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First steps with Puppy RayWhile it is very cool to use Puppy Ray for realistic landscapes with mountains, valleys, flat lands, eroded gullies, rivers and sediment deposits, oceans and lakes. Let's start with something much simpler, just a simple grid. This can be rendered from the menu: Filter > Render > Grid
In this case me made the distance between the grid lines rather small around 5 - 7 pixel units only, and the width of the lines is around 2 or 3. The lines are black, on white background. If you started with different colors you can also get to this by converting to grey scale and then expanding the dynamic range to make it spread between black and white.
If you zoom in to take a very close look at the image's pixels, you might notice some mild interference patterns or fuzzy details. Those might just be the artifact of Jpg compression/decompression, which is lossy. Ignore it, or consider it a nice additional sophistication for extra eye-grabbing detail. If you need your saved grid to remain crisp and sharp, use a lossless format like png, tiff, or our default targa.
The thing to remember is that this image will serve as an elevation map. The brighter the pixels, the higher in the 3D rendering it will appear.
Dark pixels will be seen in the lower regions of the landscape.
The coloring may not be dark, that color is coming from the other image in the Swap buffer. If it's at default plain white, the color will mostly be the result of various lighting effects, shadows, sky map, reflection or refraction with a water plane, if enabled, etc...
Anyway, here are a variety of renderings that can be done in PuppyRay. In this case we used the GPU version. Enjoy, and let it be an inspiration.
Without interpolation: very 'blocky' appearance.
With smoothing on the elevation map, and enabling bumps (Rocky mode here):
and now back to the blocky look, and a different bump map:
Placing the camera inside between the walls and with a light amount of post work to add the lens flare:
Now let's make a slightly fancier elevation map. Here we started from the same as the prior grid pattern but then also added a plasma noise pattern on top. There are many modes to combine them, such as Multiply, Less than, Complement... don't forget to make it seamless too. (Image menu: > Make Seamless) so that it will nicely tile in Puppy Ray.
And here we go with another render that shows more interesting variations in the elevations:
Here's another, first a straight render, then with extra post work:
Did you notice a few bright pixels? Not sure if it's a glitch on just mt graphic card, or a bug of some sorts. We'll use this in a tutorial on how to remove them if they show in your renderings.
Post work #1:
Post work #2:
We can also enable a water plane in Puppy Ray GPU version. Here, much of the terrain landscape is submerged under water, and it is an opaque reflective water surface with some wave deformations by normal maps.
Different settings for wave height, wave length, and adding breakers.
One more with fine noise added:
The water plane can also be transparent, which makes it refractive too. Now you can again see the landscape that is submerged. It is however distorted by the waves in the refrection through the water plane:
The SUn and Sky dome are reflected, and so are the parts of the mountain that are above wate - here with shorter waves:
Here again with extra noise - it sometimes makes the water look more blurry, almost murky. You could also add coloration to it from the color map in the Swap image.
Big Sun, and a bump map on the terrain:
This one appears to have two suns. The small blue star to the left of this binary star system is the visible sun that reflects on the water and provides most of the directional lighting and cast shadows. The big red giant to the right is part of the sky dome image. Still, it contributes its brightness and tinting to the scene's global illumination, and also appears reflecting in the water.
So far, we have only used the elevation map as an image resource, no special coloring or texture map, no custom animated skies. There is much more you can do and explore. For now, let's finishing this with a rendering as we fly over the water in this animation:
Here is the rendered animation, and all the prior images too:
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