Experiment: "Its cold up here…"

Ok, this was just an experiment I tried to see if I could get a nice snow effect on some quickly made mountains, I could of used normal/bump mapping to make the mountains more realistic and rocky but as it was a quick experiment I didn’t see the point, lol…. Procedural textures where used to produce just about everything, sky, mountains, and snow then added a little mist for depth, with a single sun light and a little ambient collision for fun….


The snow hasn’t been randomly placed, if you look closely you’ll see that there is little or none on the really steep surfaces, which has impressed me the most about applying snow this way (reminds me of a Lightwave tutorial I once read)…. Anyway I have not used Photoshop or Gimp except to adjust the contrast of the image.

The snow effect was very easy to do and didn’t take any time at all, I would guess the technique that I used to make the snow has most likely been done before in fact it has recently but in a different way, Ha haa, that sounded like a riddle…. but if anyone needs an explanation on how to create it I am willing to post one.

Just like to say this is a great site by the way and I am very impressed with the quality artwork that gets posted here. :smiley:

sorry ur out of bandwith :confused:
try imageshack.us or something
u dont even have to register!

wow, awesome texturing on the mountains! I like how it has the subtle suggestion of a cartoon to it! The lighting, though, is difinetly my favorite. Good luck with the finished product!

I’m kind of curious how you made the snow. For some reason I’m thinking of static particles, with the mountains as impermeable, but I don’t think thats how you did it. I’d really like to know.

u thanks for the advise about imageshack.us, Ha haa somehow I didn’t think that geocities would hold up.

OnGodsGreen, thanks for the comments, glad you like it… but I don’t think I will be doing anymore to it for now, it was just something to try out…

AgeLesS, I didn’t use any particles effects, I have never thought about using particles to create snow, I’ll try that out tomorrow, …making snow covered hills is allot simpler than you think… I will post a mini tutorial, that I’m just writing on this tomorrow sometime. :slight_smile:

… this is the first tutorial that I have ever written… :-?

Making the mountain in brief.

  1. Add a plane, subdivide about 4 to (how many times) depending on how detailed you want it.

  2. Press (F5), add new material if you do not already have one.

  3. Then add a new texture, Press (F6) select a texture type; lets say “clouds”, up the “NoiseSize” and “NoizeDepth”.

  4. Go to editing “Press (F9)”, and press “Noise” a few times located in the Mesh Tools.

Achieve the desired affect you want? Well you might have to the go back, keeping the displaced mesh like it is, maybe change the texture type or change the “NoiseSize” and repeat step 4 a few times while always remembering that if the mountains get too high just scale the z axis down press “S” and then “Z” in the 3D view.

  1. You should have something resembling a hill at least by now.

Applying the snow or grass or rubble or what ever you choose it to be.

  1. Now I am not going to go through the ins’ and out’s of texturing mainly because I am really bad at it…. There are many texturing tutorials out there… Make a new texture about half way down the texture channel, why may you ask? Well you want to texture, lets say the rock of the mountain first, so your leaving room to create the desired texturing effect, I found that out the hard way having to re-shuffle my textures about, if you had placed the snow texture in the 2nd texture channel there wouldn’t be room to add textures to the rock/cliffs or normal/displacement maps for realism.

  2. Ok, going back to that new texture we just created, Press (F6) back to the texture buttons, choose “blend” as a texture type and select “sphere” button, ok this may start to feel familiar to some readers because we are going to do just what @ndy described in “Achieving a similar material to this?”, still in the texture buttons click on “Colors” tab then “Colorband” then select the second band, the one on the right usually coloured in cyan or a turquoise blue. Change it to a colour of your choosing (white for snow, green for grass) then move the band with your courser to the left so that a solid coloured circle files most of the texture preview window.

The key to the steepness, where the snow or grass will appear is in this Colorband, you will have to change it depending on how much of the texture will cover the landscape, the more the coloured circle fills up the texture preview area the more/steepness it will cover.

  1. Now the trick, go back to the material buttons make sure the snow texture is still selected. Press NOR button in Map Input tab. Then change the material preview to a sphere, go back to Map input, see the 12 small buttons with x, y, z. In the top row click on the blank button, second row click on the “x” button and on the third row click “z”.

Full credits go to @andy, I hadn’t realised what NOR input mapping did until I had read that post.

Now if everything went well have a look at the material preview, you should see the sphere with a band, the band in the middle is the rock, and the rest is the snow. Render the image and there you have it. It’s that easy and now you can texture the snow and rock to your harts content. Just remember to adjust the snow texture “Colorband” for the coverage for your mountains and hills till you feel you are happy with the results.

Just a few more things, if you create a normal map for the rocks on your hill or mountains remember to click on the “wrap” button and up the bar a little so that the snow texture below it can wrap around the normal map, it gives that affect of snow clinging to rocks… this is what gives that scattering effect which can clearly be seen on the lower left side of the image… lol I’m going back on what I said about not using bump mapping for the image I used just a little. Then on the snow texture click on the stencil button, this means that you can add some texture effects to snow without it affecting the rocks

As with life, nothing is to good to be true.

The down side to doing snow this way, animations… they just don’t look right, it only works with still shots, try it, go around your mountain with a camera…. it has a fade in, fade out effect about it…. something to do with NOR input mapping and the cameras position causes the problem (I’m not sure how it calculates the texture with NOR input mapping, you can achieve some great effects with it, I have viewed the online documentation and it doesn’t go into much detail) I wish it didn’t do that with the animations though but there is no way of getting around it. If someone comes up with a way let me know. If your attempting extreme high/low angle shots you might run into problems, lol you might not even see any snow texture. And there is another problem, which can clearly be seen in the material preview, notice that there is a snow affects both on the top and bottom of the sphere which means if you have rounded objects the texture will effect the top and bottom of that object … if your into still shots, you can smile with the little knowledge that you can get away with it but if you are more into the animation side of things like me, it sounded to good to be true… :expressionless: