I opted for a cool looking castle and a rock with a distant mountain in the background. This added two more layers with an emphasis on a feeling of great distance between the castle/rock and the mountain in the distance. I used different amounts of blur on the two layers, which gave a nice depth of field, and two different levels of grey. By then, the single remaining problem was to hide the horizon line whilst keeping the upper part of the background visible and above the mist. Since the mist in Blender is view dependent, I had to map my background to a curved surface so as to control how much of it showed through. Fig08 is a screenshot of the scene, from above. In this screenshot, the yellow part of the line of view for the Camera represents the beginning of the mist up to the end where it hides everything. To completely hide the lower part of the background in the mist, whilst leaving its upper part gradually more visible, I inclined the curved surface towards the camera and set the mist to reach maximum intensity in front of the background's lower part (see Fig09).
Looking from the side view, one can see how the inclined background interacts with the misty area (Fig10). At that point, before texturing, the scene had this aspect when viewed in wireframe (Fig11).
The original "Night of the Cat" received stylised textures that I drew in Gimp. The 3DTotal team gave me the opportunity to re-work the scene using some of their wonderful texture collections (www.3dtotal.com/textures). I will describe this process, next. I opted for some toon textures from the Total Textures: Vol. 15: Toon Textures CD, and used some masks from the Total Textures: Vol. 5: R2: Dirt & Graffiti DVD. I started by UV-mapping the ground plane. Then, following the contour of the road's curve, I painted directly onto the mesh plane in the UVMap Editor, and in black to obtain a black and white mask image. This image will be used to texture with different Toon Textures (Fig12 - 13).
You can see the re-textured ground in Fig14. The UVMap texture for the ground was done in Gimp, using two layers; the first layer containing the main ground texture and the second layer containing the rest of the textures with a mask for the distribution. Balancing the texture for the ground with the main texture was done using the Curves Filters and playing a little with the Saturation and Lightness (Fig15).
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