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Subject: Ideas for creating footprints?Lz2483 opened this issue on Jun 03, 2005 · 44 posts
I was goofing around with P6 and began wondering if it was posible to create the effect of a footprint on the ground plane. So I had a friend make a footprint impression which I then applied to the ground plane as a displacement map. Problem is, it doesn't look natural (see render) I was wondering if anyone had any ideas for making the impression look more realistic. ie:creating a more rounded edge to the displacement and perhaps a little more realism to the shape in the y axis. I have played around a little with magnets, but that gets a little tedious for just playing around. Anyone have any suggestions, tuts, or even a decent joke would do.
Hi :) displacement maps are like terrain you can't put just black footprint, you need to make relief, scan or make photo of your foot and then with Photoshop create a relief of the foot, remember to remove the background, after this remove colors from the image and set a bit darker and you can blur it a little bit depended where you wish to have the footprints on.. or just play with the one I made :) that are painted footprints and not from Paris Hilton lol ha ha Hugs! Cath
Nice idea ziggie ... you know you can make a really wet effect... change the footprints above to negative and use as specular map on a plane, it is the best effect when you render animation and change the light, the footprints will shine. you can also use a reflect node on a plane and plug in the footprints as low value bumps... it will looks like somebody was walking on the mirror .. I made this one a time ago in test animations :)
Hi Cath, (Mec4D) I did try that and from the top that does look really good. Maybe I'm too much of a perfectionist, but I learned that viewing from different camera angles will affect the realism of the effect, which is why I was looking for other ways to approach this. I think displacement maps are somewhat limited, although I hadn't thought of blurring the image, that would probably solve the hard edges. What started out as simply playing is becoming a bit of an obession LOL. I'll keep playing with it and see what comes of it. Thanks for your responses.
I seem to have figured out the most difficult part. So while this isn't a comprehensive tutorial, it will give those who have shown an interest a good start. This is a fast method used to get a reasonable result but will by no means address all the problems you will encounter. I don't mean to sound condescending but I will assume that you are fairly new to Poser so these instructions may be a little irritating to those of you who know the interface. A standard displacement map (solid black and white)doesn't really provide a realistic impression, so the difficult part is getting a refined diplacement map (gradient) that will give the "impression" a realistic 3 dimensional look. Keep in mind this is still a WIP, so it will require some tweeking to get it right. This example uses a footprint as the desired effect, However, this principle can be applied to virtually any 3D object to create the illusion of an imprint. These instructions require Poser 6 (Poser 5 will also work with some slight differences in the interface) and any paint program that allows basic image editing (specifically light/contrast control and image inversion) In this example I will use Photoshop 7. The idea is to get an image of the foot that can be used as a gradient displacement map. In these examples I am useing DAZ's reduced resolution V3. Setting Up Load your figure into Poser. Rotate the figure 180 degrees (z axis) so the feet are facing straight up. Next, position your Main Camera directly above the feet facing down. Load a square plane from your Props/Primitives and rotate the square plane so that it is positioned between the camera and the figure.(See Figure1) Now slowly lower the square plane so that just the bottoms of the feet poke through the square plane. At this point you will need to make slight adjustments to the feet and toes in order to create the desired effect. From the main camera, you should be able to see the bottoms of the feet which will create the displacement map.(See Figure2) Adjust the Main camera so that the foot fills the screen (See Figure3) Creating Render/Displacement Map These next steps are crucial, so follow the steps carefully. Open up the Materials Room and under props select the square plane. Change the Diffuse and Specular Color to black. Next, select the V3 figure and under the material tab select the "skin feet" material. Change this material to white. Your Document Window in Poser should now look similar to Figure4. (Notice that in this example the Document Display Style is set to Smooth Shaded) This next step will have the biggest effect on how realistic your displacement map turns out. It is also a matter of trial and error, not to mention personal taste that will control the final product. In Figure4 you will notice that I have several lights set up. These lights are infinite lights and are only for lighting the figures and posing them. For this last step you will probably acheive the best results using 1 or 2 spotlights. But again that is only a suggestion since the idea here is to create a light and shadow effect on the part of the V3 figure that is showing through the square plane. For this reason you will want to position the lights so that they create a contrast of light and shadow that best mimics the shape you want to achieve for the displacemant. Figures 5 & 6 show the lighting placement I've used for this example. You will note that the lights are dimmed and do not shine directly on the bottom of the foot of the V3 figure. You are now ready to make a render. Switch back to the Main Camera view, set your render settings at a fairly high quality render since the better the render the more detailed your displacement map will be. Don't be afraid to use the highest setting since you have very low demand on your memory with this set up. In addition, select the Render Dimensions. In this box check "Render to exact resolution", uncheck constrain aspect ratio, set image resolution to 1000x1000 and select the highest resolution you can, in this case I have mine set to 1200.(Although admittedly this is overkill, I'm not worried about file size at this point) While this isn't crucial the idea is to get a very high quality render. Once you have these settings Render from the Main Camera view. When done export the rsulting image to whatever file you save your renders to. This render is the image we will use to create the gradient displacement map. My render straight from Poser 6 is displayed in Figure7 (This is not what I would consider optimal, but for the purposes of this simple tutorial it will do for now) For these final steps you will need to open your paint program (These instructions use Photoshop 7) Open the render you just made and select Image - Adjustments - Brightness/Contrast. Again, the settings you use here will all depend on personal taste so feel free to experiment with different settings, however, I have used a Brightness setting of plus five and a Contrast setting of minus sixty two. My render now looks like Figure8 Next, select Image - Adjustments - Invert. Your render should now look similar to Figure9. As a final adjustment I selected Image - Rotate Canvas - 180 (degrees) in order to apply it to a scene I created in Poser. (This can also be adjusted in the Material Room if you wish) You now have a gradient displacement map! To apply the map follow these directions. (I will assume that you are applying it to the ground plane in Poser. Open the Materials Room and select the Advanced tab, under the Objects drop down list select Props and then Ground. If you wish you can plug in a texture or just use the default. The 18th node from the top is the Displacement node. Right click the little plug icon to the right, select New Node - 2D Texture - Image Map. This will create an image map node. The first node is the Image_Source node, at this point it should say "None" to the right. Left Click on this word and it will open a standard Browser. Browse to the location where you saved your gradient displacement map and select this file. (Make sure the node is plugged in. It may also be a good idea to uncheck the Shadow_Catch_Only box) The amount of displacement you choose will depend on the strength of the map you made. The more contrast between light and dark, the less displacement you will need. This is going to depend on the way your render turns out as well as how much you adjust the render in Photoshop. A good place to start would be a displacement of 1.0 (you can go up or down from there as needed)you may also try negative values for different effects. In general a positive diplacement will result in lighter areas standing out while darker areas appear as depressed. Reverse that if you use a negative displacement value. At this point there are a few kinks that need to be worked out such as a realistic image resolution (after all, 1200 pixels/inch is a bit of overkill resulting in file sizes that are a bit too large) Image size and pixels/inch can be adjusted in Photoshop by selecting Image - Image Size and adjusting the Width, Height and Resolution to acheive more realistic file sizes. (Personally, I like an image map of 2000x2000 and a resolution of about 300 pixels/inch, this results in a file size of about 70KB) Also this will only give you one "footprint"; if you want a series of footprints you will need to clone or copy and paste the displacement map. Finally, scale will also be an issue. This can only be addressed in a limited way within the Material Room by adjusting the U scale and V scale as well as the U Offset and V Offset for the Displacement node. Let me know if you have any success with this method or any improvements/ideas to add.
Tyger purr, Nice job, that definitely softens the edges. I think we're getting closer to creating a decent footprint. After sleeping on it for the night I think I'm going to go back to the original render (Figure 7)and instead of inverting it, just remove the black baground and then like Mec4D and Tyger purr try blurring the edges to soften them a bit. I'll play with that idea today and see what I come up with.
nruddock, Are you talking about creating an animation? I can't see anything but a black box where you posted the results...but this does sound cool. I haven't even considered applying the idea to an animation yet, so if you could clarify this a little more that would be great. Anyway, I went back to Figure 7 and changed the background color to green (this makes it a little easier to remove the background without affecting the gradient render. I loaded the image in Photoshop and using Image - Adjustments - Replace color I replaced the green background with white. I'm sure there's an easier way to do this (flood fill didn't work too well) but after removing enough of the background I was able to clean it up with the eraser tool. Next I used Filter - Blur - Guassian to apply a blur with a radius of 2.5 and then saved. Below is the gradient bump (full sized for those who don't want to do all the work LOL) and also the resulting render using a positive displacement of .5
Ok, so the gradient map didn't appear below my post it appeared above it...Yeah, right, whatever... My map is 1000x1000 @ 1200 pixels/inch. The one above is 1000x1000 but internet images usually display at 72 dpi. Not sure how dpi translates to ppi but it shouldn't have any noticable effects on the displacement. But here (Above, below...somewhere) is the resulting render with the map above applied with a positive displacement of .5 This I can live with. :)