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Thread: ANT Landscape World Update

  1. #1
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    ANT Landscape World Update

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    Here's a quick progress video and how to use the materials:


    Hi, I no longer work on the cloud generator, and have been looking to start something where I can learn cycles materials and foibles.

    This thread is dedicated to my efforts to update ANT_landscape to include several new features. I don't have a lot of time, but I do make steady progress. When I am done I hope to implement the following features:

    Automatic Cycles materials: Automatically generate materials with a simple UI. Proposed UI is material presets divided by height. status 80% done. I submitted several bugs and each of them were fixed within 24 hours by Brecht, Campbell and Sergey. Without their dedication this would not have been possible. I also know that these bugs were show stoppers which gaurantees to me I'm the only one working on this. NOTE: all materials work is in cycles only, BI isn't supported at this time.

    Automatic Tree/Grass insertion: Not Started

    Mist/Atmosphere and sky insertion:Not Started(probably not too difficult)

    Ok so why this thread? I would like to have a place where people can weigh in and possibly help with the materials and other technical issues. The python part is easy, I'm talking about coming up with a good ground material, or rock etc. They all need to be procedural since this is a script and I really need help in this area.

    Here is a screen shot of a simple material test for a python created snow rock shader for ANT:



    Note: this is an unauthorized revision to ANT, I'm doing this completely on my own time and dime, so the main author has contacted me and appreciates what I'm doing, but right now it's not in any official repostiory. I may make this a separate stand alone script for modifying any object into terrain.

    What I've Learned that May be useful to others:

    I'm going to use this section to post stuff that I've learned and is repeated below in conversations with others, but I don't want to lose so I've copied it up here to the top for your convenience so you don't have to search for it:

    DOT PRODUCT (putting snow on top of your objects)

    Dot product is vector math. basically think of a vector as a an arrow with an angle in all three directions and a length. If you dot product two vectors you get one when they are pointed in the same direction and zero when they are pointing exactly away from each other. So if I take the geometry normal vector which is the same as your face normals in blender that you can show and hide on faces in the geometry and I dot product with a vector pointing straight up, I get large value on the tops of my geometry and zero on the bottom.

    The really cool thing about cycles is that displacement moves this vector around too, so your not just getting your geometry your getting the material normal which enables snow to lie on top of individual displaced bumps in the rock.

    Get the most recent version of the script here:
    http://www.pasteall.org/32923/python

    SCRIPT MUST BE RUN IN LATEST VERSION OF BLENDER FROM GRAPHICALL. 2.63 official release is too old. Recent cycles node changes have made the script not work in older versions. As soon as 2.64 comes out the script should work fine with that version for some time.

    Just copy and paste the text into blender's text editor and press the run script button. Make sure you are in cycles renderer mode and go to add mesh landscape. Scroll to the bottom and there will be a new option called materials. Change to rendered mode in a viewport and change material to one of the ones listed. The tranisition height is the height of mixing the two materials. You can mix up to four materials.
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    Last edited by NRK; 15-Jun-12 at 01:43. Reason: add clarification
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  2. #2
    Member Jonathan L's Avatar
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    Mist/Atmosphere and sky insertion:Not Started(probably not too difficult)
    Mist in cycles? That would be great if possible atm. Also nice material!
    Check out my portfolio and tutorials.



  3. #3
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    It would more likely by an automated compositor setup with Z Depth mix to white. A lot of this is coming out of Agus3d's island .blend. I'm just implementing all of his tricks into ANT. Everything I post on this blog will be generated in python (unless otherwise noted) I'm going to use Agus3d's normal weight paint script to implement tree insertion.

    Hey Jonathan, I love your landscape, if you could post your materials somewhere I'll implement them in python into ANT. That's the main purpose of this thread, Python is easy, good materials and art are difficult, you guys that know what you're doing, post it up and I'll make a robot to do it.
    Last edited by NRK; 12-May-12 at 21:32.
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  4. #4
    Member Jonathan L's Avatar
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    It would more likely by an automated compositor setup with Z Depth mix to white.
    That would be great, but even better if you could choose the color!

    Hey Jonathan, I love your landscape, if you could post your materials somewhere I'll implement them in python into ANT.
    Wow, thanks! Once the BG competition is over (and the ap test I should be studying for) I'll fool around with the materials and make them a little optimized because when I did it, there was no colorband and that would make it much simpler.

    Can you show the nodes of your material? I am really curious how you got the snow to rest on top. The only way I found was to combine two normal nodes, but that was very messy.

    Looking forward to your progress!
    Check out my portfolio and tutorials.



  5. #5
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    Here's how you mix by normal in nodes:
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    And here's a set of mountains I did a while back with the node setup above.
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    We spend years in school to prepare for this life... how much time have we spent preparing for the next?

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  7. #7
    Member Owldude's Avatar
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    That's a nice snow shader! Did you follow the Nature Academy tutorial?
    With duct tape, anything is possible.
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  8. #8
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    I've seen the promo materials for nature academy, but never seen or used any of his techniques. I usually blaze my own trails on this kind of stuff. My philosophy for making a script is to do REALLY hard stuff, then do it in python so no one else has to. That being said, I have leaned on Agus3d's island .blend quite a bit so far, but I've got some of my own stuff coming.
    We spend years in school to prepare for this life... how much time have we spent preparing for the next?

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  9. #9
    Member Owldude's Avatar
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    I'm not sure how to get that script to effect the material for something...
    With duct tape, anything is possible.
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  10. #10
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Owldude View Post
    I'm not sure how to get that script to effect the material for something...
    Just copy and paste the text into the blender text editor. Then in the 3d view select an object, press run script. This is just a test script for applying materials, it's not the full version I'm working on.
    We spend years in school to prepare for this life... how much time have we spent preparing for the next?

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  11. #11
    Member Owldude's Avatar
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    Hmm, that didn't work the first time. =(

    OH!!!!! It's Cycles, should have figured that out. Bummer, I never use Cycles.
    With duct tape, anything is possible.
    Finished projects: Rabbit; Wolverine; Muskox



  12. #12
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    Sorry, yeah I'm not working on BI version, sorry about that, every time you ask a question I put clarification in the notes above so thanks for the feedback.
    We spend years in school to prepare for this life... how much time have we spent preparing for the next?

    My long term Film Project:Glasses the Movie



  13. #13
    Member Utopia780's Avatar
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    Learn Cycles Owldude.. learn Cycles..

    Thank you for being an active Blender member NRK!
    Love the snow texture but beware that some of the snow flakes must be shining..

    By the way what is Dot Product??



  14. #14
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Utopia780 View Post
    By the way what is Dot Product??
    Thanks for the encouragement Utopia, that's the only payment I get

    If you don't like my snow (which I'm not completely happy with either) PLEASE.... PLEASE post a better snow shader. Keep in mind that my biggest concern is with what it looks like from a distance. I'll worry about up close if I get that far. Posting suggestions is helpful too

    Dot product is vector math. basically think of a vector as a an arrow with an angle in all three directions and a length. If you dot product two vectors you get one when they are pointed in the same direction and zero when they are pointing exactly away from each other. So if I take the geometry normal vector which is the same as your face normals in blender that you can show and hide on faces in the geometry and I dot product with a vector pointing straight up, I get large value on the tops of my geometry and zero on the bottom.

    The really cool thing about cycles is that displacement moves this vector around too, so your not just getting your geometry your getting the material normal which enables snow to lie on top of individual displaced bumps in the rock.
    Last edited by NRK; 13-May-12 at 17:58.
    We spend years in school to prepare for this life... how much time have we spent preparing for the next?

    My long term Film Project:Glasses the Movie



  15. #15
    Member Agus3D's Avatar
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    Very exciting work Nick! It is a very nice initiative, and certainly will speed up and ensure a very good quality of the initial landscape a user can setup, then they will have more time to create or add new personalized detail. the material generation is amazing idea. also the weight paint would be very helpful

    More cool things could be added are:

    -Water plane generation with the bumpy glass material setup and the bottom water plane with the emission material plane to simulate the SSS of the sea/river water.

    -Would be cool to storage in the object some ID properties about some configuration made with ANT so next time you can keep modifying it, instead of one time opportunity to create/modify.

    - In the material land material would be nice to specify also different textures for different altitudes

    These are just wishes i will try to help with them too when i can grab a little of free time!

    Btw the snow shader already looks very very good

    Cheers.
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  16. #16
    Member Utopia780's Avatar
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    I'll try the snow but won't promise anything!
    Never tried it..



  17. #17
    Member NRK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the nice comments Agus, and I hope it will turn out well.

    Originally Posted by Agus3D View Post
    -Water plane generation with the bumpy glass material setup and the bottom water plane with the emission material plane to simulate the SSS of the sea/river water.
    Yes, I will do water, but I think initially I'm just going to make it opaque. I don't want to mess with the geometry code unless I have to.
    Originally Posted by Agus3D View Post
    -Would be cool to storage in the object some ID properties about some configuration made with ANT so next time you can keep modifying it, instead of one time opportunity to create/modify.
    I did this in the cloud generator and would be quite easy to do. In other words I plan on doing it but I'm not sure right now how far I'll go. I would like to make the material part be able to applied to ANY object allowing the user to apply them to a custom mesh, all doable and not that hard, but we'll see as I have time.
    Originally Posted by Agus3D View Post
    - In the material land material would be nice to specify also different textures for different altitudes
    This is exactly what I'm doing and I've already coded the altitude group into python and gotten it working.
    We spend years in school to prepare for this life... how much time have we spent preparing for the next?

    My long term Film Project:Glasses the Movie



  18. #18
    Originally Posted by Jonathan L View Post
    Mist in cycles? That would be great if possible atm. Also nice material!
    Agreed , i would love it!



  19. #19
    Member Owldude's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by NRK View Post
    Sorry, yeah I'm not working on BI version, sorry about that, every time you ask a question I put clarification in the notes above so thanks for the feedback.
    Whoa, last night I found out 2 REALLY important things in Cycles, I'm going to start using it now!!!
    With duct tape, anything is possible.
    Finished projects: Rabbit; Wolverine; Muskox



  20. #20
    Member Robynsveil's Avatar
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    Wow, this *is* exciting, particularly the scripting materials bit, Nick. I didn't realise OSL scripting was actually happening, or is this different? This is definitely something I could get stuck into. Would you have or know of a tutorial that would help a newb get started on this?



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