World Settings

Parameters

Fog/Haze

Fog/Haze List

Click a fog entry in the list to select it.

Add

Click to add a new fog/haze layer to the scene. (Note that unregistered versions of Forester are limited to one fog/haze layer)

Del

Click to delete the current fog/haze layer

On

Click to toggle the current fog/haze layer on and off.

Fog/Haze Type

Select the type of fog/haze for the current layer. The top two (Constant and Ground Fog) are fog layers. The bottom five are haze layers.

Colour

Click to select the colour of the current fog/haze layer.

Fog:

Fog layers use POV-Rays atmospheric Fog features - these are relatively fast to render and provide a quick way of adding some depth to a scene.

When setting a fog layer, the following controls are enabled:

Density

This value controls the overall density of the fog.

Base

For Ground Fogs, this value sets the altitude at which the fog is at its maximum level. (Below this point the fog is the same as a Constant fog).

Half-Height

This value controls the 'fall-off' of the fog - it sets the altitude above the Base where the fog density is half of its maximum value.

Transparency

This sets an overall transparency for the fog. This forces any objects/terrain that would otherwise be obscured by the fog to be visible.

Turbulence

This value applies some turbulence to the fog.

Haze:

Haze layers use POV-Rays 'Media' feature to model the way light is scattered by the atmosphere. This general has a large hit on rendering times, but the effects can be very impressive. To learn about the different scattering types used, search the POV-Ray documentation for the keyword 'scattering'.

When setting a haze layer, the following controls are enabled:

Samples

This controls the maximum number of media samples taken for each ray. Search the POV-Ray documentation for the keyword 'sampling' for more information.

Strength

This controls the overall strength of the haze. (In fact it simply acts as a multiplier to the haze Colour)

Eccentricity

This value is only relevant when using the Heyney-Greenstein haze model. Search the POV-Ray documentation for the keyword 'scattering' for more information.

 

Cloud Layers

Cloud List

Click a cloud layer in the list to select it.

Add

Click to add a new cloud layer to the scene. (Note that unregistered versions of Forester are limited to one cloud layer per scene)

Del

Click to delete the current cloud layer

Cloud Type

Select the desired cloud type. The clouds are still under development, which is why they haven't been given logical descriptions. As a general rule, types A and B work better with the 3D setting turned off, whereas types C and D have been designed for use with the 3D settings, and use different methods for simulating the clouds. To help get you started, following are some example cloud formations, along with the settings used to create them:

 

On

Click to toggle the current cloud layer on and off.

Level

This values sets the altitude of the current cloud layer. For 3D clouds it sets the altitude of the base of the cloud layer.

Colour

Click to set the current cloud layer colour.

Wind X,Y

These values have two different effects, depending on whether a still image or an animation is being created:

Still Images

These set the X and Y offset for the current cloud layer. This allows easy adjustments to be made whilst performing test renders.

Animations

These values control the speed that the cloud layer is moving across the landscape (measured in terrain units per second). NOTE: Be aware, when rendering animations, that if these values were previously set to offset the cloud layer for a still image, then in the animation the clouds will probably be moving a lot faster than required. (I learnt this the hard way after rendering an animation for 24 hours, to find the cloud layer experiencing hurricane wind conditions!)

Shadows

Select this option to make the clouds cast shadows on the landscape. Note that this can have strange effects if the sun is at a low altitude or the clouds are at a high altitude.

3D

Select this option to enable the 3D clouds simulation. This works by layering a number of cloud layers on top of each other. Each layer has a slightly different colour or coverage which can give quite a convincing impression of 'solidity'.

Height

This value controls the height of the cloud layer itself (ie, the altitude of the top of the cloud layer = Level + Height)

3D Resolution

This controls the number of individual planes or 'slices' that are used to make up the whole cloud layer. Larger values give better results, at the expense of rendering speed. If an image appears to have horizontal streaks in the clouds, then increasing this value should help to reduce the effect.

Cloud Size

This controls the general size of the clouds. Generally use smaller cloud size with lower cloud levels and vice versa.

Transparency

This sets an overall transparency for the cloud layer. When using 3D clouds (particularly type C) this also controls how much light is filtered through the clouds.

Coverage

This controls the amount of overall sky coverage by the cloud layer.

Turbulence

An amount of turbulence can be added to the cloud layer to 'stir-up' the formations and give a more realistic effect. Often, just a small amount of turbulence can help significantly.

Swirliness

This option is only relevant in animations - it controls how much the cloud shapes should change over time. 

Water

Colour

This sets the colour of the water layer.

Level

This sets the altitude of the water layer.

Infinite Plane

When ticked, the water plane will stretch to infinity in each direction - useful when modeling an island in the middle of an ocean.

Reflection

This controls the amount of light reflected from the water surface.

Murkiness

This controls how much of the terrain beneath the water is visible. Lower values make the water look clearer, higher values make it look deeper or muddier.

Wave Size

This controls the perceived height of the waves (amplitude) on the water.

Wavelength

This controls the wavelength of the waves - higher values make the waves further apart.

Swirliness

This controls how quickly the waves animate in an animation.

Lighting

Direct (Sun)

This sets the colour of the direct sun light.

Ambient

This sets the colour of the ambient light in the scene.

Zenith

This sets the colour of the sky at its zenith (the point directly overhead)

Elevation

Because the zenith is rarely visible in normal landscape images, this field adjusts the effective angle of the zenith so that the sky gradation is more noticable.

Horizon

This sets the colour of the horizon.

Season

Some objects in Forester have separate colour definitions for the four seasons so that, for example, in winter they appear covered in snow. This field sets the overall season for the scene. Note that currently only a couple of the pine tree objects have a separate winter definition.

Sun

Heading

This sets the sun heading angle.

Altitude

This sets the suns altitude angle above the horizon.

Use reverse light

When ticked, a second light is included in the scene on the opposite side of the sky to the sun. This can sometimes help to bring out surface detail in any areas which are in shadow by the sun. (This second light does not cast shadows).

Notes