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Author Topic: Bump effect Terrain  (Read 5921 times)

josem75

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Bump effect Terrain
« on: January 18, 2017, 02:28:37 am »

Hi Cameni.

I aways though how would benefit a lot, an overal distant bump effect in outerra terrain. I dont know technicaly how you would do that (maybe is a dare). Because textures are small and would not affect to this, so must be some kind of second texture/effect. And well applied i think would be amazing.
Maybe one general bump or even diferent for every kind of terrain. For example in green can simulate distant "vegetation", in rocks distant "rocks", and so on. Vary in every kind of terrain in shape and size, for match the desired result.

When you see Outerra Terrain, sometimes is too much plain, (in terms of texture, not topography), until you go enough near for see the details.
This bump would be an effect to help a lot for fix that,  and maybe  cheap in graphic resources.
I will put some random example:
(I am aplying a simple noise photoshop effect for simulate the effect. You can do more complex than that, but for show what i mean is more than enough. Result is still giving outerra even best result.
Second image is more like plastic, and the bump in first image fix it a bit).

With Bump



Without Bump






« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 02:36:57 am by josem75 »
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Acetone

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Re: Bump effect Terrain
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2017, 04:18:27 am »

The effect you are describing could be interesting for long range, but even in your screenshot it's very clear the close area (close for OT = less than 100km) would look worse with that type of detail.



So it's an interesting idea but it's hard to tell if it would work in any condition. It's also a matter of image quality, increasing details like this can end up creating visual fatigue. It's always hard to see if an effect is working in real-time, it can look good in picture and make things worse in video.

That said, I like the effect in the distant terrain and I'm all in for more details like that (if they works) :)
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josem75

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Re: Bump effect Terrain
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2017, 06:26:43 am »

The effect you are describing could be interesting for long range, but even in your screenshot it's very clear the close area (close for OT = less than 100km) would look worse with that type of detail.



So it's an interesting idea but it's hard to tell if it would work in any condition. It's also a matter of image quality, increasing details like this can end up creating visual fatigue. It's always hard to see if an effect is working in real-time, it can look good in picture and make things worse in video.

That said, I like the effect in the distant terrain and I'm all in for more details like that (if they works) :)

Surely the result is not very optimal due to the method i used, just noise on phosothop. But in theory, a good bump can benefit in almost all distances. Because real life and coveral terrains, are bumpy. Few examples:

https://www.google.es/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fefdreams.com%2Fdata_images%2Fdreams%2Fmountain%2Fmountain-04.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fefdreams.com%2Fmountain.html&docid=ixvhyHPaOZMhmM&tbnid=LtpJay1n3_WUIM%3A&vet=1&w=1600&h=1200&safe=off&bih=1038&biw=1538&q=mountain&ved=0ahUKEwi75oz-xsvRAhWE0xQKHT2TB1wQMwgfKAUwBQ&iact=mrc&uact=8

https://www.google.es/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fupload.wikimedia.org%2Fwikipedia%2Fcommons%2F5%2F5a%2FLopransei%25C3%25B0i_and_Kirvi_a_Mountain_in_Su%25C3%25B0uroy_and_the_Cliff_Beinisv%25C3%25B8r%25C3%25B0.JPG&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fcommons.wikimedia.org%2Fwiki%2FFile%3ALopransei%25C3%25B0i_and_Kirvi_a_Mountain_in_Su%25C3%25B0uroy_and_the_Cliff_Beinisv%25C3%25B8r%25C3%25B0.JPG&docid=3rPPvse_2QsOuM&tbnid=MMkWiz7sX5lGNM%3A&vet=1&w=3648&h=2736&safe=off&bih=1038&biw=1538&q=mountain&ved=0ahUKEwjSup3Ry8vRAhXKXBQKHUa6DWQ4ZBAzCBgoFjAW&iact=mrc&uact=8

https://www.google.es/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftpwd.texas.gov%2Fstate-parks%2Fdavis-mountains%2Fgallery%2Fdavis-mountains_trail.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Ftpwd.texas.gov%2Fstate-parks%2Fdavis-mountains&docid=ZlF9A0dJOB9lBM&tbnid=xA6yfQDNw_m0RM%3A&vet=1&w=1760&h=796&safe=off&bih=1038&biw=1538&q=mountain&ved=0ahUKEwjj0KjNy8vRAhVB7xQKHbb-BGYQMwiIAShhMGE&iact=mrc&uact=8

But can be very tricky. Because all the ground textures have already normal maps. But for the very close details. So should be like have  2 diferent textures and normal maps. I dont know how would be that, maybe asigned by dstance or so.
While outerra use less detailed terrain textures and the detail of fractals are mre for short dstance, this bump can potentialy add the extra detail for looks almost real.

Its true that Outerra at maximun detail look also bumpy. But still in plain areas the effect would benefit doing the trick.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2017, 06:51:44 am by josem75 »
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Acetone

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Re: Bump effect Terrain
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2017, 09:55:57 am »

True.

In fact I realize the reason I didn't like the effect at close distance is because of the result in shadows and the "dead pixel" effect on colors, but that's because it's just a filter, not some effect on texture.

It's probably something where fractal refinement will matter more than texture, the kind of details you describe are already used in a way, for terrain textures blending:



Looking at your picture, I think what's missing In OT is darker colors/details in the blending. The kind of small shadows/irregularities you'll notice from far away but can't obviously be rendered at that level. That's probably why you find it too "plain", and I agree, colors are missing some sort of noise. Problem is, this won't really work at closer distance (where real shadows and detailed textures matter).

Brano mentioned previously that they have a lot of margin in the texturing area:

In OT it's actually not costly thanks to its procedural architecture, but we are shamefully underusing it at the moment.

(question about more details in forest floors, in a way related to your observation)
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cameni

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Re: Bump effect Terrain
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2017, 07:20:15 am »

It boils down to the ability to produce a good (better) fractal noise that looks fine in the distance, and refines well enough when you get close to it. On your screens those color points in distance would become a large splotches of colors up close, and that would not look good. Instead, the goal is to find such a fractal based refinement algorithm that produces the same average color as the distant point, where the colorization starts to appear, but the average actually consisting of an interesting fractal detail of its own.

That's partially done already, as with the biomes we are trying to fractalize colors in such way that the consistency is preserved, but it obviously has large reserves. On the other hand, since we want to use a more detailed color dataset, we'll be probably solving this problem at a finer scale later.
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josem75

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Re: Bump effect Terrain
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2017, 10:34:48 am »

It boils down to the ability to produce a good (better) fractal noise that looks fine in the distance, and refines well enough when you get close to it. On your screens those color points in distance would become a large splotches of colors up close, and that would not look good. Instead, the goal is to find such a fractal based refinement algorithm that produces the same average color as the distant point, where the colorization starts to appear, but the average actually consisting of an interesting fractal detail of its own.

That's partially done already, as with the biomes we are trying to fractalize colors in such way that the consistency is preserved, but it obviously has large reserves. On the other hand, since we want to use a more detailed color dataset, we'll be probably solving this problem at a finer scale later.

Thank u Cameni.
When you talk about fractal noise, its about texture or geometry? Because make terrain look bumpy in the distance, instead plain (like plastic effect), must be very expensive with geometry. But if you can make some distant texture with bump channel (normal map texture), making the effect like terrain is not plain, would be cheaper (i think). 
I do in 3dmax for proyects (bump texture, for understanding), but surely here in the engine is diferent.
Firstly terrains already has a texture, a mapping, normal map.. But are designed for very short distance. So i dont know if you can make another diferent texture (way bigger)  for not short distance and add this bump effect. And then mix (one appear when you are close, and the other when you are not close).
Also we will be flying around, so can be tricky to avoid bad flickering, or to make look good from long distance and mid distance (would be a matter of test).
Because short distance would not be a problem. There you will see all the refined grass and rocks. In the moment you are going near the terrain, details will appear and this distance texture would be hide.
So would be more a effect trick for make terrain bump in distance appart from geometry or imaginery.
Because with a better imaginery would be also "plain", more color complex and more real but still plain i guess.

Well, aclaration, terrain in outerra is not plain. Coveral if you put 1080 detail, you can see bumpy rocks, etc. But i mean the space between details where we just see texture/color. And where would be very expensive add more detail.
Maybe this idea cant apply in the engine.. I dont know. But if you find some method via texture for make similar effect like i did adding "noise", (like i do with bump textures in max), would be nice i think.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 10:46:55 am by josem75 »
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cameni

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Re: Bump effect Terrain
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 05:00:28 pm »

Well the whole point of the engine is that it adds procedural detail, so maybe you are just saying that you'd want to see a different profile or spectrum of it. It adds both geometry and texture detail, these go hand in hand actually. I don't think adding some distant detail that would gradually vanish when you get closer is the way to go, that would seriously break the consistency and be quite visible and distracting, mainly at higher speeds.

I think texturing is more important there. Currently it's using 500m color data, below what it starts to add procedural variation.
One problem we saw with external data like elevation and color is that at their stated resolution they are already filtered. Filtering suppresses various coarse artifacts and faults in the data so it looks better (like after anti-aliasing filter applied), but it's not very good for further procedural refinement because the filter removes information that's forever lost. We are getting better results if we downsample the original data and let the fractal algorithms fill in even the resolution stated by the source data. For example, using 76m data taken from 38m sources often produces better/nicer results than using 38m data directly because of the smoothed values. Then, of course, some people would object to having a nicer terrain at the price of making it deviate more from the source data, so it needs to be kept within bounds defined by source data precision.

What I want to do is to analyze the elevation data, both given and generated, and check what the statistics looks like across the detail range. I suspect it's not balanced well, especially the transition between the two kinds of data, but I do not want to start tinkering to subjectively enhance it without having some scientific support. I certainly do not want to introduce more magic noise than necessary :)
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