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Master natural environment creation for visual effects

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The Gnomon Workshop has released Natural Environment Creation Techniques, a new workshop on creating large-scale environments for visual effects projects in Clarisse iFX, Houdini and Terragen.

The six-hour tutorial, recorded by Independence Day: Resurgence lighting TD Alessandro Cangelosi, complements his previous tutorial on creating a detailed natural environment in Clarisse iFX.

Create detailed natural environments for VFX work in Terragen, Houdini and Clarisse iFX
During the workshop, Cangelosi uses a range of tools to create natural environments of the scale and complexity required for VFX work, taking advantage of procedural worfklows.

He begins in Terragen, Planetside Software’s landscape generation tool, using the software to generate realistic clouds, and to render backplates for use in image-based lighting.

Cangelosi then moves to Houdini to generate terrain, using the software’s area masking system, and to create rocks and fog, exporting in Alembic and VDB format.

All of the assets are then imported into Clarisse iFX, Isotropix’s shot layout and lighting toolset, along with vegetation from Quixel’s Megascans library.

Cangelosi blocks out the scene in Clarisse, creates an initial lighting set-up, then dresses the set using key toolsets like particle painting, point clouds and scattering.

The workshop also explores how to create custom shaders for plants and terrain, and how to generate and apply colour variations to instanced assets at different levels of detail.

Cangelosi concludes by rendering the scene, ready for further look development inside Fusion.

About the artist
Alessandro Cangelosi is a leading freelance lighting and FX TD, whose resume includes movies like Suspira and Independence Day: Resurgence and games trailers for Wolfenstein: The New Order and Dead Rising 3.

He has also worked on commercials and documentaries, and developed plugins and custom tools for 3ds Max. Alessandro is CEO and head of learning at Italy’s Proteus VFX School.

Pricing and availability
Natural Environment Creation Techniques is available via an online subscription to The Gnomon Workshop, giving you access to over 300 tutorials. Subscriptions cost $49/month or $490/year.

Read more about Natural Environment Creation Techniques on The Gnomon Workshop’s website

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