View Full Version : CS4 extended plus silo 3d

01-30-2010, 05:53 PM
Silo is a 3d modelling program which allows for soft modelling (for which read making mountains...no need to use heightmaps, no terracing just sub-division gorgeousness)....Photoshop CS4 extended (has to be extended) allows you to paint directly on the mesh....mapper's heaven.

Here are my beginings....I've barely scratched the surface.

01-30-2010, 09:40 PM
Looking pretty sharp, Ravells.

1) Did you start with the map or make the terrain first and then paint onto it? Alas, I recently purchased CS4 but did not pony up for the Extended version.
2) Does your terrain have any "actual" geometry or is it all done with sub-d?

I'm a Silo user as well...my favorite modeler for the past couple of years. I was trying to do something similar with my Haibianr map but took a different approach; one that didn't work out as nicely as yours. I used my sketched contour lines as a guide for creating the mesh, but they were pretty non-scientifically drawn and the resulting landform wasn't all that attractive. I also gave it a shot in an older-than-current version of Bryce with not so great results. I may have to give your way a go.

01-31-2010, 04:17 AM
I made the mesh first and then painted onto it for the first 3 pictures. On the fourth picture I used an existing map I had, loaded it into silo as a ref image and made the mesh on top of that. I only used PS to effectively add the refpic as a UV texture to the mesh, so no painting as such required.

I'm using displacement painting to make the mesh and loading up a heightmap of a bryce mountain as my pen (set to push). I start with a grid of 100 by 100 faces and subdivide as necessarry, although that has the effect of smoothing and it's a bit of a bind working out which edges to crease. Using the displacement painting tool, you have very precise control about where you want to put mountains, how high you want them etc. I'm thinking you could even make a very high res model with erosion and textures etc, grab a normal map from it and then put that on top of a lower res model.

Steel General
01-31-2010, 10:38 AM
Neat stuff here Ravs!

01-31-2010, 10:52 AM
I won't be able to help ya with this, I still use plain old CS. Plus you're doing a bang-up job so far anyway. :) Good stuff, bro.

01-31-2010, 11:25 AM
That looks like it's working very well.

From what I read on the Silo sight it seems it's a stand alone software. So this would work with whatever graphics package you use?

Does anyone know how useful the 50 polygon version is after the 30 day trial runs out?

01-31-2010, 11:51 AM
HI Jax, 50 polys would be useless for these purposes - to get a decent landscape you need tens if not hundreds of thousands of polys. The folks at Silo have said that they might be willing to put up a copy of silo as a prize for our monthly comp - so watch the comp space. I'm still working through painting on the mesh in photoshop and getting some weird results at the moment, but the silo end is pretty straightforward.

01-31-2010, 12:57 PM
Silo is indeed stand-alone. It can export to several formats, one of which is bound to work with whatever renderer you're interested in using. OBJ, DXF, POV, and some others. It'll even save in STL format...just in case you want to maybe convert your virtual object into a real one! Now, truthfully, I usually have to flip polys, correct scale, and so on following a Silo export but I think that happens with just about any 3D app...they just don't work and play well together most of the time. I've never tried it but POV is the format for the free POVRay renderer. I used to play with that quite a bit back in 1990-1992, when it was script only. Never tried it since it has advanced but I expect it's quite good.

01-31-2010, 01:06 PM
Or you could just download blender (which is free) you can model with it and it will render but it's not very user friendly.

01-31-2010, 01:16 PM
Lolness. Looks very good

01-31-2010, 01:40 PM
Yeah. I have never understood Blender. I used to think the UI was designed by aliens until I met the designer (Ton Roosendaal). He's oddish (in the way that genii tend to be) but definitely from our planet. He gave me some insight into the design intent behind the app...but I still can't use it. :)

01-31-2010, 02:37 PM
I had it going for a bit, but just the screen navigation of rotating views was impossible for me to use. It did have an excellent greeble plug-in .. that was the only thing I ever used it for.

01-31-2010, 03:43 PM
Agreed, blender is too hard for me too.