Creating believable landscapes, with enough natural density and detail, in 3D has never been the easiest of tasks. There have been a number of packages available, designed for that specific task, many of which excel in the portrayal of vast mountain ranges, huge seas, dramatic skies and the like, and all of them are excellent for strange, barren or alien worlds, but few offer the facility to make these landscapes more akin to what we are familiar with in the greener, lusher parts of our own world. The primary reason for this seems likely to be that although it’s possible to recreate any plant, tree or flower and use it within our virtual scenes, if you try to work with anything more than a handful of these often high poly models, the scene will grind to a halt, and probably take days to render.
Due to this limitation, I have often employed many workarounds using high detail photo texture maps for ground cover, photographic planes of trees for background foliage, or avoided certain viewpoints all together!
However, a new and ongoing commission has forced me to look again at what is available for these tasks, and my head has been turned by e-on’s latest incarnation of its Vue Infinite landscape creation software, and specifically its EcoSystem functionality.
This workshop is rather different to many I have done previously, since this time around I’m inviting you to explore the creation of this scene with me, on only my third attempt at working with the software.
Scene files and many more screenshots are on the cover disc, and will provide the all-important extra details for you to follow along.
From issue 16.