Adrian Bellworthy (adrian2301)

67 replies · posted

COLLAB2021 - Team S.P.I.C.E.D. - NATURE BG

Society Party for Individual Creation of the Environmentally Distanced

Forum Thread for the Nature Background Team

- BG Bush Clusters 'L'

- BG Tree Clusters 'M'

- Mountain 'N'

- Mountain 'O'

- Clouds

- Sky

Team Member WIP Threads - check out your fellow team members WIP, exchange ideas, give advice or ask questions.

BG Bush Clusters - pfbourassa

BG Tree Cluster - tijnkroon

 BG Mountain 'N' - danmelt

BG Mountain 'N' - tiborbluel

BG Mountain 'O' - daddios

BG Mountain 'O' - mattdunn

BG Sky & Clouds - adrian2301

  • Hi Adrian!

    I'm reporting for BG Bush Clusters.

    I've also followed the FG Nature Folks, so we can share ideas. Guessing we'll have to keep our work pretty light and optimized to keep the scene running well.

  • Hi' I've  signed up for mountains 'O' without the scene file it's little difficult to know how big to make them but I'm sure they can be scaled accordingly.

    • crew

      Thanks for signing up for the mountains.

      Yes size is important when it comes to mountains, If you make a hill you can always scale up to match the reference, but I don't think you have access to the file on Google Drive until next week.

    • crew

      daddios Adrian is right that for this week - until I get you a properly scaled mountain placeholder .blend file - scale doesn't matter. Just block out the mountain reasonably close to the artwork, maybe play around with sculpting (not required till week 2).

  • crew

    ppfbourassa , tijnkroon , ddanmelt  , ttiborbleuel , daddios , ketre and anyone else still to arrive, late arrivals are not punished here.

    Welcome to the team, so glad you could make it. First task on the list, We need a team name, something spicy, any ideas??

    Feel free to ask any advice or questions regarding the background, and if you have any advice or answers to help others in the team it is welcome.

  • hey everyone!!

    I'm very excited to join this team I will be working on the BG Tree clusters.

  • Hey everyone! I also signed up for mountain N. This is going to be a challenge for me but I am eager to learn and do my best! Really looking forward to working with you guys.

    • crew

      Great to see you here. It's entirely up to you how you wish to proceed with the mountain.

      Do you have any thoughts on your approach?

      Have you watched the Pile of Rocks Course ?

      I would suggest starting with a primitive cone, scale up mountain sized (based on the reference, not literally mountain sized) and sculpting details like ledges and cliffs.

      For now week 1 is about block out., so a basic cone and adjust the shape in edit mode to match the silhouette in the artwork, then week 2 will be sculpting and detailing.

      Good luck

    • Thank you for the tips.

      Im new to the cg cookie community so I have not watched the Pile of Rocks Course yet but I definitely will.

    • crew

      Welcome to the cookie,

      The course is older but still relevant, the Blender UI is the main difference.

      Part 2 and 3 are what you may need for this COLLAB , Part 2 is modelling/sculpting relevant for this week and next then texturing will be for week 3, so you don't need to watch it all at once.

  • adrian2301 You have a discord channel set up if you want to use it as well. No pressure. We other Spice Baron's can keep an eye on things there if you want to keep the fort held down here.

  • For information I have submitted my week 1 homework on my WIP. 

    Can someone tell me how to find the discord area/chat? Never really used discord before so any assistance would be appreciated. 


  • crew

    theluthier you maybe reading this for the third or fourth time as I have mentioned it on some WIP threads.

    Can you confirm or deny the evolution of this project. Are we set with a daytime scene as in the artwork or will it evolve into a sunset / sunrise / night scene in the future ? The reason I ask is we the S.P.I.C.E.D. team are thinking of rendering image planes for background objects and if the lighting is going to change then so will shadows, so do we render without shadows or do we avoid planes?

    I know we are still early in the project but I for one like to have a idea of what the overall scene will be so we can work towards this, the time is a coming when we need to think about poly count, Image Planes Vs High Poly to Low Poly Baking.

    In layman's terms 'We will need to preheat the oven for baking'.

    Also I have some thoughts on 'fading' the sky from day (sunrise through to sunset) to night and was wondering whether to pursue this idea.

    • I'm curious about rendering the background to planes or maybe a cylinder in case we want to really move the camera around. Could we render a few images  with particular lighting  and then use the material settings to alter the background for any time of day? Does rendering an Environment Texture of the background make sense for this use case?

    • crew

      mmattdunn , so for the bushes and trees in the background, I think we will be using planes, or in fact I would say yes we are going to use planes. These planes can have constraints so they rotate and always face the camera to give the illusion, from a distance, of a solid object. The main area of camera movement will be in the foreground, our planes will be far enough away that they will not rotate very much. The mountains are different, being so much bigger the idea is to model and sculpt detail, then bake the detail to a low poly mesh. I had the same thought about different times of day, I don't think we are going to go down that route, at least not within the 4 weeks of the Collab.

    • crew

      I think a night-time version is beyond the scope of the project for now; certainly beyond April. So yes, lighting will have to be a blend of dynamic and static / cheated lighting (like baking shadows) for some areas. The FG I'd like to be dynamic with potential for cheating increasing as we go backward into MG and BG

      If I can ever finish grading this week I'd like to spend some time on foliage R&D to get a better feel for what's possible and optimal. Planes is definitely an option and likely for the furthest BG assets. But the BG tree clusters closest to the MG zone I'd like to keep 3D if possible. So maybe each BG asset has a 3D version and a 2D version?

    • crew

      Forgot to tag you adrian2301 ☝️

    • I agree, the midground trees will need to look good from a variety of angles, and I don't think image planes will cut it.
      The ghibli method can probably be optimized by merging and decimating the geometry a bit, and baking (or applying I guess?) the new normals. Plus a few leafy planes like we talked about in the stream.

      Maybe ketre and I can work on figuring that out over the weekend.

  • Some low-poly insporation for my background peeps:

  • crew

    Team S.P.I.C.E.D.

    Now into week 2 of COLLAB2021, adding detail is the focus for this week.

    How do you all feel about the project so far?

    My feeling is that the focus of this project is the Spice Vendors House and the Foreground, and rightly so to a certain extent, but the Background wilderness, where we reside, is almost an after thought, or not as important as the detailed dents of a lamp for example. It's human nature for us out here in back country to feel alone and forgotten, but let me assure you that this team, in my opinion, is at least as important, or even more important, than all the detail that is 'expected' in the foreground. 

    Take a look at these images

    These are from Assassin's Creed, Ghost Recon and Zelda breath of the wild.

    Now, let me ask you, What would these images be without the background or a background that was an after thought?

    From the results of week 1, I have no doubt this team, you people, have the ability to create something as visually stunning as these images. We may be creating a different style overall, but the background is where the scene comes alive, 

    Humans make foregrounds, GODS make backgrounds,

    And we the S.P.I.C.E.D. team are the team to rise above the foreground and reach to the sky and prevail in our quest for greatness.

    ppfbourassa tijnkroon daddios mmattdunn ttiborbleuel ddanmelt theluthier 

    • Don't worry too much my Mountains 'O' are becoming a bit of an epic. For saying there's only a small part visible in the scene the mountain has taken a life of its own! As suggested by theluthier the plan is when when you rotate it, it will be the mountain on the right too, that's the bit lower down. Still initial sculpt getting the form to match the art work at the moment, will retopo later today and start the multi-res sculpt after that. 

    • crew

      I have no doubt in your ability to create an Epic daddios . The camera will move around the scene so to duplicate mountains and rotate them for a 360d scene makes sense.

    • adrian2301 , incredibly  motivational post!    daddios -- love the mountain!

    • adrian2301 I am happy to work on the background, I chose a mountain as it's not something I normally model and thought it would be a challenge. I have sculpted a few things previously, but as an Engineer I generally have used Blender for hard surface modelling. I regret I didn't continue with last years project on the excavator I did watch the first live stream, but couldn't commit to the time need. The working in such a large team also appealed to me, as I generally work in a team of about 4. 

      The images you have shown are great examples of the environment we could aim for, but when you compare them with theluthier style sheet they're probably a bit too detailed. I'm aiming for something in between the two. We also have to remember that if were moving the camera to look at the back of the house then some of the background will become more of the foreground. 

      Here's a question is the smoke coming out of the tall chimney? I don't see that on the asset list! 


    • crew

      I see the images I posted and the images theluthier posted as similar, For the distant mountain images a similar level of detail can be added but more pronounced so that it's still noticeably from afar or is often the case scaled down. I hope that sounds clear, it does in my head.

      If you look at the image on the right, on the right side where the rock and grass come together, at the bottom of the tall cliff, the detail could be more pronounced with more contrasting color between grass and rock, with exaggerated sharper edges on each step of the cliff.

      Sorry, trying to draw with a mouse.

      But having said that our mountains are not as far away as in the images I posted, or we might have to add a few more trees for a dense forest to give the illusion of distance. And also notice the 5 images I posted are from an elevated position which also adds to the visual beauty.

    • crew

      daddios nuts, I did forget the chimney smoke asset. I wil...worry about that later 😅

  • Hi Team Spiced, how are you all doing? 

    Not seen much of you posting on the team thread. It would be nice to see other peoples progress throughout the project. Today I took my dyno sculpted mountain, decimated it , then retopologized it ready for multi-res sculpting, not something I've done much of.

    If any of you need some advice about anything Blender or project interfacing why not post here, I'm sure adrian2301 or others in the team will give you a guide on your request.

    • Hi daddios. I really like your mountain!

      I reached a point with mine where I catch my self repeating the same steps over and over again trying to make it look better. (basically I dont know how to improve it)

      Here is how it looks so far:

      What do you guys think should i improve? or should i leave it like this?

      And is retopo part of this week?

      Have a nice weekend! :D

    • Hi ttiborbleuel thanks for the complement,  your mountain looks great too, is this a dynamic topology sculpt? 

      I've retopologized mine to  very few polygons (190) and tried to add detail with a mulit-res  sculpt as demonstrated by Kent on Thursday. When I try and bake the normal map the I get strange colours or nothing at all. I don't know how large you have made your mountain but it looks like it a fair few Blender units like mine is. The only way I have manged to get any sort of normal map from a multi-res sculpt using the bake from multi-res option was to scale my mountain down to the same size as a 2 blender unit cube. You'll have to let me know how you get on  when you retopo yours and do the multi-res sculpt.

    • Yes it is a dynamic topology sculpt and my pc is having some trouble even tho it is pretty beefy. Im on the retopology part now like kent showed in the video. I will let you know how it turns out :)

    • Ok daddios  I converted mine to a multi-res Model (I am at 278 Faces). I will work on it a little more because I am not quite happy with the silhouette yet but I tried baking from Multi-res  and it worked just fine for me even with the scale adjusted to the placeholder cone (around 1000m x 1000m).  

      I just followed this short from blender secrets and I had no problems:

      I hope that can help you :)

  • crew

    mmattdunn ttiborbleuel daddios

    Hey Mountain artists! I made a quick video as feedback to ddanmelt (no commentary and should probably be watched at 1.5+ speed). I wanted to share it here to illustrate what I'd like to see from mountain quality:

    Key points from the method:

    1.  Dan's mountain was sculpted with dyntopo and took 30+ seconds to open with a file size of 214 MB. I optimized this mesh with a quick retopo. Then converted to Multires and preserved the detail via shrinkwrap. Despite being a sculpt of over 2 million faces, new file size is 35 MB. Lesson: Multires is far more efficient than dyntopo!

    2. My feedback to Dan focused on improving "macro" shapes. I wanted so see more broad shape changes that effected the silhouette. Since there's so little visible of the mountains in the art we need to fill in big gaps.

    3. My sculpting technique centers around the scrape brush (alternating between view and area plane as well as locking normal and plane). Note that I didn't realize till much later than my retopo normals were reversed which messed up the Area plane sculpting (inverting its behavior to my confusion).

    4. Scraping via viewplane from the top is a powerful way to get the stepped layers in shape present in the mountain from the stylesheet.

    5.  Admittedly I didn't address the entire mountain, especially neglecting the base of the mountain. Don't be like me - sculpt the whole mountain equally!

    Hope this helps!

  • crew

    Hey Team S.P.I.C.E.D. how are you all?

    Just thought I would share my Sky and Clouds with you .

  • crew

    Hey Society Party for Individual Creation of the Environmentally Distanced team! I'm jumping in this week and replacing Kent on all things nature related so that we can spend more time on feedback and grading. So, if you have any questions, you can tag me in your WIP thread or here. I've glanced through all of your threads and caught up on the project so far but have not started grading anything. Looks like you are all off to a great start!

  • Hi Everyone,

    Is anyone else getting bad bakes from Blender? Luckily I have an old copy of Substance Painter that has given me better results. I have tried messing with the Extrusion and Max Ray Distance in Blender's bake settings and it doesn't really help. I have not watched Kent's latest stream, maybe the answer is there.

    Here is the mountain with the Painter maps applied and some colour. Still need to add hand painted details/more texture.

    I don't have time for a lot of the social aspects of the project. I hope everyone is well and having fun.

  • Hi All!  

    jlampel  ,  I'm working on mountain A and having a little trouble getting  started with texturing.  I have a multi-res modifier and was wondering how to get started.  Should I  duplicate the mountain,  remove the modifier and use that as the low poly model the texture gets applied to?

  • Hey guys, I'm going to drop from the collaboration.  Feels like we background peeps are the red-headed stepchildren of the collaboration :).  

    Take care.

  • crew

    ppfbourassa , tijnkroon , ddanmelt , ttiborbleuel , daddios , mmattdunn

    Hi team S.P.I.C.E.D. Well done for completing COLLAB2021.. Everyone contributed with a great enthusiasm. You all produced outstanding results considering the lack of detail of the background a lot of artistic work was achieved, you are the hero's that make it all possible. I hope we can work together again on the next COLLAB. I also hope to see you all in the community soon.
    Happy Blending 👍