Forest Floor

This is the intro scene to 'The Kickflip'. Made in Maya. Rendered in Redshift. The compositing and color correcting was done in After Affects.

The first clip below is a foreground test, followed by the final shot.

I used the spPaint3d tool to instance the floor assets. The UVs were divided up using the djPFXUVs tool. You can find the breadown below.


forest floor no textures

Above: a render without diffuse textures.

Below: The grass was made in Maya's Paint FX (google "paint fx tutorial" to learn how). Like almost all the other assets, I made multiple (7) versions, for variety, before converting them to polygons.

For each of the 7 chunks of grass I had a version with an animation cache, and one without. This is because not all grass moves (e.g. really short grass), and the caches slow down the scene.

topology view

An early test render of the grass texture, testig the translucency and bump maps in Redshift.

test render

Below are the other assets used for the scene.

(You can find the tree breakdown here.)

rocks assets assets wireframe

I took the leaves from outside, scanned them, and used Photoshop to create the texture files below.

Some of these leaf shaders were made using the rsSprite shader in Redshift. Here is how.

leaves textures dirt texture

Above: ground diffuse and bump textures.

Below: for the grass texture, I used the djPFXUVs tool to split a single UV square into a 3x3 space. This way every blade is not identical, sinceit has one of the 9 textures.


To populate the scene, I used the spPaint3d tool to instance assets in non-homogenous ways.

texture 2

For each instanced asset across the ground plane, I would set the rotaion property so that each instance is rotated by a random value of 0 - 360. This way, the same instance of a chunk of grass appears diferent because it is viewed from a different angle than the other copies.

The original geometry that was instanced was zero'd out in translation and rotation, placed at the center of the scene, below the floor of the shot, where it's hidden from the camera (pictured below).

texture 3

To light the scene I used Redshift's Physical Sun & Sky node, where the main source of light, the sun (pic below, top-center), acts like a backlight (to emphasize leaf translucency where possible). The sun is not causing the volumetric lights, however, I have a separate light for that (more on that light later).

I added 2 Physical lights (pictured left and right) with low intensity. One light is pure white (and serves to emphasize the specularity of the grass) while the other is more warm (a sunrise hue aesthetic). Also, I have a dome light (bottom-center) with an hdri map of a blue sky with some white clouds, for reflectivity and additional tone control.

texture 3

For volumetric lights I used a spotlight, with a very small scale (.001, I enlarged it in the pic below for clarity), along with Redshift's Environmet Fog node. The color set to a faint warm yellow.

texture 3 texture 3

To render these lights I put all assets into a group and applied to it Redshift's rsMatte node.

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Below are my setting for this node; it is enabled, and Alpha is set to 1.

texture 3

In order to get these lights on a separate layer (for later compositing) it is very important to have the "Environment Alpha Replace" property enabled on the rsVolumeScattering node!

texture 3

Above: If the property is disabled, the volumetric rays will only appear in the white regions of the frame (where there are objects/assets). The parts of the frame that render black are excluded from the alpha channel (because there is nothing behind the tree and hill/ground).

Below: The same frame rendered with the property enabled. Compare to the above image.

texture 3 texture 3

Above: In the left image the property is disabled. When you composite this image over your (in this case gray) image layer, the lights only appear in areas where there are objects/assets. In the right image the property is enabled, and you can see all the rays.

Below: The composite of all the layers used in the scene. Volume rays on a screen layer above the foreground (top-right), and background (bottom-left) renders. The result is bottom-right.

texture 3

I used Redshift's rsBokeh and rsPhotographicExposure nodes on the render camera.

Thank you for viewing :)

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