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Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar programs

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Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar programs

Unread postby Ken_M » Tue Jul 28, 2020 2:18 pm

Hi,
I had some lingering questions about terrain tiles and how to best utilize them in certain situations within Clarisse.


I was experimenting with gaea and thinking about buying the pro version because of being able to export heightmaps at 8K+

A lot of the gaea tutorials lead to making images like this:
terrain_tile_cut_off_v001.JPG


What I'm a little bit confused about (especially from hanging out on the gaea group on facebook) is when people are using terrains like these in the example (cut off at the edges) they're often placing the camera in a highly convenient angle to avoid it from seeing the corners. They're often placing the camera quite low to the ground.
I'm not seeing what artists online are doing to creating large aerial shots. Are they using one giant 8k map, are they blending smaller sections like the above example in photoshop to make a bigger terrain?


If I generate a terrain like the above example for use in Clarisse is there a good way to expand it more for a more expansive aerial shot? Are people rendering out multiple tiles out of gaea, world creator, etc and blending them together with scopes? I noticed that if I adjust the opacity of the displacement map it can change the height of it in comparison to the plane and other scopes

terrain_tile_cut_off_v001_scopes.JPG

terrain_tile_cut_off_v001_scopes_3d.JPG


I was looking through some youtube vue tutorials to see if I could sort of follow along inside of Clarisse, and those appear to be just multiple planes each with their own displacement map) and the artist in the tutorial just sort of mashes them together so that the various planes are clipping through one another.
One of the latest Clarisse tutorials that came out has the artist doing something similar with the forest trench where they clone and mirror the trench several times - but the camera is positioned low so it wouldn't see the seams between the various terrain pieces.

But -- what if the camera was placed higher where it can see the seams? If it was a large push--in move should I be trying to build my entire "world" within one gaea map, save it out in an 8k heighmap and keep it to one massive plane while using a shader displacement?

There was an old Clarisse demo shot that had a camera flying over a massive scene of temples (egyptian architecture?) on the water. I'm currently trying to find it again, but I was wondering if something like that is just one massive plane with several displacements mapped to different portions or it's something else?
EDIT: I found the pyramid shot I was talking about. It's here at 2:06
https://www.isotropix.com/learn/talks/c ... ant-artist
Are the larger hills pieces of geo that get used to 'plug' the gaps between the displaced planes? Do I have this right?

The TLDR of my question would basically be how do I deal with seams with multiple terrains in an aerial shot? Is that type of thing handled on the Clarisse side (displacement blending ) or should it be handled while within the terrain program like gaea ( one huge map?)

Thanks for taking a look at my question and hopefully it's clear.


Bonus question:
From the looks of the gaea menu it looks like I can even export terrains that are 16k, 32k, etc -- are people using these types of resolutions or are there hazards to using them? Is it overkill? Is it recommended to convert the tif to a .tx file if I'm considering using something large for a big camera move?
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby dboude » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:08 pm

Hi,

For the video you mentioned, I guess they used a tiled output from their terrain software. Gaea should be able to do this in the future.

https://docs.quadspinner.com/Guide/Build/Tiled.html

I guess that after the height maps generation you end up with several tiles that are seamless to each other. Then in Clarisse, you would have to make several polygrids and apply each heightmap to each polygrid through a displacement deformer or a displacement shader. In that way you wouldn't see the seams between each tile.

My two cents :mrgreen:

Edit : I just tested in Gaea and the split function is not working. It calculates the height map tile by tile for a lower RAM consumption but I ended up with just one big map.
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby stheroux » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:31 pm

I worked on that Gods Of Egypt shot. The canyon section was about a bunch (40?) differents meshes exported from Vue with displacement for finer details. I believe we used 4k maps, but its been a few years.

Each section was layout in Clarisse. Most were reused, scaled, mirrored, multiple times. The seams are hidden with vegetation, rocks, or just placement.
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby dboude » Tue Jul 28, 2020 4:35 pm

Cool ! Flat ground and just geometry on top of it ;)

But if you need elevation it seems that World Machine is exporting seamless tiles very well.

Image

Image

https://help.world-machine.com/topic/world-machine-professional-edition-addendum/

Cheers
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby Ken_M » Wed Jul 29, 2020 2:10 am

Thanks very much, Démian and stheroux!

stheroux, that's awesome that you worked on that. That's a beautiful shot. Thanks for all the information about it. That clears up a lot of my questions.

Démian, thanks for the information. I'll try out World Machine and test out the tiles. That's a good idea about breaking the larger map up into smaller ones.
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby jstein » Wed Jul 29, 2020 9:02 am

Houdini has a bridge to Gaea, you could import your terrain in Houdini and
use the heightfield tile split node to cut your terrain in single meshes and export your final abc to Clarisse.
should work with wordmachine also
ciao j
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby ayanik » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:08 pm

For the survival kit I actually made a tiled heightmaps importer.

It works fine with World Machine and World Creator. Not sure how Gaea names the files, but you can specify the Regex if needed.

You can see the tiled heightmap import at the end of the video.


Make sure to save your scene before running the script, because there's a known bug that causes Clarisse to crash when you run the script a multiple times.
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Re: Question about terrain tiles from Gaea and similar progr

Unread postby Ken_M » Fri Jul 31, 2020 12:44 pm

Thanks Jstein and Ayanik. I appreciate it. I'll look into those.
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