you can fly!?

Discovering Puppy Ray

First steps with PD Artist 9.2

want more?
PD Artist tutorials
Dogwaffle tutes
PD Particles
old PD Pro tutes
YouTube channel

Haven't used Puppy Ray yet?

This is a raytracer added in Project Dogwaffle 9.0. With 9.1 it became both CPU and GPU based. For PD Artist, the first build with Puppy Ray was PD Artist 9.2. Let's experiment!

If you have an image like this (left), you can turn it into that (right).

modern painting created in Project Dogwaffle

rugged dry rocky desert - elevation map
if you're curious, this is the color map 3D rendering with height map in main  AND color map in Swap image
grey blocks blocks-3d.jpg

blocks-aged.jpg blocks-aged-3d.jpg

Those are just some examples. Read on and follow the steps for some ideas. Then create your own imaginary planets or 3D logos.

Getting Started...

You'll need some image as a starting point. Any pattern will do, or noise, a photo, whatever. You'll want pixels that are dark, for low elevation, and bright, for high elevation.

Try for example the Europa filter, in the Render filters.

Set the line count very low, and the Blur level very high. You'll get an interesting greyscale map.

If you'll be experimenting with this image, you may want to keep a snapshot of it. Make a stored image copy.  You can later click the thumbnail of it to restore it.

And that's it, you have a greyscale image, or just any image? Puppy Ray can use it as an elevation map, and render a pretty 3D landscape, endlessly tiling till it disappears into the distant fog. Select the GPU version if you have a good graphics card...

The preview area in the top is interactive: click and drag the mouse inside of it. The main image will be updated accordingly.

Use the icon for controlling the light source. Move it away if it's too bright. The right button lets you drag it higher up above the ground too.

Click Global Illumination, to add lighting from the surrounding sky image

Select one of the preset images. If you have an image loaded as the custom brush it can use that image too.

Click and drag the values for the Intensity (of the light source) or the Level of the fog. The higher the value for the fog, the farther in distance you can see the scene before it disappears in the fog.

Adjust the Prefilter to a low value to keep crisp small details, or high value for a more rounded, smoothed or eroded look.

When you're ready for the final rendering, choose the level desired, from the Quality menu.

Here's an example of rendering, using zero prefiltering, and no interpolation (unchecked):  every pixel in the heightmap turns into a small cube. Its elevation (or height) is based on the brightness of it.

Let's add a bit of variety to the patten. Try the Crystalize tool...

Keep the size small. Notice the effect it has on the outlines.

Next add some Jitter noise. This will add some separation into 'pilars' along the edges.

Don't worry about the pimage appearing too blurry. We'll soon use the interactive undo tool to reduce the intensity of this effect.

Click the tool in the upper right area, for interactive Undoing. Adjust the level down to about 30-40 percent.

Now the brightest areas have some noise from light grey. The darkerst areas show mid grey noise as well. This will add variations to the elevation map. Instead of all being at the same level, some variations in the elevation will be appearing.

Here's one with extra post work for adding a lensflare, and painting some foliage brushes. Oh, and the rendered image was first blurred.

Next, add some light diffusion. This can be used to create the appearance of sediments around the steep cliffs. The bright areas spill into the darker ones.

You might want to try it twice, first once with a small radius and once with a big one.

Then try with large radius.

Before using it in Puppy Ray, you may also want to make the texture seamless. Do this from the Imae menu.

Ok, that's enough for now. Play and explore, and have fun with PuppyRay.