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Creating a Secret Island Using Vue xStream

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In today's tutorial, Matt Taylor shows us how to use Photoshop to create a heightmap for use in Vue xStream. As well as taking a look at the new Vue 8 xStream terrain editor, Matt also covers how to set up materials and create a diverse ecosystem with altitude controls.


Step 1

In photoshop, create a new document 1000px x 1000px.

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Step 2

Take a brush with 50% hardness,color black and draw a 8 pointed star.

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Step 3

In the layers palette, add a new layer filled with white and put it under your star layer.

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Step 4

Add a layer mask to your star layer and fill it with a circular black-to-white gradient.

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Step 5

Take your image and save it as a jpeg in your bitmaps folder in your e-on documents with it default location here: C:\Users\Matt\Documents\e-on software\Vue 8 xStream\Bitmaps\Bitmaps

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Step 6

In Vue 8 xStream, add a new standard heightfield terrain by left clicking on the side tool bar or hitting shift + t.

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Step 7

Right click on the terrain and click edit object or hit ctrl + e.

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Step 8

In the terrian editor, click reset, mountain and picture buttons in that order.

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Step 9

In the improt terrain data panel, click on load button and navagate to bitmaps folder where you saved your height map.

Step 10

Once loaded click on the black and white button by the top of your height map to invert your map and then set the proportions slider to 63% and click ok.

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Step 11

Click the x2 button on your tool bar to increase the resolution or detail of your map.

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Step 12

To make your terrian to look more realistic and random, go to the effect panel and click on the grit, stones and fir trees buttons until you get a desired look.

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Step 13

Since we do not want to have a sharp edge of the terrian to be seen under the water level, go to the bottom of the terrian editor and move the clip slider until it cuts away some of the lower level of the terrian so it doesn't look like a sharp square. Click ok to get out of the editor.

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Step 14

Add another standard heightfield terrain by hitting shift + t and hit ctrl + e to enter the terrian editor.

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Step 15

Go to the paint tab and make sure you have raise and invert selected. Paint out the center of the terrian and leave a few small parts of terrian close to the edge of the terrian. This will be our small islands around the big one. click ok.

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Step 16

With the second terrain selected, resize it in the top view by clicking on the corner points and dragging out until the bigger island fits nicely inside the outer smaller islands.

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Step 17

Add a water layer by clicking on your toolbar or hitting shift + w

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Step 18

Select the ground plane and the two terrians and click on the load texture button. Select landscapes and then Rocks and Plants out of the dialog box. Click ok to load material.

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Step 19

Select the both island terrains and right click on the material and click edit material.

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Step 20

In the advance material editor, change the type to EcoSystem and at the bottom click add and then plant.

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Step 21

Select trees and alder - late spring tree.

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Step 22

Back in the Advanced material editor, click on the density tab and change the overall density to 100%.

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Step 23

Click on the Scalling and orientation tab and change the overall scaling to .5 and make sure the shirink at low densities is checked.

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Step 24

Click on the Environment tab and change the altidue range to -.80 to .80. This will make the trees stay away from the bottom and top of the terrain.

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Step 25

Click Populate to create your tree instances in your EcoSystem.

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Step 26

Open up Render Options by hitting ctrl + F9 and change your aspect ratio to ultraPanavision 70 mm. This will make your render area extra wide screen.

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Step 27

Use the camera controls to make the islands appear over in the right third of the screen to create a nice compisition.

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Step 28

Hit F4 to enter the atmosphere editor and change the suns'azimuth to 213 and the pitch to 47.

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Step 29

In the atmosphere editor click the light tab and change the lighting model to Global illumination and the quality boost to +4.0.

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Step 30

click on the clouds tab and click add to add a cloud layer to your atmosphere.

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Step 31

Select Dark Cumulus and Dense Stratus from the spectral 2 section.

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Step 32

With the dark Cumulus layer selected adjust settings according to picture below.

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Step 33

With the Dense Stratus layer selected adjust settings according to picture below.

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Step 34

Click on the wind tab and uncheck wind and breeze.

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Step 35

Now finished with the atmosphere editor, select your water layer and go into the advanced material editor. Click on the water layer and in the color and alpha tab right click on the color and click edit color map. Right click on current color and click edit color. Change the color to a darker blue.

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Step 36

In the transparency tab, change global transparency slider to 43%.

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Step 37

Open up your render options by hitting ctrl + F9. Change your render quality to user settings and your advanced effects quality to 100%. Change your demensions to 1600x580 and set render destination to render off screen and in your options set up where you want it to be saved.

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