June 20, 2012, 02:54:27 am
By chance this project site fits on 4000x4000 ft.
To start this project I grabed the full size snapshot in Sketchup. For two main reasons...one, to use the low quality image as a guide/map and to capture the low poly mesh to which I will add detail as needed.
Except for "tools on surface" this is all native SU tools.
On the site there are three main views that the customer was interested in. At those positions on the google snapshot I need to start painting detail. But first I can get a higher resolution image back at GE.
In a second session of SU a grab the same large area then zoom in on the location/feature where I want detail and take the highest resolution image available.
Then I open the layers dialogue, unlock the GE mesh, and flatten everything to one layer. Now remove everything but the image. Be careful not to move anything because you want this detail image to stay geolacated so it can be copied in place in your original model and then projected to the mesh area where the detail belongs.
You will need to lift the image on the axis to get it slightly above the mesh..make sure it stays on the blue axis. Now if you go to top view you can select around the new image which will pick up the mesh underneath....deselect the image. You can now sample the image and project it onto the original mesh. If you project to far there will be a border. But it is easy to blend it by sampling the original material and adding it to the border polies...The old image will bleed into the new.
Do this for each of the feature areas..be careful to name the images so they make sense to you. If you open materials dialogue you will see all of the snapshots.
All of these should be exported to a file so you can take them into Photoshop or "what ever" and start painting detail.
In this project I had four images..the large original and three close ups that where projected at three locations..the beach...the new road entrance..and the old entrance.
I pushed each of these shots to 4000 pixels before I started. This allowed the level of detail you see in the shot of the highway museum entrance...yellow lines, white lines...the road itself....all that you see in that shot is painted on those 4000pix matts.
Before you paint over the matts with detail it is best to place all of your green things in Lumion...then you don't need the map anymore and you can just paint over the images.
The fields can be painted over with your favorite HQ grass patch....roads your fave sand/gravel texture patch...etc.
Use a very low opacity when you paint and it will just inhance the original and make the features pop out.
Woops...I forgot one very impotant thing..the mesh itself. As you know you can use it to modify your scenes as well. The first thing that we have to do is make sure our land contour is dramatic enough to use the Lumion Ocean. Meaning if the thing is flat it will flood.
The nice thing about the big mesh in SU is that you can turn off hidden geometry after using the tools on surface line tool and then select the entire land mass that you have cut out. This allows you to raise it.
Just use the move tool to shift all those polies up to the desired shoreline height...in my case it was 12 feet......select/up-arrow to lock on blue/type in desired height...wala.
Now the fun starts...in the areas on the beach I had to add mesh..I took three passes with the sandbox mesh multiplier to get enough to work with, then I use the smooth tool to make a nice transition around the shore. I use what ever images I have of the site and do my best to achieve accurate contour. This takes time...probable a couple hours altogether just adding mesh and smoothing. Many times moving single verties up and down to get close.
You can put as much time into it as you want and get it looking very real if your customer is willing to pay..In this case I would call all of this medium detail. This early in the process it does the job very well....total time in this model was 12 hours.
I rambled a bit...If you have questions I would be happy to try and answer.
Forgot another important part...you will notice real Lumion terrain sticking up as well along the shore. You can use the fine shaping granularity to assist in shapping the lake. I also pushed up the terrain to cover the beach area and used the Lumion sand material because it is very realistic from that height and goes pretty good with the water.
So you have a lot of options when it comes to shaping and materials. The Lumion/GE/SU worflow is very versatile, fast and very productive.