Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums
Sign in to follow this  
mtpeak2

forest

Recommended Posts

As some of you know, I'm working on the SO sets. Adding trees to the sets are very time consuming. Creating assembly actions for each set and positioning the trees takes alot of time. Using hair to create forests, in most cases is not an option. So I needed to come up with another plan. Here I created a model with multiple trees (trees are basic at the moment). I then constrained the trees to the ground plane in the chor in a pose. Now I can drop this model (multiple times if needed) to create a forest. I can translate and rotate the base model and the trees will follow the terrain. I also have plans to add poses to scale the model and the individual trees. Here's an example of what happens when I translate an rotate the model in the chor.

forest.mov

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a great idea, Mark. I'm guessing that each tree has it's own surface pointer so you would still be able to adjust the position of individual trees if necessary?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I also have plans to add poses to scale the model and the individual trees. Here's an example of what happens when I translate an rotate the model in the chor.

 

If you want variation, you can automate the varying of the models with an expression built into the model. I made the crowd winkies for TWO self-varying as to color and size. (Scene didn't make it to actual movie however.)

 

This thread covers it with a PRJ at the end.

 

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?s=&am...st&p=281565

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want more control than a random effect. I want to be able to scale the base model small (bringing the trees closer together), but then scale the trees larger or the other way around. This way I can adjust how close the trees are together or spread out and still have control over the overall scale of the trees. Expressions may be in the mix, but it would be controlled with a slider.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very clever idea Mark. I like how the trees all point up even when they are on the side of a hill.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very clever indeed - looks great!

 

However there's some stuff in your explanation that I'm trying to wrap my head around and not understanding:

 

Here I created a model with multiple trees ... I then constrained the trees to the ground plane in the chor in a pose. Now I can drop this model (multiple times if needed) to create a forest. I can translate and rotate the base model and the trees will follow the terrain.

 

I don't understand constrained to GROUND plane...Do you mean the tree complex model is constrained to the terrain model via a surface constraint? - where the terrain model has an aiming bone? or multiple aiming bones (1 for each tree)?

 

Not sure how you did a surface constraint for the tree model in a POSE? (in the CHOR? to the terrain model) - I understand doing the surface constraint in the chor - just not in a pose?

 

Did you do multiple surface constraints - ie 1 for each tree bone? to some aiming bone in the terrain - or did you just do it just for the main tree and the other trees follow (but potentially dip below the surface?)

 

If you add more instances of the complex tree model - wouldn't you have to do the constraints in the chor for the new instances as well? (not understanding the pose thingy again). Do you use the same aiming bone(s) as targets? or do you have lots of aiming bones ?

 

Here's an example of what happens when I translate an rotate the model in the chor.

 

Translate and rotate which model? the tree model? Or are you translating/rotating the aiming bone(s) in the terrain?

 

I've never really played with surface constraints - but this opens my eyes to possibilities (ok, ok - maybe my eyes are still slits)

 

Very cute!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Clever solution Mark

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, Nancy here's the run down.

 

I created a model with multiple trees in it. Each tree has 2 bones, 1 geometry and 1 aim target. I then add a temporary bone to setup the surface constraint. Now I created a new ON/OFF pose and constrained each tree to the temp bone and the aim targets. Closed relationship, deleted the temp bone and saved model. Then I created a terrain model (named terrain). Dropped both models in the chor. At this point nothing works. With the chor window open, I dug into the relationship folder and opened each constraint and changed the target (the drop down menu will now show the models in the chor). Resaved model with the new target.

 

Now, all ground planes will not have the same name, but.........the "model shortcut" in the chor can be renamed to "terrain" and the constraints will work.

 

Now that the setup works, I can dropped the forest model in the chor, translate it so the model bone is below the terrain model. then from a top view or camera view I can drag the model around to position it and the trees will follow the terrain. I can place as many instances of the forest model in the chor and the setup works.

 

The biggest challenge now is going to be the trees. I need to come up with a low patch tree that looks good for background and medium range. Trees with hair leaves or trees with individual patch leaves is not an option.

 

So, what's going to be the best way? Card trees? Where a tree image is decalled to a patch. This would require additional constraints for the trees to aim at a target and the target constrained to the camera. This would work just like hair, but I would be able to move them around where needed. I don't know if the render times would be better as well. The next would be low patch trees with a dome decalled with leaves.

 

The biggest advantage with a setup like this is, you can set them inactive when not seen by the camera or repositioned to a new location so less models are needed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you do that with props?

Poly props actually render pretty quick in AM but I'm not sure what kind of poly limits AM has.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Can you do that with props?

Poly props actually render pretty quick in AM but I'm not sure what kind of poly limits AM has.

I don't know, I never used props.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's using decaled patches. I think this works pretty well.

forest0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that looks really great! Not having to place each one individually is awesome!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks everyone.

 

Here's a test render with 7 instances in the chor (91 trees), rendered in 29 sec. The model has 13 trees in it, so I'm still debating how many I should put in there, 20-25? What do you think?

forestA0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looks terrific ! Works wonderfully. Terrific render times.

 

Reminds me of typical east bay hills (San Francisco bay area) in late spring/summer. It has similar density of trees, and the hills are starting to turn brown....Or early winter when hills are starting to green up.

 

Not sure which set this is for ? So density, type of trees, coloring might be dependant on that...Or not.

 

(Thanks for explanation - still not grokking it totally - probably because I don't understand surface constraints enough)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Nancy.

 

I'm hoping to use this in the balloon bazaar set. Right now there are no trees, so I was thinking a few groups here and there, with clearings for the balloons to land, will do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice forest. I think it could use a few more trees.

Will they be too far away to look flat in animation? If they do, I wonder if a decaled semi cylinder would give them that extra dimension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
(Thanks for explanation - still not grokking it totally - probably because I don't understand surface constraints enough)

 

Had a chance to try your technique out - wonderful!

 

But who knew that one could switch the constraint targets in a model's relaionship/pose to a bone from another model in a chor??? and have it stored with the model - Works terrifically - but sure hope that's not a "feature" that might get fixed? Was that implemented on purpose? Pretty tricky good.

 

And finally figured out that the "aiming target bone" for surface constraint was in the tree model (aiming at the base of the tree model) - I was thinking it was in the terrain model - yet another "dim bulb" goes duh!

 

I can see using this for better movement control for of course "marching armies", or "flocks" flying over invisible surfaces that form patterns

 

(I found did not have to delete that temporary surface target bone - could leave it, so that can easily add more elements to the group)

 

Thanks for sharing this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But who knew that one could switch the constraint targets in a model's relaionship/pose to a bone from another model in a chor??? and have it stored with the model

This has been around for awhile. This is how I setup the truck suspension rig. Also, I believe Vern used it in setting up his newton ragdoll rig.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here's using decaled patches. I think this works pretty well.

That looks great. One of the best forests I've scene. What do you mean by decaled patches? Do you mean multiple patches placed around the tree with decals/transparency maps?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But who knew that one could switch the constraint targets in a model's relaionship/pose to a bone from another model in a chor??? and have it stored with the model

This has been around for awhile. This is how I setup the truck suspension rig. Also, I believe Vern used it in setting up his newton ragdoll rig.

 

And now I'm beginning to suspect why models can get corrupted (has happened to me tooooo many times) when there are multiple instances of the same model in a chor, and one makes a change to the model (texture, etc), save it, and then can't use the model anymore in any other chor because data in the model now references the 2nd instance of the model in the original chor.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never had that problem before, and I do it all the time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Never had that problem before, and I do it all the time.

 

You've been lucky. But we may be talking about different situations. It's happened to me on TWO with the Goose, Scarebear and the rabbit. On SO - it happened with Capt Bill. In all those situations, the models had to be hand edited with a text editor in order to be fixed. The common thread was that in all those situations I was working with a chor that contained multiple instances of the same model and at the same time I was ONLY changing the images used for decals in the model. And then saved the model (probably while the chor was open)

 

In all those cases the model file ended up with screwy code for some bone target that referenced some other instance of the model in the chor. I was not modifying the rig, Just modifying textures.

 

eg: taken from an A:M report I submitted:

 

the code in the corrupted model was:

 

BoneTarget=..|..|..|redbear2|Bones|key Groups

 

when it should really have been:

 

BoneTarget=..|key Groups

 

redbear2 was the name of one of the instances in a chor. It should not have been in the model file.

 

I also remember responding to David (itsjustme) at one time when he experienced something similar (can't find the post). And I don't remember what he was doing at the time to cause it.

 

I've learned not to edit models when I am working with multiple instances in a chor. No one had ever been able to find out why this was happening. I think we have some new info now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nancy,

 

I've had those horrible corruptions as well. Funny thing it seems for me that my Vista Machines(64bit) have the problem whereas my XP systems don't. VERY strange indeed...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just playing some more. Made rock and plant groups using the same technique.

forestB0.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Those are good looking tree-scapes! I just stumbled upon this thread again after three years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for rediscovering this, Robert. I think this may be the approach I need to take with the exterior Wobbling Dead scenes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...