At the lake


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At the lake

Been experimenting with exterior rendering and quite like the result.

Nothing modeled here, just the relief object (upside down), some free tree model, Hiroto's cracker script used on a box and subdivided, fog, HDRI, a water plane with simple fractal noise bump, some rock mats from the pig thread and the grassy knoll script.

I tried the skylight too but found it utterly unusable: no soft shadows, no sun visible and the reflection always too strong.
Also I could not get any light reflected "correctly" in the water no matter how high the intensity. Only a specular highlight on a transparent material worked, but not nicely as a HDRI.

The lighting with HDRI samples (no radiosity) looks good also.




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Thanks for commenting!

HD resulution renders in only 3 minutes, so animating is possible :smile:
(Grassy Knoll with crumple modifier moving upwards, fractal noise water via time node.)

Bokeh rendering with many samples though takes very long...


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Really nice - love the animated water.

QUESTION: If this is rendered with Falcon how did you get the foggy background? Or is that a composited image?


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Thanks Pegot,

this is a Cheetah render with no radiosity but 16 samples of the HDRI.
Even with 4x4 antialiasing it takes only 3 minutes for a frame of 1920x1200.

So the fog works, though the reflections seem strange in the distance (should be brighter).
Falcon takes much longer till the noise disappears.

The water plane is a big default plane with the dielectric water material and a fractal noise for bump input.
For animation I used the time output of the state node for the fractal multiplied by 0.1.

Tricky thing was the seamless looping, that needed fading over two fractal nodes so that after 2s=60 frames one starts with the same values as the other one ended up.

Animating via state>time gets you automatic motion without key framing.


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Awesome 'mo'...!!!
My only "2-cents" is that the grass blades need to have pointed ends to be more"realistic".
Other than that the images, and animation, are very well done.
(Reminds me of a MYST Age!)


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Thanks Albert,

you're right about the grass blades (or they have recently been cut :smile: ).


Now I did a Falcon render with haze (see below).
That was done by adding an emissive radial gradient to the rocky terrain material, starting from the camera position.
That's a bit tedious because the state node position has to be adjusted via trial and error, but not outright impractical (like in a scene with many objects).
I don't know about vector math, but perhaps with the state node's position and eye outputs camera-z could be calculated?

It looks better than the cheetah fog and the reflections are correct but render times are too long for animation, still visible noise after an hour.

Also I figured out the z-buffer thing (via ProEXR into PS) which works like a charm and doesn't need adjustments in the file:
Just load the depth layer as a selection in PS and brighten up to taste;
that would be the preferable solution for renders with fog in Falcon until Martin comes up with volumetric absorption and emission :wink:

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I like the Cheetah render fog better. It obscures more - which is generally what I want when I use the fog tag. Also neat is that the Fog tag's parameters can be animated - which is sometimes useful with a moving camera and objects (as is animatable DOF).

I have gotten very mixed results using the After Effects 3d channels for compositing DOF and Fog - though the EXR files Cheetah spits out work better with them than some of my other 3d apps.

I LOVE the Fog tag and can't wait for Martin to get it to work with Falcon.

Your technique for using an emissive material however is good to know and can be useful in offering a slightly different look with more background clarity.


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I like the Cheetah render fog better. It obscures more - which is generally what I want when I use the fog tag.

I see - and that's possible with a material solution too, instead of adding emissive light to the original material it has to be mixed in, that means the diffuse must fade to black where the emission is added (pic 3).
The emission can be set to plain white and so closely emulate the fog tag (pic 4).

But it was more of a haze effect (Rayleigh scattering) than a fog what I was after, which gives a great impression of distance and depth (pic 2).

I have gotten very mixed results using the After Effects 3d channels for compositing DOF and Fog - though the EXR files Cheetah spits out work better with them than some of my other 3d apps.

In this case the depth map worked, though selection edges had to be smoothed manually which would be a no-go in animating I think.

So far I'm quite happy with the material ffff (fake fog for falcon) workaround and will continue experimenting!



This looks great! Don't quite understand how you got there, but I'll rey to keep up.

A tutorial would be awesome, if possible.



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FFFF TUT (fake fog for falcon tutorial)

Hi Bob,

thanks for your interest!

Please note that this is meant as an interim solution till Martin adds fog to the falcon render.
This workaround mimics volumetric emission and volumetric absorption (similar to the fog in the cheetah renderer) but not volumetric scattering (godrays) which is much more difficult to fake.

It works basically by changing all colors in the scene to a defined fog color, depending from the distance to the camera.
Currently (v7b20) the world shading space is broken and therefore it is recommended for easier calculating to have all objects involved located at the world origin, unscaled.
That's where they appear when you create them or where they are after calling the burn transform tool.

You can use different materials for different objects but if they appear in the background they all need to contain the same state>norm>mix/emission-node setup as below (these nodes can be selected and copied into other materials).
If your materials have specular, reflective or transparent properties each needs its own mix node.

I have set up a simple demo scene as shown in the screen captures below.
It contains a skylight with background unchecked and a special camera background color which is the fog color.
When you choose this in the color picker, save it (row of small squares at the bottom) so you can call it again later.
The camera is located in the middle first.

I use the default relief object and made a particle mesh of small cones from it.
That has to be transformed into a single polygon object (tools > particle > particle-polygon) because of the broken world shading space (see above).

Of course you can use a HDRI or other lights and backgrounds.
Then you'll have to tweak the fog color in the emission gradient until it looks right.

Have fun!

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Thanks for such detailed instructions! Not sure I could have figured it out otherwise.

For animation where camera moves though I don't see how this could work unless you animate the Multiplyadd node's values too - but even then it might come out of synch at some points.
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I'll be honest, I've only glanced through this thread, but a FOG solution in Falcon sounds amazing. I will have to pour through your node samples, but the idea of "faking" fog by applying the a brightening effect calculated by z-position and height. And then perhaps enhancing with photoshop - I will have to experiment more. BRAVO :icon_thumbup: