My idea was to make a forest scene that looked a bit hot and steamy, probably due to the hot weather we’ve had here recently! I always like to start a scene by creating the foreground.
So, my foreground is a standard terrain increased to 512 resolution. I reset the terrain in the editor, then used the raise tool to build up the ground, and then inverted the tool to create a shallow stream bed. I used a terrain brush from the standard ones that ship with Vue.
Next, I added a 2D Plane and used “Trent” from Water Pack 2, and raised it to give a depth of around 6 inches to the stream. I then duplicated both the terrain and plane and moved them back behind the first ones. I wanted the stream central to the scene so I didn’t need to move the camera, other than to raise it slightly.
I used one of my grass and soil materials from my personal stash and added 4 ecosystem layers.
- The grass layer is Long Grass from Grasses – Plants library set to dynamic population, 100% density and decay near foreign objects set to the default. I also wanted to give the appearance of a meandering stream so I pained in a little curve of grass over the middle part to make it look like it veered off and then came back again in a little loop.
- The tree layer uses Scots Pine trees set to 79% density but I painted these on for accuracy.
- The Flowers layer is again painted on, just dotting them around the foreground. I used Lars Braad Andersen’s Cornflowers (free). Although the forest isn’t the usual habitat for them, I just felt like adding blue flowers to the scene and they fitted.
- The stones layer was painted onto the streambed using the ecopainter. These are just standard Stones that come with Vue.
Keeping the banks of the stream clear with the ecosytem settings, I loaded a few Scots Pine trees into the scene and placed them at intervals along the bank, tilting a few of them for added interest.
In the near foreground I loaded 2 trees that I made in The Plant Factory. I also placed a few larger rocks and a broken branch in the water, added a few bracken plants and a bent over bare tree (again made in TPF). Finally, I loaded a fawn and placed it at the edge of the water as if taking a drink.
I placed another terrain behind the 2 at the front, stretching it across the width of the scene. I lowered the height then tilted it slightly toward the camera and populated it with low-poly pine trees.
Finally, the atmosphere. I used one that I saved from a scene I did years ago that I find useful for misty forest scenes. I just tweak it to suit whatever I’m working on. It’s a Volumetric atmo with GR.
Finally postworked with a little levels adjustment and colour enhancement.