Advanced Ambient, Spot & Distant Lights [Commercial]

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Comments

  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    Either way. I don't think it is needed though.

  • Midnight_storiesMidnight_stories Posts: 4,112
    edited December 1969

    To support a product like this must be horrendous. I hope people know they are eating into the time of you next projects. So my hat's off to you for all the help you give here for free I don't think DAZ is even this good. So thumb up !!!

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,577
    edited November 2013

    ...I have to say the way he jumped into helping me with this issue is some of the best customer service I have ever received here or anywhere.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Midnight,

    The community has been really supportive of me and my products. I can't explain without it sounding like a country song but DAZ and the community have been real life savers to me.

    When bugs pop up I get pretty embarrassed. I try to test and test and test but there are so many potential permutations that it is easy to miss some combinations. I know nothing will ever be perfect but I really want to make sure my items are useful to people.

    I feel lucky when look at things like the Garibaldi hair or LAMH plugins. I shutter to think how difficult a project like that must be to create and support.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 14,734
    edited December 1969

    barbult said:
    Did you change the way AO Bias works in the Advanced Ambient Light update? I opened a scene that I had created before the update, and it did not render the same way. I resolved the issue by raising the AO Bias.

    Nope, not intentionally at least hehe. Is the area that looked different near some surfaces with transparency?
    Yes, the problem is in the area of hair and eyelashes and smoke. It sounds like you are homing in on the problem, based on the other post I read.

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  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    I know it is inconvenient but a solution for the moment is to flag the face and head and set "If Surface is Flagged" to "Use Shader Hitmode"

    Now, in your case you might already be flagging the hair, so you can either set up two lights, one that only illuminates the hair set to low samples and primitive hitmode (assuming it is Garibladi hair) and another for everything else which you can flag using diffuse ambient or IOR and set to "Use Shader Hitmode"

    Another option, which is kinda weird but it works, is to leave the lights and everything just as it is but load a solid white image into the opacity strength slot of the face and scalp surfaces. It can just be a tiny white png or jpg, something like 8 x 8 pixels. In the preview window it will look like the face is transparent but it will render opaque. Adding the image forces DS to switch the surface to Shader Hitmode in the RIB file that is sent to the renderer.

    I'll try to get an update out soon so such things aren't needed. I suspect it probably won't be out until next week though. I want to thoroughly test the light again on another system before I have DAZ QA go to the trouble of building installers again hehe. I'll fix the parameter file too so those additional, unused, old flag options don't show up.

    Sorry about the bug :red:

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 14,734
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the workaround suggestions. In my case I increased the AO bias and that fixed it. I may try the white map in opacity strength some time. The hair Stalker Girl hair cap with displacement turned up. I'm not flagging anything in this image. I did this before I ever tried flagging. I think this was one of my first attempts with AAL. I can easily wait a week for an update. What will I need to do to "fix" my old scenes. When I reopen them with the future update, will they just work OK, or do I have to do something to them?

  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited November 2013

    barbult said:
    What will I need to do to "fix" my old scenes. When I reopen them with the future update, will they just work OK, or do I have to do something to them?

    If the scene was created with the latest update but then you install next week's update then I'm pretty sure everything will just work without you needing to do anything. If the scene was created with the initial release then everything should load just fine but you might need to reset any flag settings on the light... that is if you were using any flag settings.

    Post edited by Age of Armour on
  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,577
    edited December 1969

    Either way. I don't think it is needed though.

    ..sent the files your way. Hope they attached OK as I had to use something called Google Drive for the actual scene file since it exceeded 25MB in size.
  • greysgreys Posts: 335
    edited December 1969

    First render with the bundle (ah student finances alas). Very pleased with them!

    2 AAL, 2 ASL

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  • greysgreys Posts: 335
    edited December 1969

    Oh I had another though about volume. This is a tip someone posted in the forums a long time ago but I can't remember how it was or I would credit them...

    This is not ideal but it is a trick to help make stronger God rays from a particular light. You can turn down the camera's light density a bit so the ambient light doesn't wash everything out, then make a copy of the spotlight you want the strong rays from and set the copy to secular only.

    That will light up the volume just as strong as if it were on diffuse and specular but won't brighten the diffuse of things in the scene. You can crank up the strength of the specular only light to increase the volume effect. Now it will make highlights very bright so the trick really only works well if there are more matte surfaces in the light's path.

    Again, not ideal but it can be useful in some situations.

    Just a thought, but would combining that with your new spots and setting a flag on the things in their path so it knew to ignore them let you up the volume effect without having to worry about reflections/matte/interfering with the spec on those items?

  • SpyroRueSpyroRue Posts: 5,020
    edited December 1969

    First render with the bundle (ah student finances alas). Very pleased with them!

    2 AAL, 2 ASL

    Beautiful Render, she's loverly! Great work :)

  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited November 2013

    Oh I had another though about volume. This is a tip someone posted in the forums a long time ago but I can't remember how it was or I would credit them...

    This is not ideal but it is a trick to help make stronger God rays from a particular light. You can turn down the camera's light density a bit so the ambient light doesn't wash everything out, then make a copy of the spotlight you want the strong rays from and set the copy to secular only.

    That will light up the volume just as strong as if it were on diffuse and specular but won't brighten the diffuse of things in the scene. You can crank up the strength of the specular only light to increase the volume effect. Now it will make highlights very bright so the trick really only works well if there are more matte surfaces in the light's path.

    Again, not ideal but it can be useful in some situations.

    Just a thought, but would combining that with your new spots and setting a flag on the things in their path so it knew to ignore them let you up the volume effect without having to worry about reflections/matte/interfering with the spec on those items?

    Yep :) That is the goal. Unfortunately I could not incorporate that ability without also rebuilding the volume camera from scratch (which I am currently working on). I do have a WIP version of the volume camera that is working in conjunction with the advanced lights. The WIP volume camera reads the __category setting on the lights. Only lights with "foglight" typed in the category parameter will illuminate the volume.

    Thanks for posting the great render! I really love the shader on the dress material too.

    Post edited by Age of Armour on
  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,577
    edited December 1969

    ...so this would allow the Camera to apply the effect only to the "flagged" spotlights and not other light sources in the scene?

  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    Hi KK,

    Yes, exactly. It really speeds things up too because you don't have the volume trying to figure out how it is affected by AO... Unless of course, you want to, then justset the ambient light to the "foglight" category.

    Did you get my email with the ideas on how to potentially speed up your render? If so did they help?

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,577
    edited December 1969

    ...that's sounds great. If I don't have to deal with layered rendering and compositing that would be wonderful.


    Checking emails now.

    OK going to apply the changes to see what happens. keeping the old file as a backup.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,577
    edited November 2013

    ...where do I put/install the Spot_Point replacement attachment? Not good at this sort of thing.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • Age of ArmourAge of Armour Posts: 437
    edited December 1969

    Hi KK. I sent a reply by email so others don't get confused thinking they are missing a file or something.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,577
    edited December 1969

    ...got it, thank you.

  • greysgreys Posts: 335
    edited December 1969

    Spyro said:
    First render with the bundle (ah student finances alas). Very pleased with them!

    2 AAL, 2 ASL

    Beautiful Render, she's loverly! Great work :)

    Thank you :)

    Yep :) That is the goal. Unfortunately I could not incorporate that ability without also rebuilding the volume camera from scratch (which I am currently working on). I do have a WIP version of the volume camera that is working in conjunction with the advanced lights. The WIP volume camera reads the __category setting on the lights. Only lights with "foglight" typed in the category parameter will illuminate the volume.

    Thanks for posting the great render! I really love the shader on the dress material too.

    Actually I meant you could use the new spotlight on the method for faking stronger god rays that you suggested before - obviously not quite as good as only turning on volume on the spots, but you could lower the volume in the scene a bit, add one of the new spots, position it to the same point as the original spot and set it to specular only, and then flag all the surfaces in it's path as 'do not illuminate', and you'd have the stronger god ray thing you suggested without having to worry about blowing out any reflective/glossy surfaces or affecting anything else in your scene... still not perfect, but until the new cameras get here... I don't know, I haven't tried it yet but I think that would work?

    And thank you :) I was very pleased with it, especially for the time in/render time vs output. Amazing lights! Wish I could take credit for the dress shader, but it's the base material for the dress - http://www.renderosity.com/mod/bcs/sav-electra-outfit-/90576/. I think I might have adjusted the settings slightly, but nothing major.

  • Muon QuarkMuon Quark Posts: 473
    edited December 1969

    I had an update in DIM the other day for the ambient light so I updated it. Now I notice a weird shadow around the eyelashes and hair. This was asked about earlier but I didn't see a reply

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/465576/

    Anyone know what changed and how I can fix it?

    Thanks.

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  • greysgreys Posts: 335
    edited November 2013

    I had an update in DIM the other day for the ambient light so I updated it. Now I notice a weird shadow around the eyelashes and hair. This was asked about earlier but I didn't see a reply

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/465576/

    Anyone know what changed and how I can fix it?

    Thanks.

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/468992/ and http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/469494/

    Post edited by greys on
  • Muon QuarkMuon Quark Posts: 473
    edited December 1969

    I had an update in DIM the other day for the ambient light so I updated it. Now I notice a weird shadow around the eyelashes and hair. This was asked about earlier but I didn't see a reply

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/465576/

    Anyone know what changed and how I can fix it?

    Thanks.

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/468992/ and http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/469494/

    DOH! I looked to far back in the posts. Needed to look at the more recent posts.
    Thanks!

  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 6,694
    edited December 1969

    having only just jumped on the bandwagon and picked these up today, I'm still a little lost.
    I don't get the "flag" thing.....how do I make the hair not affected by the ambient light?

    Hmm that may not make sense.....I mean, how do i "flag" the hair, so I can change some settings that will ONLY affect the hair, and not the entire scene?

  • JabbaJabba Posts: 1,258
    edited December 1969

    jakiblue said:
    having only just jumped on the bandwagon and picked these up today, I'm still a little lost.
    I don't get the "flag" thing.....how do I make the hair not affected by the ambient light?

    Hmm that may not make sense.....I mean, how do i "flag" the hair, so I can change some settings that will ONLY affect the hair, and not the entire scene?

    http://youtu.be/zOBX7wcvGpQ?t=20m14s
  • KeryaKerya Posts: 10,099
    edited December 1969

    You go to the surfaces tab, select the hair surface and set the Diffuse strength to 99% (for example, there are other flagging methods, but this works for me).
    Then you select the advanced ambient light, Parameters tab, Light control and then change "Flag Surface shaders With" to Diffuse strenght of ..., the slider below to 99% and then change the Shader settings below.

    From somewhere in this thread:

    The flagging method for both lights is now to select a parameter you want the light to look for in surface shaders, like Diffuse Strength or Ambient Strength, then set a value in the slider below which the light should look for.

    For instance, let’s say you have some transmapped hair in the scene and you want it to use a lower AO or shadow sample count than everything else in the scene;

    Step 1 - You select the hair surfaces and pick a setting that would not make much or any difference fi it were changed such as Ambient Strength and set it to something unique like 17%. If the ambient color is black then changing the Ambient Strength will not make the hair glow or anything.

    Step 2 - Select the light and change “Flag Surface Shaders With” to “Ambient Strength Of…”

    Step 3 - Set the “Diffuse, Ambient or IOR Value” to 17% to match your hair surfaces unique surface Ambient Strength value.

    Step 4 - From the “If Surface is Flagged” menu choose “Use Alt Samples”

    Now when you render the hair will use the Alternate Samples value and everything else will use the AO samples value.

  • Muon QuarkMuon Quark Posts: 473
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Jaki for asking that question. I don't know how to flag stuff either.

    Thanks for the replies on how to flag stuff!

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,298
    edited December 1969

    I'm starting to cover flagging in the learning thread...there's a brief step-by-step here, illustrated with a few renders. Kerya's instructions are more thorough, though...thanks for posting that, Kerya!

  • JabbaJabba Posts: 1,258
    edited December 1969

    Some more late-night ramblings, this time about the Advanced Spotlight (although first 5 mins is me trying to correct something I got wrong in my second AAL video)... http://youtu.be/8-aMSQSgEg0

  • TJohnTJohn Posts: 10,246
    edited November 2013

    One AAL, one ASL.
    Quality is cranked up high - the hair is flagged for Alt Sampling.
    Love these lights. :)
    The render took less than 22 minutes.

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    Post edited by TJohn on
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