Tutorial Uber Area Lighting: The Basics

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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 883
    edited December 1969

    It is helpful sometimes to render the image with each one of your lights one at a time so you can understand better what each of the lights is doing. The first image show the scene lit by only the key, fill and accent lights individually.

    The key light provides good lighting, but very deep shadows. This makes for an artistic kind of lighting that can sometimes be used for edgy portraits.

    Just the fill light produces very flat lighting, which on it own is not very attractive. This is similar to the type of unflattering lighting you get with on camera flash. The shadows you get from the off axis key light make the image look more 3 dimensional and pleasing, but just the key light produces shadows that are too deep for most people's preference. Combining the key and fill gives nice 3 dimensional lighting

    Just the accent light is only illuminating the back edges of the arms and face.

    The second image shows the combination of the key and fill, and the combination of all three lights. This shows the subtle change the back light makes in the image.

    combining.jpg
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    each_light.jpg
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  • scorpioscorpio Posts: 3,787
    edited December 1969

    What do you set your samples levels at on the area lights?

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 883
    edited December 1969

    What do you set your samples levels at on the area lights?

    The settings of all the parameters are shown in this post http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/P15/#214381

    I usually use 32 as a good compromise between render speed and quality.

  • thayithayi Posts: 33
    edited December 1969

    Thanks a lot Mr.Mark

    gupta

  • scorpioscorpio Posts: 3,787
    edited December 1969

    mark said:
    What do you set your samples levels at on the area lights?

    The settings of all the parameters are shown in this post http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/P15/#214381

    I usually use 32 as a good compromise between render speed and quality.

    Ahh I usually have mine set around 24-28 but my render settings are higher, I find it helps get rid of that grimy look things, especially skin, can get sometimes.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 883
    edited December 1969

    mark said:
    What do you set your samples levels at on the area lights?

    The settings of all the parameters are shown in this post http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/P15/#214381

    I usually use 32 as a good compromise between render speed and quality.

    Ahh I usually have mine set around 24-28 but my render settings are higher, I find it helps get rid of that grimy look things, especially skin, can get sometimes.

    By render settings higher, do you mean the shading rate? What value do you use?

  • IanTPIanTP Posts: 1,271
    edited December 1969

    Cheers everyone, esp Pete and Mark for all the helpful screenshots of settings etc, and for very clear easy to understand instructions (good for old farts like me!)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Nice one Mark for helping out...much appreciated.

    Ian nothing wrong with us old farts.

  • scorpioscorpio Posts: 3,787
    edited December 1969

    mark said:
    mark said:
    What do you set your samples levels at on the area lights?

    The settings of all the parameters are shown in this post http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/P15/#214381

    I usually use 32 as a good compromise between render speed and quality.

    Ahh I usually have mine set around 24-28 but my render settings are higher, I find it helps get rid of that grimy look things, especially skin, can get sometimes.

    By render settings higher, do you mean the shading rate? What value do you use?

    Yes I have my render settings Shading rate set at 0.1 or 0.08

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Yes like scorpio64dragon I often drop the main Shading rate first but it really does depend on the surfaces in the scene...example using UberSurface/HSS, Uber Surface 2 I have found that the Area Light Sample rate needs inceasing to 64 or 128.

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 3,413
    edited January 2013

    I did not read through the thread to see if this was stated yet, but in DAZ Studio it will always render the normals forward so it looks right in the scene. However, if you are using a surface as a mesh light and the actual normals are flipped, it will not work right for you.


    wancow said:
    Okay, so I'm playing with this using this model:
    http://www.foundation3d.com/index.php?categoryid=38&p13_sectionid=307&p13_fileid=1677

    I applied UberAreaLight Base to the 7-Lightsheets material zone (which are supposed to emit light).

    In a previous render I used point lights to simulate the lighting, but I wanted to play with these light types. The UberArea lights on that material zone is the only scene lighting present.

    Okay, one thing I had an issue with is that I had to jack the Shadow Samples way up to 64 in order to get the graininess out of the shadows (on the lights in the material zone). I have my render shadow samples at 16, but I'm still seeing graininess. It took a whle to render, so I just wanted to ask, do I need to jack up the shadow samples in the render engine or do I need to up them in the lights themselves again?

    I will double check that to see if the normals are flipped.

    Post edited by Mattymanx on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    thx Matty yes I did included info about the normals (first page first post second paragraph)

    Szark said:

    When a surface is used for a light source the direction of the mesh’s normal dictates the direction of the light projected. Take a standard Daz Studio sphere; its normals are facing outward...when used as a light source the light emits outward. This can be reversed by scaling the sphere negatively effectively turning the sphere inside out. Scaling the sphere up and using a sky and ground map as a light colour map makes for a great soft environment light.

  • MattymanxMattymanx Posts: 3,413
    edited December 1969

    Mattymanx said:
    wancow said:
    Okay, so I'm playing with this using this model:
    http://www.foundation3d.com/index.php?categoryid=38&p13_sectionid=307&p13_fileid=1677

    I applied UberAreaLight Base to the 7-Lightsheets material zone (which are supposed to emit light).

    In a previous render I used point lights to simulate the lighting, but I wanted to play with these light types. The UberArea lights on that material zone is the only scene lighting present.

    Okay, one thing I had an issue with is that I had to jack the Shadow Samples way up to 64 in order to get the graininess out of the shadows (on the lights in the material zone). I have my render shadow samples at 16, but I'm still seeing graininess. It took a whle to render, so I just wanted to ask, do I need to jack up the shadow samples in the render engine or do I need to up them in the lights themselves again?

    I will double check that to see if the normals are flipped.

    The normals are fine. I am rendering the drydock with a starship in Lux as a test and its just fine.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    I have just amended the first post of this thread to include a link to show how to use Area Lighting Base on an inverted Sphere as an Environment light http://vidaru.com/creating-simple-image-based-lighting-in-daz-studio-4/77154604

    Makes for a nice soft overalll ambient light with occlussion but yeah a bit slower at render times compared with other sorts of lighting but it is a trade off with what results you want. Personally I would use this method more in the future.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Mattymanx said:

    The normals are fine. I am rendering the drydock with a starship in Lux as a test and its just fine.

    Thx Mattymanx for confriming that and talking the time to check. :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited January 2013

    Szark said:
    I have just amended the first post of this thread to include a link to show how to use Area Lighting Base on an inverted Sphere as an Environment light http://vidaru.com/creating-simple-image-based-lighting-in-daz-studio-4/77154604

    Makes for a nice soft overalll ambient light with occlusion but yeah a bit slower at render times compared with other sorts of lighting but it is a trade off with what results you want. Personally I would use this method more in the future.

    I know this works in DS4.5.1.6 but it seems that with the latest versions this won't work as 3Delight will now render the normals outward no matter how an item is scaled, even negative scaling. This so called fix will hamper making the light Sphere. It seems that the normals have to be reversed in say Hexagon or Blender etc etc first. No one knows how or if the normals can be reversed in Daz Studio itself though there has been a suggestion that the Shader Mixer might be able to help.

    But without access to Daz Studio I can test anything

    Post edited by Szark on
  • frank0314frank0314 Posts: 8,659
    edited December 1969

    I believe you can also reverse normals in UVMapper if you have that.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Thx Frank for adding that.

  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 2,905
    edited December 1969

    Not a clue about the scripting language/shader builder/mixer and so on, but would it be possible to invert the normals using a math brick to multiply the output from the normal brick by -1 and feeding that into whatever is needed?

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Thx Simon that sounds logical to me but when I say I am a shader mixer newbie take that to mean real new. I have dabbled here and there over the years with it and understand a bit. I have promised myself when I get a new computer to get in to Shader Mixer on a more serious learning note.

  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 2,905
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Thx Simon that sounds logical to me but when I say I am a shader mixer newbie take that to mean real new. I have dabbled here and there over the years with it and understand a bit. I have promised myself when I get a new computer to get in to Shader Mixer on a more serious learning note.

    I as much in the dark over the intricasies of shader mixer as you are, believe me! :)

  • ZyloxZylox Posts: 146
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for both this tutorial and your Somethings to Consider when starting to learn CG.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Zylox Thank you...I hope you got something from them if not please let me know why so I can improve. Cheers :)

  • home and hearthome and heart Posts: 25
    edited December 1969

    A big thank you Szark, for all your advise and tuts for using area lights, and UE2. You are a true gentleman for sharing your knowledge. I cant wait for my arm to fully heal, so I can get back into it and try out all your great tips!
    Thanks again.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Thank you home and heart

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    I am still around, though in a limited capacity, if anyone has any questions regarding Area Lighting. Feel free to ask away. If I don't answer quickly there are many here who know more about this than me. :)

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 760
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    First off clicking on the image will expand the image a lot more which might help.

    In this case, with Jack Tomalin's Holiday Nook set, the light bulb has a surface (material) zone of its own. So in DS4.5 if I select the Light Prop in the Scene (or Scene Pane) then the surfaces that pertains to that light prop will pop up in the Surfaces Pane. Then select the Bulb surface zone and apply the Area Light Base to that one surface.

    The way DS4.5 selects objects and surfaces is so much better than it used to be. If you select a surface it selects the object and vice versa, the old way was we had to select the object and then go looking for the surface/s zones in the surfaces tab among all the surfaces in the scene...now we can filter by showing the surfaces of the item/s we select But essentially you need both the prop and surface selected to apply Area Lighting.

    There is a way to make your own material zones in DS4.5 if needed http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14082/#204267

    I have tried to get this to work by applying the UA to a lightbulb in this lamp prop. But as you will see from the render, it doesn't light up (even with intensity set to 600%). What's blocking it?

    I can get it to work by creating an uber area sphere of the same size as the light bulb and putting it in the same position as the bulb, but I think it should work on the surface, right?

    Untitled-1.jpg
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  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited April 2013

    Can you post a screenshot of the all Area light surface parameters please. Yes it should work, is this DS4.5.1.45?

    Post edited by Szark on
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 760
    edited April 2013

    here you go

    this is DS 4.5.1.56

    Untitled-1.jpg
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    Post edited by Sertorial on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 19,426
    edited December 1969

    What happens if you turn shadows off? It looks to me as if the shader is being applied to a surface that is covered by another surface.

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