Raining on a Town Street

Wings3d + MegaPOV 1.2.1, 2006-2007-2008

Last year I started a project to model and texture a whole scene with Wings3D, using POV-Ray only for lighting and special effects. I got the inspiration from an ATI demo that a friend showed to me (the Toy Shop demo at this site).

All the street modeling and composition was done with Wings3D. I started with the models I had from my “Town Street” scene, but these were reworked to correct some defects and to texture them better with UV mapping. Then I added cables, TV antennas, pipes, trash containers, and some other details.

The texturing is almost all UV mapping, except for the car and the sky. The UV textures were painted with The Gimp, using free textures from Mayang. This was a great learning experience, painting with the Gimp and testing the results with Wings3D.

When the “dry” scene was ready within Wings3D, I exported the objects one by one, into separate include files. Some editing with SciTE and vi was needed to cut all the texture definitions into a separate, more manageable file, and then I wrote the main file which calls all the necessary includes, places the Wings3D objects, and finally adds the street lamp lights, the sky, and the rain effects.

To place the street lamps lights, I used Wings3D to take the points for the coordinates of the light sources and glows (MegaPOV). The skylight is done with radiosity from a simple sphere and an ambient texture with the granite pattern.

Finally, I added the rain by making some custom rain macros. At some point, I mistakingly deleted the rain macros when doing a folder cleaning, so I had to start over again (hopefully I remembered how I did it, so it was just a matter of getting inspired again). There is a macro to fill the air with drops, another to make the splashes on objects, and another one for the water streaks. I’m still working on an additional macro to make spurts for the pipes.

Update 02/05/2008

At last I finished this scene! The final image above uses 100,000 drops in the air, 1000 for each streak and about 5000 splashes on objects. The rendering was done in 3 steps: first the radiosity was calculated without rain, taking about 1 hour; then with a second pass I generated an image of the glows only, in just some minutes; finally, the radiosity was loaded to render all the scene except the glows, wich caused artifacts, taking almost 10 hours. The images from the last two steps were then combined with the Gimp, overlaying them.

As all the scene (including the photographic textures and triangle meshes from WIngs) was too big, I created a zip with the raining macros and also a simple demo scene (3,9Kb). You can see an image from the demo below (the first pic).

Update 07/13/2014

Thomas de Groot enhanced the rain macros last year, but I forgot to put them here… thanks, Thomas!