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Author Topic: Pak128 Tree Update Project  (Read 21440 times)

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Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #35 on: October 09, 2012, 05:56:22 AM »
I'm still not really happy with the spruce tree, it looks more like a prop than a real tree.  I've been working on it to limited success.

The winter birch is pretty good.  I used 3 layers of greys to construct it, darkest to lightest, to try and give it a more 3D appearance.

I think I might try and learn Blender a bit better and see what I can produce in there.  Looking at some trees that are rendered in 3D, the pixels are far more "messy" when viewed up close yet the end product is very impressive.  I peeled a few trees out of Simcity 4 and took a good look at how they are assembled and learned a lot of tricks.  If I don't post much content here over the next week or two it's not because I've given up, it's because I am sharpening my skills a bit more :)  Blender looks like it will take a lifetime to master!

Offline mEGa

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #36 on: October 09, 2012, 07:38:57 AM »
I'm still not really happy with the spruce tree, it looks more like a prop than a real tree.  I've been working on it to limited success.
Imho Spruce trees are rather realistic. brilliant work !
The winter birch is pretty good.  I used 3 layers of greys to construct it, darkest to lightest, to try and give it a more 3D appearance.
Very good method ! I shall use it next time because so far I only drew on 2 layers (one for snow and one for other) and paint by hand step by step color by color as painter artist (2D root !). It isn't a good way of working I grant it !

Can I use any of these excellent trees for my current project of winter sports resort?
So this addon will become integrated even better into pak 128.
http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10548.0
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 07:45:43 AM by mEGa »

Offline greenling

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #37 on: October 09, 2012, 01:18:46 PM »
Sarlock
In the last photo be standing four Houses are this houses form you?

Offline mEGa

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #38 on: October 09, 2012, 01:25:32 PM »
Sarlock
In the last photo be standing four Houses are this houses form you?
Greenling, I mean it's fabio's last contribution

Offline greenling

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #39 on: October 09, 2012, 01:39:04 PM »
mEGa
ugh. :o
Thank you that you me be gave a hit.
I have not be remember that this house from Fabio it.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #40 on: October 09, 2012, 02:32:47 PM »
Imho Spruce trees are rather realistic. brilliant work !Very good method ! I shall use it next time because so far I only drew on 2 layers (one for snow and one for other) and paint by hand step by step color by color as painter artist (2D root !). It isn't a good way of working I grant it !

Can I use any of these excellent trees for my current project of winter sports resort?
So this addon will become integrated even better into pak 128.
http://forum.simutrans.com/index.php?topic=10548.0

You can use the trees for your resort, yes :)
I might change the spruce tree some, but the douglas fir and birch trees I'm pretty happy with.  Use any of them that you'd like.  Put them in to a layer so that if I make a further change before release you can easily change the trees to match.

I found some really nice addons for Blender that allow for quick construction of trees, so I will play with that for a bit and see what I can get.  A real weakness that we have for creating lifelike trees is the lack of a transparency channel... you have to either make a section of the tree entirely see-through or opaque; you can't make what is behind the tree partially visible.  Simcity 4 must have an real time renderer to do this and its shadows.

Greenling: mEGa is correct, those apartment blocks are from Fabio.  They were added to the pak128 a few months ago.

This is a tree that I took from Simcity 4 as a test:



It has a much more irregular shape, now look at the pixel patterns:



You can see how "messy" the pixel pattern is.  And yet it works on full-out zoom.  The big branch at bottom right really stands out without color transparency.  It works in Simcity because it is partially transparent and blends it.  It really stands out when clipped like this.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2012, 02:48:27 PM by Sarlock »

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #41 on: October 09, 2012, 08:26:23 PM »
My first attempt at a blender 3D tree using the sapling add-on.



Clearly I have some work to do with learning the program more, fine-tuning lighting, textures and other aspects, but already after just 10 hours or so of learning blender I am already producing some decent product.

Offline VS

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #42 on: October 09, 2012, 08:46:57 PM »
You have my respect. I'd rather learn flying a plane than Blender :P

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2012, 09:06:15 PM »
Yeah, it's rather complicated... information overload!  But I'm slowly starting to understand it.  With the sapling add-on it's really quick to create a tree, I just have to get better at applying textures and setting up the right lighting to get a good image for simutrans.  I need to get a better dark/light transition in the trees to indicate the 3-D aspect of the tree.  I can turn off the edge anti-aliasing so it's really simple to import to a 128x128 tile and add the blue background colour.

Offline Fabio

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2012, 10:07:00 PM »
You have my respect. I'd rather learn flying a plane than Blender :P

+1

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2012, 03:36:53 PM »
I just don't like the blender trees.  I think doing it by hand is still probably the best method for this application... the blender trees look great when they are larger, but zoomed in they lose their effect.  On such a small scale, doing it by hand allows you to exaggerate certain features of the tree to make it look more "real".
What I really need to do is just take some pictures of trees against a neutral blue background.  All I need is a 150 foot high blue sheet and a crane to raise it...hmm...
Until I get that, I'll just go back to doing the rest of the trees by hand.

Blender should work great for doing buildings (especially for rotations).  I'm getting better with it though I still need a few weeks of practice before I am likely to produce very much.

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #46 on: October 19, 2012, 03:08:38 AM »
Alright, I haven't given up on the blender trees... I've done a lot of experimenting and I think I'm getting a better product out of blender now.  There still needs to be some post-blender touchups, but I'm starting to figure that process out a bit too.  The snowy trees are still going to need to be done manually, I think.

I'd love some input on some different variations that I've done with post-render processing.  I've added various levels of blur/anti-aliasing and would love some input on which ones you like the best.  They go in order of the amount of smoothing that I've done to the image.  The graininess that comes raw out of blender doesn't translate very well to 128x128 but I'm pretty pleased with the more processed versions.  I've put the trees beside my douglas fir tree as a comparison.

#1:
#2:
#3:
#4:

Which one(s) do you like best, 1-4?  I think something in between #3 and #4 might be best... #4 might be a bit too over-processed.

Offline Roads

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #47 on: October 19, 2012, 03:54:34 AM »
I like #4 best.  While all look good, the others look a bit more like deciduous trees.  Number 1 being the most "deciduous looking," the screen shots seem to get more and more like evergreen trees with each shot.  I think number 4 is excellent!

Offline Sarlock

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #48 on: October 19, 2012, 04:01:33 AM »
Here's something in between #3 and #4:



But I think #4 is best as well.

Offline Roads

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #49 on: October 19, 2012, 04:27:16 AM »
Sarlock, my eyes are not good enough to tell the difference.  If you laid this one beside #4 and I had to pick which was which, I couldn't.  I like this tree very much though and the size compliments the tall fir - makes the shot look more like a real forest.

Offline mEGa

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #50 on: October 19, 2012, 08:28:52 AM »
For me it's #3... Because the compromise of contrasts / color is relatively balanced.

Offline HDomos

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #51 on: October 19, 2012, 04:21:22 PM »
#3 for me too...

Offline sdog

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #52 on: October 19, 2012, 05:19:59 PM »
#3

Offline VS

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Re: Pak128 Tree Update Project
« Reply #53 on: October 21, 2012, 11:13:56 AM »
Perhaps #3, although I have trouble telling it from #4 (cheap monitor?).