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DavorP

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Reply with quote  #1 
I wanted to share some conclusions I made from using and creating vegetation for Podium V2.

2.5D modeling in my opinion are definetly a way to go. At least untill component instancing gets implemented.

For those who might wonder why 2.5. It combines flat elements od 2D vegetation which reduces number of faces.

1. Podium V2 likes lighter transparent textures. By lighter I mean textures with a lot of transparent areas. Otherwise rendered model will look like it's made of textured cardboard. Masking in photoshop has to be perfect - transparent areas have to be 100% transparent. Even 1% color will show in renderings.

2. Use medium size branch textures - image 1

3. Further reduction in polycount can be made by drawing a triangular face which will have texture applied. To make this easier, when editing texture make the image canvas larger so you have enough space to draw a triangle.
For example - tree in image 2 has 1300 faces with branch texture from image 1 applied, but that comes to 19500 leaves. It might not seem a big difference, but look at it this way - you can have 15 trees instead of one modeled leaf by leaf.

If anyone has some advice, comments and critics, please post!

You can download trees here and simply by replacing branch texture create a whole new tree.

Attached Images
jpeg Image-1.jpg (215.36 KB, 189 views)
jpeg Image-2.jpg (185.80 KB, 214 views)


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bigstick

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Reply with quote  #2 
What I have had success with (so far) is creating a curved face, and mapping the branch and leaf textures to this.

You can then attach these components to the branches. If you make composite branches (for example a group of multiple component branches as shown in the attached image) it can be reasonably quick to make trees.

The benefit of the curved surface approach is that with relatively few components, you can get a lifelike tree which renders reasonably from any angle, even above.

The finished render shows the effects you can create with this technique.

The other thing, as Davor says, is to make sure your mask is perfect. After getting completing your mask, you need to create a new channel with just the mask on it. When you create a new channel, it becomes an alpha mask. Then when you save, make sure you choose the Photoshop option 'Save for web & devices'. Save as png 24, and make sure the 'transparent' option is checked. If you don't do this properly, you will get pale outlines around your png textures.

It's difficult to overstate how important this is. If anyone has a better of more reliable technique, please share it!

Attached Images
jpeg CapturFiles-25-18-2011_10.18.30.jpg (211.37 KB, 127 views)
png tree_summer_LT_v2_2011-08-07_17450600000_copy.png (269.30 KB, 150 views)


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FilipAGuy

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Reply with quote  #3 
DavorP thank you for nice tutorial and thanks bigstick for good addition. I mostly do exterior
renderings and I always missed nice model of verctical vegetation which can be used for walls.
I was thinking about creating curved face using png of parthenocissus tricuspidata (attachment).
How did you made that curved face ? Is it just one face or group of faces ? I know that I oviously miss
sketchup basics :/ Did you just draw line around imported png ? I will try to do something, but 
I will be very thankful for any advice.

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jpeg ivy-parthenocissus-tricuspidata.jpg (95.08 KB, 87 views)

bigstick

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You might be better off with the SketchUp Ivy plugin. You should be able to replace the ivy leaf components with parthenocissus leaves.

You have to make sure that your masking of the leaf textures is perfect though.

I'm going to post a tutorial that works every time for me. It's not difficult, just a bit involved.

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Bedo

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Reply with quote  #5 
Jim which version of this ivy plug in are you using?

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bigstick

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Reply with quote  #6 
Actually, it doesn't work for me on the Mac. Once you have components or identical groups, you can use Thomthom's Selection toys plugin to convert all identical groups to component instances, and you can then use 'EditinPlace' to modify them
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Bedo

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigstick
to convert all identical groups to component instances, and you can then use 'EditinPlace' to modify them



thaha ¡smart guy! I love this.. thát was indeed the follow up question


I now used the component spray tool on the bare branches couple of times, more or less that also 'works' ,   what you suggest Is brilliant in it's simplicity  - a ha moment here -

cheers

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