Learning UberEnvironment 2 Return To Topic

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  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited August 2012

    Journey 04: Additional Comments / Questions from the Original Posts

    1) Harry Dresden asked:

    Q: Have you experimented with intensity levels when used in conjunction with other lights? I'm thinking this is more useful for light effects (like IDL) than a main source of light but I'm struggling to figure out how not to over-light my scenes when using this.

    A: Absolutely. That's my "default" setup. I run UE2 at 45% Intensity and use 2(or 3) pt distant lighting to supplement it for outdoor renders. I setup the main distant light (key light) at 60-75% intensity depending on how bright the scene is supposed to be. I setup a specular boost light (lighting mode specular only) at the same angle/orientation as the key light. I put it at 45% intensity to offset the quashing of specular response that UE2 creates, and then I use either a back light or a bounce light depending on the scene needs. That's usually at 20-50% for back lighting (depending on how much "rimming" I want) and 20-30% for bouncing. Bounce light is roughly at 90 degrees rotational offset from the key light and at a VERY shallow angle (like no more than 15%). Oh and another trick... each additional distant light needs a "higher" shadow softness percentage than the previous one. If you don't do that you'll get "studio shadows" where you see shadows running off in every direction. However, if you DO make them softer than the last they'll layer almost invisibly.

    That's also what I do most of my "DS MAT" development in, except in the latter case I also make sure that all the lights are set to pure white.

    You can grab a light preset that I saved out if you just want to load them by clicking here. Just unzip them to a DAZ Studio Native content directory and look for them at ~\Lights\AMR\AMR UE2 Presets\Pure White for MAT work.dsa

    Post edited by adamr001 on
  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited August 2012

    2) SiliconAya asks:

    Q: With indirect lighting is there a reason why it's so slow? With Poser 8/pro 2010 rendering a pin-up kind of scene with IDL at worst doubled the render time, but generally only added a minute or 2, with DS4 and UE2/UberSoftLightKit at best it increases render time by 20 or 30 times and often a lot more. Last time I tried IDL I gave up after 30 minutes with nothing being rendered, when the same scene rendered in about 2-3 minutes without IDL turned on.

    Is it a problem with UE2, DS, the way DS uses 3Delight or a combination of all of them?

    I'm thinking it isn't a problem with 3Delight itself as it's such a high-end commercial grade renderer and so well used in industry, but I guess it could be.

    A: Yeah, it's partly 3Delight (which does not handle transparency very efficiently) and partly a function of how UE2 is just a light providing global Ambient Occlusion, Raytracing w/Bouncing. That's three complex sets of math that have to be dealt with. One trick to make IDL faster is to lower the Maximum Trace Depth (how far out raytracing / bounces / occlusion must be calculated). Another is to use UberSurface to exclude unnecessary items from Raytracing / Occlusion.


    FWIW: 90% of my "final quality" renders take 2-3 hours. Another 2-3% take less than that and the remaining 7-8%? Yeah, they take more. Sometimes much more.

    Post edited by adamr001 on
  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    3) d-username asked:

    Q: i did some test renders and still seeing some grain in the shadow areas, not bad but

    IDL w/Directional shadows mode
    UE2 preset 4XHi

    3Delight Render Settings
    Shading Rate: .20
    Shadow Samples: 16 a later version i used 64 and it did not seem to add that much to render time

    Questions
    - what settings would be best to lower the grain
    - do you use extra lights in the IDL mode or is UE2 enough?

    A: If you're using UE2 as the only light, then you need to lower the shading rate on the parameters tab for UE2 itself as the default Shading Rate even at 4xHi Preset is 8.00 which is fairly high. When using UE2 as a standalone light source start with a shading rate of 1.00 and go down from there. This isn't usually necessary if you're using UE2 with helper lights.

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    4) MrPoser asked:

    Q: I have been trying to learn Uberenvironment2 along with DS4. I am also not real familiar with IBL so I was wondering if you could talk a little about the color parameter and the associated map. Looks like the maps are always 2w x h but are there other restrictions if we want to play with other maps? I have read you can make the color grey if your render is too bright?

    A: Glad to talk about it.

    Yes, the standard image map format for all the uberlights to use as gels is 2w x h. UberPoints, UberSpots and UE2 itself all follow that guideline. I believe the only other limitation is the standard 10000 pixel limit on DAZ Studio itself... so the biggest map would be 10000 x 5000. That might be important or might not. I've never used anything remotely that large myself. Usually 4000x2000 or less. If the image map was used in Reflections (and IMO it should be) then the map size would be more important, but as it stands currently the image map does NOT show in reflections so its quality is of less importance.

    What I can tell you about the Color mask for the image map of UE2 is that it acts as a filter against the image map. Keeping it grayscale will let you adjust the intensity (brightness) of the map. Going into colors gets into some weird fun additive (or possibly subtractive, but pretty sure it's additive) math. I'd honestly have to experiment with that some. It should be fun though. Basic premise would be to make, oh, say, a Green Square in a white field. Then use a Yellow tint on the diffuse color for the map, see if you get blue or if you get a different green (additive vs. subtractive).

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    5) Bendinggrass asked:

    Q: I read through your work on this, but I need something much more basic, from the start, on how to even begin to use lighting in D4. Could you recommend something please?

    A: Old, but still relevant: http://digilander.libero.it/maclean/DStutorial.htm This tutorial remains one of the best all time tutorials for getting started with lighting. Everything it contains is still applicable in DS4.

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited August 2012

    6) wiseavatar asked:

    Q: Anyone getting a disparity between the preview environment sphere and the actual orientation of the map?

    This especially is evident when you want to use environment mapped reflections and uberenvironment and the sphere as a background.

    To clarify I am not rotating the sphere independant of the light.

    A: Here's what I've noticed... the Sphere that comes with UE2 is oriented correctly. If I used a primitive sphere, I have to do all sorts of machinations to get it to align correctly.

    When I went to render it, I return the Sphere primitive to full scale (making it 250m in size), then lowered it on the Y-Axis by -12500 cm (125m) so that it would be centered on the ground plane. Rendering it with a small reflective sphere in the center initially made me believe that the sphere was not reflecting the Sphere Primitive (sky dome) because the Trace distance was too low. This turned out to be incorrect. The solution to the lack of reflection was to set the Sphere Primitive (sky dome)'s Ambient Color to 255,255,255 and Ambient Strength to 100%.

    origimage_1_3395306_sml.jpg
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    Post edited by adamr001 on
  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    7) cipher_x asked:

    Q: I also noticed a parameter to set Shadow Type to: None, Shadow Mapped or Raytraced. I tried it and it did render different types of shadows. By default the Cast Shadow is set to on but the Shadow Type is set to None. Is that the way it is supposed to be?

    A: You have hidden parameters enabled. The following parameters (and their default values) are not meant to be altered:

    Cast Shadows: On
    Render Priority: Normal
    Point At: None
    Shadow Type: None
    Display Persistence: Off
    Ray Length: 2.50
    Opacity Scale: 100%
    Ray Opacity: 15%
    Show Base: Off
    Base Opacity: 15%
    Show Edge: On
    Edge Opacity: 20%
    Sphere Diameter: 2.50
    Opacity: 15%

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Please let me know if you guys have questions and I'll do my best to figure out the answers. ;)

    Thanks!

  • JimJim Posts: 494
    edited December 1969

    Seems obvious now that I take the time to think about it - IDL is cooler than mere occlusion. I wish I’d found something like this when I first started with Studio. Took me long enough to find Uberenvironment, let alone what to do with it. Many thanks Adamr,

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    You are most welcome. :)

  • 2Fatbear2Fatbear Posts: 0
    edited November 2012

    adamr001 said:
    Cycle through those a few time in your favorite image browser... You can watch the effect pretty easily. What it's really doing, as I mentioned before is affecting the saturation of the color in the HDRI map. This works pretty much like Image Saturation Control in your favorite image editing software. Reducing the saturation to 0% effectively makes it grey scale. This has a fairly big impact on how the rendering engine determines what is casting light and what isn't and I believe is what causes the overall "decrease" in the intensity of the shadows (how dark they are) because more things are being considered as light sources.

    So I think I understand what Saturation does, though the when and how of its application is still something I'm considering. I think, ultimately, that you'd probably choose to reduce the saturation if you found the results of your Environment Map to be too harsh. Lowering it would create a smoother more balanced image.


    Hi Adam. Great work, its helping me a lot to understand UberThings, and why the image I'm rendering is already 20 hours going ((:


    I think Saturation and Contrast refers not to the object color, but to the shadow color. Check this image, I got the red ball from your examples with Saturation 0% and 100% and the red is exactly the same on both. What is changing is saturation on the shadow (and bounce color I think) EDIT: No, not bounce color, it appears stronger on the 0% saturation image because there is less shadow on top of it.

    sat_0_100.jpg
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    Post edited by 2Fatbear on
  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Try this, bring up your UE2 environment map in Photoshop. Desaturate the image. Save it as a new file and load that in to UE and see. I'm reasonably certain on this one. :)

  • 2Fatbear2Fatbear Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    adamr001 said:
    Try this, bring up your UE2 environment map in Photoshop. Desaturate the image. Save it as a new file and load that in to UE and see. I'm reasonably certain on this one. :)

    Then why red is the same on both 0% and 100% saturation?

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    2Fatbear said:
    Then why red is the same on both 0% and 100% saturation?
    Because we're talking about the Environment Map not the object's diffuse map/color.

  • 2Fatbear2Fatbear Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    adamr001 said:
    Then why red is the same on both 0% and 100% saturation?
    Because we're talking about the Environment Map not the object's diffuse map/color.


    Exactly, the saturation refers only to the shadows and not the complete image like when we use saturation in photoshop.

    Now contrast I will need one year or two triyng to figure (:


    {}fatbear

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited November 2012

    I agree 100% with Adam on this. Saturation is connected to the HDRI map which controls how much colour comes form the HDRI map.

    Post edited by Szark on
  • 2Fatbear2Fatbear Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I think... no, I'm absolutely sure (: that I'm not understanding something here.

    If saturation is about HDRI map and controls color, shouldnt the reds on that first examples of 0% and 100% have some variation?
    I understand what Adam said about difuse color not being changed, but there wouldnt be some influence from HDRI map on the final color with such huge change in saturation?

    {}fatbear

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    That will depend on your HDRI map and how saturated the map is.

    Take the Moon/Night time UE2 preset.....makes everything a heavy blue when rendered, lower the saturation down to 50% and do another test render and you should see how lighter the blue lighting effect is.

  • 2Fatbear2Fatbear Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    That will depend on your HDRI map and how saturated the map is.

    Take the Moon/Night time UE2 preset.....makes everything a heavy blue when rendered, lower the saturation down to 50% and do another test render and you should see how lighter the blue lighting effect is.


    Yes, true, but in this case the blue is part of what we're calling shadow (the part added by UE2 to the image). So surely changing saturation will change the blue (and also the rest of the colors, since the blue is a "layer" covering everything).

    For a more productive question (: Can we add other HDRI maps to UE2 or we're restricted to the ones in it?


    {}fatbear

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    The Blue light coming from the HDR/Tif map flooding the scene with blue light, 360 degrees, well spherical really. So lowering the saturation lowers the effect of the coloured light map hence lowering the colour in the scene

    and also the rest of the colors, since the blue is a “layer” covering everything
    yes it does generally again depending on the map used for the light

    The shadowing, in the case of UE2 is Ambient Occlusion where we have a separate colour channel for that.

    You can use HDR in HDR format but you will first need to convert it in to a TIf format via the built in Converter. Or purchase already formatted sets from the store.

    The converter is easy to use. open it, browse to the HDR, selected, convert it. Then in the UE2 parameters go to the colour channel, Browse to the converted map and select.

    One thing you have to remember the lighting will be as good as the map and some maps are bad.

  • 2Fatbear2Fatbear Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:

    You can use HDR in HDR format but you will first need to convert it in to a TIf format via the built in Converter. Or purchase already formatted sets from the store.

    The converter is easy to use. open it, browse to the HDR, selected, convert it. Then in the UE2 parameters go to the colour channel, Browse to the converted map and select.

    One thing you have to remember the lighting will be as good as the map and some maps are bad.


    Great!! I will try these too. I end using only UE2 in the default format, the others all have too intense global color. They can be great for some specific situations, but I want more "normal" HDR lights.

    So one more topic to add to the immense list of things I want to learn (:


    {}s

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    “normal” HDR lights.
    When you say normal are you meaning more realistic? I here you on that. I have been thinking of buying Dimension Theroy's Urban Light pack, not for the background or shadow catcher just for the HDRI's. I use the HDRI's from the Azure Skies pack. It was made for Light Dome Pro 2 which doesn't work in DS4/4.5 and uses converntioanl lights but the pack does come with HDRI equivilents, so I use the Background (sky dome) and HDRI in UE2 so I have matching skies and lighting.

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited December 1969

    Okay... had to come back to this thread because I sort of discovered a new setting...

    I have two renders here. The lighter one is the default setting on Environment Mode: Occlusion with Directional Shadows.
    The darker one is GI...

    I thought UE2 WAS GI! What part did I miss?

    uegi.jpg
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    ueDirectionshadows.jpg
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  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    GI Only works via the GI Loading Preset next to the Base Icon. Loading a Base and changing it to GI in the Parameters Pane won't work. :)

  • wancowwancow Posts: 2,708
    edited January 2013

    Szark said:
    GI Only works via the GI Loading Preset next to the Base Icon. Loading a Base and changing it to GI in the Parameters Pane won't work. :) Thanks, Szark... that finally is getting through my head :)

    Muon Quark asked: So I wonder what would happen if you turned down the intensity of the light and used 0% contrast. If you turned the intensity down far enough, would it make the objects appear to glow? And if you also used a high ambient setting on the object, would that help with the glow effect? I think I will have to experiment with that today.

    My theory at this point: I believe you will lose the light "bounce" with a lower intensity thus reducing / removing the color bounce effect.


    Okay, I found out something interesting just now. If I lower the intensity I do, in fact, lose that colour bounce, but if I double the intensity scale, I seem to get it all back. Have you explored that yet?

    Post edited by wancow on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,796
    edited December 1969

    Depends what we are talikng about now..still GI?

    This is part of what I know about Uber GI http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/12654/P60/#197187 and the other part is that the Uber GI itself isn't a light source (I can't check as my main machine is dead) But I do know for sure that it doesn't use a HDRI map at all and therefore many controls don't effect what the GI preset does. I haven't fully explored GI as it takes forever to test anything but when I get a new machine I am going to expore so much more. :) (refering to the link above) Plus I am not sure if Max RayTrace Depth does refer to how many light bounces there are but for me it makes sense. ;)

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Re: GI mode... What GI mode in UE2 means is that it is the "bounce" calculation provided by IBL w/Direcitonal Shadows mode without the primary light cast by the IBL map (You end up with just the bounce, that's why it says "Bounce Light (GI)". The Bounce Light mode should only be used when other lighting is the primary source of light in the scene. This will give you the color bouncing of objects without taking the full IBL mode render time hit (in theory anyway).

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Examples coming momentarily that will make it clear I believe.

  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    First up a simple plane, sphere and distant light...

    ue2_noUE_distantrayonly_comment.jpg
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  • adamr001adamr001 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Same thing, same scene but I added UE2 in bounce mode with the KHPark prreset... You can see how the "bounce" has lightened the shadow cast by the raytrace distant light, lightened the bottom of the self-shadowing on the sphere (bounced light from the plane) and bled red into the area around the sphere on the plane (bounce from the sphere onto the plane).

    ue2_GI_distant_ray_commented.jpg
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