www.quadsoftware.com
FAQ  FAQ   Search  Search   Memberlist  Memberlist   Usergroups  Usergroups
Register  ::  Log in Log in to check your private messages


Post new topic  Reply to topic
 I want to move mountains « View previous topic :: View next topic » 
Author Message
captain_deathbeard
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:10 am    Post subject: I want to move mountains Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Posts: 4

I am thinking of getting a grome license soon, but I think the editor will restrict me in a vital way. I may end up just buying it for ogregraphite.

In my current workflow I'm doing all my terrain editing in photoshop, in one huge 16 bit greyscale image. I have lots of different heightmaps from various sources merged into this huge image, each on a different layer.

I am finding that the majority of my time terrain editing is actually spent arranging heightmap pieces in different locations and considering how that would affect the gameplay, and how it will look. This to me I have found to be the hardest, and most critical part of terrain editing. I can put this canyon there, that mountain there, no wait move the mountain to there, turn the canyon around to face north... etc.

Unfortunately I don't think I can do this in grome (or any terrain editor out there). If I spend hours making a large map and then think "actually, I want that canyon to be over there instead" then I am stuck.

Now I am sure I could move the zones about, but they are ultimately squares in a grid formation, which I have found leaves the landscape feeling artificial. I need to be able to dynamically move a mountain (on its own layer of course) to any location I wish, even sliding it across zones, and rotate it too, even if it overlaps, and still have it blend in where I put it.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ALicu
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 7:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

Well the good news is that the new Grome version (we are to launch soon) have all these features implemented. You can copy a portion of the heightmap and then move, rotate and scale it. You can even save it to libraries as a template for future uses. The source portion can have any form (it is not necessary a rectangle) as you define it with a simple lasso tool.

You also have a new clone stamp tool which you define the source point and then with simple brush strokes can clone portions of source to where you apply the brush.

Please drop me an email at licu at quadsoftware.com if you need to know more information about the new version.

Best Regards,
Adrian L.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
captain_deathbeard
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Nov 2010
Posts: 4

Ah well, thats amazing then, you're already way ahead of me it seems!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Takulas
PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject: I want to move the mountains too! :) Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 5

I just discovered Grome and it looks really interesting.
I downloaded the demo and it helped me to make a brief idea about the worflow, how some of the tools are supposed to work, but not all because of the demo limitations.
I also watched about half of the videotutorials (tomorrow I`ll finish the rest) and also searched on the forums if I can find more relevant infos o me about grome.
One of the features I was really interested to see how it works is the ability to use heightmaps as stamps. Something similar to ZBrush brushes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56XsmXVH6fw
If you jump straight to 0:30 you`ll see exactly what I mean. But instead using an alpha I was thinking about using a heightmap. It`s almost the same thing, but with more detail.
I wasn`t able to do the thing you describe in your post, I`ll try more tomorrow.
I was thinking that maybe you can post a quick youtube video about the technique you describe. Is it possible to apply a moved, scaled, rotated hightmap with only a percentage of the displacement, lets say 40%?
A tool similar to the ZBrush brush will be briliant. Even if not with the same speed and freedom, but a way to use something similar to stamps or stencils, also having the control over the intensity applied on the mesh.
The only hink that stops me buying it, is because I didn`t understood yet the amount of freedom I have using hightmaps.

Thanks in advance for your answer.



P.S. - The best thread name I`ve seen. Ever. "I want to move mountains" Brilliant! Smile
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ALicu
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

Yes Grome 3 supports heightmap stamp. The tool is called HmapStamp. You can select a portion of the existing scene (by having Create source checked at first) and use it as stamp to place it somewhere else (by clicking on Transform mode). The source can be scaled and rotated. You can even have this source saved to libraries for later use (Save and Load buttons). So for example, if you want to stamp an external mountain, you import it on a zone (patch), open the HmapStamp, use this area as the source and then either save it for later use or stamp it somewhere else.

Please refer to Grome help at Terrain Editing -> Terrain Modelling -> Heightmap Stamp.

There is also a brush that can be used to clone a portions of other parts of the map. Very similar with the clone brush in Photoshop. The tool is called Heightmap Clone Brush.

Make sure you have the heightmap layer that you want to affect in use. Let me know if you have any issues.

Regards,
Adrian L.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Takulas
PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2012 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 5

I read the manual and it worked as advertised. Slower compared with ZBrush but with more control. Smile
Thank you for the fast answer.

I still do have some questions and I`ll be grateful if you can help me:
1. I read in the manual about Framework - Swapping operations. I`ve seen what happens with swapping/unswapping operations, saving/loading scenes with swapped entities. My question is about Swap Storage settings, not about using the swap operations. The question is: How can I assign a specific hard disk location for the Swap Storage to be used? In the manual is mentioned that Swao Storage is using the Editor installation folder. I really don`t want to have that place as a Swap Storage location. I would like to manually setup the location by browsing to the desired location on a different disk, not the C drive. I have to mention that I have no scripting skills. Sad
2. I read on the forum about the raw importer and about the big size terrains, in the manual and in the forums. I have a Quadro 5800 with 4GB video RAM and 64 GB system memory. My intention is to bring heightmaps from other applications, merge and build the terrain in Grome, maybe send it back to world machine. My question is: What is the terrain size limit I can build considering my hardware setup? And what is the teoretical hightmap resolution I can have loaded and visible at maximum detail, of course, not taking into consideration the swaped zones which are discarded from memory.
3. Considering the hardware is so important for Grome, especially the video card, do you have any information/benchmarks. Even though I have a quadro card, the new gaming cards might have even better OpenGL performance. Of course, the latest Quadro and FireGL are more powerfull, but are really expensive. Does a nVidia 580 with 4GB performs better? Any restrictions for ATI cards? I think there are a few 7970 with 6GB video Ram. Does it make sens to think about these cards? I mean, does it helps more video Ram?

Again, many thanks for your answers.

Cheers,
Taku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ALicu
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 2:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

Quote:
I read the manual and it worked as advertised. Slower compared with ZBrush but with more control.


Yes, we are working to improve the speed and usability of that tool. We will probably get close to ZBrush implementation while keeping the additional control in place. We are also working to implement other ZBrush-like brushes (e.g. clay brush).

Quote:
How can I assign a specific hard disk location for the Swap Storage to be used?

For now that location is not user controllable. I will look over the settings to see if I can find an work around. You can also try to install Grome on other than default C: location if disk space is an issue.
To be noted that swap space is a temporary space, it has nothing to do with your final scenes which you can save to any location. It is like scrap space in Photoshop, just a temporary location where to place editing files. It is deleted upon exit.

Quote:
I read on the forum about the raw importer and about the big size terrains, in the manual and in the forums. I have a Quadro 5800 with 4GB video RAM and 64 GB system memory. My intention is to bring heightmaps from other applications, merge and build the terrain in Grome, maybe send it back to world machine. My question is: What is the terrain size limit I can build considering my hardware setup? And what is the teoretical hightmap resolution I can have loaded and visible at maximum detail, of course, not taking into consideration the swaped zones which are discarded from memory.


You configuration is very powerful. I guess you can have at least 8000 x 8000 in heighmap and lot of high res images. But you can even go to 16k x 16k or even more. Of course you will need to use Grome 64bit. You can also test with the demo and the Create tool to see how many zones you can create. I still recommend to use multiple zones of 1024x1024 or so. It doesn't matter for your scene if you have multiple zones. It actually gives you more control over the texture variation per zone. Plus it will help the video card since it cannot deal with large continuous data. Grome is designed for real-time 3D so it is using GPU for rendering in real-time, very close to the final games.

Quote:
Considering the hardware is so important for Grome, especially the video card, do you have any information/benchmarks. Even though I have a quadro card, the new gaming cards might have even better OpenGL performance. Of course, the latest Quadro and FireGL are more powerfull, but are really expensive. Does a nVidia 580 with 4GB performs better? Any restrictions for ATI cards? I think there are a few 7970 with 6GB video Ram. Does it make sens to think about these cards? I mean, does it helps more video Ram?


We don't have a definitive benchmark list. But in Grome the FPS is not that important (of course you would still need over 20 for good editing experience especially with brushes feedback). Important is the memory size since we are dealing with large data sets.

Quadro and FireGl, from our experience, are in general better. They deal much better with editor only features like wireframe rendering and gizmos. The normal cards are also doing lots of dirty tricks to artificially decrease the performance of these modes (e.g. the non Quadro is rendering wireframe as multiple zero area triangles as lines) so the vendors can justify the pro cards price range.

I recommend you don't use cards with multiple GPU (Crossfire, SLI). There are still issues with drivers for these.

Video RAM helps. But you can also allocate system RAM for the same purpose (size of normal RAM used by GPU usually setup from BIOS). And system RAM is a lot cheaper these days.

Let me know if you need any additional information. Also let me know if you have any issues with the demo.

Regards,
Adrian L.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Takulas
PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2012 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 5

Hi,

Thank you for your detailed answers.

Quote:
Yes, we are working to improve the speed and usability of that tool. We will probably get close to ZBrush implementation while keeping the additional control in place. We are also working to implement other ZBrush-like brushes (e.g. clay brush).


That sounds really good. But even the way it is now, it is a great tool. Smile


Quote:
For now that location is not user controllable. I will look over the settings to see if I can find an work around. You can also try to install Grome on other than default C: location if disk space is an issue.
To be noted that swap space is a temporary space, it has nothing to do with your final scenes which you can save to any location. It is like scrap space in Photoshop, just a temporary location where to place editing files. It is deleted upon exit.


Really sorry to hear that. I know what a swap file is meant to be, just a temporary buffer when you need it. The good thing in photoshop is that I can specify a different location. And not heaving it on the C drive helps.
I have a 256 GB Samsung 830 SSD as a C drive, 40GB free space left, which is decent. The thing is, I have a 1TB working drive (4x Samsung 830 SSD in Raid0) as a working disk location. Pretty fast and what`s also important, plenty of room. I`m using that raid array for everything that needs a scratch disk: Photoshop, ZBrush, World Machine, etc. And it helps. It will be really great if this can be achieved, with a script or at least having the option choose the project folder as swap file location.
To be honest, I`m a bit surprised that being able to handle such big files, and projects in the end, you don`t have the option, as a user, to manage your resources. And I`m not trying to be negative here. The reason I was happy finding Grome is because of these unique abilities. Maybe not being able to manually setup the swap file location doesn`t matter that much. I don`t know. I was lucky to get these drives at a very good price, but next year the prices might be half for what I payed now. Things are moving pretty fast.

How much disk space require a 128K x 128K pixels heightmap resolution project? I know it depends how many layers you have, heightmaps and textures, maybe selections, objects, etc..
A 8K 24 bit uncompressed bitmap is using around 192 MB disk space. I have the feeling you can very quickly reach 100GB.


The second thing I have to figure out is the relation between Zones, tiles, edge borders (everything that means size unit inside the Grome scene space) and the final image size output.
Zones+tiles+ = pixels. I didn`t had time to understand this basic concept, yet. Smile

I don`t wanna sound so picky, because again, I was happy finding Grome. But I`m trying to do a good evaluation for my needs.
The swap file location is the only thing that is giving me a bit of thinking. I`m used with offline rendering applications, and using a real time renderer, even for the editor, it makes me to proper plan things before jumping in.


Thank you so much for all the info.

Cheers,
Taku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ALicu
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Feb 2007
Posts: 1326

Hi,

About the Grome concepts:

terrain zone = a portion of the entire terrain. It usually power of two in tiles number. Video cards cannot easily handle continuous terrain so it must be broken in these zones. Also there are editing advantages. For example you can vary the layers and their textures per zone. Have one zone with temperate texturing, another one for transitions and another one with snow mountains. Each with their own textures. Some engines need terrain broken in multiple zones anyway. So they load/unload the zones dynamically as the player moves in the scene. Grome allows this using the swap space (it doesn't apply loading/unloading as the camera moves since you need total control during editing).

tile = the smallest unit, it is a patch made of 4 vertices. A terrain zone is made of multiple tiles (usually power of two to allow optimized LOD). Usually a patch corner is represented by a height (a pixel in heightmap). So if you have a height of 257x257 pixels, there are 256x256 tiles (the patches are sharing the pixels with their neighbors plus one pixel at the border which is not shared).

Grome can have non-power of two tiles per zone (but depending on your engine you may need to use power of two). You can also vary zones resolutions (in tiles number).

The size really depends on the textures. For heightmaps alone you will have 1 floating point number per pixel, so 4 bytes per pixel.

About the swap space, we will try to add an option to change this location. It should be present in a future Grome build.

Regards,
Adrian L.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Takulas
PostPosted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 5:26 pm    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote



Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 5

Bought it.

Thanks for explaining it to me. I think I`ll have to test my own to see the connection between final resolution output and the scene zones setup. And I`ll be back afterwards to read again the forum explanation.

And thank you so much for having patience with me. Smile

Cheers,
Taku
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic  Reply to topic Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  



You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Based on a template by Dustin Baccetti
Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group