landscapes into the horizon::..
the layout of an encompassing scene is all about planning. Granted, the client
may change his or her mind later on, but overall it’s best to cover those eventualities
in advance just in case they occur! Assuming your scene is set above ground, the
space between the ground and the sky would be air which, if you view real-world
scenes, affects the saturation of an object the further away from the camera it
is positioned. The ground can be any shape or form you wish, as long as it stretches
far away to your horizon line. If you’ve already created your scene and need to
increase the distance of the horizon, create a second larger plane beneath the
first and apply an opacity to the first to remove any harsh lines that may appear
at render times. Failing that, amend the mapping of the ground plane and pull
the extents far out to the horizon, adding more refinement and detail if so required
(possible extra use of decal textures could be applied here to break up any repeating
textures on the base material).
sky should typically be a hemisphere Geosphere, mainly because of it’s consistent
face sizes and low polygon count. This should entirely encompass the scene and
‘meet’ the ground object. The sky texture should be applied to this using cylindrical
mapping, but without any additional fading to white on the source material; this
will be handled later on by one method or another. If required, the sky could
be separate planes stretching off into the distance to create individual cloud
layers, which could then be animated. These could then be deformed (along with
the ground plane) to create the slight curvature of the surface that creates a
remove the harsh horizon line, we can do this using two main methods. The first
is the easiest and most commonly used, but offers less control over the settings.
This is of course environment fog. This is produced at render time with the effect
generated from settings taken from the camera the scene is being viewed from and
the main environment rollout. The camera’s far range setting should be set so
the range is well past the horizon line, else the line (and most of the sky) will
appear white. The other method, and one not commonly used, is a material effect.
By mixing the entire scene’s materials with a near white self-illuminated material,
we can then control it’s opacity using a radial gradient that stretches out to
the horizon and using mapping that has it’s Gizmo linked to the camera to fix
it’s position and maintain the effect should the camera move. By tweaking the
gradient’s key’s positions we can, if we apply a separate linear gradient to the
sky hemisphere, design our ‘fog’ to suit our scene more quickly and easily than
using an environment effect. Granted, this method may not initially work with
animated objects it is possible to modify it, and gives an overall effect that
can be amended simply and can even affect the colour of the fog depending on the
distance from the camera and/or it’s scene’s surroundings.
camera ranges extended beyond the scene, the environment fog increases further
away from the camera. Note the sky is also de-saturated, slightly too much.|
the material method gives us greater control in this scene. We can control the
‘fog’ using gradients to mix the white with the scene textures and to add additional
published: 3D World magazine,
Issue 21, January 2002.
2002. Reproduction without