Sorry for the lack of decent updates. I know its only been a day or so, but it feels like its been a lot longer!
I’ve been tweaking the TOD to try and boost the greens a little, particularly in the open areas, as the bright harsh light tends to sap the colour a little, leaving it looking a bit dry and not the lush looking tropical grass you’d expect. I’ve improved it a little, but because the mid day light is bright and harsh, its always going to look a little less vibrant. After doing some research on Flickr for reference images, the colours i’m getting are pretty accurate based on the lighting conditions, so i’m not so worried about it now.
The more work i do to the time of day to try and make it prettier and capture some of the richness that other peoples TOD’s have, the less real it tends to look. Particularly in the shaded areas, where the high contrast and increased saturation just looks too over the top. I think the settings im using now are ideal for a realistic look, and i’m just going to have to wait till I’ve started work on the other ends of the timeline before i can start working with richer colours, particularly for the sunrise and sunset.
After a much needed extended sleep-in today (i work nights) i spent some time importing some new textures and fine tuning the colours of the existing ones. This is something i have spent little time on, and i don’t know if anyone has noticed (im sure some of you have), but I’ve been working with only a handful of different textures. I have two kinds of sand, wet and dry, grass, forest floor, soil (only used for dirt at construction site), road soil (painted under and at sides of roads), river rocks (the bumpy pebbles), road con (only used once so far for asphalt) detailed cliffs and distant cliffs (the high altitude basalt). This has made things a little tricky to get good results and its been really bugging me, so today i went through and cleared out all the unused textures and also the duplicate surface types. One restriction of CE2 that i didn’t know about, is a limit of 16 different surface types. This caused me some grief today as i was adding new textures and for some reason the surface types were wrong. Now i know.
This surface type limitation makes it difficult for such a large terrain with so many varied locations. I’ll have to be really careful with my surface types and try and optimize them as much as possible and reuse them for different textures. I should be all set now when it comes time to add the textures for the North of the island, where all the pines and redwoods will be.
I have had a few requests for larger, higher resolution images, so I’ve been playing around with the e_screenshot command which takes a really large hi res shot, using several smaller sections, then stitches them all together. The results are amazing, but a limitation of the command is that it wont capture post-processing effects like reflections and light rays. This makes some images look very dull, but the resolution and detail is superb. I’ll post some soon after i have finished with this texture work and once i sort out my Flickr account restriction.
My Flickr account is just a free account and im restricted to only 200 images and also the image size. Max image width is 1024, so even if i do upload some hi-res shots, they will be downsized anyway. If anyone wants to support the project by purchasing a gift of a Pro account for me, that would be super!
I know i haven’t uploaded the other pages, i’m still in the process of updating them. There’s a lot of info to go through and i want to be sure i have it all sorted, otherwise it will just be confusing with conflicting information.
Anyway, back to it..