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Making Of 'Heading South'

By Olivier Vernay-Kim
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| 12 Comments
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Date Added: 26th July 2010
Software used:
3ds Max, Photoshop, mental ray, Misc

The foreground trees are Xfrog models. Adding a believable snow layer on these was a little tricky. For me, the most logical way of doing it was to pour some particles on the leaves, using Particle flow (with speed at 0 after the collision), but this was way too slow, even after a good mesh optimization. I ended up using Blobmesh (in Compound Objects), which basically creates a sphere on each vertex of a selected object then "melts" the spheres together to form a single mesh.

I applied Blobmesh only on the most exposed leaves. I had to find a balance between not enough details and too many. With too much resolution, the Blobmesh tends to look like the leaves shape, which is a simple plane with opacity map (Fig.05).

176_tid_image_05_snow_tree.jpg
Fig. 05

I also added some modifiers like Relax, Turbosmooth and a little bit of noise (Fig.06).

176_tid_image_06_snow_tree.jpg
Fig. 06

I used the same technique for the smaller vegetation (Fig.07).

176_tid_image_07_vegitation.jpg
Fig. 07



The rocks are very old meshes I did about 10 years ago (it's time to make new and better ones, maybe for future projects!). For the snow, I used a Landscape shader, which is a kind of "Top\Bottom" material but with much more parameters (part of the Lume shaders, works only with mental ray I think). I applied this shader both as a mask for the rock/snow material and as a Displacement map (Fig.08).

176_tid_image_08_rocks.jpg
Fig. 08





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Readers Comments (Newest on Top)
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(ID: 202148, pid: 0) Robert Kabwe on Wed, 12 June 2013 1:59am
This is one of my favorite scenes in games - a very magical moment, thanks for sharing how it's made
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(ID: 151265, pid: 0) Leviathansh on Fri, 21 September 2012 4:07pm
Love it :) What is your machine Spec?
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(ID: 54859, pid: 0) Antonis on Thu, 27 October 2011 11:01pm
Amazing work and also great tutorial.Thank you!
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(ID: 33987, pid: 0) Kazmohdim on Sun, 23 January 2011 12:43am
This is so useful. For my demo reel I was doing a medieval tavern and was going to do an English Country Side setting to place it in. The muddy road tutorial helps a lot. Thanks :D
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(ID: 28804, pid: 0) Amitabh Gogoi on Mon, 06 December 2010 4:48pm
Thanx for the tutorial. Sir, please help me for interior lighting in vray...
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(ID: 21892, pid: 0) FFFFF on Sun, 12 September 2010 8:32am
Awesome :)
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(ID: 18001, pid: 0) Catur on Sat, 07 August 2010 4:07am
great tutorial thanks d the shared
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(ID: 17190, pid: 0) Layth on Fri, 30 July 2010 7:46am
amazing work .. thank you for sharing
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(ID: 16919, pid: 0) Girish on Wed, 28 July 2010 4:08pm
Fabulous. I remember seeing this long back (if am not wrong). One of the best tuts I have seen.
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(ID: 51604, pid: 805962) Neutrino (Forums) on Tue, 27 July 2010 8:52am
Great tutorial! Large amount of work and awesome result!Thank you :) it was useful for me
Munkybutt's Avatar
(ID: 163229, pid: 805962) Neutrino (Forums) on Tue, 27 July 2010 8:52am
Great tutorial! Large amount of work and awesome result!Thank you :) it was useful for me
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(ID: 16609, pid: 0) SuperHero on Mon, 26 July 2010 2:35pm
Really loved the image and tutorial indeed. thx a bunch for the effort you put into making this tutorial :)
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