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14 Apr 2024 19:27:35 EDT (-0400)
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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 7 Feb 2023 04:11:11
Message: <63e215af@news.povray.org>
Hi,
Last December, looking for something else, I cam across my scene from 2009:

https://news.povray.org/povray.binaries.images/thread/%3C4b1bcc05%40news.povray.org%3E/?ttop=439213&toff=2250

At the time, Christian Froeshlin suggested towards the end of that 
thread, to use a sub-heightfield to account for better details on the 
foreground. He kindly provided code to achieve this. For some reason, I 
never got around to get acquainted with the code and the project was put 
on hold.

So, I started experimenting and I finally came up with two macros, one 
for "pure" functions, and one for height_field map-based functions 
(which need to be slightly cropped around the edges).

I applied this last macro to my scene, excluded the scattering of rocks 
(I was not happy with those anyway), and took the opportunity to improve 
several awkward coding aspects of the scene, in particular the textures. 
The final result is this.

If somebody is interested, I can provide the macros of course.
-- 
Thomas


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 7 Feb 2023 04:14:56
Message: <63e21690$1@news.povray.org>
Op 7-2-2023 om 10:11 schreef Thomas de Groot:
> Hi,
> Last December, looking for something else, I cam across my scene from 2009:
> 
>
https://news.povray.org/povray.binaries.images/thread/%3C4b1bcc05%40news.povray.org%3E/?ttop=439213&toff=2250
> 

In fact, the code from Christian can be found here:

https://news.povray.org/povray.binaries.images/thread/%3C4b2cf3ab@news.povray.org%3E/

Sorry.

-- 
Thomas


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From: Mr
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 7 Feb 2023 09:20:00
Message: <web.63e25dad1f12570d16086ed06830a892@news.povray.org>
Thomas de Groot <tho### [at] degrootorg> wrote:
> Hi,
> Last December, looking for something else, I cam across my scene from 2009:
>
>
https://news.povray.org/povray.binaries.images/thread/%3C4b1bcc05%40news.povray.org%3E/?ttop=439213&toff=2250
>
> At the time, Christian Froeshlin suggested towards the end of that
> thread, to use a sub-heightfield to account for better details on the
> foreground. He kindly provided code to achieve this. For some reason, I
> never got around to get acquainted with the code and the project was put
> on hold.
>
> So, I started experimenting and I finally came up with two macros, one
> for "pure" functions, and one for height_field map-based functions
> (which need to be slightly cropped around the edges).
>
> I applied this last macro to my scene, excluded the scattering of rocks
> (I was not happy with those anyway), and took the opportunity to improve
> several awkward coding aspects of the scene, in particular the textures.
> The final result is this.
>
> If somebody is interested, I can provide the macros of course.
> --
> Thomas

OMG ! you did it again, that's some terrific improvement, of course I for one
would love the code, but this would also be such a great addition to have an
"official" tutorial on that "sub-heightfield" technique on the wiki !
Thanks for not giving up on that inspiring old paused work !


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From: Bald Eagle
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 7 Feb 2023 13:40:00
Message: <web.63e29a071f12570d1f9dae3025979125@news.povray.org>
"Mr" <m******r******at_hotmail_dot_fr> wrote:

> OMG ! you did it again, that's some terrific improvement, of course I for one
> would love the code, but this would also be such a great addition to have an
> "official" tutorial on that "sub-heightfield" technique on the wiki !
> Thanks for not giving up on that inspiring old paused work !

I would agree on all points, as I have a somewhat related project that uses
bezier surfaces and the more I understand about this, the further along the
learning curve I'll be for puzzling out possible analogous solutions.

That's such a nice, simple scene that's come together _really_ well.

And, I would say, that given the amount of effort that you've put into creating
landscapes and the people and objects to give them scale and context - even a
Bill Pokorny - style "thinking out loud" guide about how you start and work
things out to the end would be of great value to a lot of people, and who knows
what else you might come up with while describing your usual workflow.

- BW


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 8 Feb 2023 02:33:01
Message: <63e3502d$1@news.povray.org>
Op 07/02/2023 om 19:35 schreef Bald Eagle:
> "Mr" <m******r******at_hotmail_dot_fr> wrote:
> 
>> OMG ! you did it again, that's some terrific improvement, of course I for one
>> would love the code, but this would also be such a great addition to have an
>> "official" tutorial on that "sub-heightfield" technique on the wiki !
>> Thanks for not giving up on that inspiring old paused work !
> 
> I would agree on all points, as I have a somewhat related project that uses
> bezier surfaces and the more I understand about this, the further along the
> learning curve I'll be for puzzling out possible analogous solutions.
> 
> That's such a nice, simple scene that's come together _really_ well.
> 
> And, I would say, that given the amount of effort that you've put into creating
> landscapes and the people and objects to give them scale and context - even a
> Bill Pokorny - style "thinking out loud" guide about how you start and work
> things out to the end would be of great value to a lot of people, and who knows
> what else you might come up with while describing your usual workflow.
> 

Thank you indeed sir.

I have the intention to write a HowTo about this scene, especially as - 
since 2009 - I have learned quite a lot of new tricks which I then 
applied here. I am really thinking about a "Robert McGregor" kind of 
explanation. I am sure it can indeed be of benefit to others, if not for 
remembering myself on how to do certain things! I often have to reinvent 
my own wheels... ;-/

Otherwise, I do much if not most by intuition and trial-and-error. 
Especially the second half of the scene building process when the 
essential elements are in place one way or another, are time-consuming. 
It is this fine-tuning which consumes most of the time nowadays (in the 
past I felt a kind of "urgency" which drove me on towards the end; not 
always with best results I am afraid).

-- 
Thomas


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 8 Feb 2023 02:38:22
Message: <63e3516e$1@news.povray.org>
Op 07/02/2023 om 15:18 schreef Mr:

> OMG ! you did it again, that's some terrific improvement, of course I for one
> would love the code, but this would also be such a great addition to have an
> "official" tutorial on that "sub-heightfield" technique on the wiki !
> Thanks for not giving up on that inspiring old paused work !
> 

thank you indeed Maurice! All the original credits for the sub-HF 
technique should go to Christian as he is the original "inventor" of it 
as far as I am aware. But see in my answer to Bill, what I intend to do 
(asap?).

-- 
Thomas


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From: Kenneth
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 8 Feb 2023 06:55:00
Message: <web.63e38c771f12570d9b4924336e066e29@news.povray.org>
Thomas de Groot <tho### [at] degrootorg> wrote:
> Hi,
> Last December, looking for something else, I cam across my scene from 2009:

> So, I started experimenting...and took the opportunity to improve
> several awkward coding aspects of the scene, in particular the textures.
> The final result is this.
>

I feel like I am standing right there on that majestic mountain. What a
beautiful and sublime image! I do remember your earlier versions too, which were
quite impressive.

I especially like what appears to be a hint of wind-blown snow in the air, in
front of one of your more distant craggy peaks, with the sunlight giving it a
hazy look there. It certainly adds to the scale of the scene, its vastness, and
the overall feeling of cold solitude. And realism!

The textures are superb too.

This image will go into my folder of 'extraordinary POV-ray renders'. Excellent
work.


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From: Bald Eagle
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 8 Feb 2023 07:00:00
Message: <web.63e38dcc1f12570d1f9dae3025979125@news.povray.org>
Thomas de Groot <tho### [at] degrootorg> wrote:

I am really thinking about a "Robert McGregor" kind of
> explanation. I am sure it can indeed be of benefit to others, if not for
> remembering myself on how to do certain things! I often have to reinvent
> my own wheels... ;-/

Yeah, well, there have been a couple of times when I looked online for some
POV-Ray code, found a pretty nice piece of code that seemed to be tailor-made
for exactly what I wanted it for, and then when I dug further to see who the
author was, in case they had written any more such code ....
....

it was my own code, which I had written for exactly what I wanted to use it for
- again.  I'm not entirely sure how to describe how I feel when that happens.
:|

> Otherwise, I do much if not most by intuition and trial-and-error.

Well, this is exactly what some people need to hear in those exact words.
Otherwise they may speculate that you have a magic wand or crystal ball, or
secret knowledge handed down to you from the Dev Team or your colleagues at that
Ivy League computer science department PhD meeting....
Some people really do need to know that we just try new and different things
until we find out what works, and we reject "error terror" and come up with
reasons (that sound good at the time) to explore and try out new ideas.
This is a skill that has somehow gotten - lost.

But also, there are surely many 3rd-party tools and resources that you use in
the creation of your "scene assets".  Why you picked them, what they're good
for, what they don't really do well, how you might combine 2 or 3 tools to make
a single object {}, ....  Especially things like plants, which someone making
their first landscape scene would likely be most puzzled and daunted by.
Past scenes that inspired you, or that you recall some method that someone used
for a function, a texture, an effect...
Macros, include files, - all of that is likely a lot of unconscious stuff that
you draw upon to make landscape after landscape, each with very different themes
and styles.

> Especially the second half of the scene building process when the
> essential elements are in place one way or another, are time-consuming.
> It is this fine-tuning which consumes most of the time nowadays (in the
> past I felt a kind of "urgency" which drove me on towards the end; not
> always with best results I am afraid).

I hear that.  I have to accept that sometimes I just have to work within the
available timetable, and get a scene file / render "published", else it will
just be another unknown POV-Ray file in a directory on a HDD somewhere, rather
than an accessible record/reminder to serve as a future starting point for
myself or someone else.

I know other people who won't release anything until it's "perfect", and indeed,
many of us here have worked on several projects either individually, or in
collaboration on a greater whole - that have taken several months, or more.

Still again, there are other projects that people have taken up and put down -
only getting posted after a great many years.   Or 7 or 8 revisions get posted,
with each demonstrating some improvement in knowledge, inspiration, learning,
skill, access to tools, or new POV-Ray features.

It's certainly about the techniques and methods, but it's also a story.
I, for one, am glad you're planning on telling it.  :)


"TdG: Architect of Landscapes and a Vast POV-Ray Archive, the Epic Saga"


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From: s day
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 8 Feb 2023 07:10:00
Message: <web.63e390221f12570d96f912fa6a8f0b95@news.povray.org>
Hi Thomas,

This is a huge improvement, the old image was nice but this one is great, the
detail in the foreground is fantastic, the snow looks great and the texture
improvements really add to the scene.

It was well worth revisiting.

Sean


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From: Thomas de Groot
Subject: Re: Journey to an Unknown Region - revisited
Date: 8 Feb 2023 10:51:00
Message: <63e3c4e4@news.povray.org>
Op 8-2-2023 om 12:55 schreef Bald Eagle:
> Thomas de Groot <tho### [at] degrootorg> wrote:
> 
> I am really thinking about a "Robert McGregor" kind of
>> explanation. I am sure it can indeed be of benefit to others, if not for
>> remembering myself on how to do certain things! I often have to reinvent
>> my own wheels... ;-/
> 
> Yeah, well, there have been a couple of times when I looked online for some
> POV-Ray code, found a pretty nice piece of code that seemed to be tailor-made
> for exactly what I wanted it for, and then when I dug further to see who the
> author was, in case they had written any more such code ....
> ....
> 
> it was my own code, which I had written for exactly what I wanted to use it for
> - again.  I'm not entirely sure how to describe how I feel when that happens.
> :|
> 

Yes, I fully understand!

>> Otherwise, I do much if not most by intuition and trial-and-error.
> 
> Well, this is exactly what some people need to hear in those exact words.
> Otherwise they may speculate that you have a magic wand or crystal ball, or
> secret knowledge handed down to you from the Dev Team or your colleagues at that
> Ivy League computer science department PhD meeting....
aahh... you found me out... ;-)

> Some people really do need to know that we just try new and different things
> until we find out what works, and we reject "error terror" and come up with
> reasons (that sound good at the time) to explore and try out new ideas.
> This is a skill that has somehow gotten - lost.
> 
Indeed. It may be that the art of (digital) doodling is getting lost (I 
guess the increasing use of social media for instance) as it is one of 
those fundamental activities which stimulate imagination and/or 
inspiration. Too many apps or software just take just that out of your 
hands. Disneyfying as it were.

> But also, there are surely many 3rd-party tools and resources that you use in
> the creation of your "scene assets".  Why you picked them, what they're good
> for, what they don't really do well, how you might combine 2 or 3 tools to make
> a single object {}, ....  Especially things like plants, which someone making
> their first landscape scene would likely be most puzzled and daunted by.
> Past scenes that inspired you, or that you recall some method that someone used
> for a function, a texture, an effect...
> Macros, include files, - all of that is likely a lot of unconscious stuff that
> you draw upon to make landscape after landscape, each with very different themes
> and styles.
> 
Absolutely true.

>> Especially the second half of the scene building process when the
>> essential elements are in place one way or another, are time-consuming.
>> It is this fine-tuning which consumes most of the time nowadays (in the
>> past I felt a kind of "urgency" which drove me on towards the end; not
>> always with best results I am afraid).
> 
> I hear that.  I have to accept that sometimes I just have to work within the
> available timetable, and get a scene file / render "published", else it will
> just be another unknown POV-Ray file in a directory on a HDD somewhere, rather
> than an accessible record/reminder to serve as a future starting point for
> myself or someone else.
> 
> I know other people who won't release anything until it's "perfect", and indeed,
> many of us here have worked on several projects either individually, or in
> collaboration on a greater whole - that have taken several months, or more.
> 
> Still again, there are other projects that people have taken up and put down -
> only getting posted after a great many years.   Or 7 or 8 revisions get posted,
> with each demonstrating some improvement in knowledge, inspiration, learning,
> skill, access to tools, or new POV-Ray features.
> 
I think I have also followed those different paths. It depends on the 
project; on the personal feeling about the (lack of) progress made; on 
the hesitations about the choices made...

> It's certainly about the techniques and methods, but it's also a story.
> I, for one, am glad you're planning on telling it.  :)
> 
Yes, and thank you for your thoughts here which are stimulating and 
guiding me in the right direction. Just have to write it up, huh? We 
shall see; the start is the hardest part is my experience.

> 
> "TdG: Architect of Landscapes and a Vast POV-Ray Archive, the Epic Saga"
> 
LOL! I thought about "The Landscape Factory". The /Archive/.... that is 
another thorn in my heel which I need to tackle too.


-- 
Thomas


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