In the wittering of my last post I mentioned – for what must have been the hundredth time – that rendering vast broadland settings to stage my windmill models was tormenting my ageing machine. In finally beginning to think of a way about this, I touted the idea of ditching the landscape for figurine-esque stand, ornamental presentation, or perhaps restricting to just a small patch of land.
I’ve ultimately thrown these ideas together in my first play around, presenting the mills as dominant over their own miniature ‘world’, a vaguely faithful snapshot of their real-life vicinity (which was how I went about the landscapes). Here, and with the concept in mind, I’ve gone a bit over the top on saturation in an attempt to give a more elevated, idyllic feel to the thing.
The bushes are created by displacement maps on simple hemispheres. This allows things to run ten times smoother, though there are some pesky intersections with other objects, something I don’t entirely know how to fix. The world itself is quite simple. It’s made up of two layers: a hemisphere of water beneath a hemisphere of terrain – grass, or reeds where appropriate, again achieved by displacement. I simply cut into the greenery wherever necessary to reveal the river (it’s more like the Broads than I thought!). Criminally, I originally neglected water completely, so this was a late revision – how foolish it was to try and represent the Broads without water! They look so much stronger for it, especially with the scenery options that became available.
Be sure to purchase all four now! They’d look great on your shelf, standing in union:
I confess I don’t actually know if those are accurate in scale – I fear not, but they could easily be tweaked.
These were really, really fun to make, but in terms of opting for this over the previous, I’m not sure. The use of displaced shapes instead of complex trees might alleviate the performance problems anyway. All the same, it’d be a shame not to take this any further, as I think there is something coming through. I’m sure the concepts can co-exist!