I have decided that the photogrammetrically scanned planter beds and vegetation are not good enough. In a blurry photo at a distance, it holds the illusion, but at any larger scale it is clear that it is a virtual, low-quality reconstruction. Here’s an example of a blow-up:
I’ve decided to go down the traditional route of creating 3D plants and using particle systems to arrange them. I’ve identified 5 species which grow in the planter bed:
- Nephrolepis exaltata - (or maybe cordifolia, hard to tell)
- Chlorophytum comosum
- Crassula multicava
- Tradescantia pallida
- Vinca major variegata
I have modelled each of these species as alpha-mapped planes. To prototype the leaf models, I used Blender’s Cycles render to quickly place it in a scene or distribute them around to make sure they looked decent. Here’s the Nephrolepis exaltata. Part of what makes it a bit more believable is to also model dead stripped stems (as they grow older, the frond strips back to bare stems).
Some Chlorophytum comosum…
Some Crassula multicava …
Here’s a ball of the Tradescantia pallida.
For those interested, here is the single “stem” (the stem is also an alpha-mapped plane) that it is generated from. You can see I have paid attention to the leaf arrangements / growth pattern. This plant is also interesting in that the front face and back face of the leaf have different colours. I have achieved this as follows:
void mixfunc tradescantia-pallida-leaf1-diffuse
4 tradescantia-pallida-leaf1-diffuse-frontface tradescantia-pallida-leaf1-diffuse-backface if(Rdot,1,0) .
Finally some Vinca major variegata.
Here they are all combined and randomly distributed in the planter bed. The planter bed really is a mess of all these species. I’m not entirely happy with the arrangement of the ferns and think I may have underestimated the amount and arrangement, but oh well.
I took various leaf samples and used macbethcal to work out their colours. So all colours in all leaves as well as the planter bed wall should be roughly right (leaves naturally have quite a lot of variance in their colours, so it isn’t too important to be super precise).
There is the slight issue of the particle distribution causing leaves to penetrate through the planter bed wall, but I may just fix this in post production, and it is unlikely to be noticed in other angles. Here’s the view again from the indoors.
I should mention some housekeeping. I have decided that having a top-level directory structure of
obj, and so on does not scale well with many models, and also does not allow me to easily bundle and reuse objects. I have decided to create isolated, atomic, “libraries” in the
lib folder. Each “library part” will have its own folder, with its own
mat files (maybe
ies too if it is a luminaire). Anybody can copy and paste these self-contained directories and use them in their own project. You can see the example structure in the git repository.
Everything is available as CC-BY-SA, so feel free to start using these plants in your own models!