UberSurface Tutorial

24

Comments

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,107
    edited December 1969

    Thank you everyone who jumped in! Sertorial, I agree with you on the naming issue. Ubersurface spec2 is something I haven't experimented with much since I started this thread (I've been more focused on the Subsurface Shader...and spec2 behaves rather differently in that one).

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:
    Ok, thanks everyone.

    I have been doing some quick tests on a sphere primitive and I can confirm that glossiness refers to specular 1 only. For specular two, glossiness is called roughness (rather annoyingly) and the percentages are the same (i.e. a glossiness of 80% for spec 1 is the same as a roughness of 80% for spec2).

    Maybe Mr Omnifreaker might like to rename his channels in the next version to something a little more logical?

    I suggest :

    spec1, glossiness 1, sharpness1
    spec2, glossiness 2, sharpness2

    Then we'd all be a bit clearer. :)

    This is just one of many things Szark should ask Omnifreaker to clarify.

    does that mean I don't need to do mine that I promised. ;)

    Well, I still like to see yours. Of course, I think two heads and two pairs of eyes are much more better. Maybe you two and mustakettu85 can collaborate on a single tutorial?

    Post edited by wowie on
  • Takeo.KenseiTakeo.Kensei Posts: 935
    edited December 1969

    In my view, all the shaders are more or less the accumulation of different effects which mostly are independent with each others (there are few exceptions). That is the old way shaders were implemented at the beginning in order to have more control of the effects

    Wouldn't it be better to get a tutorial with the overview on different shaders and their difference in implementations? Especially because we barely see anything about US2, PWSurface

    I think it is better to have a general view on this. Eventually begin with the common implementations (ambient, diffuse, specular, SSS, reflections, refractions, fresnel etc..) then break up to the difference between these shaders so that you could eventually make a better choice between them
    For Example, DS Default has Reflection and refraction but it is not made the same way as US. For AOA SSS I tested it once and it simply didn't work
    In the same vein, the default DS shader has the ambiant channel multiplied with the diffuse. I don't know if that is the same for all

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,107
    edited December 1969

    As far as a general overview of what shaders do, and features that are common to most of them, there is this: Surface Basics by Ann (DAZ_Ann0314).

    It's kind of geared towards new users, but contains information that will probably help many more experienced users also.

    What I'm not aware of is any sort of comparison chart for DAZ Studio shaders. That might be an interesting project.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969


    Wouldn't it be better to get a tutorial with the overview on different shaders and their difference in implementations? Especially because we barely see anything about US2, PWSurface

    I think such a tutorial would be enormously helpful.

    In the meantime, does anyone know if DAZ Studio is able to achieve the "waxy" look that Firefly can produce with skin? I have been trying to get this for ages and initially thought it was done with SSS, but I can't find a combination of settings that does it. I did think it might be translucency, but this is quite wrong for skin.

    Can anyone help with this? You know what I mean by that slightly waxy skin look that Poser users can get?

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,107
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:
    Can anyone help with this? You know what I mean by that slightly waxy skin look that Poser users can get?

    It's a question that comes up from time to time. The issue (or one of them) is that waxiness is in the eye of the beholder and although there is general agreement that Poser renders have a "waxy" look, different solutions look right to different people. My own advice would be, if you're using DAZ Studio, don't worry about making it look like Poser, just try to make it look good (if you want a painting to look as if it was done with watercolors, then it's easiest to use watercolors and not oil).

    That having been said, I don't think it's impossible, and there is lots of good information to be found in these threads:

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/17452/
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/16929/ (I see you've found that one already!)
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/22193/P510/#366461
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/37468/
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/22193/ (generally informative with regards to the AoA SSS shader)
    And this: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/42962/ (similar question but no responses yet as of this time)

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,107
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:
    In the meantime, does anyone know if DAZ Studio is able to achieve the "waxy" look that Firefly can produce with skin? I have been trying to get this for ages and initially thought it was done with SSS, but I can't find a combination of settings that does it. I did think it might be translucency, but this is quite wrong for skin.

    Can anyone help with this? You know what I mean by that slightly waxy skin look that Poser users can get?


    I will also attempt a more concrete answer to this. :) Someone who actually knows Poser could probably do better, though.

    I would use the Age of Armour Subsurface Shader.* Go with a relatively high Subsurface Scale (maybe 1.00?). Subsurface color...I'd start with white but depending on the skin, you might need a pale gray, pale blue, or pale pink. Think about using "Pre-SSS" instead of "Post-SSS" (in my own opinion, this gives a noticeably waxy look, though I don't think it's the same sort of waxy look that Firefly renders have). Specularity should be relatively high, though this depends on lighting also. Don't make the bump too strong. Use a high-quality light setup, ideally with ambient occlusion and raytraced shadows, and good render settings--3Delight and Firefly seem to react differently to lower settings.

    *UberSurface2 might be just as good an option, but I don't own it. wowie, among others, has gotten some nice, waxy-looking results with US2 though.

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:
    In the meantime, does anyone know if DAZ Studio is able to achieve the "waxy" look that Firefly can produce with skin? I have been trying to get this for ages and initially thought it was done with SSS, but I can't find a combination of settings that does it. I did think it might be translucency, but this is quite wrong for skin.

    Can anyone help with this? You know what I mean by that slightly waxy skin look that Poser users can get?


    I will also attempt a more concrete answer to this. :) Someone who actually knows Poser could probably do better, though.

    I would use the Age of Armour Subsurface Shader.* Go with a relatively high Subsurface Scale (maybe 1.00?). Subsurface color...I'd start with white but depending on the skin, you might need a pale gray, pale blue, or pale pink. Think about using "Pre-SSS" instead of "Post-SSS" (in my own opinion, this gives a noticeably waxy look, though I don't think it's the same sort of waxy look that Firefly renders have). Specularity should be relatively high, though this depends on lighting also. Don't make the bump too strong. Use a high-quality light setup, ideally with ambient occlusion and raytraced shadows, and good render settings--3Delight and Firefly seem to react differently to lower settings.

    *UberSurface2 might be just as good an option, but I don't own it. wowie, among others, has gotten some nice, waxy-looking results with US2 though.

    thanks so much for taking the time to reply so fully. I shall give this a go (I do have US2, though I am not sure what pre- and post-sss is...)

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,107
    edited December 1969

    It's specific to the AoA shader. To the best of my knowledge, none of the other shaders have it, though I'm not 100% sure. You can learn more about it in Age of Armour's documentation, but briefly Pre-SSS means the shader will act as if the diffuse map doesn't show the effects of SSS, while Post-SSS means that the shader acts as if the diffuse map is really showing both diffuse and SSS (as most diffuse maps do, at least skin ones...good diffuse maps have specular highlights removed, but it's next to impossible to remove the effects of subsurface scattering from a photo of human skin).

  • Takeo.KenseiTakeo.Kensei Posts: 935
    edited December 1969

    @Sertorial : Do you have some links to some renders of these waxy poser SSS ?

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969


    I would use the Age of Armour Subsurface Shader.* Go with a relatively high Subsurface Scale (maybe 1.00?). Subsurface color...I'd start with white but depending on the skin, you might need a pale gray, pale blue, or pale pink. Think about using "Pre-SSS" instead of "Post-SSS" (in my own opinion, this gives a noticeably waxy look, though I don't think it's the same sort of waxy look that Firefly renders have). Specularity should be relatively high, though this depends on lighting also. Don't make the bump too strong. Use a high-quality light setup, ideally with ambient occlusion and raytraced shadows, and good render settings--3Delight and Firefly seem to react differently to lower settings.

    Ok, so this is using your suggestions.

    The figure is Genesis 2 and the skin is V5Bree.

    Lighting is:
    UE2 (occlusion with directional shadows) set at white and 100%
    a single distant light (specular only, white, 50%) 60 degrees to the left of the camera

    Shader:
    AoA subsurface
    diffuse strength 90%
    pre-/post-SSS set at zero (which is what i assume you mean)
    specular - white 55% and glossiness 75%
    shading scale 1.0
    subsurface colour white
    subsurface off/on set at 1.0
    subsurface strength set at 20%


    (not quite sure what's causing that odd patchy specular effect)

    SSS_test.jpg
    1200 x 1200 - 418K
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,107
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:

    (not quite sure what's causing that odd patchy specular effect)

    Not sure either...could it be a reflection? Make sure reflection strength is 0%. Other than that, I'd call this a good start!

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited June 2014

    Hello everyone,


    wowie said:

    Maybe you two and mustakettu85 can collaborate on a single tutorial?

    Mine went live yesterday =) Please see the link to my Freepository thread at the bottom of this post.

    I don't mind collaborating with someone as nice as Szark, but preferably as an "informal advisor" or something this time - I'm fairly burnt out on actual writing as of right now... remember I also do a lot of tech writing for my job, so it drives me crazy sometimes =)

    ----

    Szark said:

    does that mean I don't need to do mine that I promised. ;)

    You definitely should. Mine is centered around subsurface scattering, with the focus on skin; I do touch upon other settings, but briefly. And I know there is demand for a complete indepth guide on using UberSurface.

    ----


    Wouldn't it be better to get a tutorial with the overview on different shaders and their difference in implementations?


    If only we could get the source codes... Then doing this comparison will be a breeze. All those "black box" experiments tend to take too much time.


    Especially because we barely see anything about US2

    Now that my treatise is out, it should fill at least a piece of this gap. I cover the most interesting features of US2.

    ----


    Not sure either...could it be a reflection? Make sure reflection strength is 0%. Other than that, I'd call this a good start!

    It IS reflection. AoA's SSS shader tends to load with raytraced reflection on at 100% strength.


    ----


    Can anyone help with this? You know what I mean by that slightly waxy skin look that Poser users can get?

    If the render attached looks good enough for you, please get my tutorial... You will learn how to get this effect, and more.

    Here's my Freepository thread with various (hopefully useful) stuff:

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/42984/

    fwdan_alphascalp.png
    625 x 750 - 398K
    Post edited by Mustakettu85 on
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969

    If the render attached looks good enough for you, please get my tutorial... You will learn how to get this effect, and more.

    Here's my Freepository thread with various (hopefully useful) stuff:

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/42984/

    Yes, this is what I am talking about! I shall check out your tutorial. Thanks! :)

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:

    Yes, this is what I am talking about! I shall check out your tutorial. Thanks! :)

    You are most welcome, and thank you for checking it out! Feel free to ask me any questions that may arise, either in my thread or by PM.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited December 1969

    Hello everyone,
    Mine went live yesterday =) Please see the link to my Freepository thread at the bottom of this post.

    I don't mind collaborating with someone as nice as Szark, but preferably as an "informal advisor" or something this time - I'm fairly burnt out on actual writing as of right now... remember I also do a lot of tech writing for my job, so it drives me crazy sometimes =)

    Congratulations. I did checked out the EnvLight guide but haven't had the time to try it out yet.

    As for technical writing, I am all too familiar with that sentiment. I usually 'disappear' for a week or two and do something entirely different before even trying to write another one.

    Oh yes. On that note. Szark, if you want some input, I'd be happy to share my experience working with the various Omnifreaker's shaders.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:

    Yes, this is what I am talking about! I shall check out your tutorial. Thanks! :)

    You are most welcome, and thank you for checking it out! Feel free to ask me any questions that may arise, either in my thread or by PM.

    Ok, so it looks like I shall have to purchase US2 to get the waxy skin effect. Right? Is it worth the extra spend? (I mean, is it significantly better than ubersurface which I already have?)

    Post edited by Sertorial on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:

    Congratulations. I did checked out the EnvLight guide but haven't had the time to try it out yet.

    Thank you!
    BTW, other cool things from the 3Delight samples... the "physicalsun.sl" is a nifty distant light that changes colour with its position in the sky like a real sun (it has a "physicalsky" companion that is an imager shader painting a sky (no clouds, but nice) in the background... works great... apart from the fact that you somehow cannot pass any meaningful info to an imager shader from within DS, so you have to recompile it every darned time you want to move the sun!!). I'm working on "architectural.sl" now which is an interesting multi-purpose surface shader for plastics, metals etc.

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:

    Ok, so it looks like I shall have to purchase US2 to get the waxy skin effect. Right? Is it worth the extra spend? (I mean, is it significantly better than ubersurface which I already have?)

    First of all, you can get this effect with the original one, too (see the Bree examples), but with more fiddling. Then... yes US2 is indeed better! Just the better SSS controls and Fresnel attenuation of specular make it worth its price (okay, I got it in a sale back than, but there's always a sale or other going on here...) Moreover, you get a handful of nifty tiling textures with it, with presets - like a mini material pack. And that's for its Layer2, so you could, say, convert an old UberSurface preset of car paint to US2 (there's a script that does it, the user only has to adjust the few parameters that work differently) and cover it with rust spots.

    Then, if you use IDL with UE2, US2 will let you set max diffuse depth per surface to speed the calculations up for those surfaces that don't need the second+ bounce.

    It will also let you disable shadow casting per surface, rather than per the whole node - very handy in many cases.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:

    Ok, so it looks like I shall have to purchase US2 to get the waxy skin effect. Right? Is it worth the extra spend? (I mean, is it significantly better than ubersurface which I already have?)

    Echoing Mustakettu85, You should be able to get a similar look with all the 'bundled' DAZ Studio shaders ie Elite Human Surface Shader, UberSurface and AoA Subsurface Shader. So you don't need US2. US2 does offer much more control of how the SSS is rendered. I firmly believe outside of the ability to pick how SSS is applied (post and pre SSS), it's a more robust option than AoA's Subsurface Shader.

    If you want to have that 'wax' look, the dial to play around with is Subsurface scale, which is present in all the shaders above. It basically controls how 'deep' the translucence will be for the object. The higher the number, the deeper the light enters the object, hence the more translucent it appears.

    Here are some example renders taken at 0.5, 1 and 2.

    2.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 343K
    1.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 81K
    0.5_.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 343K
    Post edited by wowie on
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:
    Sertorial said:

    Ok, so it looks like I shall have to purchase US2 to get the waxy skin effect. Right? Is it worth the extra spend? (I mean, is it significantly better than ubersurface which I already have?)

    Echoing Mustakettu85, You should be able to get a similar look with all the 'bundled' DAZ Studio shaders ie Elite Human Surface Shader, UberSurface and AoA Subsurface Shader. So you don't need US2. US2 does offer much more control of how the SSS is rendered. I firmly believe outside of the ability to pick how SSS is applied (post and pre SSS), it's a more robust option than AoA's Subsurface Shader.

    If you want to have that 'wax' look, the dial to play around with is Subsurface scale, which is present in all the shaders above. It basically controls how 'deep' the translucence will be for the object. The higher the number, the deeper the light enters the object, hence the more translucent it appears.

    Here are some example renders taken at 0.5, 1 and 2.

    Oh WOWIE!!! this is just what i am looking for! Please can you post your settings? (a screenshot of the shader tab would be great). I suspect lighting is just as important, so maybe you could tell me the light setup too? (I tend to use UE2 and a cpl of distants)

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:

    Oh WOWIE!!! this is just what i am looking for! Please can you post your settings? (a screenshot of the shader tab would be great). I suspect lighting is just as important, so maybe you could tell me the light setup too? (I tend to use UE2 and a cpl of distants)

    Well, these were taken with this:
    http://www.daz3d.com/new-releases/photo-studio-kit
    I'm using US2 though, so those settings don't go over well to other shaders.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited June 2014

    Aha! Finally! After all this trying

    Thanks to Mustakettu85 for this (though I have yet to understand which channels in the US shader are actually producing this effect, because I thought I had tried every one of these damn settings already!)

    - not sure what happened to the eyes. Need to fix those.

    the_waxy_look.jpg
    1200 x 1200 - 119K
    Post edited by Sertorial on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:
    Aha! Finally! After all this trying

    Thanks to Mustakettu85 for this (though I have yet to understand which channels in the US shader are actually producing this effect, because I thought I had tried every one of these damn settings already!)

    - not sure what happened to the eyes. Need to fix those.

    You're welcome!
    Try these FiberMesh eyebrows by JoeQuick: http://www.sharecg.com/v/62327/gallery/21/DAZ-Studio/Free-Genesis-Fibermesh-Eyebrows

    About the eyes, yeah they're tricky to get right when there is nothing else in the scene (because they need to have something bright reflected in them to look alive). Reflection maps are a possibility, but they are not "created equal" - basically a reflection map defines a "skydome", and you need to have its brightest point in front of your figure to make it look pretty... My favourite map is this:
    http://www.openfootage.net/?p=329

    You can DL the smaller file, it's big enough for eyes. There's a script in the UE2 folder, "HDR to TIF" or something: run it and point to this HDR file. It will make a special TIFF copy out of it in the same folder, and you can load the TIFF in the Reflection channel of the EyeReflection surface. When your figure is looking in the more or less default direction, I find it gives the prettiest highlight.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969


    About the eyes, yeah they're tricky to get right when there is nothing else in the scene (because they need to have something bright reflected in them to look alive). Reflection maps are a possibility, but they are not "created equal" - basically a reflection map defines a "skydome", and you need to have its brightest point in front of your figure to make it look pretty... My favourite map is this:
    http://www.openfootage.net/?p=329

    No, I wasn't referring to reflection maps. What I meant was that when I apply your Mk85 Bree Example 4 materials preset, it seems to do something funny to the eyes - the irises go green and the sclera also look odd. And I cant seem to get them back to normal looking Bree eyes...

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:

    No, I wasn't referring to reflection maps. What I meant was that when I apply your Mk85 Bree Example 4 materials preset, it seems to do something funny to the eyes - the irises go green and the sclera also look odd. And I cant seem to get them back to normal looking Bree eyes...

    Ah, that. It's simply set to load the green maps from Bree's eye collection ('cause I just saved my Trippixie mat settings into the file, and she uses the green maps), and it also applies my-style SSS to the sclera. If you want her default eyes, you should simply then apply any of the eye presets that come with G2F =)

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited June 2014


    Ah, that. It's simply set to load the green maps from Bree's eye collection ('cause I just saved my Trippixie mat settings into the file, and she uses the green maps), and it also applies my-style SSS to the sclera. If you want her default eyes, you should simply then apply any of the eye presets that come with G2F =)

    Hi Mustakettu,

    Just finished reading your SSS guide. Thanks for the Renderman links.

    Couple of things to add :
    For the SSS driven technique, I find it useful to have a balanced mix between diffuse map in the diffuse channel and SSS colors/color map. Most of the diffuse details will only show up via the diffuse channel and not SSS. However, it is very hard to get a good balance between the two.With SSS color maps or strength maps, you do break the uniformness a bit, but I find the skin looks too 'flushed' because most of the backscatter is 'baked' into the color/strength maps.

    Some renders with UberSurface with and without Bree SSS color maps to show what I mean.

    2.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 271K
    1.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 270K
    Post edited by wowie on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:

    Some renders with UberSurface with and without Bree SSS color maps to show what I mean.

    Yeah, I understand this. I generally use the original diffuse maps for SSS, and add particular colour regions to them manually in an image editor, as needed. For example, the bruise on the guy's face here is an overlay to the diffuse map which is then stuck into the SSS colour channel: http://mustakettu85.deviantart.com/art/Forlorn-425114889

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 776
    edited December 1969

    So I am able to get the sss working (by setting it to a pale pink, strength 100%, scale 0.1, rate 1) and offsetting the pink cast with a pale green in the diffuse channel (with diffuse switched off, by the way, as Mustakettu85 recommends). Look at the ears! Great! :D

    But my problem now is that the face is ghostly white and featureless (presumably because all the human stuff like skin colour and eyebrows) are in the diffuse channel (which is now switched off). So how do I bring those features back without losing my SSS?

    It seems like you can only have SSS or diffuse, but not both (since they work against each other)?!

    See my image of Vicky 6 (ie Genesis 2)

    07_glossiness_50%_sharpness_11%.jpg
    800 x 800 - 106K
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