Victorian House Set Extension with Projection Man: Adding Grass and a Picket Fence

Photo of Joseph Herman

Instructor Joseph Herman

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  • Duration: 08:50
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In this video, you'll grow grass on the lawn around the house and create a density map in Photoshop

In this video, you'll grow grass on the lawn around the house and create a density map in Photoshop. You'll use the density map to carve a path through a grass to the front stairway. You'll also create a white picket fence to surround the house and set up lighting and shadows.



- In this video, I'll add some grass and a picket fence to the scene. Let's hide some of those cameras, so they don't get in the way and let's make a plane. Let's move this plane in front of the house. Now, I want to use this plane to grow grass on it, so let me make this plane a little bit bigger, first of all, and I'll switch to a top view and center it so it's sort of in front of the staircase. The only thing is I don't want to make the grass grow evenly on it, because I want to make a path that goes to the house through the grass. So what I'm going to do is I need to create a density map, and I'll be painting it in Photoshop. So let's go ahead and take a look at this, because what I need to do is make a screen grab of this and I'm going to use that as a reference when I'm in Photoshop. That looks about right, so I'll make a screenshot. Then, I'll switch over to Photoshop, make a new file, click OK, and paste it into here. So this is just a screen grab, and what I'll do is I'm going to make a new layer. I'm going to take my Marquee Tool and just drag a marquee around just the plane, and I'm going to crop it there. Now, let's start painting with the Paint Brush Tool sort of the path. I don't want it to be perfect, so I'll just draw it freehand so it's a little imperfect there. The way that it works is that wherever there's white, the grass will grow. Wherever there's black, the grass won't grow. The darker the shade, the less grass will grow. The lighter the shade, the more grass will grow. So if you want, you could make short grass and high grass, and paint it with shades of gray. I'll also put a white layer behind it. There. There's my density map. I'll flatten it and save it. I'll call it "Grass Density". Now, let's go ahead and move back into Cinema 4D. Now, in this pop-up menu here, we can choose a Grow Grass object and add it to that plane. We'll just press the Render button. You can see that immediately that plane starts growing grass. But there's no path in it yet, so let's click on the material that was automatically made when we created the Grow Grass object. There's a little thing in here called Density Texture, so let's choose that grass density texture that we made, put that in there, and now what we'll do is we will render this. You can see right there that we've got our path. Let's move a little later in the shot, and maybe we'll be able to see it better. Over there, you can see that a path is being cut right through the grass. However, you'll notice that underneath of it it's transparent. So let's make a new material, because we need to lay a texture down onto the plane underneath the grass. So I'll choose this Dirt texture and drag it onto the plane. Now, I'm going to temporarily move the Grow Grass object off and just put it on the camera temporarily so it doesn't work, and I'm going to hit the Render button. You'll see that it looks like there's no texture on the plane, and that's because we don't have any lights on the scene. So let's put a light in the scene. We're going to choose an infinite light, because we want to mimic the sunlight and infinite light is kind of like parallel rays just like the sun. We're going to move it so it is acting like the light in the scene. The light is coming from the left, and it's coming at sort of a slight angle down. So I'm going to move that, so it's pointing down somewhat, and I also notice that it's kind of pushing into the scene a little bit. So let's just rotate it a little bit, so that way it's pushing into the scene or towards the Z-axis. There we have it. That should be good. We can always change it later if we need to. So let's go ahead and look through the shot camera. Now, maybe it's pointing down a bit too much, so we'll point it up just slightly and try to match those shadow angles. There we go. Okay. Now, I've put the Grow Grass object back onto the plane and I'll do a render. You can see that now there's a path with dirt on the bottom of the path. Let's see. The color of the grass is a little bit brownish. It's not quite the right color, so I'm going to go ahead and change the color here to a green that matches the other parts of the picture a little bit better. Now, keep in mind that the lighting doesn't affect the house, because the house texture, the projection texture is in the Luminance channel and everything else is not. There. That's a little bit better, as far as the color is concerned. Okay. Now, let's go ahead and make another plane and I'm going to make it bigger, make it editable, and what I want to do is I'm going to select some of the polygons on this mesh here. By the way, this is going to be the grass in every other place besides the path in front. So I'll go ahead and hold down the Shift key and select Points mode, which will convert the selection into points. Actually, I don't need these row of points, and I'm just going to delete that. So now, we've got a piece of geometry that just sort of has a hole in it where the front grass is going to be, just surrounding it. There's probably other ways to do this. You can figure out your own way to do it. I'm just going to match it up so that way it just kisses the plane in the front. So now, what I'm going to do is I'm going to take this Grow Grass object and copy it onto the other plane, and copy also that Dirt texture. Let's do a quick render. That's good. I'm noticing that the grass is a little bit high, so let's lower it to 15 centimeters, instead of 25. Also, let's add some shadows on the light before we render, so I'll just choose Area Shadows. Let's do another render here. Next, we're going to work on this picket fence. So I've got a separate model here of a picket fence, and basically I'm going to copy that, go into the other file, and paste it in here. I'll switch to a top view. I'll bring it a little bit closer. I need to make more grass, actually, so it goes beyond the picket fence. So I'm going to select these points, move my pivot down, and then go to the Scale Tool and just scale this up a little bit so it pushes past the picket fence. I'll also do this on this side a little bit, as well. Move that to there, choose the Scale Tool, and scale it up on the right. There we go. So let's do another little render just to see how this looks like, and we can see that there's our picket fence. Let's bring another piece of the fence onto this side, maybe just around here. Now, we've got some fence action going on and we've got our grass, as well as the path. In our next video, I'll add some background and foreground elements to the scene.
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