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Horizon Zero Darn inspired landscape

Recently I fell in love with the beautiful graphics of Horizon Zero Dawn. The incredible visuals, landscapes, music, characters and other effects blew my mind. The game genuenly looks SO GOOD! Even if you are not into games, getting this game just to enjoy the graphics alone is a perfectly fine excuse I'd say.

Anyway, after finishing this game a few days ago, and at the same day getting the release trailer for the sequel, I was inspired to get a bit more into landscaping. I really wanted to try to make something that got at least a TINY bit close to how cool Horizon Zero Dawn looks. This is my attempt at trying to do any justice. It took me a pretty long time to make. I think in total about 20 hours. This all resulted in a crazy heavy render with over 20 particle systems. I am pretty happy with the result though, so I think it was totally worth it after all! :D

Final render, full with compositing and I added a nice sun flair in post processing (Lens Distortions, Android)

Final render, full with compositing and I added a nice sun flair in post processing (Lens Distortions, Android)

first grass test with 3 particle systems

first grass test with 3 particle systems

another lil' test to check out how camera position changes the way this scene looks. I slightly tilted the camera because I felt like it looked cool

another lil' test to check out how camera position changes the way this scene looks. I slightly tilted the camera because I felt like it looked cool

I multiplied the size of the grass field. I did this using "chunks". it's basically a 2x2 grid of planes next to each other. I also figured out how to do fog for the first time. However, it was way too early to start experimenting with fog already,

I multiplied the size of the grass field. I did this using "chunks". it's basically a 2x2 grid of planes next to each other. I also figured out how to do fog for the first time. However, it was way too early to start experimenting with fog already,

Here I added a lot. I made some trees with my own self made leave textures (from pictures). I also added some mountains using heightmaps. This worked perfectly.

Here I added a lot. I made some trees with my own self made leave textures (from pictures). I also added some mountains using heightmaps. This worked perfectly.

I added back the rocks and those purple-ish bushes.

I added back the rocks and those purple-ish bushes.

Added the lake in the distance, still without any material attached to it though.

Added the lake in the distance, still without any material attached to it though.

I added some variation to the trees, and added large rocks/boulders

I added some variation to the trees, and added large rocks/boulders

I played around even more with the trees and added more variation

I played around even more with the trees and added more variation

In this render I added the fog back in. I also messed around a bit with compositing. I tried to make it look like sunrise.

In this render I added the fog back in. I also messed around a bit with compositing. I tried to make it look like sunrise.

Final render with compositing. I made some minor tweaks in the color of the sky, with as goal to make the glare a bit more orange. However, there was still one thing missing :P

Final render with compositing. I made some minor tweaks in the color of the sky, with as goal to make the glare a bit more orange. However, there was still one thing missing :P

Last and final render, including post processing. I used the app Lens Distortions (on Android) to add a nice looking sun flair. In my opinion this adds that little bit of extra realism.

Last and final render, including post processing. I used the app Lens Distortions (on Android) to add a nice looking sun flair. In my opinion this adds that little bit of extra realism.