Free grass patch for external visualization with LuxRender and Blender 3D
One of the elements in external visualization projects that easily become a problem is vegetation. For architectural visualization artists, it`s always a good idea to study different ways to create grass for large surfaces. Today we can use several types of solutions to create grass, ranging from the use of textures representing only the grass leaves to particles converted to mesh objects and tools to create fur and hair. In the past I have already showed a way to create grass for LuxRender using particles converted to mesh objects.
This last week I was browsing in LuxRender user forums when I found an interesting patch posted by radiance, with a grass patch. The patch can be downloaded for free and contains a small plane with lots of grass leaves and a texture file.
With the grass patch we can replicate the planes using the Array Modifier or Dupliverts to spread the grass over a large surface. And since the grass is made out of mesh objects, it will produce one of the best looking grass simulations, with full interaction with light and shadows. There is even a project in another post, showing an external view of a building, using the patch to represent a grass surface around the model.
The result is great and the best part is that we can use this grass file along with other renderers and not only LuxRender. Notice that with a solution like this, we will end up with large files. I made a quick test here using an empty scene and with an Array modifier I build a grass surface with 12×12 blocks. With only the grass, the file was saved with 4MB.
And this is just the file size, not to mention the increasing demand from the hardware to manipulate and edit the scene. For me, I still think that for grass surfaces one of the best solutions is to simulate everything with textures. Just add a grass texture with an alpha channel to a small plane, and create several copies over the surface. You will have to be careful with the camera angle, but it will represent a good and light weight grass solution.