When making my landscape materials, I interpolate between a 'near' and 'far' mapping scale for each texture (including normal and spec) , using a pixel depth mask to control falloff. This prevents distant materials from looking flat and undetailed and prevents obvious tiling. Also, none of my layers are 100% one material. Even my grass layer contains a blend between rock, grass, and dirt, to make it look more realistic. in terms of the landscape geometry, try using the erode tool and the detail smooth tool to create more interesting smaller shapes. Finally, multiply your normal maps by a constant 3 vector parameter, and experiment with different 'normal strengths' for each layer to break things up and make the details pop. Hope this helps!
Last edited by MOTHERJAVA; 05-27-2012 at 02:24 PM.
don't suppose you have a pic of your material set_up, i know i'm being cheeky but i'm hopeless with this sort of thing
I can't take a screenshot til later when I'm back home, but I'll definitely get one for you when I can.
thank you so much, your a STAR
Really good advice, especially about the blending and varied blending. I'd be interested to check that out as well. I'm currently using some GIS tools to generate some landscape alpha maps based on my heightfield gradient (slope), curvature (roughness) and distance to water.
This will drive the actual textures once in UDK.
Last edited by MOTHERJAVA; 05-27-2012 at 06:48 PM.
Thanks Dan, I'll check that out. I checked out your portfolio pieces, really nice work there. Love the atmospheric falloff in some of your shots, and I haven't been able to pick out any tiling or anything.
Last edited by joshua.fontany; 05-28-2012 at 02:50 AM.
Thanks for the kind words! The distance scaling I find is an invaluable tool for landscape/terrain materials.
I haven't yet updated my portfolio with some of my newest (best) shots, which can be found in my WIP thread here:
amazing stuff, looks like i've got my work cut out for me again.
might have a look round for some better textures, also need to look into foliage
Speaking of foliage, I actually use the scene depth mask in my grass shader as well to control the distant color and opacity just before the cull distance end, which helps the grass mesh blend more seamlessly into the landscape/terrain texture when combined with distance culling. Its quite a handy little tool
tried foliage last night, i'm problely doing it wrong but it increased my map build time from a few mins to over 20 mins, more learning then !
Wow. Geodav needing help? The thought makes me shudder. I guess even he is human.
I believe that if more people tried Blender in game development, it would also rise rather fast as a competitor to Maya and 3ds Max.
i have my limits as well, with the depth of this engine i doubt 1 person knows all.
side note yes i can do it all just not very well
This thread has really helped me create my landscape material so thanks a lot you guys.
I was just wondering tho Dan if you could maybe upload that material as some parts of it are unclear to me and I would like to get my hands on it.
Specifically the detailed dirt road, wet patches etc. Whenever i try to do that, it never works. The landscape brush is just not good enough. Maybe i am missing something, masks in the material maybe?
Ironically enough, the entire texture (with the road, dirt, grass, and even wet patches) is in fact a single stock udk texture (called grass blended, or something like that). The purpose of putting together this scene was actually just to try and make a very plain scene look as good as I could through tweaking.
The increased detail and minimization of visible tiling is purely a result of the "normal strength"parameter, the distance scaling (scene depth) function, and careful subtle blending with other landscape layers. Also, post processing contributed allot to enhance the detail and contrast, as well as the the overall filmic look of the scene.
So in other words, it's all in the tweak