2. Starting work on “Desert crash”

2. Starting work on "Desert crash"

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Today’s topics are the man in desert scene that I said that I would commence, and feedback from the Monsters anthology publishers (perhaps my post title is a spoiler).

Desert

My plan went like this:

  1. Make a desert landscape in Bryce (because I already own it) and export that to the Unreal Engine.
  2. In the Unreal Engine create some totally awesome materials and paint them on the desert.
  3. Create a picture from this.

Alas the theory pretty much belly-flopped when I tried to apply it. Well, not quite. I successfully created a desert height-map in Bryce and  exported it as an object. I used a brilliant tutorial by David Brinnen.

But when I tried to import it into the Unreal Engine the frustration began. To research this I used lots of video tutorials. The most useful was by Thomas Haskell.

Things were OK while I was making my three layer materials, but once I got to wanting to paint really cool terrain and control lighting I started to have trouble. And…and… I could only get black shadows!!! Yes, I know that this has to do with ambient light… BUT I AM A CONTROL FREAK!!!

Anyway, after spending about 5 hours making only miniscule pockets of progress, I reverted to Bryce and simply imported two of my DAZ Studio figures into that scene. Voila!

desert2

Now this is only the beginning. I want to put some moons in the sky behind them, and perhaps insert a crashed spacecraft just beyond the dune. Maybe “dirty-up” the front character so he actually looks like he has been in a crash. I also need to fix up the fact that his collar is poking through his hood.

NOTE: Ironically I only used black shadows in this scene.

The most annoying problem in going down the Bryce route is Bryce’s memory limits. Despite using a little memory tool called LAA (or something) Bryce kept crashing as I produced this scene and it would not save. The issue is that DAZ Studio models and their textures are too big. That and the fact that Bryce is a 32-bit program. Oh well, the next steps will be in Photoshop.

Thanks for reading.

Greg

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6 Comments


  1. “Congratulations” on your first rejection letter. It means that you’re not just sitting in your corner working but really getting it out there. Hope it’s a rarity in that the next one is an acceptance!

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    1. Thankyou :) I expect that there will be a fair few rejections. But these will forge me into a stronger writer :) Thanks :)

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  2. Good things come to those who wait… but not passively! =) You’re on the right track, Greg!

    And I remembered something… there is a plugin for DS, and I think it’s been free for quite a while (and even installed with DS by default), it’s called Texture Atlas. It is supposed to automate the process of making scene textures smaller without visible loss of quality. I can’t say I have used it (3Delight has an excellent memory management system), but it may be the thing to help you get DS stuff into Bryce without pushing it too far.

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    1. Cool. Thanks. I am looking up Texture Atlas now :) Should make things a lot easier. I just wish Bryce was being worked upon. The more I explore it, the more I am coming to enjoy it

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      1. Oh yes, that’s indeed sad Bryce isn’t getting any meaningful attention from the devs. Is there even a real 64bit version now?

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        1. No 64 bit version, but always hope :)

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