Making of "The Oasis" by Jo Ann Elliott
I wanted to do a desert scene using some of Luigi Marini's Desert Rock objects. I really love this product and Luigi has done a great job on sculpturing these rocks (there are 12 detailed rock formations in the set and Rock08 and Rock10 were used for this scene). Since the two objects together were over 43M polygons, a preview render was run to check on timing. As you can see, the preview was very fast at only 33".
Next, I loaded a custom atmosphere and made some minor changes to "sun", "light" and "sky, fog and haze."
I selected a custom user setting for the render (again to check timing). Also made changes to the "Sun light" Color and Casts Shadows was set at 76%. As you can see on the image below, the rendering was very fast at 5'45".
Since I wanted my scene to be a desert oasis with palms, I "stripped" away the preloaded eco-system and an attached ground base which was also preloaded with an eco-system. The polygons were reduced to 8.6M and the render time took 53".
Once the Desert Rock objects were positioned, I made some changes to the atmosphere, this time using Global radiosity. Adjustments were also made in "Sun" and "Sky, Fog and Haze."
Working with the Material Editor, I selected "Mixed material," added a bitmapped grass material, adjusted the "Mixing proportions" to 31.90% and "Smooth blending strip" to 30%
Under "Influence of environment," adjustments were made for altitude 40% at high altitudes, and slope at 92% on flat surfaces.
The only change made to the rock material was to darken "Overall Color"...
...and modify the "Bumps" options. Displacement production was reduced from a Depth of 5.400 to 4.900. Displacement mapping Quality boost was reduced from +4.0 to +1.0 and Force extension was changed from 0.320 to 0.080.
The next addition was a pre-saved procedural terrain which was fairly flat. As you can see from the Top, Front and Side views, the terrain object was set below the "ground" plain. The ground material from the Desert Rock base was used on the procedural terrain.
From there I loaded the eco-system layers to the procedural terrain. First was the Eco_Plant which was populated with two objects from the Incredibly Lush Tropical Paradise collection. The image below shows the plants selected and setting modifications under General (note under Distribution, Repulsion from layer is set at 2%), Density, Scaling & Orientation, and Presence.
Next, the Eco_Rock layer was created. I used the LR Rock and LR Pebble. Under "General," the Distribution was set at 3% "Repulsion from layer" which would be the Eco_Tree layer. On the right side of the image, you can see the material list. Both the LR Rock and LR Pebble was changed from the default material to "SandyBlock" from Monsoon's Rock of Ages materials collection.
Lastly, the Eco_Tree layer was populated with just one object, the Date Palm. And adjustments were made to the Density, Scaling & Orientation, and Presence, as noted in the image below.
A water plane was added, and the water was modified as shown in the two pictures below (note that the default water had the "foam" material removed)(also, the bump was set to zero). Changes to the water material produces a still, quiet water surface which is highly reflective at low angles (note the "Turn reflective with angle" setting under the Transparency tab).
The picture below also shows a Point Light added and positioned for "backlighting." Note the point light settings on the upper right side.
Having already set the atmosphere and rendering options as noted above, a few preliminary renders were run, and then the final rendering of The Oasis. Additional minor adjustments were made in PaintShop Pro 6X.
And here is the final image:
Thanks for reading this focus.
Jo Ann Elliott