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Sketchlar

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Guys,

Its been a while since i last posted, I have been working behind scenes on a new development with another Podium Forum member John ( MrC).

The Development is for 4 Large Houses built on a private Horseshoe Road.

Im putting this one to rest but i would love some CC to help me improve on my next project. John and I are now going ahead with a 8plot development and i would love to make the next batch even better than these!

The perspective is slightly off with these due to 2pp, however on the final ones we sorted this out with Photoshop PP.

Any feedback would be great!

Cheers

Fernfield - John - Plot 2 New Sky.jpg  Fernfield - John - Plot 3 New Sky.jpg  FernField - John - Plot 1 Final.jpg  Fernfield - John - Plot 4 Final.jpg  Fernfield - John - Plan View Perspective.png  Fernfield - John - Plan View.png 

Natstar

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Reply with quote  #2 
These are really good.

I like the textures and details on the houses.

The aerial views are great too.

Great work.

regards,
Nat

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bigstick

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Reply with quote  #3 
There is some truly fabulous attention to detail here, and some beautiful texturing, these are lovely images, and really effective!

Room for improvement though [wink]

1. The downpipes aren't right. The upper vertical section is too long, and the angle incorrect. It would be angled back against the wall in a straight line to minimise the length of the slanted section, because it's otherwise unsupported for too long a length. There are missing downpipes from every image where you have a horizontal section of roof with a gutter over the front door. These are far larger sections of roof than the gables, which have the odd lengths of downpipe... 

2. The doors and garage doors should be shorter, with a gap between the bottom edge and the floor. These little gaps are the secrets to improved realism.

3. The texturing on the ridge tiles isn't quite up to the standard of the rest of the model. It looks blotchy.

4. There is a lack of lead flashings. Most people won't notice this, so it's okay. If you want perfection - you'll add them, but you don't really need them. 

Yes it's nit-picking, but you have spent such a long time getting these so good, that it seems a shame to pick fault! [thumb]

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Sketchlar

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Reply with quote  #4 
Thank you for the feedback Nat and bigstick. really appreciate it.

i know i said i was putting this to bed, but i figured why stop after going so far, Im going to take one of them to develop a little further and fix the problems bigstick has raised.

You are right about the guttering, looking at it now it doesn't look right. i will change this. Do you know any good sources/artists on the warehouse with a nice selections on guttering?

The ridge tile material has been given me problems since day one, i have been touching it up in Photoshop, obviously not well enough haha. I will just assign a better material to all the ridge tiles.

Thank you for pointing out the doors. I left the small gaps on the first render ( double fronted with dark cladding) however i seem to have forgot this on the other 3. I will keep this in mind for the next ones.

Anything which makes it look more convincing is good in my eyes, so i will investigate the flashing, especially around the dorma window. 

Finally, i do not like these trees, the colours are too unrealistic and the leaves are not convincing enough. Can you recommend any from the Podium Browser, i think a variation of tree will help. i will upload the new render tomorrow!

cheers




bigstick

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Reply with quote  #5 
There is nothing at all wrong with the guttering you are using, you just need to stretch and rotate it, and add the missing sections so it looks how it ought [smile]

Your plinth brick texture is also not quite right. 

The trees are an interesting discussion! Like with your scene, one has to pick the optimal level to use to get a result that is convincing enough. They need to have enough detail to look right, but have as few polygons as possible to minimise the file size and download time, and maximise the render speed. It's a tricky balance to strike, particularly when there is quite a lot of variation in Podium render quality by different people. Everyone has slightly different standards. You are pushing the boundaries with our trees!

The ones you are using look like the Field Maple I build with NGPlant. It's a free application which can work nicely with SketchUp. I made some tutorials for it on Vimeo.

Ideally the leaves would be curved not flat, there would be subtle colour/shade variations, and they would be translucent.

The colour variation is easy enough - if you aren't red/green colour blind like me! You can duplicate the leaves and create a series of alternative colour options. Then use the Random Select plugin to swap them out randomly. That should help on its own and shouldn't increase render time.

Next you could experiment with dividing the leaves up to create curvature. Simple surface division and edge smoothing in SU should be good but you need to take care not to screw up your texturing!

That will increase the polygon count, and the render time, but by how much depends on how crinkly you make the leaves. You could easily double the polygon count of your tree without trying hard. With a powerful machine, that might be okay.

Finally, the big one is translucent leaves. You could just configure this in the Materials Editor.

This will kill your render speed because the render calculations are much more complex. I've experimented with it for succulents, it's nice, although ideally succulents need subsurface scattering, which is much more complex again.

At one stage we were looking at a material preset specifically for vegetation which employs a fast pseudo translucency, but doesn't use final gathering. We ran out of time for that, because of other priorities. We may well come back to it at some stage.

The other alternative is that you go to something like Xfrog trees, which are not componentised, are quite expensive, and have a much higher polygon count. They are a standard choice for CGI professionals. They are fabulous, but expensive!



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bigstick

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Reply with quote  #6 
There is nothing at all wrong with the guttering you are using, you just need to stretch and rotate it, and add the missing sections so it looks how it ought [smile]

Your plinth brick texture is also not quite right. 

The trees are an interesting discussion! Like with your scene, one has to pick the optimal level to use to get a result that is convincing enough. They need to have enough detail to look right, but have as few polygons as possible to minimise the file size and download time, and maximise the render speed. It's a tricky balance to strike, particularly when there is quite a lot of variation in Podium render quality by different people. Everyone has slightly different standards. You are pushing the boundaries with our trees!

The ones you are using look like the Field Maple I build with NGPlant. It's a free application which can work nicely with SketchUp. I made some tutorials for it on Vimeo.

Ideally the leaves would be curved not flat, there would be subtle colour/shade variations, and they would be translucent.

The colour variation is easy enough - if you aren't red/green colour blind like me! You can duplicate the leaves and create a series of alternative colour options. Then use the Random Select plugin to swap them out randomly. That should help on its own and shouldn't increase render time.

Next you could experiment with dividing the leaves up to create curvature. Simple surface division and edge smoothing in SU should be good but you need to take care not to screw up your texturing!

That will increase the polygon count, and the render time, but by how much depends on how crinkly you make the leaves. You could easily double the polygon count of your tree without trying hard. With a powerful machine, that might be okay.

Finally, the big one is translucent leaves. You could just configure this in the Materials Editor.

This will kill your render speed because the render calculations are much more complex. I've experimented with it for succulents, it's nice, although ideally succulents need subsurface scattering, which is much more complex again.

At one stage we were looking at a material preset specifically for vegetation which employs a fast pseudo translucency, but doesn't use final gathering. We ran out of time for that, because of other priorities. We may well come back to it at some stage.

The other alternative is that you go to something like Xfrog trees, which are not componentised, are quite expensive, and have a much higher polygon count. They are a standard choice for CGI professionals. They are fabulous, but expensive!



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Sketchlar

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Reply with quote  #7 
Thank you for your comprehensive reply dipstick. You're a fountain of useful information. I need to free up some time this week I think and do some of your tutorials. Keep watching this thread, as I will post an update of this render hopefully before the weekend.

Cheers
bigstick

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Reply with quote  #8 
I keep up with all the threads, even if I don't have time to comment on them all [wink]
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Sketchlar

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Reply with quote  #9 
So i made a few adjustments to one of the renders.

What i did:

Sorted out the guttering so it wasnt hanging so low. and also put in a connection downpipe from the guttering above the door and window.
changed cladding colour for something more natural. also put indents into the sides to give the gap between cladding strips more depth. 
changed trees
changed car ( for no reason other than i like the porshce and and the colour is better for this render, in my opinion [smile] )
Changed the drive way texture.
Increased seize of drive way curbs.
Added some hanging baskets
added some ground lights ( allthough they are hard to see!)
added a victorian pole lamp.
changed sky texture. 

I think that covers it all! Here it is:

FullSizeRender 13.jpg 





bigstick

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Reply with quote  #10 
That's better - apart from the cladding.

Traditional domestic building uses shiplap or tongue& groove cladding. It doesn't use that kind of uneven plank rain screen with gaps.

In British domestic building, you would expect a 100mm external reveal to the windows. Yours have a reveal of something like 20mm.

Are you sure about that Victorian lamp? It's not tall enough to be realistic or functional, and you would never have something like that in a new development. 

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John_Mapo

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Reply with quote  #11 
I think it looks great.

I've had to do one for a friend and whilst he thinks mine is amazing, I don't (I normally do interiors...)! I had to rush it in the end, so lots of thinks wrong with it, which he didn't notice..

My biggest issue I had was the file size (450MB plus), which made working with the drawing incredibly slow. I've got an I7, 16GB, 2GB graphics, so I thought it would cope! I was just wondering if you had any issues?  I'm still a novice, so even obvious answers appreciated.

Cheers!

John Final V1.jpg  Final V2.jpg  Final V3.jpg  Final V9.jpg  Final V10.jpg

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Sketchlar

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Reply with quote  #12 
hey John,

thank you for your comment mate. You have some good elements in your model, you just need to work on them a little more. A few things i can see from first glance which would improve your renders with not much effort:

Use grass instance (from podium browser) and create a fur 2.5d texture for your lawns. ( good tut here: http://www.suplugins.com/help/grass-tutorial.php)

render with a better sky or render with transparent png and photoshop one in, ( some times less is more)

remove the people ( people suck, in my opinion) 

reduce reflection on the glass, but also consider what is out of shot to reflect back. often a well placed tree and and some fencing out of the view port can go along way. second to that you could use one of podium browsers 180 backgrounds. works a treat!

choose better materials for asphalt and watch out for gaps in your modelling ( like on the road)

also the wall brick supports wouldn't be built with angled bricks - so consider rotating the brick work material on these.

Finally, put some edging ( bark or soil) around your walls and at the lawns edge. And also use higher poly 3d models instead of 2d models for plants that are close to the camera. 

A few of these changes and i think you will see a drastic improvement. But good work, keep it up!


oh yeh, and i run , 2.9ghz intel core 5 8gb. Macbook Pro. Does the job for me. External Fine present works a treat. Exterior High can take considerably more time with a heavy model.

Cheers

pmolson

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Reply with quote  #13 
Hi Sketchlar,

seems like you got some great feed back on your project.

I would just like to comment on the first image where you used a grey lap siding.

I am guessing that is the grey siding from podium browser. I have used it before and I like the definition of the shadow lines between each course.

I have however stopped using it because the variation in color from one board to another is too noticeable. I would find a more uniformly colored lap siding If I were you.

If a painter got done painting my home (especially if it was new construction) and it looked that varied they would be repainting.

p



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John_Mapo

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Reply with quote  #14 

Hi Sketchlar,

Thanks for your comments and tips! Very much appreciated.

Look forward to seeing your next offerings [smile]


John


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