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Can Unity make a 3D forest like this?

Discussion in 'General Graphics' started by LongGood, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. LongGood

    LongGood

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    Hi everyone, I am an engineer, focused on the VR system. Recently we are building a nature scene for user to walk through.

    Recently, I found this picture is astonished. And think this will be a very good demonstration for us.

    is there any trick that we can make it possible by using Unity3D?
    thanks for your reading

    Ray
     
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  2. mgear

    mgear

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    *scroll down for bounty to do this scene in unity --->

    ** High resolution image: https://static.pexels.com/photos/35600/road-sun-rays-path.jpg

    I'd say probably not.. might get something similar or good enough though.
    - terrain wont work on such high resolution
    - terrain grass looks horrible
    - antialias issues
    - unity speedtree not ready/complete yet
    - maybe flicker on the light rays..until they release Adam demo features : )
    - performance issues with high amount of objects + VR

    this is probably best scenery i've seen in unity, which is not so far from your image actually :)
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/wip-eastshade-a-game-about-exploration.251469/

    every now and then i've been trying to make realistic forest scene also,
    not easy..(but also because i don't have proper meshes, trees, textures)
    http://unitycoder.com/blog/2015/05/24/forest-lake-scene-test/

    also you can get latest image effects from here,
    https://bitbucket.org/Unity-Technologies/cinematic-image-effects
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2016
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  3. Stardog

    Stardog

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  4. iamthwee

    iamthwee

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    Nope.
     
  5. jc_lvngstn

    jc_lvngstn

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    You'll also need some improved tree shaders. Heck probably vastly improved shaders for everything.

    So...to me this is like building a space shuttle. Or a Mona Lisa. Or an incredible skyscraper. You need very, very talented people to make the parts to make the thing, people who excel in certain areas. Like Stardog mentioned, you'll need an awesome texture artist, shader programmer, and modeller. As a humble hobbyist, I'd go so far as to say incredibly talented people.

    I'd love it if Unity included shaders or features to make scenes like that, out of the box, but it doesn't...or at least, I have no idea how to do that with the default stuff. And most people probably don't need that level of detail, at the cost of performance.
     
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  6. eXonius

    eXonius

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    As mentioned you will of course need very talented people to make textures and stuff in either case, but Unity while good for many things isn't known to be the best game engine when it comes to pure graphics quality.

    CryEngine and UDK seem to be capable of better looking scenes than Unity from what I've seen.
     
  7. SteveJ

    SteveJ

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    @LongGood What is that picture that you've posted? Is it a render? If so, what was it rendered by?
     
  8. LaneFox

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    You're asking the wrong question. The proper question would be more like "Which artist or team must I hire to get this result in Unity realtime?".

    People get stunning results in Unity all the time, people also get horrible results. Input == Output.
     
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  9. FlaflaTwo

    FlaflaTwo

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    This. You're going to need some decent graphics programmers to achieve this result. Certainly you will need to chew up Unity's graphics pipeline to get those light shafts to work. You will also need artists with a strong understanding of PBR. Perhaps you may also need to use photogrammetry to achieve some of the dirt / moss effects.
     
  10. looki666

    looki666

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    Where was this photo taken ? Will try to make this :)

    Found something about trees : in scene (probably :)) - some type of Beech , Oak , Hornbeam (not so sure - maybe old ) , and Pine , and also in background probably Spruce .
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2016
  11. mgear

    mgear

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    i'll offer bounty if someone makes amazing scene similar to that image :)
    http://unitycoder.com/blog/2016/05/04/250-bounty-build-this-scene-in-unity/
     
  12. jc_lvngstn

    jc_lvngstn

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    What an excellent idea!
    I do have some questions/suggestions, if I may.

    First, I would be willing to contribute to the bounty if the results (shaders, art, etc) are made publicly available. I suppose this may be a challenge if they use commercial assets like scion or such. If they can't make 3rd party assets public, perhaps they could post the configuration settings they did use for those assets, so others could achieve the same? PM if you are interested.

    You mention no fps limit...so even a 1 (.1) fps is acceptable? I gather you are more interested in achieving the look of the scene, not that it is necessarily playable?

    Anyway, just some thoughts...regardless, I'm very interested to see how close the Unity community can get. Good luck all!
     
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  13. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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  14. jc_lvngstn

    jc_lvngstn

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  15. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    no, it was made by baldinoboy – using the custom tree importer scripts and shaders.
     
  16. mgear

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    Yeah, thought of that, but since speedtrees cannot be distributed either it might be complicated..so for this round
    let people use paid assets etc.
    but having an open source, using free assets, scene made available would be amazing and very much needed..
    maybe try that for some other scenery after this.

    What about if you offer additional bounty, if the project is made public (if using their own or free assets)
    or at least that they provide detailed information how it was setup (screenshots of each setting etc).
     
  17. mgear

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  18. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    the custom tree importer tree shader are free to redistribute btw.
     
  19. looki666

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    First pass - terrain shader - only POM , next -Tessellation.
    I am a hobbyist , so will have plenty time to have fun with this .
     

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  20. larsbertram1

    larsbertram1

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    already looks very promissing. some tiling patterns on the path – but i am sure you can break that up easily :)
     
  21. mgear

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    That's looks great!
     
  22. looki666

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    About tiling - i will break it down with decals and better painted SplatMaps , also with small dead leaves and some small rocks , branches etc . .
    And thanks to Lars :) trees will have got proper Translucency , Tessellation on bark ( hmm , probably on everything ) . If my old GTX 770 will not melt ( Kepler cards are bad with Tessellation ) . So probably on Maxwells and beyond it will work twice as fast .

    But oh man , Unity terrain editor and painting Sucks big time and witch 4k terrain maps its slow .
    If somebody does not know , there is free GPU editing terrain program , have got also GPU erosion :)
    http://www.decarpentier.nl/scape

    Also for retopology for meshes there are some great free programs ( from Siggraph ) .
    http://igl.ethz.ch/projects/sketch-retopo/
    http://igl.ethz.ch/projects/instant-meshes/

    Maybe there will be useful for someone , first is not automatic , second one is automatic witch Guids .:)


    Those trees are mostly Low res , especially tree bark , and no Pbr for now . Just test for Volumetric Lighting (also low res ).
    Trees are not to actual scale .




    Regards .
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  23. looki666

    looki666

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    Some dead , cut trees - Highly work in progress :)
     

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  24. looki666

    looki666

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    Tree Tops an Volumetric Lighting .

    Btw. Volumetric Lighting is from :
    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/true-volumetric-lights-now-open-source.390818/

    Have tested also Blacksmith Volumetrics , looks almost the same , but do not have noise .

    My conclusion for Now - Unity is capable of good dense forest scenes , but from the start UE4 , and Cryengine is much easier . Tested them both .
    Unity have got really cool plugins for everything ( they offer even better quality than UE4 and Cry ) , but they are not integrated , so to much ........ time is needed for integrating them , instead this time should be spent on creating Art , Design ( like in UE4 and Cry .)

    My five cents :)
     

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    Last edited: May 14, 2016
  25. mgear

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    Where to got those trees..? :)

    btw. from the original image can see some info about camera lens, if it helps,
    upload_2016-5-14_20-40-59.png
     
  26. looki666

    looki666

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    Modified SpeedTree Oak . Thats about tree tops .

    I know that its far from Picture , but its hard challenge , and for now i am in GreyBoxing almost stage . Want this to run in at least 30 Fps on 770 ( probably not possible :) )

    Some more . Changed to Conifers for now . Tiling still visible - but little less .
    Will try to match that scene , but need to do my own textures for tree barks .
    Stock SpeedTree textures are good from distance but from close up they suck .
    Must also make proper Lods for trees .
    Also still no translucency , only stock shaders .
     

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  27. Flurgle

    Flurgle

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    I took a crack at the scene today - here's a still (my first post here! hi everyone :) ):





    Before and After Animations of Progress:

    #1 Place some trees based on the photo



    #2 - Place more trees and adjust shadow:


    #3 - Place lights, depth of field, contrast, a tree section at the end, sculpt in the road


    #4 - More trees. Spotlights to brighten leaves.. Small rocks. A big rock. Color ramp with slight blur. A blue spotlight, etc



    #5 - Final First Draft: More trees. Random shrubbery, color edit. Removed some lights. Added a sorta tire track thing






     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  28. mgear

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    Wow, looking good! Quite accurately matching those tree positions too.

    *that gif format is eating the colors though : )
     
  29. Flurgle

    Flurgle

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    Wow... I don't know what to say.... thank you. I woke up (Sunday) and (I'm looking at my browser history and I can't even see how I found this thread), but I was searching how to change the color of a face on a mesh in csharp (still not sure, but got ideas).

    I clicked on this thread and saw the question. The photo was gorgeous, and then you said "probably not", and I was thinking maybe I could give it a shot! So I spent most of the day messing around with the scene. I post my results... and then after looking around I see there is a bounty O O wow... didn't even see that before... amazing.

    So, considering it was only first draft quality, I'll definitely finish it and my progress as I go. Sorry about the gif quality... I still don't know how to screencapture good gifs, but I will post a very, very special video when I'd done, and open source the project on the asset store, and post plenty of pictures.

    Thanks again

    EDIT: I found this thread on Sunday from your blog apparently! http://unitycoder.com/blog/2015/03/24/mesh-melt-shader-test/ Your twitter feed caught my eye! That explains it. I'm really interested in deformable / deustructable mesh stuff.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  30. Moayd_Libya

    Moayd_Libya

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    Yes, It's simple to Make a Realistic Forest :) .. Just use Lightbeams and some terrain tools, Normal Maps and high-quality textures, And High-poly Trees, and just some lighting and shadows ..
     
  31. Flurgle

    Flurgle

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    A quick update: I've been doing a lot of research on my free time the past week on 1) adding tremendously more detail, while keeping the frame rate down. 2) Nearly perfectly replicated branches 3) Ultra detailed terrain floor 4) Better light shafts. 5) Proper lighting and color space 6) Terrain shaders & tessellation

    So far all these things I've gotten to work well together. Now it is time to get everything in the scene.

    My goal is 24-30fps, with full details. You will be able to walk through a forest path (Kinda circles around - only because of time constraints). It will start out in the view of the photo. I might add a few sliders to play around with too while in the scene.

    The previous version used only free assets, but this new one may use speedtree (mainly due to time constraints). I will then do a third version where I model the trees (when time permits). Expect a progress update in a week or so (or during the week).
     
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  32. looki666

    looki666

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    As for me , need to pass for some time on this one . Do not want to constrain forest to only this path .
    Biggest challenge will be optimizations to run this with acceptable frame rates in unity .:)
     
  33. mgear

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    Yeah no rush - only just now started looking for ground materials to test the scene myself also,
    and will try adding some custom tesselation shader for the ground, unless going to buy the rtp shader..
     
  34. Flurgle

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    Hehe, yeah no rush indeed. I'm going up against some serious limitations now. After figuring out each part... putting them all together is an absolute nightmare. :(

    A few small issues:
    #1 - For years it seems people have wanted more than 65k+ verts / mesh, and that seemed crazy, but now I'm one of them. I have a very simple painting system (for leaves, rocks, branches) but having to split it up into batches of 65k makes things more difficult. It seems unity has a hard limit of 65k verts/mesh. My machine can easily handle dozens of millions of vertices per mesh. Now you've got a workaround - simple. But what if you want to move things around? I bet there's a good asset that handles this situation, but I haven't looked yet.

    #2 - Multi terrain - I found that using multiple terrains can be beneficial, but if you use different shaders for different terrain, the fps drops to 25, because of Terrain.GenerateBasemap.

    #3 - Different assets just don't work well at all together (mostly my lack of time and planning) at all, especially if they use terrain - most of them seem to have their own terrain shader.

    #4 - Speedtree's shaders seem totally whack. I want my scene in deferred / linear, but speedtree doesn't support deferred. Gamma deferred looks completely different. So I guess the fix would be something like Alloy asset, or roll your own. Forward/Linear is decent, but still not polished.

    #5 - Using a single terrain shader asset with multiple terrains can be difficult, as many are not meant for more than 1 active terrain.

    Lesson learned: Plan your pipeline well!

    Back to the drawing board.
     
  35. looki666

    looki666

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    I have also run with problem with batches ( 65k+ verts limit ) and with hero trees .
    Btw , SpeedTree in Deferred shaders seems to be fixed in 5.4 beta18 , at least on my system the look now almost like in Forward .

    Edit1 : Nope its not fixed , have got wrong project settings :(
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2016
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  36. Flurgle

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    Yeah I can confirm it doesn't work. I haven't run into a hero tree problem, but that certainly sucks! So unity doesn't break up the speedtree when it's over 65k? Or is it some other glitch/bug?
     
  37. looki666

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    Yes it breaks it . Then you have got problem with displacement mapping in places when its split . I have imported 1MLN tris trees , but i want them in One piece :) .
     
  38. Flurgle

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    Ugh that sounds ugly
     
  39. Sir-Spunky

    Sir-Spunky

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    I tried to build this scene using only built-in assets, free textures from textures.com, and the built-in Tree Editor (pretty cool tool actually!). I also tried the open source volumetric lighting effect. It's hard to make the terrain look good, so I might have to use RTP in the end.

    Here's the result:

    forest24_crop.jpg
     
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  40. Flurgle

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    Mini review:
    You get an A for lining the trees up on the left side. Nice work adding the moss too. The branch on the 8th most tree from the far right (at the top) is quite nice - it extends out. Directional light seems right.

    Hopefully this will help you out - as a check list (I'm also taking another crack at this scene):
    These notes will help me too as I visualize details of the scene:
    - The shadows seem a bit strong on the ground.
    - Shadows on trees not aligned (for example see the far left tree).
    - Tree Leaves not same, nor are the branches
    - Right side trees not aligned
    - The Shafts are actually quite large if you want to replicate them perfects - i think there's like 12 or 13 shafts that go across
    - Missing the log on left side
    - Road should be a bit flatter
    - Little bits of plant/ grass on left side
    - There should be a slight fog at the end of the road
    - Leaves of trees cover up the whole ceiling, you don't see the sky at the top middle
    - Too many trees at right side, you should see the sky a bit there
    - Lighting of tree leaves seem inverted to original picture. The left side tree leaves should have more brightness than the right side.

    Those are just some of the major checklist things basically.


    ... and this makes me realize it's going to be very tough to do an exact copy, but is still fun :D
     
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  41. Sir-Spunky

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    Thanks for the comments! That's a great list, and I agree with all points :)

    It's definitely a great challenge, really tricky to add all the details required to make it look real, and to get the correct lighting and shadows. I haven't tried GI yet, but that might be required to make the lighting look more real. Also more complex materials with roughness maps, displacement mapping etc, which requires better shaders (especially for the terrain, such as RTP). In general, I think I need a lot more detail in the terrain. Would also like to try some external ambient occlusion effect to give the shadows more depth.

    Good luck with your new version, I'll try to give it another go when I get the time. It's really great practice, and it's fun to push Unity to its limits :)
     
  42. Deserializeme

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  43. AlanMattano

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    14 hs of work.
    Screenshots 04.jpg

    ( Vr4 tile: "Black desktop background")
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2016
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  44. AlanMattano

    AlanMattano

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    20 hs of work.
    Screenshot 06.jpg
     
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  45. neoshaman

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    what I like with this thread is to how close and far are the different interpretations of the same image!
     
  46. AlanMattano

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    True. I can't keep calm, I'm getting married this year! All this scene was made in a weekend.
    This is Vr n7 VIDEO

    link to the Post

    Screenshots 07 HD 2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
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  47. Flurgle

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    Nice attempt so far :)

    You did well on the tree placement. The light shafts are nice. See my checklist above for ideas on how to improve the other areas. The color is probably the most noticeable thing (tree in the middle is cool though - like a nuclear toxic tree :D )

    I'm still doing research. It's amazing how much you learn by such a seemingly simple forest scene.
     
  48. mgear

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    Trying to get the perspective and road length to something that looks ok..
    forestscene.gif
     
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  49. zenGarden

    zenGarden

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    DO you have a high resolution image ? We don't see very well all the moss, grass and tree roots.
     
  50. mgear

    mgear

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