Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Sorry to be a Blog Overachiever

But I have some questions about the paint tool. I recently discovered the Paint Effects tab and I don't fully understand it, but it does really cool things. If you go to "getbrush" in this tab you can select from 100s of brushes that create geometry and textures on a NURBs surface.

This is a poor screenshot of a poorly lit birch tree sitting on some nice green grass. All it took was some quick strokes with the brush tool. But my question is what are these objects that have been painted on? They appear to have geometry but I don't know exactly when they would be used. Is all the heavy duty modeling done on the characters and then the backdrops are just piecing together pre-made things?


arturo said...

Not to be sorry about blogoverachieving! that's fine with me! The brushes generate what are called procedural objects.
This is similar to the procedural textures, such as fractals and smoke etc. In fact fractals are at the base of most procedural objects. The little magical formula (z2 + c) that Benoit Mandelbrot popularized in the 70's (he coined the term fractal has been responsible for the explosion of computer graphics for the last 36 years!

The recursive formula can generate, depending on the "seed" and minimal parameter variations, clouds, trees, oceans etc. you get the idea.

arturo said...

As to when to use them, well, you can use them to create your landscapes, or a plant in a flower pot or whatever you want and of course combine them with your own creations. They are geometry. The only problem is that you will quickly run into rendering problems if you use them a lot. That is why trees and shrubs are usually made with maps with alpha channels on simple polygons, at leas for far away pieces, but if done correctly can withstand pretty close looks without giving the trick away. All games or VR worlds use that more thatn fractal generators. But that is cahnging due to processor speed.