Feature Request: ability to create complex scenes

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Feature Request: ability to create complex scenes

Post by Pastor » Mon Mar 20, 2006 9:25 pm

I would really like to see Blender have a way of rendering really complex scenes, i.e. a scene with millions if not billions of polygons. I live in the mountians of Appalachia where there are thousands of trees surrounding my home. I would love to be able to create a scene that has thousands and tens of thousands of trees in it. I know the trees can be created as billboards but for some scenes I think a polygon representation of the trees would be a lot better. The instancing abilities of Blender hold possibilities, but not enough possibilities. I can get about hundred trees out of Blender's instancing before I run into memory problems. A hundred trees are not a thousand trees.

I have played around with POV-Ray's ability to instance meshes. I have laid 50, 000 instances of the same tree mesh in a scene without any memory problems. In fact, once the original mesh is loaded, the memory usage doesn't change. Of course the problem with POV-Ray is that is so hard to use even when you begin to understand it. I'm a very visual person.

I have been playing around with a free copy of World Builder I got from 3d World magazine. World Builder creates complex scenes by creating areas that place and repeat an object. I'm still learning the product but from what I've seen it does allow for the creation of complex scenes without a huge overhead. I've read that Vue de Spirit does pretty much the same through the use of what it call Eco systems. I've never played with eco systems so I can't say how well they work. Both though would require compositing to work with Blender.

I think Blender could benefit from some sort of system that would allow for the creation of highly complex scenes. Blender already is one amazing program. For my purposes, if Blender had this capability, it would near perfect.
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Post by z3r0_d » Mon Mar 20, 2006 10:18 pm

why do all of your trees have to have the same amount of detail?

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Post by ZanQdo » Tue Mar 21, 2006 3:43 am

:-) Hosting for your test builds:

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Post by joeri » Tue Mar 21, 2006 9:26 am

There will always be a limit.
And people are always going want to go pass that limit.

So I think it's not a realistic request. Even if blender could render 100x more polygons then still it's just to easy for you to add 200x more polygons. 200 trees is nothing in a forest.

I suggest you render in depth layers.
First render the empty ground.
Then render the trees in the back.
Then render the trees in the middle.
Then render the trees in the front.

You get the idea.

It's easy to organize them in layers, maybe even to write a pythonscript that puts them in the right layer.
But as z3r0_d suggests it might be better to swap distant trees with low poly versions. This should also be easy to do with a python distance script.

Then, composite them in the seq-editor.

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Post by BogdanOancea » Tue Mar 21, 2006 12:16 pm

I remember the now-defunct Infini-D having a feature of automatically simplifying the meshes once they reached a certain safe distance from the camera (like Joeri said of a python script).

I know, this is not exactly an answer to the request, but such a feature combined with instancing could make such potentially *impossible* scenes slimmer for rendering.

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Post by intrr » Tue Mar 21, 2006 10:20 pm

instinctive-blender's Layer manager has the ability to switch layers on and off based on their objects' distances to the camera, effectively giving a totally flexible LOD. I've made huge scenes with particle grass and complex trees with it without any problems.

Too bad it has never been ported ;)

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