Rendering in layers - possible?

XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
edited December 1969 in DAZ Studio Discussion

Well, the tilte says it all - is it possible in DAZ to render scenes in different layers?

It would make post processing much easier, for example, if you want to brighten up the background a bit, sharpen only some objects, or anything else that should not affect the whole picture. For me it is always a long and painful work to cut out objects to work with them individually.

The only way I found out so far is to render differnt parts of the scene and then put them together. But that does not really work at all, because you loose all the shadows and reflections that the objects cause and throw on each other.

So, is there a better way or am I simply wanting too much?

Comments

  • RKane_1RKane_1 Posts: 1,150
    edited December 1969

    Kinda sorta but you aren't really using anything other than a green screen effect in Photoshop reversing out the green as a mask. It will get you the layers effect without effecting the surrounding lights and what-not but you won't be able to move the layers around behind one another.

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the answer, but I am afraid I do not understand what you mean. My English is not the best, sorry :-)

    Please can you explain me what you mean with green screen effect and masks?

    Thank you!

  • RKane_1RKane_1 Posts: 1,150
    edited December 1969

    Depth of Field masking. I think there is a camera that does it here. You make a render and then use a depth of field render which makes object closest to the camera whitest and darker as they go farther from the camera.

    I am not sure if the DOF camera works in DS4.5, does it? There was one for DS3 called Atmospheric Camera but I am not sure if it works for DS4.5.

    Anyone know if it stills works for 4.5?

    You can also do a workaround as well.

    Setup your render and all the elements you want to be in the render. Also setup a primitive plane that runs parallel to the image plane.

    Color this plane a color that does not appear otherwise in your render. Green is commonly used but so can purple if that is not in your render otherwise. Also, if there is not a lot of pure white or black in your render, this is also an alternative but make sure there is ZERO specularity or reflection on this plane. None. It should be as matte as matte can be.

    Render your scene once WITHOUT the plane in place.

    Find the elements in your render that are closest to you and place that colored plane so that it is in between your foreground objects and the next "layer" of objects. It does not matter if you have reflective objects or that color and it will become clear why in a few steps.

    Repeat the process of slowly pushing the pane father back and rendering. Try not to have the pane intersect an item (there is a way to straighten this out too but I digress).

    You probably don't want to do too many. The most I have ever used is five planes.

    Take all of your renders and place them into photoshop in the order so that the layer where the plane was closest in the top layer.

    Use the Magic Wand tool on the color in your color plane to make a selection, then make that selection an alpha mask. Do so with each level. You now have masks that you can use on your first render that had no "plane" in it.

    Use the alpha masks to help you make selection masks for gaussian blur or any other filter you may like.

    You can also make multiple copies of the first "Planeless" render, then eliminate the areas covered by the alpha masks on each layer so that you may interject all new layers or images into a layer.

    Hopefully this made enough sense to follow.

    Sorry about any confusion.

  • GiGi_7GiGi_7 Posts: 782
    edited October 2012

    In DS3:

    ReLight --> http://www.daz3d.com/shop/relight (sure DS2, no sure DS3)
    Surface Mask Creator --> http://www.daz3d.com/shop/surface-mask-creator-for-ds

    maybe powercatch --> http://www.daz3d.com/shop/pwcatch

    In DS4: ??????????
    Relight and SMC haven't update for DS4. Some peoples get something with SMC in DS4, but I can´t find the thread.
    Only powercatch works totally in DS4

    Post edited by GiGi_7 on
  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Wow, thanks for this great explanation!

    I own the Atmospheric Camera product. It works very well in DS 4.5, no problems. I will definitely try it with the depth cam. I never knew what it should be for, but now I know :-)

    But once again, just to be sure that I have understood correctly:

    First I render the scene as always. Then I render the same scene again with the depth camera. So I get a grey-scale picture of my scene that I can use as a mask to cut out objects in my original render easily.

    That is a great help. Thank you very much!

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Surface Mask Creator and how to get it working in DS4/4.5 http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/8743/

    I have just been using it for my last image in DS4.5.1.6 see my sig for the link to my render thread, last page, last image. All done in layers and masks made for every element including clothing, horns, tree everyhing.

    I wouldn't use AOA cameras to make normal masks but a DOF mask does come in handy for fake DOF etc. But for plain masks I would use SMC.

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the advice Szark.

    But I will try it with the Atmospheric Camera first (depth cam) because this is a product that I already own. And it seems to be much less complicated than your suggested product.

    Btw, why wouldnt you use the depth cam? For a special reason or just personal preference/taste?

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    It is not that I don't use the Depth Cam as I do for certain masks like creating fake depth of field blurring, or haze etc. I use AOA's cams to render through all the time now. I find they give better results than the default cameras when using the AOA White Coloured Camera Preset.

    But if I need a pure black and white mask (black transparent, white visible) then for me SMC works a treat. Yes it is starting to age with not being updated but for me the effort in using SMC now is still the best option for making precise black and white masks.

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    I understand. Thanks for the info!

  • GiGi_7GiGi_7 Posts: 782
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Surface Mask Creator and how to get it working in DS4/4.5 http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/8743/

    I have just been using it for my last image in DS4.5.1.6 see my sig for the link to my render thread, last page, last image. All done in layers and masks made for every element including clothing, horns, tree everyhing.

    Thanks Szark.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    My pleasure hope it helps

  • GeddGedd Posts: 2,444
    edited December 1969

    iirc if the background is empty and the render is to png doesn't it make the background alpha? I 'thought' you could hide/unhide different things, render and post composite, which is different then a depth mask ofc but the depth mask can be used along with hiding/unhiding from my understanding. I played a bit with this a while ago but not enough and too long ago to speak with any authority atm (without doing a round of test renders.)

  • XoechZXoechZ Posts: 792
    edited December 1969

    @Gedd:

    Yes, you are right, you can blend out different objects, render them individually and put them together afterwards. But this method has one big big big downside: You loose all shadows and reflections that the different objects cause on each other.

    One simple example:

    Place a figure in front of a wall, light comes from the front. So the figure throws a shadow on the wall. Now, if you render the figure and the wall seperately, you get the figure in render 1 and the wall in render 2. But in render 2 you have an "empty" wall without the shadow from the figure, because it was not there during rendering.

    So this method is easy, but useless if you use shadows and reflections.

  • GeddGedd Posts: 2,444
    edited December 1969

    Not exactly.. could use some type of lowres proxy object and/or shadow catcher that could be green screened out for the shadows. Reflections would be a bit more problematic and probably need to be handled on a case by case basis. Also, bounced coloration etc could be an issue, so yes not without problems.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    iirc if the background is empty and the render is to png doesn't it make the background alpha? I 'thought' you could hide/unhide different things, render and post composite, which is different then a depth mask ofc but the depth mask can be used along with hiding/unhiding from my understanding. I played a bit with this a while ago but not enough and too long ago to speak with any authority atm (without doing a round of test renders.)
    Yes but you will get an outline around the render that is the same colour as the background colour. You have a black BKG then you will get a black outline on everything you render if saved as PNG or TIFF. SMC eliminates this outline totally. Yes you can say use a blur colour for the BKG colour if your intended BKG is going to be sky or sea so the outline isn't so visible. Also using Defringe in Photoshop will help reduce the outline.

    Hopefully now you can see why I use SMC to get a perfect mask. :) But again SMC is not getting temperamental and old. It used to be s one click solution but now I have to put a little more effort in getting precise masks.

  • GeddGedd Posts: 2,444
    edited December 1969

    Ty for going into the details on that Szark, it's good to know :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,765
    edited December 1969

    No problem. One day I will get all this collated and written down somewhere. ;)

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