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Vanilla 1.1.9 is a product of Lussumo. More Information: Documentation, Community Support.

    • CommentAuthorTOGO Fan
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2015
     
    I was hoping that the ship ride would that famous statue...
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2015
     
    Let's have a lesson.

    "Are we going to expect these to be released?"

    Whether or not you intended, this comes off with the assumption that in the past, things haven't been released. Here's why they haven't and why I have my reasons for doing extensive testing first.

    The latest trees before Dustin started helping me, turned out to have some very serious issues that I wasn't aware of when I was testing them. If I had released them when I finished them the first time, you would have noticed a pretty massive performance hit. Turns out a few things happened - I started modeling in 3ds max, which has a different method of grouping and what I thought was 'grouped' as one mesh was still reading in NL2 as hundreds of loose meshes. NL2 hates this, but wouldn't tell me until I had saturated my scene in new trees. THEN the results were clear; really dramatic FPS fluctuations being the key symptom.

    The other thing I didn't realize is that planes in 3ds max auto-default to 4x4 subdivisions, so what should be a 2 polygon rectangle ended up being 32 for the same flat plane. Multiply that by two for double-sided faces and yeah...polygon city. Unlike sketchup where you see those divisions all the time, 3ds max can hide those subdivisions until you click on certain properties. So I was blissfully unaware that I was adding hundreds more triangles than I needed to.

    So initial testing seemed fine and I was able to get some good screens out of it, but in practice these two mistakes were causing some bigger issues as I added more and more to my scenes. If I had unleashed this on you, it would have been distributed widely into your projects like a virus. I already have released plants that are embarrassingly unoptimized (those flower sets are killer) and you notice it takes a toll on your projects the more you use them. I've learned a lot down the road, and Dustin is working his magic to make these optimized for a wide variety of computers. But it takes time, it takes testing and it requires patience from the community. We fully intend to have these in your hands when we feel they're ready - this is why we're doing stress testing and completely rebuilding old assets - not only to make them look nicer...but to make them perform better.

    That's my soapbox. :)
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2015
     
    ^ On that note, now that we know what we're doing, this happens:



    This has gotta be my most favorite thing I've ever made.
  1.  
    Lovely ground texture, Mike. The trees are stunning as always.
    • CommentAuthorInkyz
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2015
     
    Am I screaming

    I am screaming
  2.  
    It looks like a painting. My mind *makes exploding noise*
  3.  
    My heart stopped before but now it just exploded...
    • CommentAuthorBrawly
    • CommentTimeDec 24th 2015
     
    That looks beautiful Mike.
  4.  
    Please stop it, it's too beautiful to look at...
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeDec 25th 2015
     
    Inspiration hasn't left yet, so I did another tree tonight - this time, the rebuild of the existing Flowering Cherry:


    Seen here in its green canopy - this tree has a very elegant weeping habit and blends into the landscape seamlessly. Here you can also see how the rest of these new trees, grasses and shrubs are coming together.


    And here it is in its flowering state - amassed with soft blooms.

    These are just the raw models, they haven't been enhanced yet.
    •  
      CommentAuthornolimiters
    • CommentTimeDec 25th 2015
     
    Ok stop it.
    My brain can't handle this much beauty that often.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2015
     
    For anyone who is wondering, I can't exactly give a release date at this time - we're literally going through each tree and shrub worth saving and rebuilding from scratch - not to mention adding on new trees and expanding your options for landscape (which requires providing you with matching terrain textures).

    If you have patience, we'll all come out the other side with a significantly better foliage set - not only in looks but in performance!
    •  
      CommentAuthorride_op
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2015
     
    AKA: When will it be ready? When it's ready.

    -Ride_Op
  5.  
    My heart can't handle this pressure!
    •  
      CommentAuthorZingo
    • CommentTimeDec 27th 2015
     
    Just do it like Blizzard or Valve. It's done when it's done. Can't wait to see the result!
  6.  
    So i guess those will come next year then :/
    Well at least it isn't that bad when thinking that it's 2016 in 3h :)
  7.  
    ^I'm on vacation in the Virgin Islands and have no intention of trying to finish anything for the community within the next couple weeks, let alone the next few hours.
  8.  
    ^I can wait. Vacations are important. Nl2 isn't life. So have fun!
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 13th 2016
     


    A little behind the scenes action - this is how trees start...just a boney skeleton - let's me know how well it scales with other trees, how round and balanced the structure is, how well it copies/pastes and randomly spins and scales.

    This is the start of the English Elm redo.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2016
     


    Ok, next on the list - unwrapping the whole model and texturing the trunk piece.

    Next step tomorrow - build leaf clusters and assemble...and lastly - decimate the model and provide 2 LODs.
    •  
      CommentAuthorbaadrix
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2016
     
    Stunning work, this doesn't even look like NL2 anymore, rather (almost) photorealistic. Keep up the great work! :)
    • CommentAuthorBullero
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2016
     

    Great work! All the trees and plants will make a lot of projects look so much more realistic!

    • CommentAuthorCraZHadder
    • CommentTimeJun 14th 2016
     
    Mike, you continue to outdo yourself. The trees you are making are getting more and more realistic each time. Fantastic work!
  9.  
    *dies* HOLY MOTHER OF GOD Those trees <3
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2016
     
    Thanks for all the wonderful comments! I'm working hard to have these ready to replace my long-standing....inefficient designs.



    So....didn't get AS much done as I wanted - lots of having to re-figure out how Blender works as well as making proper branch textures...testing...adjusting...all in all I got one major branch on the tree done...but it's a nice sign of the canopy to come. Only 7 more to go.

    This should give you an idea just how arduous this process is - the result is wonderful, but it's a significant time sink.
    • CommentAuthorBigbad
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2016
     
    That's an amazing picture! That sky! Did you make it?

    The trees also look really good.
    • CommentAuthorWomp83
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2016
     
    At the expense of copying everyone else, the trees do look great.

    But i wanted to ask you if you had any general tips for unwrapping a model in Blender. I still struggle in that area. I'm finding out that uv mapping is a real shit of a thing to do, and something i'm working on at the moment is throwing spanners at me.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2016
     
    ^ Unfortunately there's no one-easy solution for UV mapping since it's such an abstract idea in itself. For trees it's fairly straightforward - I make seams on every branching structure, seams on the base, cut the trunk into about 4 sections, cut it up vertically to get it to flatten out - then on every branch, cut it open. Basically wherever there is a significant change in direction, I usually make a seam - I still don't get it 100% right as there are sections of the branch where the texture stretches..but it's such a task, that I'm ok with a few quads where the texture is a bit stretched. As I make seams, I unwrap the model to verify that my cuts are good in the UV image editor. If I still have a rogue shape, I try and locate it and if I have to, I'll trim it some more.

    UV unwrapping is a tough manual process, but the more you do it, the better you get at locating proper seams. For architecture, the smart UV unwrap option works great - but for organics, you really gotta control where your seams are.

    BigBad - thanks man! Yeah, I took the original skybox for this project and then overlaid my sunset one - it turned out really nice.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 15th 2016
     


    First tier done - typically I do this all behind the scenes - finish a major tier, test in NL2, then move onto the next one till it's all done. To get the look, you have to hand-assemble each grouping of planes (I have a master group that has 4 clusters of alpha triangles each at different rotations and scales) around the branch until it forms the shape you want. Keep doing this for every major branching structure...until the tree is complete! It's zen work once you get going.

    Performance on this tree is already very encouraging.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2016
     

    Many many ctrl-d shortcuts...and here we are! The closest LOD is complete, and it looks quite stately in the simulator.

    For those of you wondering, will this be released...yes absolutely - and the current goal is to get them into NL2 as base foliage for the sim. I'll keep working to improve the old stuff, and it's going to take a LOT of time to do so, but I'm gonna try and keep a pace where I get a little done every day or every other day. To get to this point has been about 3 nights. The workflow is slow, but optimal for performance and looks.


    Here is how this particular tree scales in the environment. Thanks to Hedjlost for the beautiful backdrop!
    • CommentAuthorTheBeatles
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2016
     
    Quite stately indeed. Keep up the great work, man!
    •  
      CommentAuthorbaadrix
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2016
     
    *Runs away and cries* This is so beautiful. It's also awesome you're giving out these trees for everyone. Outstanding work, Mike!
    • CommentAuthorWomp83
    • CommentTimeJun 16th 2016
     
    Posted By: nSeven^ Unfortunately there's no one-easy solution for UV mapping since it's such an abstract idea in itself. For trees it's fairly straightforward - I make seams on every branching structure, seams on the base, cut the trunk into about 4 sections, cut it up vertically to get it to flatten out - then on every branch, cut it open. Basically wherever there is a significant change in direction, I usually make a seam - I still don't get it 100% right as there are sections of the branch where the texture stretches..but it's such a task, that I'm ok with a few quads where the texture is a bit stretched. As I make seams, I unwrap the model to verify that my cuts are good in the UV image editor. If I still have a rogue shape, I try and locate it and if I have to, I'll trim it some more.

    UV unwrapping is a tough manual process, but the more you do it, the better you get at locating proper seams. For architecture, the smart UV unwrap option works great - but for organics, you really gotta control where your seams are.

    I wondered that..
    I just get annoyed when i unwrap a model, and 90% of it is successful. Then there's this one section that ends up disfigured or wonky, and i have to go around and fix it manually.

    Thanks anyway, hahaha.
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
     


    Daddy, I wanna be big like you!

    One day you will son...


    Juvenile variation is complete - this provides you with the option to have younger trees in your scenes.


    Being so small, it has a more aggressive randomness factor - along with a random tilt...looks better when massing them together.

    This was an easy night...I wish they were all like this!
    • CommentAuthorCraZHadder
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
     
    That second screenshot is just stunning. The tree is coming along great. Nice work!
    •  
      CommentAuthorbestdani
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
     
    This looks so fantastic and it's a pleasure that you care about the performance that much.

    I think this will be a huge expansion for NL2. :)
    • CommentAuthorDelay
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
     
    Nice job!! I LOVE those trees, they're so beautiful!
    • CommentAuthormuchwoo
    • CommentTimeJun 17th 2016
     
    These pics look awesome.
    All trees look amazing, can't wait to try them!
    •  
      CommentAuthorbaadrix
    • CommentTimeJun 18th 2016
     
    Aw, look at the little kids. They are so cute, but they grow up so fast. :ยด)

    Seriously, keep impressing me (and everyone else I think).
    • CommentAuthorTOGO Fan
    • CommentTimeJun 19th 2016 edited
     
    You should try using your new trees with this wooden and steel support coaster!

    <a href="http://imgur.com/Fk2dnbf"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/Fk2dnbf.png" title="source: imgur.com" width=1000/></a>

    <a href="http://imgur.com/ZHMulvs"><img src="http://i.imgur.com/ZHMulvs.png" title="source: imgur.com" width=1000/></a>

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aRXsIm5x-8&feature=youtu.be
    • CommentAuthorArmoniach
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2016
     
    Sorry for the HUGE thread bump, but i was wondering, is nSeven still active and will this thread ever update?
    • CommentAuthorTheBeatles
    • CommentTimeOct 23rd 2016 edited
     
    I guess you didn't hear about the falling out...
  10.  
    Nobody did, you're the only one bringing it up.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZergei
    • CommentTimeOct 24th 2016
     
    ^^ He has the new lighting update, and so does Kyle Sloane, and possibly more people. He's probably busy anyway.
  11.  
    Is there a fix for the lags?
    Your work is wonderfull but the problem is the lagging
    •  
      CommentAuthorintim305
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2017
     
    >bump
    you can assign clippings for the individual groups on most of the trees, I've found that helps
  12.  
    Posted By: intim305>bump
    you can assign clippings for the individual groups on most of the trees, I've found that helps


    What do you mean? How can I do it?
    •  
      CommentAuthorintim305
    • CommentTimeJun 4th 2017
     
    in the .nl2sco editor, use the add clipping button for the tree that's open and select one of the meshes to clip from a shorter distance than the rest. might take some trial and error to determine which mesh is which
    https://gyazo.com/a98d9e0222ddedb11aad4179f4bd306b
    • CommentAuthornSeven
    • CommentTimeOct 18th 2017
     
    Hypothetical.

    Say I was making foliage again.

    What would be the ONE thing you couldn't live without? (Limit 1 per customer)

    Sincerely,
    n7
  13.  
    2D tree pack (because some people want to be able to run parks higher than 4fps with your trees sometimes : )))) )

    Seriously though, more HD 2d trees would be greatly appreciated, because when you have a lot of the nl2 map in view with dense forests, the fps can get a bit shaky.

    Totally not saying this so I might get 2d trees for potential scourge sequel