Overgrowth Test

The following is an attempt to realistically and artistically simulate overgrowth in an old storm drain. Originally inspired by a combination of a shot in the 3rd season of the BBC show “Being Human” of a largely overgrown railway, the BA gallery (more on it’s involvement later), and my interest in storm drains as a video game environment (in terms of art and gameplay) layered over with the amazing look of overgrowth.

I first had the idea of creating the best looking, high frame rate still image of the BGE that was possible for the purpose of finally seeing a Game Engine image in the BA gallery, for the sake of the GE. You know, inspiring people’s impression of the GE: “Oh my, a GE picture on the Gallery? Gee I guess it’s actually pretty good, s’interesting.”

EVIDENCE! (PICTURES!)


Note: The balls you see in both images are merely for testing the SSAO and simulated (totally fake, don’t get excited) radiosity from the walls and floors.

Now, down to the serious stuff. Being that I am the creator of this, and have been staring at it for a long time I’m bound to be lost in a fuzzy awe at my own progress. So please, anyone with an eye for analytics or with just an opinion that would benefit the quality or any other factor of the product, criticise away.

Thanks for your time and feedback.

TomCat

Edit: // P.S:
Performance: 60 fps all assets and foliage at a resolution of 1600 x 900 .vs. 53 fps all assets and foliage at a resolution of 1600 x 900

on a HD Radeon 7750, core clock, mid-range card.

Cool, it looks like you’ve got the vines down pretty good. My only critique would be that it might look a little more realistic if the concrete was cracking and there were little pieces of the concrete on the bottom scattered about.

Looks very good -the only thing I could crit would be the foliage looks a bit flat on the right side of the picture compared to the left (thanks to the shadows giving definition).

But very nice! What are you going to use it with?

It does look very flat, yes. There was something about it that was bothering me, thankyou.

To your question, I would say that this probably won’t make it any further then a tech demo. I have thought about it, and my desire to have it in a full game would mean that a lot of effort would have to be put into the fidelity of the rest of the game. I suppose the best way to make use of it is to give it away and see what comes of that.

Could you use a node setup to semi automate the process? As for the flat issue, could you map the ivy onto a non flat plane (i.e. have a bumpy primitive shape) to break up large areas? Another way might be to make an underlying shape like corrugated iron so ivy mapping is raised from the surface and looks more interesting.

You have gone to the trouble of making some great irregular ivy, but ivy does not naturally sit flat. Solve that (give it some volume) and you have it licked.

Hi…Very nice image you are working on.

I think it has the potential to become a gallery quality image if you keep woring at it. First thing I would say is lose the balls in the scene so people can get a better impression of the actual scene. Currently it is distracting and hard to give you good feedback on your image.

The vines came out great. Your use of the moss growing on the walls is also great. Here and there I would personally add a bit more or a bit less but that is just personal prefference and would not make that much difference.

If it was a scene that I was working on I would add more wear and tear to the walls as suggested already. Nothing to over the top but just some aging to go with the whole overgrowth vibe. Then these spaces lend themselves to some graffiti…maybe some carefully placed graffitti might create a nice focal point, since that is what is lacking in the scene currently.

I would add some litter down the “path”(cans newspaper etc.) and maybe even a bit of stagnant water in places…also goes with the overgrowth.

What could also work and would give the scene some more mystery is a lurking shadow from something that is about to come round that corner. It will also give your scene a backstory and set it up for a possible boss battle…etc.

The sky could also be more interesting if you lift those clouds up a bit…but you would have to play with it becuase it can also be distracting.

Anyways…just some suggestions…Feel free to use or not use them. Hope you finish this image and make it to the gallery. :slight_smile:

Sorry to Geometricity, I hadn’t seen your message until recently, I would have replied earlier, sorry. Yes, cracks, done, and thankyou.

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Could you use a node setup to semi automate the process? As for the flat issue, could you map the ivy onto a non flat plane (i.e. have a bumpy primitive shape) to break up large areas? Another way might be to make an underlying shape like corrugated iron so ivy mapping is raised from the surface and looks more interesting.

You have gone to the trouble of making some great irregular ivy, but ivy does not naturally sit flat. Solve that (give it some volume) and you have it licked.

The leaves were already a depth varying, multi-poly mesh. The leaves textures are groups of 10 leaves on an island of 4 quads, and the vertices are varying to give different depths per leaf on the texture, the problem was the lack of shading. Having SSAO gives each leaf a shadow, and with each leaf with varying distance from the mossy concrete, gives varying shadow densities and thus the indication of varying depth and blah and such.

The reason it looks flat is because:
A - Despite the aforementioned setup with the polies and vertices to vary the elevation of the leaves, they were still very flat because I didn’t depth them.
B - The SSAO is Martinsh’s Mist and Spiral SSAO with noise and I forgot to disable the mist after testing it and it was very detrimental.

But now I have stretched the existing leaf meshes and added additional leaf meshes, AND included an underlying plane with darker leaves on it to make it look like they are being shaded by the overlying leaves. And also fixed the SSAO to be more complimentary to the shading and application of shadows to, for and from the leaf textures.

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Other than improving existing things and ideas, I was thinking of adding more things to the scene. I’ve been working for a long time on a human model, and am thinking of making that the focal point of the image if any, or just another object in the scene to complicate it and further impress the viewer of the capabilities of the engine.

Thank you all so much for your time,

TomCat

The latest image.
[ATTACH=CONFIG]249210[/ATTACH]

A close video of the ivy.

"This is a smooth, 30fps example of realtime foliage in the Blender Game Engine.

It is running at 30 fps because it is capped for smoothness, 1600 x 900 because 1080p is too much for my PC, but not impossible.

This example is using full SSAO at 8 samples and Noise Dithering."

First post has been updated.

Latest update has:

  • Lighting tweaks
  • Small object location and orientation tweaks
  • Tweaked the skydome.
  • Added Lady in dress
  • Sun umbrella (WIP) for Lady.
  • 2 pass SSAO for varied depth. Might just get rid of the finer detail SSAO because it was meant for something that, in terms of the final image, is irrelevant and redundant.

Latest image, also in first post.


You`re grass is beautiful, if you ever want me to feature this in my game on day
let me know.

Hmm, the lady kind of looks like the love child of V’ger from star trek and Mary Poppins.:smiley:
Is there a story behind why she’s walking in the storm drain?

You`re grass is beautiful, if you ever want me to feature this in my game on day
let me know.

I’m not sure if you’re referring to just the grass or the whole scene.

If in the case you want the grass I would happily supply the grass and values I used in martin’s SSAO shader (and if your game has different camera values I would gladly assist in implementing the shader). Unless you would like just the grass, I could just PM you the texture and/or the object in a .blend.

If you would like the scene, I would also gladly supply that. However, please understand, I would prefer to keep the woman’s model because I have plans for commercial use and would like to keep future complications to an absolute minimum.

Hmm, the lady kind of looks like the love child of V’ger from star trek and Mary Poppins.:smiley:
Is there a story behind why she’s walking in the storm drain?

Haha, yeah I should probably give her hair…
Currently, there is not story, it’s just an image. Think of it as a painting that I’m doing because I feel like it.

Thanks for the replies guys, wish me luck.

TomCat

Edit: P.S. Maseratzi, I notice you have a GTX 650 video card, could I interest you in doing a benchmark in 1600 x 900 and 1080p for performance purposes? I will supply the .blend in full (and ofcourse request that you do not export or in any other way duplicate the female model, please) and would very much appreciate it, you would be helping very much.

My Tip: Make the Rest more interesting. As nice as the Overgrowth may look, the the Architecture makes the Result look rather boring: Imagine, however, a House, a Street, maybe a Gate or other Stuff… maybe even an overgrown Railway (surprise), and putting your Foliage onto these Things – that would look much more interesting… because right now, it is some nice Foliage on just flat, grey Walls… that wouldn’t bwoah me, and neither will it those who decide what comes into the Gallery. But with more Details to make the Architecture more interesting, it could work.

This is definitely a good point… Maybe if I aged the edges and made them old and decrepit with parts falling, and having fallen, off much like what Geometricity said. Thanks for the idea, I agree.

It’s been a while, been doing many other things since and haven’t updated much. Nevertheless, here is the latest.


Hair, background, better illustrated fatigue and improved surfaces on the cement and mosses (and a VERY place-holder rig and pose). It’s not much, I apologise, I have been rather busy.

(Edit: Also worth mentioning that the sky in the background had to be super-imposed into the scene because the SSAO shaders were casting shadows on the sky dome and world colour. The glow effect was also added in post and are, infact, not realtime.)

TomCat

The lady looks a lot better with hair:D Maybe you could pose her in a more natural way and uncross her eyes in the next update you do, just doing that would make the scene look a lot better IMO. The broken concrete is a good try but it looks way too uniform. It should look like it was damaged from slowly being washed away, the way you have it almost looks as if it were chiseled out, which is not the way concrete would behave.

These might be some good references:


Also I think some of the moss/grass growing on the concrete is way too high up. Maybe have a lot less on the top part, and on the very top on that incline the vegetation should only be growing in cracks in the concrete. I think if you do this it would be a lot more believable.

I hope that helps you, good work so far.

You can check do not recieve shadows, I believe in the shadow tab of the skybox material,

Yes, hair is a good thing, haha. And the pose has been heavily updated since that picture, I wouldn’t accept the pose in that picture as anything other than a I’m-dying-and-need-to-do-this-in-20-seconds quality place holder.

The concrete, I absolutely agree and I am about to change it after I’ve finished polishing the model. My original idea was to make it seem like pieces had fallen out. But that first image you chose there, is very helpful, a very good reference.

For your suggestion about the height of the foliage growth however, I would have to say that the problem isn’t how high it is, it’s how flat and consistent / repetitive. In my observations vines and such things grow as high as they damn well please, rude bastards:


What I should focus on is having the individual leaves stick out and this has got me thinking that polygonal leaves instead of alpha textures is going to be the better option. Which means I’m probably going to want to turn to Vertex shaders or some such to help optimise the technique with a per-poly LOD.

Thank you for your input, and for reminding me of the cracks, the more I look at them the more they look horribly lazy.

Actually I was referring to the SSAO shader casting the shadow, the material I use for the skydome ALREADY has “receive” in the shadow tab disabled and is not affected by buffer shadows from lamp objects, but thank you anyway.


Edit: Latest, not finished.

<img src="/uploads/default/original/3X/d/d/dd1c0c7ca5f071b0471dd7933ef49c56f393adf1.jpg" width="690" height="395"><br/>