Skin Settings for Luxus for Carrara

JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

I picked up Luxus for Carrara in the PA sale (along with many many other things - ouch, my bank account is not thanking me...)

I've picked through the other Lux threads, and there's plenty there about skin settings for Reality, Luxrender, and Luxus for Studio, but not much at all about Luxus for Carrara.

So I've started experimenting, and I feel like I'm making progress, but because most of the other tips and tricks for skin settings on those other forums don't seem to apply much to Luxus for Carrara, I feel like I'm figuring things out on the fly.

So here's what I've got so far (see the attached render to decide if I'm even on the right track or not, all advice welcome):

Top Shader: Lux Surface
Material: Lux Glossy Translucent
Diffuse; Texture map of my V4/M4/V5/M5, whatever, but with the brightness taken down to 95%
Transmission: Same Texture map as in the Diffuse, but with the brightness at 100%
Specular: I left this alone, with a color of R 51, G 51, B 51
Index of Refraction: 1.44%
Roughness U: 22 %
Roughness V: 22%
Absorption: Color and made it a Red R 187, G 4, B 9
Depth: .5%
Bumpmap: A multiply operator with my texture bumpmap for the V4/M4 in the first field and a 1-100% in the second field, set at 2%
Interior: None
Exterior: None
Area Light: None


All the skin areas have the same setup, only the texture map changes (arms in the arm section, torso in the torso section, etc).

Lips are done exactly the same, except the Roughness U and Roughness V are set to 2%

I haven't even begun to touch the eye surfaces yet, as I'm just focusing on the skin settings at the moment. Oh, and I used Philw's portrait studio Window Right setup scene, so it's an enclosed box with main lightsource from the right, a fill light from the left, and rimlights from left and right, as well as a spotlight focused just on the backdrop. I also used a Lux Cloth shader for the bikini, but it looks weird and rough, and looked better just when I left them as regular Carrara shaders and Luxus changed them, so I'm not sure that's the way to go.

Anyway, I just wanted to throw this out there to see if anyone has an insights that may help or uses any drastically different settings.

1st_one_decent.png
400 x 600 - 283K

Comments

  • booksbydavidbooksbydavid Posts: 404
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for this. I have Luxus but haven't done much with it because I just couldn't get skin and hair to look good. I've been pretty busy, so experimenting has been down to a minimum. This looks like a good start. I will be making time to try this out.

    Thanks again.

  • wetcircuitwetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited October 2013

    I see you solved the issue with her legs...

    I need to have a play with skin in Lux... How does the specular channel work? Can it accept a spec map?
    (I haven't loaded it yet on my new Mac running C8.5... Hoping there is an update very soon - that's why I don't just check myself... :/)

    Post edited by wetcircuit on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited October 2013

    I have Luxus but haven't done much with it because I just couldn't get skin and hair to look good. I've been pretty busy, so experimenting has been down to a minimum. This looks like a good start. I will be making time to try this out.

    Thanks booksbydavid, I'm hoping a few interested Luxus users can put their heads together to puzzle out some acceptable settings, as the settings that they refer to in the tips and tricks for the Reality and Luxus for Studio threads just don't give the same results in Carrara (probably because Luxus for Carrara has different controls, and is converting from a different rendering app and at a different scale I'm guessing). I've sort of gone a bit through this before, trying to figure out skin settings for TheaRender, and since they are both unbiased renderers I was hoping that there might be some similarities in settings, but unfortunately all the controls and gizmos look different and foreign :)

    I see you solved the issue with her legs...

    I need to have a play with skin in Lux... How does the specular channel work? Can it accept a spec map?
    (I haven't loaded it yet on my new Mac running C8.5... Hoping there is an update very soon - that's why I don't just check myself... :/)

    Well not so much solved, as just erased all settings and started again. I have no idea why the first time I got such strange results on the legs, I'm just chalking it up to an error/bug that popped up the first time I was adjusting shaders :) Hopefully it won't reappear, or if it does, at least I'll spot what's going on.

    Specular channel can certainly accept a spec map, no problem there, but (as I found out in Thea too) I mostly prefer to use an even reflection (thus the straight color I left in the spec channel) for the skin, and use the spec map as a very light add-on to make it appear the skin is more reflective in little places that make sense. I hadn't gotten as far as trying to add the spec map to the spec color, but I don't see any reason why a standard Carrara add modifier wouldn't work just fine.

    I did see the post from Spheric Labs about the fact an update has been submitted to DAZ and so hopefully we'll see it soon... but not like 8.5 'soon' though... :)

    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 13,976
    edited December 1969

    Wow. Gorgeous render, jon!
    I bought it right away, just because I liked how passionate about making it and tweaking it to the users liking thet author was (is). I look forward to using it - but, alas... still have my own pile of things to get done first. Where did you say that you saw "Time" for sale? Is it ever on. like... 99% off sale?

  • booksbydavidbooksbydavid Posts: 404
    edited December 1969

    I had a play with Jon's settings last night. I quite like how skin renders with these settings. I'm still playing with the eyes. It seems to be more difficult to control the specular size using luxus materials. I'm still working on it.

    What I'd like now are some good settings for hair. I've been using Reality in Poser for a while now, and even with Reality hair doesn't always render very well in lux. It looks to me like the transparency maps get lost in the transition somewhere. If anyone has a solution for good hair in lux, I'd love to hear it.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I had a play with Jon's settings last night. I quite like how skin renders with these settings. I'm still playing with the eyes. It seems to be more difficult to control the specular size using luxus materials. I'm still working on it.

    What I'd like now are some good settings for hair. I've been using Reality in Poser for a while now, and even with Reality hair doesn't always render very well in lux. It looks to me like the transparency maps get lost in the transition somewhere. If anyone has a solution for good hair in lux, I'd love to hear it.

    Glad it was of some use at least as a starting point :) The Roughness U and the Roughness V together seem to pretty much control the spread/width of the highlights (higher the roughness the wider the highlight will be, and it's the same in TheaRender). I have no idea why the controls are split into 2 different roughnesses though, I haven't seen that before, and just googling the Luxus wiki to see what these terms mean I only see 1 roughness control there. I wonder if Spheric Labs when they were putting the Lux shaders together in Carrara, decided to split the roughness into 2 different settings? If so, I wonder what the purpose could be? I suppose you could make highlights that don't spread uniformly (tall and thin or skinny and wide, for example).

    It's funny you mention hair settings because I had a little time at work today (love working the weekends because my work is so slow I can play at rendering all day long). I finished my first ever animation for the bouncing ball challenge (and I'm proud to pieces of it, not because it's especially impressive, but because it's my first animation! :) ) and started trying to refine more settings for the eyes and then hair in Luxus.

    So here's a render to show where I'm at, settings will follow in the next post:

    Eyes_Hair1.png
    400 x 500 - 262K
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited October 2013

    Settings (again, this isn't meant to be authoritative as if I've found the perfect settings or they can't be improved because I'm sure they can be, but as a starting point to help anyone else who is playing around with this stuff, and to compare/contrast):

    First off, I want to mention that I adjusted my lip settings slightly, because I noticed with the new angle (and especially with the face so much closer to the camera) that they were too smooth/shiny and the highlights were just too small and bright. So I raised the roughness U and the roughness V to 6% on the lips. No other changes from before, mostly because I was more focused on the eye shaders.

    EyeSurface: This was on a Genesis, so there was no EyeSurface channel. I think even if this was a V4/M4 and I had an EyeSurface channel that I would make it invisible (in Luxus, you apparently achieve this by setting the channel as a Luxus Null). I like the freedom that an EyeSurface shader gives me in biased rendering and it makes it easy to add in a reflection map and set it to glow (Philw's product Bright Eyes is filled with great reflection maps that can applied to the EyeSurface). However since Lux is unbiased, I don't think this channel would be very useful or work the same way, and IMO (I can be wrong about this of course) I think it's best left out of the mix and just let the normal real world eye parts reflect the real lighting in the scene naturally.

    Lacrimal: This is the fleshy part in the corner of the eye, and as such I took a very similar approach to this shader as with the rest of the skin
    - Top Shader: Lux Surface
    - Material: Lux Glossy Translucent
    - Diffuse: Texture map of the eye for the character (all the eye textures I've ever seen also contain textures for the lacrimals as well), however brightness for this texture is lowered to 90%
    - Transmission: Texture map of the eye again, but with brightness set at the normal 100%
    - Specular: Left for now at the default grey color, but I think I might experiment with a lighter color to give a brighter shine to this area, as it would be more wet than most other areas of skin.
    - Index of Refraction: 1.44%
    - Roughness U and Roughness V both set at 6% (eh, I just realized that's the same as the lip setting I used)
    - Absorption: Red color just the same as I used on the skin settings.
    - Depth: .5%
    - Bumpmap: The eye bump texture, multiplied by 1%
    - Interior, Exterior, Area Light all set to None

    Sclera: This is the 'whites of the eyes' as they say. The white part with the red veins running through it (redder if someone is sleep deprived :) )
    - Top Shader: Lux Surface
    - Material: Lux Glossy Translucent
    - Diffuse: Texture map of the eye for the character and again brightness for this texture is lowered to 90%
    - Transmission: Texture map of the eye again, but with brightness set at the normal 100%
    - Specular: Left at the default grey color.
    - Index of Refraction: 1.44%
    - Roughness U and Roughness V both set at 2% (as this part of the eye is much more wet, it should be more smooth and I wanted sharper highlights
    - Absorption: Very light pink color, almost off-white. R - 206, G - 190, B - 190.
    - Depth: .5%
    - Bumpmap: The eye bump texture, multiplied by 1%
    - Interior, Exterior, Area Light all set to None

    Iris: This is the colored part of the eye, and while it may be important visually, for the most part it just lays there flat and only pops out because of the magic of the cornea layer. For this layer I left it as a Carrara Shader, since the only thing that matters is that the diffuse color comes through and Luxus converts it just fine. So I have it as a Carrara Multichannel, with the Color being the texture map of the eye, all other fields are set to none, though if someone wants to throw a bump map into the bump channel that won't hurt anything.

    Pupil: This is the black at the center of the eye. This is even less important to the look than the Iris, all that really matters is that it is black. Again I leave this as a Standard Carrara Multichannel, with the color channel being the eyetexture, all other fields are set to 0% or none

    Cornea: This is the convex lens that sits above the Iris and Pupil. Although it should be nearly entirely transparent, this is the most important and crucial part of the eye, in my opinion. This is where the magic happens that makes your eye pop, brings the color of the eye into vivid detail, and catches the highlights that put the 'glint' in the eye. I spent a good bit of time researching all the different controls in the Lux Glass section trying to hone this, and I feel like I've made a good start.
    Top Shader: Lux Surface
    Material; Lux Glass (not Lux Glass2, which relies on volume for its effect, and the lens of the eye should have so little volume it's barely noticeable because it's so thin)
    Index of Refraction: 1.38 (if you google index of refraction it happens to give the exact index of refraction of the human eye lens, which varies between 1.37 something to 1.38 something). Refraction for this layer is super important, as it takes the flat texture of your Iris and makes it pop. I didn't realize this until starting to work with shaders, but the Iris usually is pretty flat, and it's the curvature of the lens and the refraction effect that makes it seem round and to pop out.
    Reflection Color: Changed to white (R - 255, G - 255, B - 255) We want those highlights visible :)
    Transmission Color: Left at white (R - 255, G - 255, B - 255)
    Cauchy B and Film: Both left at 0%
    Film Index, Bumpmap, Interior, Exterior, and Area Light all set to 'None'

    Tear: Originally I was going to leave this layer invisible, but discovered that it seemed to work better to have it visible.
    Top Shader: Lux Surface
    Material; Lux Glass
    Index of Refraction: 1.05 (keeping it low and close to 1 makes it less visible but doesn't diminish the effect)
    Reflection Color: white (R - 255, G - 255, B - 255)
    Transmission Color: white (R - 255, G - 255, B - 255)
    Cauchy B and Film: Both left at 0%
    Film Index, Bumpmap, Interior, Exterior, and Area Light all set to 'None'

    When working with Carrara I've grown used to adding a very low intensity spotlight right near the camera and shining into the eyes, to give a nice glint to the eyes, but in Lux that doesn't do too much, I think in Lux it's better to simply use meshlights as much as possible, as the eyes will reflect them really well and give very natural-to-the-scene highlights.

    After toying with the eyes, I moved on to the hair, because as BooksbyDavid mentioned at first it didn't seem like I was getting the right transparencies. I also learned something in the hair, because almost none of the Luxus Lux Material channel options has an opacity or alpha channel to put my transparency maps in, but it was important to me to get the effect of a real Lux channel for the material of the hair, to get a more natural gloss and slight translucence. Up til now, I had always assumed (incorrectly) that I had to choose Lux Surface for my top channel if I was going to use a Lux material. But I learned in toying with the hair that I could indeed have a Carrara Multichannel Top Shader, and still put Lux Materials in the sub-channels and they seemed to work just the same.
    Top Shader: MultiChannel
    Color: Lux Glossy Translucent
    Diffuse: Texture map of the hair, but brightness lowered to 90%
    Transmission: Texture map of the hair, but brightness at 100%
    Specular: Left at the standard gray color, but this is another area that could definitely be tweaked. It's hard to get the highlights right on hair, as so many of the prop hairs have highlights baked in.
    Index of Refraction: 0% or None
    Roughness U and Roughness V: 10%
    Absorption: Left at Black for now (but I'm betting that could be adjusted to make hair more translucent)
    Depth: 0% and Bumpmap: None
    Alpha: Transparency map for the hair (interesting that this seemed to work perfectly for me, even though the standard Carrara shader conversion hadn't, I don't know why adding some Lux material channels would make a difference, but it seemed to work...)

    Whew, sorry for pouring on the typing on this one, I guess there were a lot of channels to cover :) Of course, suggestions and feedback and sharing of other techniques is very welcome.

    Post edited by Jonstark on
  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    As an aside, one thing I really like about Lux is the pen tool you can use to direct where the photons fall on the render (basically increasing the speed that the important parts of the image render, like in this case I was able to mark the face as of more importance because the background doesn't much matter, and that sped things up). The rendering is still slow with Lux, but that makes it better. :)

    I wish I could figure out how to focus the camera specifically where I want it though. In Carrara pretty much everything is in focus unless someone is using depth of field, in Lux it feels like I'm getting some just-slightly-soft-focus. In Thea I can just use the focus tool and tap it on, say, a cheek or a nose, or an eye, and it really sharpens in that depth right into focus.

  • booksbydavidbooksbydavid Posts: 404
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the information about what roughness does. Odd word for controlling specularity.

    Just to let you know, your experimentation here is going a long way to helping me come to grips with luxus at last. It is a bit different from Reality.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    A quick update, because I've been reading through the Luxrender Wiki trying to get a better grasp on what these different Lux shader controls meand/control, and I've discovered I took the wrong approach to my absorption color in skin, because absorption actually strips out certain colors based on what you choose, so while my intent was to make the absorption color more red (to simulate blood under the skin) by setting it at a red color I was apparently actually stripping out the red and making it more heavily blue and green. So I've changed my absorption color for the skin to R-0 G-4 B-9 (I don't really want to strip any colors out, but certainly not the red).

    Also from my reading it looks clear that for the best subsurface scattering effect we should also be setting the interior to a Lux Homogenous Volume shader, but when I try to do this I get crazy results, seems to make the eyelash transparencies go nuts and only half-apply, and generally doesn't seem to work, so while I've attempted this so far I'm getting really unworkable results, and so I've decided (at least for now) not to take that approach. The transmission channel can give a scattering effect, but the wiki cautions that it can be problematic in giving too 'even' a scattering effect, but I'm thinking that if I play with the texture maps I'm using for the transmission channel, say draw some red bits over the nose and ears, etc, that could give a pretty good effect without having to worry about the actual volume (but I haven't tried this yet, so that's just speculation at this point).

    Here's another example pic, with the absorption turned the other way, set nearly to a black color so not much color vanishes in the absorption itself.

    eyes_hair2_new_skin_absorption.png
    400 x 500 - 302K
  • booksbydavidbooksbydavid Posts: 404
    edited December 1969

    I'm impressed with your tenacity. I've had luxus since it came out, but only recently began playing with it. Since I was using Reality for Poser before Luxus, I was spoiled with it's ease of use compared to Luxus. Your work here has really helped to clear some things up. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

  • SphericLabsSphericLabs Posts: 598
    edited December 1969

    Jonstark said:
    A quick update, because I've been reading through the Luxrender Wiki trying to get a better grasp on what these different Lux shader controls meand/control, and I've discovered I took the wrong approach to my absorption color in skin, because absorption actually strips out certain colors based on what you choose, so while my intent was to make the absorption color more red (to simulate blood under the skin) by setting it at a red color I was apparently actually stripping out the red and making it more heavily blue and green. So I've changed my absorption color for the skin to R-0 G-4 B-9 (I don't really want to strip any colors out, but certainly not the red).

    Also from my reading it looks clear that for the best subsurface scattering effect we should also be setting the interior to a Lux Homogenous Volume shader, but when I try to do this I get crazy results, seems to make the eyelash transparencies go nuts and only half-apply, and generally doesn't seem to work, so while I've attempted this so far I'm getting really unworkable results, and so I've decided (at least for now) not to take that approach. The transmission channel can give a scattering effect, but the wiki cautions that it can be problematic in giving too 'even' a scattering effect, but I'm thinking that if I play with the texture maps I'm using for the transmission channel, say draw some red bits over the nose and ears, etc, that could give a pretty good effect without having to worry about the actual volume (but I haven't tried this yet, so that's just speculation at this point).

    Here's another example pic, with the absorption turned the other way, set nearly to a black color so not much color vanishes in the absorption itself.

    I am impressed.

    I would comment that what is learned(by the community) in Luxus for DAZ Studio should be useful for Luxus for Carrara. In both plugins I did my best to keep it "straight to the metal". Meaning the parameters provided in Luxus are a one to one mapping the LuxRender. So in a sense you are learning LuxRender as opposed to learning Luxus.

    One things to be careful of is scale. How big an object is greatly affects the volume stuff in LuxRender. A big piece of colored glass looks different than a small piece of colored glass.

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I'm impressed with your tenacity. I've had luxus since it came out, but only recently began playing with it. Since I was using Reality for Poser before Luxus, I was spoiled with it's ease of use compared to Luxus. Your work here has really helped to clear some things up. Thanks. Keep up the good work.

    Thanks David, I appreciate the feedback and I'll keep at it :)

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    I am impressed.

    I would comment that what is learned(by the community) in Luxus for DAZ Studio should be useful for Luxus for Carrara. In both plugins I did my best to keep it "straight to the metal". Meaning the parameters provided in Luxus are a one to one mapping the LuxRender. So in a sense you are learning LuxRender as opposed to learning Luxus.

    One things to be careful of is scale. How big an object is greatly affects the volume stuff in LuxRender. A big piece of colored glass looks different than a small piece of colored glass.

    Thank you SphericLabs, that's a great compliment coming from the creator.

    As far as using the settings others have used previously in Reality and Luxus for DS, I thought it would be simple in theory, but because the controls for Carrara shaders are so different (and I'm betting the scale is way different too) I found I couldn't take the easier (lazier) path of just looking to see what settings someone chose and used for their skin textures in Luxus for DS or Reality and just copy and paste them (and I'm terribly lazy, so that's the first thing I tried, lol). Fortunately (or not) Carrara textures are so different than Poser or Studio that I've had several years of working on trying to find good and realistic skin settings, just on the regular Carrara shaders for normal biased Carrara rendering. Then I went through the same process when I was learning how to render in TheaRender, and in a sense this is my 3rd go-round, so I hope my eye is getting trained to spot things better. And despite the differences in names of controls, Lux really is very similar (so far IMO) to Thea, probably because they're both supposed to be physically accurate unbiased render engines.

    Scale also affects how SSS works in Carrara's regular biased engine, so I'm not surprised it can play a big role in how things work in volume in Lux. I wonder if anyone knows and can post the difference in Scale between Poser, Carrara, and Studio? It might be a big help.

    Also since you wandered by, Spheric, is there a quick answer to a complicated question you might offer? I'm wondering what Luxus is auto-translating, and if there are any parts of Carrara shaders that it doesn't translate (I figure the SSS channel wouldn't be translated to Lux, but I'm wondering what is). I'm guessing that obviously the diffuse color, the bump, and some form of specularity (either the highlight/shininess or the reflection, or maybe some combination of both). Knowing for certain what Luxus does translate would be very helpful to guiding us to know what we need to turn into Lux materials/textures/volumes. The good thing is that once we identify a good shader that works well for lux translation, we can simply save it in our Carrara shaders folder for re-use over and over again (so we only really have to figure out things once).

    Thanks for making Luxus, it really is capable of fantastic things, once we dig in and figure it out :)

    I think I had also better post in the Commons Luxus thread too, since there might be Luxus for Carrara users who only check the Commons, or who check the Carrara forums infrequently (I'm the opposite, as I hardly ever bother to check through the Commons anymore but I spend tons of time here).

  • Akulla3DAkulla3D Posts: 130
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the post. I have been having strange problems with legs being shiny and ears too, and this will help me alot. Thanks so much for your post.

Sign In or Register to comment.