Pilot, Flying Instructor, Student CG Artist
Hi all!

I've spent the last couple of days trying to figure out how to make a somewhat convincing horizon. This is for a personal project for doing a fun cartoonish airplane lesson. Something that's very important in actually flying a plane is using the horizon as a reference. It's taken a lot of experimenting to find something that works.

Figure 1, my first experiment.. boy it was bad...!

It took some tinkering but I found what kinda works out! I think it really just turns out I just need elevated HDR images such as photos that are taken up on hills. I did find making the ground plane slightly curve helped. Although I did a non-curved plane and it kinda looked the same if I make it large enough. These photos are just proof of concepts (borrowed Zach's trees from the course).

Figure 2 & 3, a flat ground plane (white) vs a slightly curved ground plane (green)

1. Does anyone have any general tips for horizons from altitude? I'm trying to find ways of faking it without creating a massive ground plane. I fear it massive planes will cause problems later down the workflow process.
2. Is there any tips for making the horizon line less sharp, and a bit more obscured like in real life? I was thinking of adding a white volumetric cube.

Thanks so much for any feedback!
Figure 4, a picture of atmospheric haze in a real-world horizon at altitude.

Figure 5, a CG cartoon I found on youtube with the horizon look I would be happy with. (The airport diary)
Hey Currysonic, apart from what you found out , I actually have a few ways I achieve working results with horizon lines:
1. Instead of a rectangular plane, use a big curved plane, which will automatically make your ground look curved in the distance, and in whichever direction you look, you will not see any corners. Just make a plane, add a subd modifier with Catmull-Clark type of subdivision and apply it, then select the edges, hit F3 and search for TO SPHERE command. Just input a value of 1 to that command and you have a circular plane (with Quad topology), which results in curved horizon lines.
2. Add atmosphere, either by using Fog Volumes in the shape of your ground plane or add different type of fog planes. All of my methods I use I discussed here:
3. Blur the far background a tiny bit in postproduction. Just render out a Depth pass / Mist pass and set it as mask for Blur effect, blurring only the far background...
Hope it helps!
Hi all,

So I've really gotten into Blender and 3d modeling/animation. I find myself spending a lot of time after work and on my days off doing it... and its been TONS of fun!

The problem is my right mouse hand is getting really tired and sometimes sore. I'd hate to get any sort of injury and to not do what I find fun and productive (or take time off from work $$$).Β 

Does anyone have any tips or products they have for beginners who are spending a lot of time on this sort of stuff and may not know the pitfalls of injuries like professionals do? I'm just using a regular mouse.
Doing breaks between your week will do a lot.
Not just when it starts hurting but already before that. So maybe every 1 hour take some minutes and relax your arms and wrist and fingers.

Also next to that, because you're looking at a monitor for very long, look out the window into the distance a bit so your eyes can also relax.
Zacharias Reinhardt replied
  ·  5 replies
yesΒ  buy an ergonomic mouse and your hand will thank youΒ 
Better yet get a trackball ball - you'll find the mouse always runs away from you on the desk forcing you to lean forward, putting strain on your neck and shoulders. The trackball should be at a comfortable level, because its static - it won't move away from you, meaning you'll be sitting in a more healthy way. (make sure its click pressure is light though, I got a logi-tech - but unfortunately it's way too tough on click pressure, forcing me back to my mouse >< But it was definitely better on my neck and shoulders (no more leaning forward slouching, while running away with the mouse)... So don't go by ratings alone like I did, but get to a shop to test it out first!

A trackball is vastly different from a regular mouse in that your thumb or entire hand and arm is used to manipulate the trackball. These are larger and less tender muscles that are less likely to get injured compared to the muscles required to manipulate a regular mouse