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Old 10-08-2003, 03:47 AM   #1
Russell
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Default Background Environment

Okay, this is going to sound so newb-ish but I haven't had a need for this kind of info until now. Since I made the decision to start a new project and go with something outdoorsy, I'm having trouble figuring out how every normal red blooded human 3D artist creates his/her backgrounds.

I see how people use image planes, stand them up and map an image onto that but that seems like it'd look kinda flat, wouldn't it? How do you create depth that way? Secondly, I've seen in the Hypershader there's a section of Environment texture nodes - is this used as well? I'm trying to kinda go for a fairly photo real look as this is going to be a story, I think, that deals with the Civil War and a man's trek through the woods in search of his family and his sanity.

How do you all do your backgrounds? Hopefully someone can shed some light on this mishagoss! Also, would anyone suggest using Paint Effects in an outdoor shot or is it a waste of time?

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Old 10-08-2003, 03:51 AM   #2
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I would imagine the best way is to have modeled foreground elements with images as the backgrounds. It's usually a good idea to storyboard and plan before just hitting the ground modelin'.
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Old 10-08-2003, 03:55 AM   #3
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I hate when I'm wrong. LOL! Yeah, I really ACTUALLY need to write my script first but I guess I really wanted to see if I could even pull off a simple "setup shot" first before I tackled it head-on, ya know? I'm like a sponge, just dying to soak up all the Maya knowledge I can. Everything I learn now can only benefit me later, right?

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Old 10-08-2003, 03:56 AM   #4
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Another question: Where do you all usually find the images you use for your backgrounds?

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Old 17-08-2003, 06:53 PM   #5
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You can take digitall photos of stuff and create transp maps, works for me.
one thing that I sometimes do to create realistic thick vegetation without killing my render times is to create a bunch of planes, and just map transparency- mapped photos of vegetation to them. this looks totally photorealistic as long as the camera stays planar to these planes- for example if the camera is moving sideways looking at your foreward walking character from the side.
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Old 18-08-2003, 02:29 AM   #6
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I've been spending time today working on my other project, "Identity Crisis" (again), and watching the Toy Story DVDs and listening to the audio commentaries on each movie and I saw the big chase scene towards the end and I saw how the sky looked with the clouds and all that. Also, in TS2, when Buzz and his pals go on their trek to find Woody, the sky and the background had that "twilight time" look with the red/orange clouds and background.

I know it's Pixar and all that and I know they're professionals () but I was wondering how to get my environments to look like that. I believe earlier in thwis post I asked if you'd use an environmental map or something like that. I've seen some of Brian Ellebracht's stuff and he has some of the most beautiful outdoor renders I've ever seen. Brian, if you're out there, how do you do it? What recipes are out there to keep render times down? I figured since I was having such a hard time with my "outdoorsy" project, I'd go back to my first love and see if I could improve on my indoor lighting techniques. Thanks for all of your help everybody. It's really doing a lot of good...

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Old 04-09-2003, 11:29 PM   #7
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You can just take a picture of some clouds you like (even better, string a few pictures together to make a panorama) and apply that to a sphere, putting your entire scene inside the sphere. then you just paint an incandescanse map with the sun as the most incandescent part, put a light by it(the sun) and parent the light to your sphere. that way you can even slowly rotate the sphere to imitate the movement of clouds. if you want to get really fancy, you can use a cloud video as the texture. if you want to make the sun more realistic, you can do a transp-mapped sphere for the clouds, a plane outside that for the sun, and another opaque sky blue sphere outside that for the BG and move them independantly of each other.
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Old 05-09-2003, 06:42 AM   #8
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Okay, you had me all through this but...
[b]You can just take a picture of some clouds you like (even better, string a few pictures together to make a panorama) and apply that to a sphere, putting your entire scene inside the sphere.

Ya lost me riiiiiight about here...

then you just paint an incandescanse map with the sun as the most incandescent part, put a light by it(the sun) and parent the light to your sphere. that way you can even slowly rotate the sphere to imitate the movement of clouds. if you want to get really fancy, you can use a cloud video as the texture. if you want to make the sun more realistic, you can do a transp-mapped sphere for the clouds, a plane outside that for the sun, and another opaque sky blue sphere outside that for the BG and move them independantly of each other.
Is there any other way to do this? LOL! Sorry to be a pest but that's just me. :bgreen:

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Russell
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