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In this course, author Dan Ablan walks through the process of understanding the MODO workflow while learning to create 3D models and animations. The course teaches fundamental tasks, such as modeling polygons and applying materials with the Shader Tree, while exploring scene building in depth through advanced lighting, camera, and animation techniques. The course also covers MODO's schematic tools and shows how to render animations for various playback media.
In a couple of the previous videos I talked about bump maps briefly, and I'd like to get a little bit more into that. So what I'm going to do is create something that I think is really terrific for bump maps, and that's a landscape. So what we're going to do is, in the Basic tab, select the Box tool, or the Cube tool. And we're going to rotate our view around holding the Alt key and just zoom out just a little bit, and make sure we're on the Y axis, so you can see that from your workplane icon down here on the bottom left. And we're just going to draw out a nice big flat box. But before I turn off the Box tool, I want to create some segments on the X and on the Z, about 9 or 10 each-- keep it nice and even.
Click the Box tool, turn it off, and then I'm going to hit the Tab key to turn it into a subdivision surface. Then using T, which is my Element Move in Polygon mode, I can then move some of these around. So what we're going to do is just click on some of these points and just shape this landscape a little bit. And all we want to do here is get like our basic mold going. Just think of it that way; we're just going to do just some of the basics. Most of the landscape texture is going to come from bump maps. And all we're doing is just kind of getting a--just a general shape in here.
And we'll probably put some of these back ones up a little bit higher. If you want a little bit larger spread, use your right mouse button to increase that range, and that will pull a little bit more of those polygons. Something like that. Okay, so then turn off the Transform and let's jump to the Item mode, and so far that's looking pretty good. So let's get to our Render tab, and we're going to set up our camera, which looks pretty good just on its default. So we've got just a simple landscape right here.
Now we've not talked too much about environments yet, but what I want to do is just create that environment. It helps get into the feel of what we're going to do. Open up that environment from the Shader Tree, and for the Environment Material, we have a 4 Color Gradient. You can also talk about Overcast Skies, Physically-based daylight, things like that that will just put a generic look in there. Or very simply, you can change the color. So let's go to a 2 Color Gradient, and we're going to do a little bit more of a blue sky, of course something traditional.
And then the Nadir, the very bottom color, we'll create a little bit more of an orange, and just create this nice little cast in the sky. So we've not created a surface for this yet. So what I want to do is make sure that that polygon is selected. So here it says Mesh. I'm going to click on it and call this Landscape. And I'm going to press M on the keyboard, so the selected item will have a polygon material called Landscape, or whatever else you want to call it. And then just click Return. And so now, back in the Shader tree, I have all these properties to work with.
So initially, let's set a base color for this. And certainly we don't want a red; we want a little bit more of a brown, so I'm just going to bring that down. That works well, and move your mouse and that panel will go away. And we don't really need it shiny or anything else, so I'm just going to ignore those for right now. And what we're going to be concerned with is this Bump Amplitude down here. So let's open up the Render and make sure that this material we just created is the one we're going to work with. And that's what's showing up here. Now remember that the Base material there by default is no longer needed.
You can leave it and use it for something else, but just to keep organized, we're going to delete it, just so you're not confused. And with that material, now we want to add some sort of bump. So we're going to say Add layer. We're going to go to the Enhance:modo Textures. I'm going to come down to Organic, and I'm going to first choose Crackle, and it puts that kind of surface on it. And this is great for deserts and things like that. But if I go to the Texture Locator, I can click the gang-select one time, then click and hold on these arrows and drag. And equally, that image will scale them, and that looks pretty good.
Then instead of Diffuse Color as the effect of this, I'm going to right-click on it, go to Surface Shading, and choose Bump. Now it doesn't look like much happened, and that is because we need to change the base of the material for the bump. Earlier, I had mentioned that that's really important from this Surface Normal section. What's happening here is that the Bump Amplitude, the amount of the bump, is only set to five millimeters by default. If you take a look at your overall scene, look down in the right corner, you've got 200 millimeters as our Grid Size.
And the grid are those little tiny squares in there. So imagine if one little square right there is just 200 millimeters, and this is only set to 5 millimeters, clearly that's not enough. So we're going to change this to 400 millimeters, and look what happens to our landscape. All of that crackle surface is now pushing that geometry, okay. But we're going to keep that a lot less. We're going to add these as layers. So we'll just go 100 millimeters, just so we have sort of a little base roughness. From here, we're going to add another Enhance:modo Texture.
Now before I go much further on this, you can download demographic data from the Internet. And there's a lot of places where that's public domain. Some of it's free, and it's satellite black-and-white imagery because it's the black-and-white data in this texture, or in the image maps, that allow the bump map to work; where it's white, it'll push out, and where it's black, it won't. And a gray area will of course fade in between those. So you can download demographic regions to create really nice shapes and interesting looks. And then we'll come to Noise. And for the Noise, you can pick any one of these.
But essentially, we want something that's just has a lot of noise to it, like our crackle did, but a little bit softer. And for that, we can choose Dented. And the Dented is very similar, but notice that the edges are much softer. And then with Dented, I also can make that a bump map from the Surface Shading area just like that. Now the only problem with doing this is that our base material for the bump map was set for the first bump. We need this Dented to be more bumped. Well, how can we do that? Well, you can create another material within here and you can nest these material groups together.
But before we get too complex like that, let me just show you what will happen if we made a larger bump map. And I'll make this about 500 millimeters. So now you're getting a blending of this Crackle, which is the smaller bumps, and the Dented, which is a larger bump. But what if we blend it with a displacement map? And here's why. When we have tiny little bumps, they work very well for this area right here. But what about up here? Look at the back. That's very, very smooth. See, a bump map is actually fake. It's just a visual fool; it's not really bumping the surface.
It's just giving you a fake look. And let me put this on something like this Gooch surface. Notice that the object is still smooth. But if I change this Dented, if I right- click on it, go to Surface Shading, and change it to Displacement, it physically changes the object. And I'll come back to Advanced OpenGL, and then let's come back down to our material. And now the Displacement Distance also has to be increased. So we'll go to 500 millimeters, and now look what happens.
That material back there is physically moving that surface. If we put RayGL On, you can also see it down in here. The RayGL, which I don't use often, is a viewport preview of your texture. Oftentimes. depending on how complex your scene is, it takes a little bit effort to redraw. But it's very similar to this preview window, but it's done in your OpenGL view. So a combination of bump maps and displacement maps can really help create a unique surface. Then add to that a nice texture, lighting, and you can create quite a look for your scene.
I'm going to go back to the bump map, and we're going to bring this back down to 100 millimeters. And now we've got this nice crazy landscape. And of course we can do a lot more to it, but a combination of bump map for tiny bumps and displacement maps for physical bumps really helps create the surface. We'll jump back to material, just because this is bothering me. We don't want it shiny, so we'll change that Specular to 0, and that takes away all that shine. But if you want a little bit in there of just some kind of depth, change it to just like 1%.
And when that's on, you can then change the Roughness. See what it does? It almost gives it like a clay look without being too shiny. And then the Specular Amount, which we've talked about in our basic video, we can actually change that just to something like red or blue or something a little more organic, so that the highlights aren't quite as shiny. Later, we can save this and use it for lighting and more texture. But bump maps and displacement maps go hand in hand. Just remember that bump maps can add that fine detail that you can't often get from just the model itself.
Displacement maps will physically bump and displace the object. They will add more geometry to your scene when it comes down for rendering, but often it can really help with certain landscapes like this.
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