HDRI's and ground planes ...

  • you need special software to stitch together an equirectangular image from photos. There might be some software that stitched together for a half-sphere.

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    @ghostship I'll look for that template for you. I think there is but not positive.

    Here is what I did to help with the issue. I took bb's envirosphere added one of the free HDRI_SKIES images ... Added the round ground plane from PP11's primitives ... added a texture and a transparency mask to soften the edges. Not the ideal solution, but better.


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    While hunting for templates ... I discovered something ... for the construct there IS a mask to blend a sky texture with the ground area. Totally like what I did, but built for the construct. It is in the textures for the sand and sky.

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    Officially there is not template for the construct. But I believe a couple of our gurus here may have one or two. I hope they join in.

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    I managed to create a ground plane that takes the same equirectangular images that the EnvSphere does.

    I was working on software to make it adapt/change its UV mapping so that you can move the camera around and still get the right perspective. However, the math for that is tricky.

    You see, the problem is that each UV point of the world as captured in the image corresponds not to a physical location on the ground, but rather to an angle in altitude and azimuth with respect to the viewer/camera.

    As a result, the exact location of each UV coordinate DEPENDS on where you put the camera. In my initial try, the camera has to remain at or close to the center of the circular ground plane, otherwise the perspective is very odd.

    Another approach to solving this problem would be to move the ground and dome with the camera, so that the camera is always, by definition, at the center of the setup.

    Either way, though, you will not be ok with animating/moving the camera through space. Only rotating the camera in place would seem to look natural.

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    The UV mapping is built much like the mappings created by sidewalk artists dabbling in trompe l'oeil. If you stand in the wrong place, it doesn't work.


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    Here are some demonstration renders I did with my trompe l'oeil ground plane.

    First, standing in the right spot, with the full dome and ground.


    Now just the ground, while floating far from the center to look back at the whole thing.


    Viewed from the other side.


    Looking straight down, off center.


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    Here are some more demos.

    Here I'm just using the ground with "studio" lighting. This is not actually interesting unless you realize that the texture is the same equirectangular projection as used on the EnvSphere.

    0_1466775547296_BB Studio Backlight.jpg

    Some others:


  • Thanks @bagginsbill!

    @bopperthijs : the RDNA thread is here: http://forum.runtimedna.com/showthread.php?102946-The-New-Construct-tips-maps

    On page 2 I attached a guide I'd made to show how the construct prop is mapped, and also a material room node set-up that can be used to apply the sky part of an equirectangular image intended for a dome to the construct's dome.

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    @bagginsbill : Do you have your remapped ground plane available for those of us who would like to use it?