This is the walkthrough of my exterior scene project. I'm going to talk about some techniques and methods which I used to create this project.
First I have created the ground plane using Maya. My project does not include any closeup ground shots, so high resolution ground is not necessary. If you are planning to design high resolution ground including small rocks, cracks you can use Zbrush, Mudbox or something like that and then you can import into Maya. When you are importing the ground it will have a large number of polygons so you can use normal maps to get lots of details even in lower resolutions(you can create the normal maps inside the Zbrush before exporting to Maya).
After creating the ground I have to mess with the vegetation. I started with the simple birch tree. I did a lot of modification to branches, twigs and leaves to get my tree realistic.
Then I converted it to polygons and add the mia materials with translucency enabled. For the house I have used mia materials with bump mapping. I didn't use any 3rd party softwares to create vegetation and textures. These are some of the attributes of my tree.
Then I populated trees, grasses and bushes on my terrain using particle instancing method. For the population area(texture rate of the emitter) I used textures which I created using the 3d paint tool.
This is for the trees.
This is for the grasses.
After populating grasses and trees(following texture is used for grasses).
Following image shows the particles for the 'instancer'. Green one shows the particles for the trees while white one shows the particles for the grasses.
I used bounding box for the level of detail of the 'instancer', because My PC cannot handle over 500 million polygons.
Following image shows the vegetation when I choose geometry for the level of detail of the instance. But it took 5 minutes to display. It's better to choose bounding box.
Finally I placed the camera with depth of field enabled. I used default mental ray settings and Maya physical sun and sky settings for quick render. For better results you can increase the sampling.
This is the simple and quick work through on my project. Hope you guys enjoyed it. Thanks.