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Some of my pigs from Donark are going to Venice to share donuts and recipes. I made a model where my pigs and the Venetians can interact. Unfortunately, it won't be a happy visit. I have attached a picture of my model. It's still in progress, and there will be some additions and tweaking. Among the changes will be creation of a population of Venetians and the arrival of a ship of Donark pigs. The pigs will have an adventure like they've never had before. (I also should note that this model is really Venice-y. It's not really a totally accurate depiction.)

Venice in progress0.png

 

 

 

02 Venice in progress different angle regular lights0.png

 

04 Venice in progress in Square away0.png

 

 

 

 

Venice in progress in Square toward new0.png

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Wow! that is elaborate!

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Looking very good.  Nice work!

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Thanks, Rodney. It's cartoony, but that's what I like.  I have great respect for those who are able to do the textures, etc. and make it look real like in special fx, but I do this for fun, and this is the way I do it. You, robcat2075, and fuchur have been helping me from the time I found the forum after two years of stumbling around in the dark, so I really enjoy hearing from you guys. Of course, many other people have helped me, too, and I appreciate all of their efforts also. I like your motto. Most of the time I feel about half mental and forty percent off.

 

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I bet it would look very  impressive with an AO render and some fog.

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I'll have to figure out how to do an AO render and fog. I'm not really sure what an AO render is. I noticed that I also left out the three tall poles in front of the Basilica (and I will have to add about 16 statues to the Basilica and another 10 or 15 statues to the building across from the Doge's Palace. St. Mary's Basilica would also be nice as we look across the Grand Canal from in front of the Doge's Palace). I guess one thing I should also mention is that I haven't done the necessary historical research on this, but the time of the story is the late 1500's. That's why I have so much gold leaf on St. Mark's. There is an old painting of a procession of priests in front of St. Mark's, and it has gold leaf on parts that no longer have that. (See attachment. I noticed that the location of the Campanile is incorrect in the picture.) I guess it will look like a mix of old and modern. When I look at what I have, I see many details that I've omitted, because I have pushed the patch number pretty high, and I don't want to get into the situation I was in when I had a quarter million patches in my model of New London in The Great Pastrami Safari. As I said before, I also need to bring in my pigs and add about 40 or 50 or more Venetians to populate the area. Anyway, I don't know if this will ever get to the level I desire, but you see my progress so far.

 

St.-Mark-Square flipped.jpg

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To make your first AO render..

 

  • In the Chor properties, set Global Ambiance Type to "Global Color", Set Ambiance Intensity to 100%, Set Ambiance Occlusion to 100%ChorAO.JPG

 

  • In your Chor, set all your lights to Active OFF

Light OFF.JPG

 

When you go to Render set Ambiance Occlusion to ON, Set Occlusion Sampling to 10%

It is not required to use Multi-pass for AO, but for simple tests it will be faster. Set Multipass ON, set Passes to 4

RenderAO.JPG

"Fog" is very optional.

Set Fog ON

Set the Start distance to whatever the distance between your camera and the front edge of your set is

Set the End distance to  whatever the distance from your camera to some point just past the back edge of your set is.

The color of your fog will be whatever the camera background color is. For now, leave that at the default.

 

Fog makes this effect, where distant objects are dimmed and colored by the air...

640px-SerraEstrela-MAR2007-1.JPG

 

 

There are many possible variations of these settings, including mixing in regular lights, but this will get you started.

 

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The fog looks pretty thick. These are the settings you gave. I was going to try to set the occlusion to 2%, but it wouldn't go lower than 10%. I'm not sure what to do to make the fog thinner.

Venice in progress AO0.png

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For now, turn fog OFF and see what you get.

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Here is a render with AO--No Fog.

 

 

Venice in progress AO0.png

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that looks good!

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Thanks, itsjustme! I need to tweak the y on a few items. I see some shadow under them. It does give it a different look. Nice to know about these controls. Thanks again.

 

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For a daylight effect you could turn your sun light back on, with a slightly yellow color and with about 40% intensity.

Then reduce the Global Ambience Intensity to about 70% intensity and set the Global Ambiance Color to slightly blue.

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Here is the first view with the Y tweak.

Venice in progress AOc0.png

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It looks more grounded!

Maybe one end of the bridge is still in the air.

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Also, notice how good that looks with just 10% sampling.  For a lot of cases it doesn't need to be any higher.

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Here is with the sunlight setting. I also grounded the bridge.

 

Venice in progress AOd sun0.png

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Are you sure you have the sun on and shadows on? We should be seeing clear shadows from the sun light.

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I'm not sure what you're calling "sun". I only know of 3 lights: the key light, the spotlight, and the fill light. For Sun, I turned on the spotlight and gave it the slightly yellow color and the 45% intensity. I thought it would be the one to use, because it is more focused than the key light. Is there something else called "sun"?

 

 

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That must be a different picture, now it has some shadows!

Try the Key light instead.

If you look up in the Objects folder and look in the properties for the light that is named "Key" you will see that it is set to Type "Sun". That is why i call it a Sun light.;

Sun lights cast parallel rays like the Sun does and light the entire scene, like the Sun does.

Make sure to turn on its Options>Cast Shadows property. It is not on by default.

 

You can vary the ratio of intensity between your Ambient Intensity and the Sun Intensity for different looks. For now try to have the two of them add up to about 100.

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Here it is with the Key Light. I gave it the intensity and color that I previously gave the Spotlight.

Venice in progress AOd sun0.png

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There should be some visible cast shadows and I don't see any.

Are you sure that in the properties of that light you have Options>Cast Shadows>ON?

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You are right (of course). I thought that shadows were on, because I could see shadows under the bridges, but now there are more shadows.

Venice in progress AOe sun0.png

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Next...

in the properties for that sun light again...

Set Width to 0cm

A Width greater than zero makes shadows fade out as they get longer, to appear less severe, but you don't need that with AO.

Set Options>Cast Shadows>Darkness to 100%      

A Darkness of less than 100% adds some light to shadows to make them less severe, but you don't need that when AO is adding light.

 

You can rotate your Sun light to any angle to get shadows in any direction. Since it casts infinitely parallel rays, its placement doesn't matter, only its angle.

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That's looking sunnier!

How far back on Z does your model go?

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I like the shadows and sunlight, and I appreciate knowing how to get that effect. I'll probably be able to use that in many of my future projects. Thank you for showing me this.

The essential part of my model goes from 0 to -4000 cm on Z. My entire model goes from 0 to -10000 on Z. Before I began, I made the land and canal part of the model. It is basically a simplified 3-D map of Venice. When I started, I wasn't sure exactly what I might include. Then I put the buildings, etc. on the map. The camera at this time is sitting at X: -433.587, Y: 180, Z: 440.889.

Screen shot of Model of Venice from Top.png

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Wow! This just gets bigger and bigger!  :o

 

Lets try the fog again. Go to menu Tools>Options>Rendering and make sure that "Use Settings from " is set to "This Dialog"

(If "the Camera" were chosen then you would need to make all these render setting we have been making in the properties for the camera. That is valid, but since we haven't been doing that, we'll stick with "This Dialog")

 

Then when you go to render, set Fog ON and set the Fog Start distance to 800cm and the End distance to 5000cm and lets see what comes out.

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Here it is. I probably needed to remove the shadow setting before rendering the fog, but the fog seems to be working this time.

Venice in progress AOg fog0.png

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If you want to decrease the fog effect, you can increase the End distance.

The fog accumulates from zero at the Start distance to 100% total fog at the End distance. Increasing the End distance will make it accumulate over a longer distance and reduce the effect.

 

Here is another thing to try. Drop this Sky Dome into your chor and scale it to reach past the back edge of your scene.

This has a gradient to make sky look less flat.

 

Sky Dome.mdl

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Thanks for the explanation and the example of a sky dome. I have always taken the sky pretty much for granted. I'll have to reconsider the many more possibilities available. The render below has the sky dome.

 

Venice in progress AOh fog0.png

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Makes me want to visit!

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Venice is one of my favorite Italian cities. I hope you do visit there and see the glass blowers and take a nice gondola ride through the canals in the late afternoon and wander around St. Mark's Square. I found all of that very interesting and relaxing. Thank you very much for your suggestions and the information you provided on how to make the program dance and sing.

 

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now you need to do a "fly by" so we can see the city from a birds eye view! Looks fantastic.

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Thanks. I'll have to think about the fly by. I'm not sure how it looks from every angle.

 

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Do you have a treatment planned for the water?

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Not at this time. I really don't know much to do with water, but color it blue.

 

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This is coming along really nicely, John. To spice up the water you could try googling something like "seamless water texture" and apply it to the water as a bitmap plus material. Then play around with the level of transparency of the water group/model. Maybe add a bit of reflectivity and some white specular. 

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Thanks, Wildsided! I appreciate your suggestions, but I don't quite understand them. I'm assuming that you are suggesting that I find images of water texture as a first step. Then the part about applying it to the water as a bitmap plus material is confusing to me. The parts about playing around with the level of transparency of the water group/model and reflectivity and white specular I might can figure out.

 

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Here's a rough demo of what I mean, John. I ended up decaling the water with a royalty-free seamless water texture I found online. I've attached the texture and it's normal map to this post.

Water demo0.png

Adding transparency and a bit of reflectivity gives it a more natural look, lets you see what's below the surface and gives you that mirror-like quality of water. 

Also bitmap plus is a material that lets you cover a big area in a texture without needing to tile it yourself. I've added a screen grab of how to get to it.

Bitmap plus.png

 

water 0342normal.jpg

water-0342.jpg

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Thanks! I'll give this a try! I went to the images and downloaded a free seamless water texture. I made it into a targa and copied it into decals. I highlighted water in my model of land and water. I created the material like you show above. First, I thought since you said you didn't tile it yourself that I didn't need to click apply for the decal. That didn't work. Now, I have placed the decal over the water that I isolated by selecting the water and hiding the rest. I will be surprised if this works. I really don't understand how to connect the material and the water.

 

I tried my best to do the material thing. There's something I'm not understanding, because I never got it to come even close. Then I tried using seamless water texture and making a very large decal in Photoshop. I have tried many sizes, but it doesn't look very good either. I attaching my most recent effort. Water seems to be beyond me right now.

 

 

 

Venice in progress sky dome and water0.png

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I decided to try one more thing. I picked a darker blue and added just a little reflectivity.

 

 

Venice in progress AOk  fog0.png

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It's a bit still but it does look more watery!

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I agree. I never could figure out how to get the material to work.

 

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When you tried Dan's decal, did you set the type to "Normal"?

 

I think if we made a bump material with a noise combiner we could get the waves effect that Dan showed you and also be able to have it move for animated shots.

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When I tried the decal, I had the type set to color. I did not understand exactly what he was suggesting with the decal. I went on Google and downloaded a free seamless water texture. I made it into a targa and put it in my decals folder. I then made a material, the way he showed in the illustration. I wasn't sure how the decal was supposed to function, because he said that I did not need to tile it. I tried several different ways to follow the directions, but I think he must believe I know more than I do. Then, I abandoned the materials idea and created a giant decal from the seamless water texture and basically tiled it over the water.  That didn't work so well either. Then, I gave up on the water texture and just changed to a darker color and added reflectivity. About all I know to do with decals is regular application or you and Rodney have shown me before how to paint a map on a window so that it looks like words are written on a clear window and one of you showed me how to make window frames from a white decal and make a bump map. I haven't used those in several years, so I'm very rusty with all of that. I don't know very much at all about texturing anything, although that seems to be important. I mainly know a lot of the lessons from the little book that comes with the program, and I have read most of Animation:Master A Complete Guide by David Rogers, although it's been so long ago, I don't remember much of it, without looking it up and rereading. That's where I am right now.

 

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Sorry I didn't explain properly. The bitmap plus material can apply a texture over a large area without you needing to tile it manually but it can't do things like normal maps.

To use the normal map you'd have to tile the decal yourself manually and then add the normal map as a secondary image to the decal and set its type to normal. 

The screenshot I posted was just to show you how to get to the bitmap plus material if you ever wanted to use it. 

Sorry again

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Bitmap Plus does have a "normal" option

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