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1 3Ds Max Tutorial Making Of 'Heading South' 3 on Fri Sep 24, 2010 8:19 am

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I used the same technique for the fence, with an additional extruded mesh from a selection of, theoretically, the most exposed polygons to the snow (Fig.09).
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Fig.09
Most of the small vegetation was grabbed from older projects. The tall grass was just painted on the ground using the script Advanced Painter (Fig.10).
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Fig.10

For the midground and background I scattered some long grass, billboard trees and bushes. It's a fast process, but it's worth looking at the reference pictures as much as needed and to try to have a global view of the result at all times to keep the overall consistency (Fig.11).
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Fig.11


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Texturing / Shaders :



The snow material is a simple white standard material. I did some tests using an Arch and Design material with sub-surface scattering, but it increased the render time without really improving the look of the snow (although I did use A&D materials but only for objects with opacity maps, as A&D's "cutout" works better with mental ray than "opacity" in the standard material).
I guess with this type of lighting (sunset with a low and relatively dim light), the modeling is more important than the shader to make it look believable.
Also, using a simple shader was much easier to manage than a complex one. Indeed, as almost all of the objects had at least one snow material on them, they had to look exactly the same (Fig.12).
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Fig.12

I was not quite satisfied with the snow covering the pine trees in the foreground. There was clearly a lack of details compared to the scale of the trees. So after testing a couple of possible solutions (I tried to completely remodel the snow using a new selection of leaves and some tweaking in the Blobmesh parameters), the best way I found was to use a Landscape shader in the Opacity slot, so when rendering we see only the upper part of the mesh.

Another trick to simulate a snow layer on the trees was to bake a set of lights placed on top of each source tree (using Render To Texture). The resulting black and white maps were used as masks in the leaf materials (Fig.13).
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