Sunday, December 14, 2008

How to make a snow cap in Vue 6 Infinite (or higher)

Today I've something a little different for you here on the Vue News blog - a full tutorial from Walther Beck / Wabe. You can see a larger version of the images by clicking on them in the page. A PDF version of this tutorial can be downloaded: How to make a snow cap in Vue 6 Infinite (or higher) PDF

1. Preparations

Create a cube in Vue and scale it in Z so that it forms a brick (see screenshot 01).

Save this cube as a vob. I called the file PixelBrick. Give the brick a very distinct color - blue in my case - so that you are able to identify the bricks later easily in your scenes.

When you have saved the brick, you can delete the scene. It will be used in an ecosystem later.

screenshot 01

2. The cap

Load the object that you want to cover with a snow cap. I've use Tablesaws freebie old log here.

Select edit material on the object and select ecosystem in the list of material types in the material editor. Load the object PixelBrick in under "General" (see screenshot 02).

screenshot 02

Go to the Density tab and change density to a higher value. I normally select 100% and later change the density with the paint brush. Switch off "Decay near foreign objects”, just in case it causes problems (see screenshot 03 for the settings).

screenshot 03

This is important. Go to the Scaling & Orientation tab now and change the slider "Direction from surface" to 100% perpendicular (see screenshot 04).

screenshot 04

Click on "paint" to start painting the bricks onto the log (see Screenshot 05 for my settings - the important changes are: brush flow, scale, limit density off).

screenshot 05

Now paint the bricks onto the log so that you have a good density but that the bricks are not too dense. I normally have something like 400-600 instances for that. Leave the material editor and go to "Select EcoSystem Instances" either through the menu (last point under edit) or through the icon that you find to the right of the EcoPainter icon in the top line of icons. The EcoSystem Selector will open (see screenshot 06).

screenshot 06

Now you either click simply onto "select all", if the ecosystem with the brick is the only ecosystem in your scene or you select the brick instances you painted in via brush (which is the default). When you have all bricks then click onto the little triangle to the right of the word "Manipulate" and select "Convert to Objects" there (see screenshot 07).

screenshot 07

We are almost done, you have a long list of bricks in your world browser now that should still be selected. If not, select them all (see screenshot 08)

screenshot 08

Now we come to the central trick of it all: make a Metablob from the bricks. Either through the menu (under object) or through the icon to the left in the row of icons there (see Screenshot 09).

screenshot 09

Do a test rendering to see how the thing looks (see Screenshot 10). If you think the cap needs some modifications, you can play with the Metablob settings and/or manually move some of the bricks that are still available in the Metablob.

screenshot 10

Optional you now can bake the finished Metablob cap to polygons (I normally use a relative high setting in the bake to... dialog) to get faster render performance. Give the result a snow (or other) material.

The final result looks like this then (see screenshot 11).

screenshot 11

If you have more questions, feel free to ask me through a personal message on any forum you see me active on.