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Author Topic: Forest Pro New Billboards  (Read 1872 times)

Jezpa

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Forest Pro New Billboards
« on: December 04, 2012, 09:41:34 AM »
Hi I'm having some major issues importing / creating my own billboards from pre-existing trees (from a plugin called Key3d) and when testing xFrog buillboards as well. The issue is with finding / creating the right type of .mat file that will display the images correstly - main issues are:

1) Key3D .mat files corrupt and self mirror the images as well as some having the thumbnail image dipslayed as it's shadow
2) XFROG samples have no .mat files for billboards, only TIFFs and the website does not specifiy compatibility with Forst Pro

Please help as I am in desperate need to sort out large forest scheme for net render this weekend!!

Thanks

iToo

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2012, 12:09:54 PM »

The materials required for billboards are pretty simple: just create a Standard material with texture in the diffuse slot, and mask in the opacity slot. Next, create a "Forest Material", and put the Standard in the "Base Material" slot. You can use the materials included with Forest as sample (eg. from C:\Program Files (x86)\Itoo Software\Forest Pack Pro\matlib\standard.mat).

Once created the materials, put them in a library (.mat) and use the Library Browser to create each item. You can add them one by one, or use the importing tools for batch processing. Please, see the Creation Library reference, we have rewritten this help section recently and now it should be easier to follow. If not, please feel free to ask us.

The procedure described above, is valid for all type of plants and libraries, since it uses standard textures and masks. Unfortunately XFrog includes only the raw textures/masks, not the billboard libraries or .mat files. Probably same for Key3D, although i don't know this product.

In any case, although the Library Browser is a great help, you can use the billboard materials directly on a Forest object. Just apply it to the "Material" slot in Geometry->Geometry list, once added a "Template" item type.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 12:14:24 PM by iToo »
Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Jezpa

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2012, 02:08:20 PM »
Thanks Carlos,

To confirm then - I can add a number of different geomentries as billboards to a froest object and then just change the materails to newly created billboards without the need to add them in the Library tool?

If this is the case it will save a lot of time.

Further to this, I assume as long as the mapped drives of the images are the same across each render farm computer, there wont be any issues with lost maps when I net render>?

Thanks

iToo

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2012, 02:22:25 PM »

Quote
To confirm then - I can add a number of different geomentries as billboards to a froest object and then just change the materails to newly created billboards without the need to add them in the Library tool?

Yes, that's correct.

Quote
Further to this, I assume as long as the mapped drives of the images are the same across each render farm computer, there wont be any issues with lost maps when I net render>?

If the textures are not in UNC format, or they are not visible by the render nodes, you should add the alternative paths to Customize->Configure User Paths->External Files (exactly as any other standard Max material).

If you cannot run Max on the nodes to modify the configuration, the Max texture paths are defined here:

C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Application Data\Autodesk\3dsmax\<max version>\enu\3dsmax.ini   (see the [BitmapDirs] section)

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Jezpa

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 01:07:22 PM »
Hi Carlos,

One more point |I need to check with you regarding lighting / self-illumination of billboards. I have added a number of new custom billboard trees to my animation  (thanks by the way) but no have an issue with the rendering of the trees over a long animation.

The problem is that I have a camera animated along a path running north / south / east and west and the lighting of the trees changes on turning south (far too dark) is there a quick way to solve this?

Thanks

Jez

iToo

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2012, 01:23:49 PM »

Try setting the Self-illumination of the Standard base material to 50. This is the value that we use for our materials, and it should work fine for most of scenes.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software

Jezpa

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2012, 03:06:10 PM »
They were set to that by default so that can't be the problem.

I have been trying to set up the FGM file for the scene as it is 7500 frames - could this final render pass be an issue perhaps - i.e. the renderer needs a specific number of points on the camera path FGM for it to recognise the self illluination of the trees on the south / west bound runs of the camera?


Jezpa

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2012, 03:51:45 PM »
Apologies Carlos,

I think I was a bit confused. Forest Material was set to 50 not the actual tree materials themselves. - Will try changing these and maybe looking at irradiance colours??

Thanks


iToo

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Re: Forest Pro New Billboards
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2012, 06:59:24 PM »
Well, Forest Material has not a self-illum value by itself, since it is a container for the base material (usually a Standard mat.)

In any case the self-illum parameter has no relation with Final Gather. It works directly over the billboard shading. Usually it is not necessary to modify the default irradiance value either, just set self-illum to 50 in the base material.

Carlos Quintero
iToo Software