PIPE­LINE TECH­NIQUES: Ren­der re­al­is­tic alien ter­rains with oc­tane

Cre­ate amaz­ing en­vi­rone­ments

3D Artist - - CONTENTS -

in this tu­to­rial we will learn how to cre­ate re­al­is­tic des­o­late and al­most alien-look­ing ter­rains in cinema 4D and Oc­tane Ren­der. i will show you some tips and tricks to cre­ate your own cus­tom-look­ing moun­tains us­ing the dis­place­ment de­former gen­er­ated di­rectly in cinema 4D as well as us­ing tex­tures you can pur­chase on­line to add more re­al­is­tic de­tail. i rec­om­mend sources like tex­tures. com, poli­igon.com or my per­sonal favourite tfm­style.com.

First we will ex­plore how to gen­er­ate our cus­tom tex­ture for dis­plac­ing our base for the moun­tains in c4d. Then we will go over how to ex­port that tex­ture and bring it back into Oc­tane Ren­der for dis­place­ment.

i’ll show you how to add more de­tail by mix­ing im­ages and us­ing dif­fer­ent nodes in Oc­tane to make our ter­rains look more pho­to­re­al­is­tic. Keep an eye out for yel­low high­lighted text in the screen­shots as those will be the prop­er­ties i’ve edited. Keep in mind that ex­plo­ration and trial and er­ror are big parts of gen­er­at­ing re­al­is­tic-look­ing ren­ders, there­fore pa­tience also plays a big part in this, so don’t be afraid to try out dif­fer­ent things and fail, you can al­ways con­tinue try­ing.

01 Cre­ate the base The first thing we need is a base for our ter­rain. For this we are go­ing to grab a plane ob­ject and add a dis­placer as a child of the plane. in the shad­ing tab of the dis­placer click on the ar­row and add a noise. Play around with the set­tings un­til you come up with a good base for the over­all shape of our ter­rain.

One thing to keep in mind is to make this noise fairly large, mine is at 1600px. i’ve high­lighted the prop­er­ties i made changes to. Also, in­crease the sub­di­vi­sions of the plane to get more def­i­ni­tion.

02 De­tail the base now that we have a good over­all base we can add a lit­tle more de­tail. Go into your dis­placer ob­ject’s shad­ing tab, click on the ar­row and se­lect Layer. This will keep your orig­i­nal noise and put it in a layer sys­tem where we can layer dif­fer­ent noises.

Add as many noises as you want and play with the blend­ing modes and opac­ity. i used three dif­fer­ent noises but one thing sim­i­lar across all of them is the scale, they are all scaled up over 400%. My dis­placer is set to 100% strength and 48cm of height as well.

03 Pre­pare a C4D ma­te­rial To be able to bake our tex­ture we need a tex­ture tag, so cre­ate a new ma­te­rial and ap­ply it to the plane. in your dis­placer ob­ject’s shad­ing tab click on the lit­tle ar­row and se­lect copy shader. in your new Ma­te­rial’s Lu­mi­nance chan­nel, click the ar­row and se­lect Paste shader. now our lay­ered noises are on the ma­te­rial ap­plied to the plane. At this point you can dis­able the dis­placer (we use it just to have visual feed­back of our ter­rain), but keep it in case you want to up­date the noises and re-save the tex­ture.

04 Save the tex­ture Right-click on the plane and add a Bake Tex­ture tag. se­lect a proper lo­ca­tion for sav­ing your file, PNG for­mat, Lin­ear color space and 16-bit. This colour depth is very im­por­tant to get more in­for­ma­tion in our greyscale image for Oc­tane to dis­place. Make sure the tex­ture is 8K in size (8192 x 8192) and se­lect the Lu­mi­nance chan­nel to ex­port. click on Bake. This process may take a few min­utes de­pend­ing on your com­puter’s hard­ware, but trust me, it is worth the wait.

05 Oc­tane dis­place­ment now our tex­ture is ready for Oc­tane Ren­der. Open the node ed­i­tor, cre­ate a new dif­fuse Oc­tane ma­te­rial, drag an image Tex­ture node and load our pre­vi­ously saved PNG. Drag a Dis­place­ment node into the Dis­place­ment chan­nel of the ma­te­rial and then con­nect the image Tex­ture node to the Dis­place­ment node’s in­put. in the Dis­place­ment node se­lect the ap­pro­pri­ate level of de­tail for your image.

Ap­ply the ma­te­rial to the plane, and re­duce the sub­di­vi­sions of the plane to 1 x 1 (for Oc­tane, high sub­di­vi­sions are not nec­es­sary for dis­place­ment). Fire up Oc­tane and see the Dis­place­ment work­ing!

06 Light the scene Light­ing is very im­por­tant to pro­duce the re­sults we want. Right now Oc­tane’s de­fault en­vi­ron­ment is light­ing the scene since there are no lights in it, which is why ev­ery­thing looks so flat. Add an Oc­tane Day­light ob­ject and ro­tate it un­til you get some good shad­ows. Play with the Tur­bid­ity and Power as well. Also, add a Trans­form node to the image Tex­ture node and in­crease the size of the Tex­ture to 1.1 to get rid of those arte­facts on the edges of our plane.

07 Shade Ter­rains are not com­posed of just one colour, so we are go­ing to mix two gra­di­ents that are slightly dif­fer­ent but still very mono­tone. We can use a Mix Tex­ture node to mix the two to­gether and for the Amount we can use an image Tex­ture node. i am us­ing sand Rip­ples from tex­tures.com, but you can use any­thing you want, a Gra­di­ent node is use­ful to in­crease the con­trast of the image as well. Fi­nally, plug the Mix Tex­ture into the Dif­fuse chan­nel. We are start­ing to get the re­sults we want!

08 Cre­ate bump de­tail We need more de­tail. First we are go­ing to use the Bump chan­nel mix­ing three tex­tures, two from the tfm­style.com Retina’s pack and an Oc­tane noise for the amount. Then we plug this mix into an­other mix and use an­other image with a gra­di­ent to in­crease the con­trast a bit. We can just use a Float tex­ture for the amount. Fi­nally we just need to cre­ate a cam­era and change the fo­cal length to some­thing like 110, this will give us a more cine­matic look­ing shot with less dis­tor­tion.

09 Add a nor­mal map now we need more mi­cro de­tail, and we can achieve this with a nor­mal map. in this case i am us­ing an­other tex­ture from tex­tures.com called Dusty Gravel. Plug it di­rectly into the nor­mal chan­nel and add a trans­form and pro­jec­tion node to ad­just the tex­ture to your lik­ing, let Oc­tane ren­der for a minute or two and you should see the dif­fer­ence, even if it’s not ap­par­ent at first sight, the de­tail is there.

Ad­just the Day­light sys­tem to art di­rect our shot a bit more and get the shad­ows you want and you are done!

We can use a Mix Tex­ture node to mix the two to­gether and for the Amount we can use an image Tex­ture node. i am us­ing sand Rip­ples from tex­tures.com, but you can use any­thing you want

Je­sus suarez jesussuarez.tv Bio Je­sus is a se­nior mo­tion de­signer & 3D gen­er­al­ist cur­rently based in Florida. He cre­ates all types of con­tent from hy­per-re­al­is­tic ren­ders to stylised an­i­ma­tions.

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