HDR Pro-Sets Urban Storm OUT NOW! Product Updates - Price Cuts - Other Info (Commercial)

DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
edited March 2014 in The Commons

Just released for March Madness is a new set of urban themed HDR scenes for DAZ Studio, Poser and Carrara. This set is focused on a large scale housing community during a brooding storm, meaning the skies are filled with thick clouds which add a great amount of detail to backgrounds and reflections. Each scene has numerous points of interest for placing your figures. Plenty of grassy fields and sidewalks for your characters to walk on, as well as suburban streets for your cars to drive through!

http://www.daz3d.com/march-madness/hdr-prosets-urban-storm

Since it's March Madness my entire store is on sale as well!

http://www.daz3d.com/dimensiontheory

In other news I have submitted two updates to my products which I hope will get to you shortly. One update is for my HDR Prosets Monterey which hopefullys fixes issues with the shadow catcher some people were having, replacing that set's shadow catcher with the one used from my Yosemite set and the new one (old one cause eye split errors due to scale and topology). The other update is for my Project EYEris subsurface expansion as there was confusion during exporting which resulted in the presets not being usable on Genesis 1 (Victoria 5 - Michael 5 - etc), included now will be an entirely different set of presets for the previous generation which makes use of the same effects.

Also I wanted to bring attention to a permanent price cut to my previous HDR Pro-Set products done to reflect a change in my pricing model for this product line. As time goes on these sets get easier for me to produce due to practice and investments in new equipment, and I wanted to pass this time saved on to customers as money saved. With my new set being released $10 cheaper than comparable previous sets, both my Urban Recreation and Monterey packs have had their base price reduced by $10. You'll be able to get additional discounts off of this new lower price as part of March Madness which I hope people will take advantage of!

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Post edited by DimensionTheory on
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Comments

  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    One thing I forgot to mention is that there were a couple of requests that I include the .HDR versions of my HDRIs in previous DAZ Studio versions of my packs, but I decided against it after going back and looking at how they are currently setup. This was suggested because .HDR which is now able to be loaded natively in DAZ Studio usually brings much smaller file sizes than the .TIFF format needed before. However the scaling I did to the TIFFs in my previous set means that they are actually smaller than their .HDR counterparts in the Poser or Carrara versions. Since replacing them with the .HDRs would actually make downloads bigger (opposite of intention for the update) I felt that it would be best to leave it as is and suggest people make use of the Carrara textures as replacements in their DS Presets if they would like the increase in resolution (which will not usually make much visual difference in renders).

  • AristocAristoc Posts: 254
    edited December 1969

    are the 6 scenes in the set 360 degree scenes? are they one click set ups? easy for the new user? looks great.

    thanks.

  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    Thank you! Yes the scenes are 360 degrees in both directions (horizontal and vertical), they're one click setups with each preset loading the background and reflection map along with lighting that properly matches. They also load with custom shadow catchers that properly render the shadows from objects in your scene directly onto the background in order to place those objects in the real life setting more realistically.

  • AristocAristoc Posts: 254
    edited December 1969

    would these be easy to use for a Daz Studio new user? what additional know how would be required? Thanks.

  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited March 2014

    I made a usage tutorial for the scenes that I put together for these sets back when I released the first pack, I think that it will help any new users understand the process of using these. It goes through the whole thing giving some example renders showing the best way to line things up etc. In general I'd just say people need to know how to manipulate the camera, changing the field of view can be important to scale things correctly.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8v8AaLYnqM

    This video is for more advanced stuff that you can do to get your characters to fit their backgrounds even better

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWzH4HWVy_M

    I also have a promotional video for the first set that may help answer some questions and show more of what people can do with these types of scenes.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OF7s6F3S0YA

    I've attached a quick render here I did in DAZ Studio showing how cars can be placed on the road. The DAZ Studio version of the shadow catcher has shadow strength settings that may need to be adjusted to have large objects such as the car cast realistically darkened shadows. This can all be found in the surfaces tab for the shadow catching ground plane, for this render I had AO at 65% and Shadow at 50%.

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    Post edited by DimensionTheory on
  • MelanieLMelanieL Posts: 5,028
    edited December 1969


    Also I wanted to bring attention to a permanent price cut to my previous HDR Pro-Set products done to reflect a change in my pricing model for this product line. As time goes on these sets get easier for me to produce due to practice and investments in new equipment, and I wanted to pass this time saved on to customers as money saved. With my new set being released $10 cheaper than comparable previous sets, both my Urban Recreation and Monterey packs have had their base price reduced by $10. You'll be able to get additional discounts off of this new lower price as part of March Madness which I hope people will take advantage of!

    Ah, thank you for this - I was scratching my head earlier when I spotted the price in my wishlist, as I was sure the Monterey pack had been more expensive when I wishlisted it (just after it came out). I have the PC Yosemite sets (great stuff) and the Urban Recreation, but hadn't managed Monterey - I'll have to cheek my pennies, but maybe this is the right moment at last.
  • SorelSorel Posts: 1,260
    edited December 1969

    These would probably look amazing in octane. INTO MY CART

  • AristocAristoc Posts: 254
    edited December 1969

    I'm guessing that real photo interior 3D environments like this can also be created? Such as in a room or vehicle?

  • 3Ddreamer3Ddreamer Posts: 988
    edited March 2014

    Anyone tried a test render yet? This was an instant buy for me but I am not sure if my DIM install is missing something. I am getting this effect with each of the presets, though my other HDR packs are fine. Checked the Wiki and it talks about

    You can find new icons for this product in the following DAZ Studio Categories:
    “Environments:Skydome”

    Which isn't in my content or the DIM zip, but the Scene files are.

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    Post edited by 3Ddreamer on
  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    Here are a couple of renders done in Octane for people who are interested about using these HDRIs there. As far as I know there is no way to do shadow catching in Octane though so I don't believe you can place objects onto the background the same as with other apps.

    I’m guessing that real photo interior 3D environments like this can also be created? Such as in a room or vehicle?

    Yes, they can be done and I intend to at some point. I've tried to a couple of times already but the process is quite a bit different because of lighting, shadows tend to be a bigger issue and interiors tend to be populated with people. Anything that moves between pictures has a chance of greatly changing the outcome.

    Anyone tried a test render yet? This was an instant buy for me but I am not sure if my DIM install is missing something. I am getting this effect with each of the presets, though my other HDR packs are fine.

    Can you tell me any error messages that come up? It looks like a problem with the shader that happens with pretty much all custom shaders from time to time, every once in a while when loading objects or scenes that use the shaders some information will fail to come in and things will render completely white. There should be an error message that comes up in your render progress window or in your log file.

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  • barbultbarbult Posts: 13,601
    edited December 1969

    3Ddreamer said:
    Anyone tried a test render yet? This was an instant buy for me but I am not sure if my DIM install is missing something. I am getting this effect with each of the presets, though my other HDR packs are fine. Checked the Wiki and it talks about

    You can find new icons for this product in the following DAZ Studio Categories:
    “Environments:Skydome”

    Which isn't in my content or the DIM zip, but the Scene files are.


    I am having the same problem. The shadow catcher (ground plane) is rendering as a solid plane rather than a shadow catcher. I own every other HDR Pro Sets product and none have done this. Help DT. No error messages are displayed. The Ground Plane shows up in surfaces as DAZ Studio Default Shader. Is that right?
    Urban_Storm_bad_ground_plane.jpg
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  • SorelSorel Posts: 1,260
    edited December 1969

    Here are a couple of renders done in Octane for people who are interested about using these HDRIs there. As far as I know there is no way to do shadow catching in Octane though so I don't believe you can place objects onto the background the same as with other apps.

    I’m guessing that real photo interior 3D environments like this can also be created? Such as in a room or vehicle?

    Yes, they can be done and I intend to at some point. I've tried to a couple of times already but the process is quite a bit different because of lighting, shadows tend to be a bigger issue and interiors tend to be populated with people. Anything that moves between pictures has a chance of greatly changing the outcome.

    Anyone tried a test render yet? This was an instant buy for me but I am not sure if my DIM install is missing something. I am getting this effect with each of the presets, though my other HDR packs are fine.

    Can you tell me any error messages that come up? It looks like a problem with the shader that happens with pretty much all custom shaders from time to time, every once in a while when loading objects or scenes that use the shaders some information will fail to come in and things will render completely white. There should be an error message that comes up in your render progress window or in your log file.

    Those are beautiful!

  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    barbult said:
    I am having the same problem. The shadow catcher (ground plane) is rendering as a solid plane rather than a shadow catcher. I own every other HDR Pro Sets product and none have done this. Help DT. No error messages are displayed. The Ground Plane shows up in surfaces as DAZ Studio Default Shader. Is that right?

    I have sent them a message to see if I can get this sorted out, after installing through DIM mine are doing the same thing.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 13,601
    edited December 1969

    Another question while we wait for a shadow catcher fix: The readme mentions using gamma setting of 1.4 in DS. Is that with Gamma Correction ON or OFF?

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,698
    edited December 1969

    One thing I forgot to mention is that there were a couple of requests that I include the .HDR versions of my HDRIs in previous DAZ Studio versions of my packs, but I decided against it after going back and looking at how they are currently setup. This was suggested because .HDR which is now able to be loaded natively in DAZ Studio usually brings much smaller file sizes than the .TIFF format needed before. However the scaling I did to the TIFFs in my previous set means that they are actually smaller than their .HDR counterparts in the Poser or Carrara versions. Since replacing them with the .HDRs would actually make downloads bigger (opposite of intention for the update) I felt that it would be best to leave it as is and suggest people make use of the Carrara textures as replacements in their DS Presets if they would like the increase in resolution (which will not usually make much visual difference in renders).

    That's true if you only use DS, but if you also use Poser you end up with several 100 MB's of extra textures. It doesn't help on the download size (unless they make the textures a separate .zip) but it does affect the installed size. If the .tiff's are smaller, could the Poser and Carrara versions use those instead of .hdr?

    Which versions of DS can read .hdr? Currently the DS4.5+ version is the only one which has .tiff's. DS4.0/3/2 are supposed to use the Poser version.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,592
    edited December 1969

    barbult said:
    Another question while we wait for a shadow catcher fix: The readme mentions using gamma setting of 1.4 in DS. Is that with Gamma Correction ON or OFF?
    I will go out on a limb and say ON.
  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    barbult said:
    Another question while we wait for a shadow catcher fix: The readme mentions using gamma setting of 1.4 in DS. Is that with Gamma Correction ON or OFF?

    I've only been rendering with Gamma Correction off, as far as I know that is to enable the texture specific gamma correction settings which were added not long ago and wouldn't really affect these presets specifically.

    That's true if you only use DS, but if you also use Poser you end up with several 100 MB's of extra textures. It doesn't help on the download size (unless they make the textures a separate .zip) but it does affect the installed size. If the .tiff's are smaller, could the Poser and Carrara versions use those instead of .hdr?

    Which versions of DS can read .hdr? Currently the DS4.5+ version is the only one which has .tiff's. DS4.0/3/2 are supposed to use the Poser version.

    HDR support was added in 4.6.0.2 which was after the release of my Monterey set, but before my Real Life HDR Gels and the Yosemite pack. These 32-bit Floating Point TIFFs from DS can't be loaded in Poser (they give a "bad file" error) and Carrara can only accept .HDR format. Carrara requires separate .HDR files from Poser (and DS now) because there is a rotation difference between using "HDRI" and "Map" in the background tab, meaning the HDR textures have to be offset to match up with their JPG counterparts. This is why each version required separate textures originally.

    Give me some time to rethink things, I appear to have had them setup differently than I remember and compared to the new sets. When going to replace the DS files I was coming from my original HDRs I had stored which I assumed Poser was using, but the Poser HDRs are reduced the same as the DS TIFFs so they actually are smaller. Which means I can either update to use the Poser files in DS and save storage space for DS users, or I can update both DS and Poser to use the full 8k resolution that Carrara does.

    Currently the HDR file sizes are like this:

    Poser with 4k HDR - 218MB
    DS with 4k TIFF - 603MB
    Carrara with 8k HDR - 873MB

    Other than the HDRs, Poser and DS are sharing Monterey files so there would be no size difference coming from the other maps. Carrara needed the 8k resolution in HDR because they cannot be used with the 16k JPG in the same render, so the HDRs are also used as backgrounds unless the image is rendered in multiple passes to replace the texture. Both DS and Poser were originally reduce to 4k in order to save space (the DS version would have been about 2.4GB with 8k TIFF). All of my current HDR ProSets use 8k HDR for all versions so Monterey already is lower in file size than the ones being released, but the HDR files are now unified between Poser/DS saving 600MB per pack for those who use both. Keep in mind though the HDR maps for DS and Poser are only actually visible in reflections and I wouldn't imagine the resolution difference is noticeable in the vast majority of renders done.

    I'm probably thinking about this too much but I would like people to get an update they actually want and I'm not entirely sure what is most important for others.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,592
    edited December 1969

    Humm Gamma OFF...ok news to me but I don't profess to know it all. Would be nice to get a clear confirmation on that.

    I and many here would love to use native HDR in DS instead of Tiffs obviously this means a new Environment Light.

  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited March 2014

    Szark said:
    Humm Gamma OFF...ok news to me but I don't profess to know it all. Would be nice to get a clear confirmation on that.

    I and many here would love to use native HDR in DS instead of Tiffs obviously this means a new Environment Light.

    Here is some info I found on Gamma Correction with some examples... Turning this on enables the correction of gamma on textures and allows you to specify the gamma used on a per texture basis by selecting "Image Editor" in the drop down menu used for loading textures.

    Examples:
    GCOff - Gamma Correction disabled in render settings
    GCOn - Gamma Correction enabled but "Image Editor" not used
    GCEdit - Gamma Correction enabled and texture gamma specified

    Changing the texture gamma using the slider in the "Image Editor" window does not have any affect when Gamma Correction is off (the texture will render as in the GCOff example regardless of gamma in "Image Editor" being changed). The examples show that it does affect the textures of my presets along with all other textures when turned on, apparently it is using a baseline gamma value on all textures that aren't specified otherwise using "Image Editor". So I would advise against enabling Gamma Correction, because the lighting and other things were not calibrated to be used on texture maps that have had their gamma modified. Rendering with Gamma Correction turned off and changing the "Gamma" value in render settings will still affect gamma in raytraced things like lighting and reflections, that is why I recommended the value of 1.40.

    Also, using HDR in DS does not require any new kinds of lights. My Yosemite packs and the newly released Urban Storm all use .HDR through UberEnvironment2.

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    Post edited by DimensionTheory on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,592
    edited December 1969

    Sorry DT I know about Gamma correction. textures and the Image Editor as I have been using it a lot. I was just wondering about OFF and 1.4 having any effect which you have explained nicely thank you for that. Well I learnt something new today, nice.

  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    You're welcome. If you're used to doing your renders with Gamma Correction on and you're comfortable editing the gamma per texture like that, then it may be worth editing the gamma of the skydome texture from these presets to compensate for way it modifies them. Setting gamma on the texture to 1.0 seems very close with 1.4 in render settings (not sure how that scales), you would only need to do it to the Ambient Color on the SKY_Map material. It doesn't seem editing the gamma this way works at all on HDR textures right now which I'm guessing is a bug, so there wouldn't me any reason to edit the REF_Map material.

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,698
    edited December 1969

    barbult said:
    Another question while we wait for a shadow catcher fix: The readme mentions using gamma setting of 1.4 in DS. Is that with Gamma Correction ON or OFF?

    I've only been rendering with Gamma Correction off, as far as I know that is to enable the texture specific gamma correction settings which were added not long ago and wouldn't really affect these presets specifically.

    That's true if you only use DS, but if you also use Poser you end up with several 100 MB's of extra textures. It doesn't help on the download size (unless they make the textures a separate .zip) but it does affect the installed size. If the .tiff's are smaller, could the Poser and Carrara versions use those instead of .hdr?

    Which versions of DS can read .hdr? Currently the DS4.5+ version is the only one which has .tiff's. DS4.0/3/2 are supposed to use the Poser version.

    HDR support was added in 4.6.0.2 which was after the release of my Monterey set, but before my Real Life HDR Gels and the Yosemite pack. These 32-bit Floating Point TIFFs from DS can't be loaded in Poser (they give a "bad file" error) and Carrara can only accept .HDR format. Carrara requires separate .HDR files from Poser (and DS now) because there is a rotation difference between using "HDRI" and "Map" in the background tab, meaning the HDR textures have to be offset to match up with their JPG counterparts. This is why each version required separate textures originally.

    Give me some time to rethink things, I appear to have had them setup differently than I remember and compared to the new sets. When going to replace the DS files I was coming from my original HDRs I had stored which I assumed Poser was using, but the Poser HDRs are reduced the same as the DS TIFFs so they actually are smaller. Which means I can either update to use the Poser files in DS and save storage space for DS users, or I can update both DS and Poser to use the full 8k resolution that Carrara does.

    Currently the HDR file sizes are like this:

    Poser with 4k HDR - 218MB
    DS with 4k TIFF - 603MB
    Carrara with 8k HDR - 873MB

    Other than the HDRs, Poser and DS are sharing Monterey files so there would be no size difference coming from the other maps. Carrara needed the 8k resolution in HDR because they cannot be used with the 16k JPG in the same render, so the HDRs are also used as backgrounds unless the image is rendered in multiple passes to replace the texture. Both DS and Poser were originally reduce to 4k in order to save space (the DS version would have been about 2.4GB with 8k TIFF). All of my current HDR ProSets use 8k HDR for all versions so Monterey already is lower in file size than the ones being released, but the HDR files are now unified between Poser/DS saving 600MB per pack for those who use both. Keep in mind though the HDR maps for DS and Poser are only actually visible in reflections and I wouldn't imagine the resolution difference is noticeable in the vast majority of renders done.

    I'm probably thinking about this too much but I would like people to get an update they actually want and I'm not entirely sure what is most important for others.

    Thanks for being so thorough in this. I'm still not sure if there's a version that works for DS < 4.5, unless the Poser version isn't using the HDRs.

  • Digital Lite DesignDigital Lite Design Posts: 728
    edited December 1969

    **sigh** You are going to force me to spend money, aren't you? LOL

    Always a good spend !! :)

    Kat

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,592
    edited December 1969

    You're welcome. If you're used to doing your renders with Gamma Correction on and you're comfortable editing the gamma per texture like that, then it may be worth editing the gamma of the skydome texture from these presets to compensate for way it modifies them. Setting gamma on the texture to 1.0 seems very close with 1.4 in render settings (not sure how that scales), you would only need to do it to the Ambient Color on the SKY_Map material. It doesn't seem editing the gamma this way works at all on HDR textures right now which I'm guessing is a bug, so there wouldn't me any reason to edit the REF_Map material.
    Interesting thanks again. I like our little encounters as I learn so much.
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 61,060
    edited December 1969

    Since these are maps made to a standard specification, not eyeballed as with most textures, I would expect Gamma 1 to be correct as it is with bump and opacity maps.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 13,601
    edited December 1969

    Since these are maps made to a standard specification, not eyeballed as with most textures, I would expect Gamma 1 to be correct as it is with bump and opacity maps.

    Richard, are you referring to the Gamma Correction ON settings for the skydome JPEG set with the Image Editor? I would have thought that the correct setting in the Image Editor would be 2.2, since they are essentially images taken with a digital camera and stitched together, as I understand it. Can you explain some more, please, why you believe a value of 1 is correct??
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 61,060
    edited December 1969

    Ah, I was skipping and thought it was the setting for the .hdr files that was at issue.

  • edited December 1969

    A version is released by correcting the error of the base appear blank?

  • edited December 1969

    Erro -

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  • DimensionTheoryDimensionTheory Posts: 431
    edited December 1969

    The problem with the ground plane has been figured out and they told me the update should be getting rolled out soon. I'm sorry to everyone who had the issue popped up but hopefully you guys can start cranking out renders shortly!

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