.

    One correction though, Brightness needs to be set to either -100 or +100 so that the auto generated field is either all black or all white.

    Thansk!

    You are correct. I typed that in a hurry without opening UltraScenery. I should know better. I'll edit the original to correct it. Thanks for the feedback, Jason. 

    No problem at all. I really appreciate the quick feedback to be honest...  You pointed me in the right direction and enlightened me to what I was overlooking. I had been pulling my hair out for almost an hour.

    It would be nice if there was a way to make the whole field a 50% grey. Using all black or all white makes the terrain either lower or higher. But its really just a quibble...

    Really rough render below to show it works.

    example.jpg
    800 x 450 - 319K
  • barbultbarbult Posts: 17,139
    edited June 26

    Jason Galterio said:

    barbult said:

    Jason Galterio said:

    Yep. That's exactly what it was. I had no idea that the Noise window was still active when you use the Image Map.

    One correction though, Brightness needs to be set to either -100 or +100 so that the auto generated field is either all black or all white.

    Thansk!

    You are correct. I typed that in a hurry without opening UltraScenery. I should know better. I'll edit the original to correct it. Thanks for the feedback, Jason. 

    No problem at all. I really appreciate the quick feedback to be honest...  You pointed me in the right direction and enlightened me to what I was overlooking. I had been pulling my hair out for almost an hour.

    It would be nice if there was a way to make the whole field a 50% grey. Using all black or all white makes the terrain either lower or higher. But its really just a quibble...

    Really rough render below to show it works.

    You can make it all gray by setting Contrast to -100.

    Contrast -100.png
    802 x 617 - 50K
    Post edited by barbult on
  • Jason GalterioJason Galterio Posts: 2,092

    Ah, thanks! I will give it a try...

    I've been experimenting with using the brightness at very low levels, -75 to -90. Just enough to provide a little bit of organic variation to the greyscales, but not overpowering them like the initial attempts.

    Thank you again for pointing out this. I've been operating under the misconception that the Noise window was inactive when using the image maps. Your advice has been a revelation for me.

  • sandmanmaxsandmanmax Posts: 902
    edited June 26

    Jason Galterio said:

    barbult said:

    Jason Galterio said:

    Yep. That's exactly what it was. I had no idea that the Noise window was still active when you use the Image Map.

    One correction though, Brightness needs to be set to either -100 or +100 so that the auto generated field is either all black or all white.

    Thansk!

    You are correct. I typed that in a hurry without opening UltraScenery. I should know better. I'll edit the original to correct it. Thanks for the feedback, Jason. 

    No problem at all. I really appreciate the quick feedback to be honest...  You pointed me in the right direction and enlightened me to what I was overlooking. I had been pulling my hair out for almost an hour.

    It would be nice if there was a way to make the whole field a 50% grey. Using all black or all white makes the terrain either lower or higher. But its really just a quibble...

    Really rough render below to show it works.

    Set Contrast to -100.

    Edit:  Oops... didn't read far enought to see Barbult's answer.

    Post edited by sandmanmax on
  • sandmanmaxsandmanmax Posts: 902

    barbult said:

    @sandmanmax - a couple ideas about your clouds showing through

    1. Did you select extend background in the UltraScenery build tab. That can help fill in gaps.
    2. You could use the HDRI for lighting only, and use an image in the Environment tab (not Environment section of Render Settings) for your scene background. You could even create that image with a completely separate UltraScenery build and a densely wooded ecology to fill the entire terrain. Light it with the same HDRI, for consistency of lighting and to get your clouds. Save that render as an image and put that image in the Environment tab as a Background.

    By the way, that AutoPaver did an excellent job! I think that looks better than the shader on the path would have. That sometimes get too repetitive. You did a nice job renovating the Albert Mansion, too. The tulip borders lead the eye right ot the mansion. It is a great result all around.

    These are excellent suggestions.  I did extend the background in US and I actually created a separate background scenery render but I didn't think of using it in the environment settings.  I'm going to have play around with these ideas.  One weird thing I tried was creating my background terrain to be hilly, thinking it would block the sky better.  US stuck the Extended BG trees up in the sky, though, way above the terrain.  That looked verrrry weird.  I'm not sure if I did something wrong or if US got confused.  Or maybe I shouldn't bother with Extended BG on a separate background scenery.

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