The final scene created; River Side
Digital artist Enrico Cerica gives us an insightful look into the process he used in creating his pictur-esque scene; River Side
When I started this project I didn't know precisely where I was going with it. I had no reference images, but I knew that I wanted to show some water and surrounding nature with a nice house in the middle.
One of the main challenges was to be able to render such a huge scene with only 3GB of video memory including geometry and textures. I also had to take into consideration the limitation of 64 RGB textures and 32 gray textures.
After starting, I had several ideas in mind: a very old stone house, a modular house like the one I made for a previous project called Module house near the lake
, but I finally reused some parts of a project to be finished and based on the Type Variant House (Vincent James Associates Architects)
Some ideas on the shape of the house, based on a Type Variant House style
I first created the terrain (about 170x100 meters) with some hills based on a rocky geology. For the water, I thought that a river would be the best solution as it gave me the opportunity to create a non-closed perspective.
I used a Displacement map on the terrain with more details/subdivisions for closer parts, and less or no displacement for distant parts, to allow the exported geometry to fit within the 3GB video memory limit.
Creating the terrain within the 3GB memory limit
For the far landscape I simply used billboards with a wide landscape image and an Alpha texture to make the sky part transparent.
This image was from cgtextures.com
Using an image from cgtextures.com with an Alpha texture
Water bump map
I didn't use a Displacement map on the water but simply applied two Bump maps, one Normal map for the global waves, and a Bump one for the trail behind the yacht and some local waves around the boat and the pontoon.
The water Bump map to create the waves
I used the Mix Materials node to mix those two maps. Depending on the view and the light direction, the mix value should be adapted to get the best result.
Using the Mix Materials Node to mix the maps