Brilliant is the best word to describe Dax Pandhi's training videos. He is the founder of QuadSpinner, a website that is a must if you use Vue. The first tutorial I will discuss is his one on creating Mighty HyperTerrains. In this tutorial, he shows you how to create life-like looking rocks. Not normally using Metablobs, I forgot how useful they can be. He shows how you can add displacement to Metablobs to create HyperTerrains. He leads you through:
- putting together primitives to form a Metablob,
- the importance of scaling the metablobs correctly to avoid artifacts and spiking,
- creating rock surfaces by loading functions - fractals,
- how to use bump depths and the effect's tab to refine the Metablobs and change their look,
- displacement and the various controls,
- live displacement vs baking giving the strengths of each,
- working with layers in the material Editor,
- Adding materials to the baked polygons.
I learnt so much through this tutorial that I now can't wait to look at some of his others. Often as I go through a tutorial, I will be impressed with all the knowledge it contains. Then, when I try to put it into practice, I am lost and have to look at it again and again. This tutorial is so well put together that all the basic facts remained and I could immediately create rocks that I had never been able to create before. Not only could I create them, but I could control what I did because he made it so clear. While he demonstrates this technique by creating rocks, you can use this to create other landscape objects. While this tutorial is written with Vue 8 in mind, it can apply to Vue 6 and 7 as well. The tutorial is 30 minutes long. You can stop it and easily go back and forth to various parts. In addition, and this is a big plus in my book, the screen is legible. You can clearly read the controls and settings. I believe this tutorial can apply to all levels. Those not familiar with 3D and Vue will have to spend more time learning the basics while those fluent in 3D can apply his techniques immediately. On the e-on software website, the knowledge levels are listed as intermediate to advanced. All his training series to date are listed on the e-on software website.
Volume 1 of Mighty HyperTerrians can be purchased from e-on software for $18. After you follow the tutorial, you will realize how to create an infinite variety of rocks from one Metablob or variations of it. Soon, you will wonder why you didn't do this before and how easy it is to create life like or surreal rocks - whatever you desire. Again, I will use the word "brilliant" to describe this tutorial.
To read my review of The Beauty of Strata and Capturing the Brilliance of Light, and Realistic Procedural Terrains, click on the links. Dax Pandhi is writing a comprehensive book on achieving realism in Vue. This book should be very exciting and informative.