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Seith's little island

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seith
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Seith's little island

Postby seith » 03.11.2007, 02:46

Hello, I just wanted to post a few pictures of my WIP little island, the one with which I'm learning to use Sandbox2. And so far I LOVE the experience, in that it feels the limits are set by my own suckiness at envisioning things rather than the software...

Image

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Sorry, some of them are rather dark. I should have chosen a different time of day. Oh well. This whole thing of "building levels" is still new to me, but I'm enjoying it very much! :)

Edit:
Just linked the pictures from my home page.
Last edited by seith on 03.11.2007, 07:58, edited 1 time in total.
Auctionedllama
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RE: Seith's little island

Postby Auctionedllama » 03.11.2007, 03:19

DUDE. THAT MAP IS AMAZING! WOW. WOW. I love the grass... What kind is that? Also, can I have the map just to see what textures you used and stuff? That looks mega rad.
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seith
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RE: Seith's little island

Postby seith » 03.11.2007, 05:40

Thanks man. You know I'm sure you'd be pretty disappointed to see how simply this is all done. There was only one texture for the terrain, one kind of grass patch, etc...

So no special texture, but here are some important things to pay attention to:


- It's been said before, but the lighting of your map ("Time Of Day") is everything. And I'm not talking just about the time-of-day slider on top of the window. Everything is important in there. So experiment by cranking up individual parameters to be able to isolate their effect on the look of the picture.

- When you paint your base level (the dry_grass stuff) don't be afraid to choose a VERY dark, desaturated color.

- It sounds silly, but when you apply your color, do so in a 1 to 2PM kind of light. That way, you'll see your texture at its brightest. And that's the critical time where everything can look really fake if you chose too light a color at the beginning. Don't forget to add color variations that make sense. And make sure the grass patches have their UseTerrainColor set to 1.

- It is extremely useful, after you placed your main vegetation to do another pass at painting the ground (again I'm talking color here, NOT fancy textures). Mostly darken it around trees and bushes, and make it lighter in places where shadows can't reach.

- I also use a very slight depth of field effect embedded in the HUD node which adds a bit of realism. But if you overdo it it looks like all those video games trying to disguise the fact that they can not render big vistas. I also removed the HUD altogether (no radar, etc...) and took out all the weapons, so it feels more "natural" (no cross-hair, etc...).

- The Ocean settings are extremely important; both in the Time Of Day window, AND the Environment tab (maybe even more so in the latter). Again, don't be afraid to pick a pretty dark Ocean FogColor: deep bodies of water are almost never light blue...! (except in the Caribbeans of course)


Anyways I'm rambling now. But man I love this process of being able to think in artistic terms (my background is in feature animation) rather than strictly technical.

I'm still working on the map, refining stuff and experimenting. So I'll post it when it's a little more advanced... But believe me, the first time I walked from the (little) forest to the open shore, with smooth sound transitions... hearing the wind in the branches, then the humming of the sea until I could hear the gently lapping water on the shore... There was a big smile on my face. :))
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RE: Seith's little island

Postby NOSdog » 03.11.2007, 06:04

WOW...the first and the third pictures are extremely beautiful...
thats awesome work i simply cant wait to try the editor out...unfortunately it will be a month or too before the computer is ready and so its creations like these that keep my mind buzzing and motivated...sweet work
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RE: Seith's little island

Postby Auctionedllama » 03.11.2007, 07:25

Hey, I tried doing what you did with the grass and stuff.. Anyways, I got a dark grass texture, looked decent, but then I made some grass and it just looks awful.I tried use same color as terrain option but it didn't change. How did you get your grass so thick and fluffy and how did you get it so dark? I am clueless. Thanks
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RE: Seith's little island

Postby VengenceBot » 03.11.2007, 07:40

it looks great.. reminds me of FC2.. no trees to shoot.. its good your using the CE2.. Ill see you in the jungles
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Last edited by VengenceBot on 04.11.2007, 21:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby NBtX » 03.11.2007, 07:43

AMAZING WORK! I really mean it, that looks incredible! Just shows how much more we can make this game...just WOW. This engine is truly amazing to get such awesome results so fast with this editor. I hope a lot of the mods that come out have your artistic style as you've shown with that, cause thats really really good :)
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seith
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Postby seith » 03.11.2007, 09:16

Thanks guys. But the one great thing is that I truly feel I'm only scratching the surface of what that engine is capable of doing. I mean now that the technology is at this level, the power is really in the creative people, and that's a wonderful thing. And something struck me as i was fiddling with this little map:

"What you choose not to do has become more important than what you can do."

I mean at several occasions I could have gotten carried away adding big gorgeous bushes everywhere, but that would have been overkill. Just because it was one click away didn't mean it was good for the map.

Anyway, it's late and I'm tired (I gave animation lectures to groups of Japanese students today, yay!). But it is barely ten o'clock in the morning on Seith's little island... :)

Image

P.S.: Could someone please tell me of a simple "screen recorder" that works well with Sanbox2?
I was thinking that maybe I could attempt to do a small tutorial...
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Postby Maloof » 03.11.2007, 09:19

Have my babies now.

I love the look of this map!

What is the view distance setting on that grass?
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Postby Spiderdan » 03.11.2007, 10:34

very nice lightning setup you created there, maybe it would be a good idea for mod teams to have one person who concentrates on the lightning^^
i also like your ocean, looks almost real:D
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Postby Maloof » 03.11.2007, 11:51

Also, how did you get those clouds looking so good? They are huge - the scale option on mine doesn't work..
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Postby dieter007 » 03.11.2007, 14:41

WoooW :))

Very Very Nice !
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Postby Gutterball » 03.11.2007, 14:55

Looks fantastic!

It has a lovely atmosphere! :))
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Auctionedllama
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Postby Auctionedllama » 03.11.2007, 16:06

Once again how do you get the grass to be green and not brown! I tried same color as terrain but that seems to not change anything.
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seith
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Postby seith » 03.11.2007, 22:21

Originally posted by Maloof
Also, how did you get those clouds looking so good? They are huge - the scale option on mine doesn't work..


Well actually what you see on the previous pictures is simply one of the sky boxes (the evening one I think). Which is a "quick and dirty" trick in the sense that it looks nice but it doesn't interact with the sun or the moon.

But man, I just discovered how to build real volumetric clouds and wow! Those look even better! And when the sun sets behind them, you get a fantastic sense of volume and density and the sun rays scatter inside! That thing is truly amazing!!! Sorry, I know I'm starting to sound like a fanboy but this is a great toy. So basically I'm ditching the skybox I was using and building a nice sky from scratch.

And to your point my scale option on the clouds doesn't work either (but I just checked and it doesn't either in the demo map). However a way to sidestep that is to build clusters of clouds. That way you can "sculpt" a bigger, fluffier cloud, and design it the way you want...

A simple cloud test I'm working on (the screenshots don't it justice really):

Image


 
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