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Opinions/Suggestions needed (grass)
show user profile  yukonhoo
Hi guys, I am a total newbie to using 3d max, and am trying to teach myself how to use Mental Ray. I am having trouble getting the grass to look right and am wondering if anyone can provide suggestions? The other materials I have not touched too much yet which is why they look like crap.
Here is an image (hopefully it's big enough to see it!)

suggestions on how to fix the grass would be very appreciated! Especially the "blurryness" of it, particularly as it gets farther away. Also it just looks chunky. Criticism of other things probably will just discourage me at this point...I know the scene is a long way away from being remotely done.

Some specs as to how I created the grass:

-used the Arch & Design template of matte finish
-used a bitmap in diffuse colour
-used a bitmap (same as above but black and white) as my bump map
-used this bitmap as a displacement map and cranked displacement up to 2

Using the daylight system with standard sun type, and mr sky. Any hints/suggestions would be appreciated!

p.s. if someone wants to suggest a way to stop the texture of the retaining walls from "striping" I would love to hear it as well. I have not applied a UVW map to this yet so maybe that is why?
read 996 times
2/1/2011 2:11:37 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 2:11:37 AM)
show user profile  jareu
first of all the framing is terrible, its really hard to see what it actually is.

For your grass, I would suggest using hair and fur instead of displacement. In my experience, you will get a better result using something that is designed to simulate multitudes of a similar but random thing (fur, grass, feathers etc) rather then using displacement which is generally for surface deformation.

as for the "striping" you need to learn about UV mapping, so hit F1 and go for gold on that subject. or for a quick'n'easy approach add a UVmap modifier and choose box.

also, your exposure settings need to be adjusted, dont just use the default settings for photographic exposure. play around with the high point and the mid point so that you have more contrast, better highlights and not so killer blacks. a bit more color saturation wouldn't hurt either.

He who says it cannot be done is interrupting the man doing it.

read 980 times
2/1/2011 5:16:16 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 7:10:38 AM)
show user profile  Error404
you could try scattering a bunch of grass blades. -

read 974 times
2/1/2011 5:53:56 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 5:53:56 AM)
show user profile  yukonhoo
Thanks jareu - if you can believe it I didn't know there was a help section in 3d max (this coming from an autocad user too). Should be very very useful (or at least I hope so).

404 - yeah I have seen posts about that elsewhere (using proxies right?) but that seems way too advanced for me right now. Do you know of a proxy tutorial for mental ray? they all seem to be geared towards v ray.
read 964 times
2/1/2011 6:51:22 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 6:51:22 AM)
show user profile  jareu
no need for proxies, just create a single grass blade, then create a scatter object. choose the grass blade in the settings and then you're basically done :)

He who says it cannot be done is interrupting the man doing it.

read 962 times
2/1/2011 7:09:47 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 7:09:47 AM)
show user profile  Error404
If you were using VRay, I would highly recommend a plugin called "AutoGrass" by Happy Digital (it's not free, but it's great!) But for any render engine, scattering would probably work pretty good. -

read 954 times
2/1/2011 8:16:20 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 8:16:58 AM)
show user profile  timpa
Here's some grass I did using pflow.
Share photos on twitter with Twitpic

Here's how it goes.

1. Make a small thin triangle. Like a blade of grass.
2. Move the pivot to the bottom.
3. Apply a bend modifier to give it some curve.
4. Optional, make a few slightly different bent blades of grass.

5. Select the faces of your object you want grass on
6. Create the pflow object
7. Set the particles to all spawn in frame 1
7a. set the particle shape to reference your blade of grass
7b. add some variance to the particle size, about 30% looks good
8. Set your object as the source (you'll see options to set it to selected faces)
9. Set the rotation to vary slightly in one axis so the grass leans a little
10 set the rotation to vary by 360 degrees on the other axis so the grass spins around everywhich way like a top (i honestly forget which is which, play)
11. Use the material option to change the number of materials applied to your particle
12. Edit the multi sub object material to have different shades of green and yellow. Mine uses 4 shades of green at 21% each and 1 shade of yellow at 15%.

Render and marvel at your ingenuity! Or mine or whatever.

read 953 times
2/1/2011 9:11:30 AM (last edit: 2/1/2011 9:11:30 AM)
show user profile  yukonhoo
Awesome - that grass looks great - I am going to try this. I was wondering though - with a 32 bit computer if I have a big enough scene with grass made that way - will rendering be feasible?
read 934 times
2/2/2011 12:21:35 AM (last edit: 2/2/2011 12:21:35 AM)
show user profile  LionDebt
Depends on how much RAM you have installed and the power of your processor. Impossible to know whether or not rendering will be feasible on a 32-bit machine without other information!
read 931 times
2/2/2011 12:40:22 AM (last edit: 2/2/2011 12:40:22 AM)
show user profile  timpa
I rendered that on Vista 32 bit.
Core 2 @ 2.6 with 3gb of Ram. It wasn't a beast of a machine.

Rendering that with Finalrender took some 35 minutes if I recall.

read 920 times
2/2/2011 2:07:33 AM (last edit: 2/2/2011 2:07:33 AM)
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