Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

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Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Mistro11 » Sun Dec 23, 2012 10:54 pm

Hi,
I would like to create some water scenes like a lakeside or beach house but am at a loss as to how to go about setting up the water. In my last attempt, I made a terrain with TT's Bitmap2mesh and raised a rectangular plane where the water level would be. I then exported to Kerkythea and tried the various water materials from the water pack but none looked as realistic as I wanted. Though shaders and bump maps can be used, I would also like to model as much as possible to make the scene more convincing. I searched for any tutorials on making displacement maps for oceans but having a hard time finding a universal method that would cover most 3D render packages. I'm thinking if I can at least learn how to make a proper water displacement or bump map, I can apply it with the Bitmap2mesh to make a water plane within Sketchup and even make my own materials. Does anyone know of a good tutorial on this or is there a free program that can generate such maps like how the program "Wilbur" can generate terrain maps?
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Chris Fullmer » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:59 am

I tend to think you'll get better results by doing the water as a flat plane and rendering it completely in a rendering software. If it didn't come out looking realistic enough.....do more tutorials. As for a universal solution, you pretty much described the basics of how it works. But remember that each software has its own process for wokring with materials, maps, etc. So a single universal solution there isn't.

Want to post what you came up with? Maybe people here can help give some tips on how to make it more realistic?
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Mistro11 » Tue Dec 25, 2012 9:25 am

I think I'm on to something. :geek:

I used ThomThom's Mesh from Heightmap plugin to make the terrain and the water mesh after making a greyscale bitmap in Photoshop.

In Photoshop I created some displacement maps for the water by doing the following from the filters:
1. Create clouds
2. Create Noise
3. Bas Relief
4. Motion Blur
I played around with the settings of each filter to get various effects and saved out of greyscale mode as a 8bit bitmap. Using TT's plugin I try to stay at 100 pixels and under. 50 pixels works just fine (see the calm water below).

This is a result after doing the mesh to heightmap operation in sketchup. Works like a charm.
River2.jpg


This is a test render in Kerkythea. I assigned a glass material to the water mesh. This one would probably be better for an ocean scene. Not as realistic as I want but it's a start. This water mesh was created with a bitmap of 100x79 pixels
watertest6.jpg


This one is more like it but calm. It works. This mesh was created with a bitmap of 50x60 pixels
watertest3.jpg


I will experiment further to get some better water effects. I'm trying to get more radial waves but still trying to figure it out in PS.
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby notareal » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:03 pm

One important thing with Kerkythea - it does lack "Sun Pool Caustics". So water is a bit tricky to get realistic... one needs a way to fake caustics. Some underwater projector lights with suitable caustics bitmat might do the trick ;)
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby irwanwr » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:03 pm

nice water with Kerkythea :)
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Gaieus » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:43 pm

Or you can use something like this (there's also a free version if you do not mind that watermark)

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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby pbacot » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:52 pm

Thanks

I think that's a very realistic SU solution.
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Chris Fullmer » Fri Dec 28, 2012 10:38 pm

Well, what you came up with sure looks great!
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Mistro11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 4:56 am

Thanks for your replies! The only drawback with this method is that you lose detail from the bmp image as you smooth the geometry. With bigger waves the mesh tends to create jagged peeks so smoothing is necessary unless a higher resolution bmp is used which greatly increases triangle count. I'm still liking the results I'm getting so far.

@notareal: Yeah, read about that. Saw some work arounds but never tried yet. I did some tests in Kerkythea by using photon map caustics and I see a difference. The water looks more realistic and I do see some subtle shadow effects on the river bed during the irradiance calculation. This is probably because the surface is a mesh displaced and not simply a flat surface with a bump map applied. But with calm water in a swimming pool I get what you're saying.

@Gaieus: That looks really cool.

I found some water textures from http://texturelib.com/#!/category/?path ... ater/water

Here are 2 more renders using a texture from above site.
This is a semi-calm one with a bitmap at 100x75 pixels
watertest7.jpg


This one is more turbulent with photon map caustics and I raised bitmap resolution up to 150x113 pixels.
watertest9.jpg

I forgot to mention that during the Bitmap2mesh operation, the height of the waves also depend on the height set on the blue axis. A shallower height would make calmer water. The calmer image in this post was set lower than the second more turbulent one. I forgot the heights but will get into the habit of making notes.

Using images from real waves looks a lot more convincing. I tweaked them in PS before applying. To solve the small detail problem (the smaller ripples on the bigger waves) I am trying to apply a bump map texture to the glass in Kerkythea but for some reason the bump from the image is not showing up. I applied a bump map to a flat plane and it showed just fine. It's a head scratcher. To be continued....
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby pbacot » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:21 am

What is your smoothing method? Do you mean with Artisan?
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Mistro11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 7:12 am

pbacot wrote:What is your smoothing method? Do you mean with Artisan?

Yes, I use Artisan to smooth the geometry. Just one pass is good enough. It's not necessary on calm water. I did not smooth the water meshes in first 2 renders in this thread. I only had to do it with the last one in my previous post where some of the peaks had more height. So it's not something that must be done every time.
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby thomthom » Sun Dec 30, 2012 12:43 pm

Do you have a wireframe view of that model? Would be interesting to see.
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Mistro11 » Sun Dec 30, 2012 5:49 pm

thomthom wrote:Do you have a wireframe view of that model? Would be interesting to see.

Here ya go...
After making the water mesh, I then made it into a component and copied 2 times. I flipped the second mesh so the waves line up to avoid seeing a seam in the render. Was a bit scared to make a mesh on a very large scale at one time.
River2Mono.jpg


River2wire.jpg


River2monohidden.jpg


River3hiddenlines.jpg


It looks worse than it actually is. The meshes took seconds to create on my 4 year old Q6600 Quad core.
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby dale » Sun Dec 30, 2012 6:48 pm

I'm following this with interest. A really nice method and results. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Bob James » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:36 am

Following with interest :thumb: .
Is the difference between wireframe 2 and wireframe 3 an intersection opertion? Then smoothing of the results?

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Re: Oceans and Seas in Sketchup?

Postby Gaieus » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:40 am

Off-Topic:
Bob James wrote:@Gaius
Whose guitar music is that??? Super music.

I have no clue, Bob. I just grabbed an example from YT.
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