Then there's of course the ground. I used a plane of 80x80 segments. But then I had to stop, I was thinking of how to do all the detailed raising, of the edges around the house (this will make it look as if the house was there for like years, and the house sort of sunk in the ground), how did I raise the footpath precisely? I thought I encountered something that was a bit harder than I thought. But actually the answer lay much closer then I thought, and became fairly simple. I used a trick I once saw on the AutoDesk website. I applied an edit poly to the ground, and I unhide the house so I knew where it stood, and where to raise the ground.
Now with the edit poly modifier, go to vertex and you'll see a paint deformation pullout menu, roll it out. It should look like the picture on the left. Leave the push/pull direction settings as they are, and you now have a displacement brush sort of zBrush like (not as detailed, because it would simply cost to much polygons. With push/pull Value you can affect the impact the brush has on your model, + is raise, - is dig. Brush size speaks for itself I think. Brush strength is the pressure on the brush, how many times you have to paint the model over to get to yourself to the push/pull value. I painted the entire terrain, to create some random terrain. I also painted the footpath a bit higher, and decided to paint me a river to make it look more idealistic.
Finally I applied some more modifiers like meshsmooth with literations 1, FFD 4x4x4, and 2 noise modifiers each with their own size, seed and intensity. I also added a simple UVW map box which is set to fit. On the next page you can see how my modifier stack looks like. With this knowledge you can simply make very nice terrain. It's just how many polygons and time you want to put in.
The important thing is when you're making terrain is to think what could have influenced it during the centuries lying there. To make the terrain a bit more convincing I added stones. The stones where made, with a pretty standard procedure. Take a geosphere (normal spheres aren't very good because they don't deform very convincing when a noise modifier is applied) and then apply a noise modifier on it, also a FFD 4x4x4 is quite handy to add, because you can deform the stone a bit more to your wishes. For the bigger stones I used 8 or 10 segments, for the smaller ones 4 or 3. Also I applied an UVW map with box to the stones again, this is handy for later cloning as mentioned earlier before. You can see a stone sample on the right.
Well that's about it for the ground.
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