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Cornucopia3D "Making of"


Each week, Cornucopia3D is turning the spotlight on a member of the Vue community. There are so many interesting people doing wonderful things with the Vue line of products, we wanted to share the wealth!

Daniel continues his landscape masterclass with the second part of the materials section, which is creation of the ecosystems. We hope you have been following along with the class, and are learning loads and having fun!


Making of "Hiking Trail" Part 3.2 by Daniel Respaud

The idea of this path came from a hike I have done over 25 years ago (oops... what a bit of age!). One year on vacation in the mountains, family activities focused on hiking. It was very early in the morning and we traveled 10 km on foot... a horror, even if today we laugh, and it went well. On this average mountain, on a hiking path, my sister stopped abruptly: she wanted to stop walking and was screaming that she wanted to be picked up a helicopter! For my part, I couldn't take a step without complaining. Yet, at this difficult time, there was one different path up, and yet it was the more complicated: the ways were confusing and bad, streams and mudflows crossed the trail; it would sometimes climb slopes... It was not relaxing at all compared to what we had climbed already. I kept my courage and will and and kept climbing back and forth between streams and large stones. The image "Hiking trail" is inspired by this adventurous time.

Tools utilized for this image:

Vue 10 Infinite
Photoshop or another similar program that can manage layers and can draw, like The Gimp.

Files Supplied:

(Click on this link to download the files below)

Photoshop (CS5 version) file with layers that have created the field, distribution of materials, and ecosystems.
JPG images to generate field and distribution of materials/ecosystems.
The atmosphere
A slab (without a material)

The 6 Steps:

1. In Photoshop, creating images that will enable field and the distribution of contents.
2. Creation of terrain
3. Materials and Ecosystem
4. Adding objects
5. Atmosphere
6. Rendering and postwork

Part 3: Materials and Ecosystems

This week we will create the ecosystems.

6.  To create the ecosystems, I first edited the material of the terrain by double-clicking it, and then in the material editor, I selected the material from the edges of the path and I clicked on the "Ecosystem" button:

7. And I get a first layer for an Ecosystem...

8.  ...but before I populated it, I created a second Ecosystem after having selected the material from the edge of the path:

9.  Here it is, the first 2 Ecosystems of the border are ready (but empty):

10. I selected one of the two Ecosystem, and I've added a dozen varieties of herbs such as grass from Walli's WGB5 Grass v1 and dried grass from his WGB3 Dry Grasspatch5, as well as 2 varieties of reeds from Lars Braad Andersen (Bigbraader)). I had to modify the "Scale" of some of the plants to avoid them being too large:

11.  Before finishing the  Ecosystem, I enabled onthe "Density" tab, the option "Variable Density", I edited it (right click on the function > Edit Function) and in which I have loaded the image: "4_grass.jpg" (to add the image as Ecosystem distribution... see the beginning of step 3).

12. Here are the other settings I used for this Ecosystem. I had to increase the "Overall scalling" value "12" (tab "Scaling and Orientation"), I did so that the plants grow in a manner "Vertical" (in the "Scaling and Orientation" tab > "Direction from surface"), I also unchecked the "Decay near foreign objects" option in the tab "Density", so that the added objects below do not prevent the Ecosystem by"pushing away the plants" .

13. I then generated the Ecosystem by clicking on the button "Populate"

14.  Note: It may be that the "Dynamic Ecosystem" option is active by default because of the large size of the terrain: in this case, clear this check box, but you should ensure before you populate the Ecosystem that objects should be large enough so that there is not too many of them, as there is the risk of memory saturation, or a bad increase in the time it can take to generate and render the Ecosystem. This can bring your system down! To test the latter, I'm testing first with a very low density of objects and I look at how many objects Vue added: If there is too much and they are too small, I increase the scale option, and on the contrary, if my items are too large and they are too little I decrease the "Scale" option... and finally, when I get the right size for objects with a not too high "density" I adjusted the "density" option to a sufficient quantity of objects.

15. After generating the Ecosystem with good "Scale" value, I changed the second Ecosystem with 3 Reeds by  Lars Braad Andersen (BigBraader) and the "Rocks" in low resolution:

16. For the second Ecosystem on the edge of the road, in the tab "Density > Variable Density", I have edited the function (right click on the function > Edit function) in which I have loaded the image "3_rock.jpg" (to add the image as Ecosystem distribution, should be the same manipulation to a separation of contents... see explanation in step 3).  

 17.  Here are the parameters of this second Ecosystem:

18. The edge of the road is now finished, so now you can "attack" the path that consists of a single Ecosystem. To do this, I selected the second right material (itself composed of 2 materials), and I clicked on the "Ecosystem" button:

19. For this Ecosystem, I used the same image ("2_road.jpg") used to make the separation of road/border contents for "Variable Density" function

20. Here are the parameters of this Ecosystem with dead leaves. I used some leaves from Bruno's pack, and from Dark Anvil's pack, Rocks in low resolution (the same as in the previous Ecosystem) and I ensured that these objects are perpendicular to the ground: so that the leaves marry the shape of the terrain... And course as for the other Ecosystem, I used a base material provided with Vue's "Rocks and Plants":, I populated the area by clicking on the button "Populate".

21. For the second area, I used a material provided with Vue "Rocks and Plants":

22. I converted this material to an Ecosystem, to which I added 2 variants of trees "Xfrog" Common Ash:

23. Here are the other settings of this Ecosystem:

24. Here is a rendering with the 2 terrains and their Ecosystems:

You should experiment with adding different types of plants and trees, both static tree objects, and Vue vegetation, to see the different effects you can get with them. Next week, we will work on adding some objects. Daniel

Recommended screen resolution: 1024 x 768 (best view: Firefox 3, Safari 4, Chrome 9, Internet Explorer 8, Opera 10 or higher).