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large landscape with multiple different materials
show user profile  npcph
I have a large area, about 10 acres that i need to add materials to. I have a lot of variances in the ground and use mesh smooth to smooth out the transitions from one level to another. breaking up the ground won't work because it will leave seams when i smooth it and there will be no transition between the different materials. painting it in Photoshop with the level of detail that i want will make such a huge map that it will be way to large to use. the mesh isn't dense, so easy to work on material id's. My scene will inlcude

a grassy yard
a manicured area with golf grass
Mulched flower beds
leaf covered ground
mud and rocks under a pond and stream
a gravel driveway
a asphalt road.

Anyone able to give me some tips or point me to a tutorial on how i can accomplish this?

I'm using Max 2011 and mental ray.

read 578 times
10/9/2014 9:45:45 PM (last edit: 10/9/2014 9:45:45 PM)
show user profile  3joez
I would start with a tileable map and then work out the differences and the transitions with a blend map or by painting in Photoshop.
read 565 times
10/10/2014 9:58:46 AM (last edit: 10/10/2014 9:58:46 AM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
This might be worth a look - personal learning edition is fully functional for 30 days and afterwards it adds watermarks, but sounds ok?

Here's the website -

read 540 times
10/10/2014 7:27:36 PM (last edit: 10/10/2014 7:28:25 PM)
show user profile  Undersky
No, stay away from Vue. Buggy and slow (and last time I used it, there was no way to gamma correct, if you worked in V-Ray and lwf).

I'd give vertex colors a try for masking. That requires a rather dense mesh if you want sharp edges between materials, but since it's landscaping you're after, you should be good. Easy to edit directly in max and requires very little memory. Then tile the different multi/sub-object materials and break up the tiling by using noise maps. I usually take the same bitmap with slightly different rotation and tiling settings in the two noise slots.
Demo reel, 2010
read 507 times
10/11/2014 6:43:07 PM (last edit: 10/11/2014 6:43:07 PM)
show user profile  npcph
Thanks for the info. Tried vue and I couldn't get it to work. Really slloooooowwww. My mesh was only a couple hundred tris and it wouldn't work. It just sat there thinking. Had to finally kill it in task manager. Wouldn't work no matter what I tried.

I'll look into the vertex colors.

read 496 times
10/12/2014 2:15:15 PM (last edit: 10/12/2014 2:15:15 PM)
show user profile  mike_renouf
Sorry - my bad!

read 487 times
10/12/2014 9:05:57 PM (last edit: 10/12/2014 9:05:57 PM)
show user profile  ScotlandDave
You should research some of the techniques used in some of the open-world games as they`ve really nailed that kind of stuff. It`s something i`ve been interested in also but have never properly finished any of my experiments with it..

One thing i`d suggest is - use tileable and or mixes of procedural maps to create base materials such as different grass types, dirt, etc.. Then take these base maps and mix them together using masks. I think you should be able to get away black/white bitmaps as masks ( basically jpegs you`ve created in photoshop ) that aren`t massive resolution.. Another thing to leverage is material channels when overlaying and mixing them. As has been mentioned vertex maps are the classic way to do it, but not really effective if your mesh isn`t very detailed in the areas you want to mix.. Once you`ve finished sculpting/creating your landscape mesh splitting it up for mapping is also an option i`d say..

Anyway, be interesting to see how you get on if you feel like sharing it..

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read 462 times
10/13/2014 1:07:00 PM (last edit: 10/13/2014 1:07:00 PM)
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