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Somethings to Consider when starting to learn CG
Posted: 21 November 2012 03:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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2Fatbear - 21 November 2012 11:37 AM

Its interesting that this approach of yours with smart objects is similar to what I do with Reality/Lux, to work lights intensity and color while rendering when I can see all shadows properly. Lux also has a list of kinds of old films aspects we can apply to the image, similar to what you are doing with photo filter (but I’m guessing photo filter will have more resources than this).

I started playing with Uber-Things thinking in cutting the huge time Lux takes to render a big image. But then I noticed that when we use UE2 on its full power the time will be also huge (still to do a proper comparation), so maybe your idea will help lower render time since youre rendering only a light for each layer (or are you? Or there are the eight distant lights on each layer?)

Anyway, I know now we just cant do great renders in one minute (or sixty! (: ), which makes even more valuable the topic of this thread, we have to work very well all details before going to the final render.

Yeah, I love Reality but I’ve been pushing myself to learn more native DAZ lighting and surfaces. Right now, I feel like I have a better handle on lighting in Reality (using my photo background) but a better handle on surfaces in DAZ so it’s a bit of a toss up on which way I want to go. I’ve heard of some tricks for speeding up renders in Reality but I’ve yet to try them out yet so I can’t really comment on whether that will help things out.

For the example I showed above I did render each light individually, the images shown are the layers for the 4 lights I used (all spotlights); main, fill, bounce and rim. The final image was the merged image (with the colours adjusted) with some additional filters applied. Rendering 1 light at a time can make a big difference in your render times so if you’re comfortable with working with the layers in post it can be a great way to get quicker renders and better control. The more lights you’re using the more benefit you’ll see but then you do need to be pretty organized with your renders so that you don’t lose track of which ones you’ve already done and then there’s more layers to work with in PS too.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 03:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Yes Organisation and naming conventions realy are important when using layers. Some of my images have had 70 odd layers building up effects etc. This is so I have complete contol over every detail. I so got used to naming all the layers as I make them.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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Szark - 21 November 2012 03:38 PM

Yes Organisation and naming conventions realy are important when using layers. Some of my images have had 70 odd layers building up effects etc. This is so I have complete contol over every detail. I so got used to naming all the layers as I make them.

That’s 1 advantage of smart objects. In the examples I posted I had 1 smart object for each light’s layer with its respective adjustment layer as well, so it would then just look like 4 smart objects instead of 8 layers, if I were going even more complicated then it’d be handy. The downside is you then have to open the smart object to access the layers that are inside it. In retrospect, I think I could’ve gotten away with using layer sets (e.g. folders for the layers) for each light and its respective adjustment layer and then set the blend mode on the layer set, which is another feature that got added at some point (you used to only be able to adjust the opacity of the layer set).

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Posted: 21 November 2012 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Good if you have the Photoshop CS range unlike many of us here as we have to use less pricey image software like PSE (Photoshop Elements, version 6 in my case) or GIMP etc.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 05:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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Szark - 21 November 2012 04:04 PM

Good if you have the Photoshop CS range unlike many of us here as we have to use less pricey image software like PSE (Photoshop Elements, version 6 in my case) or GIMP etc.

Definitely, I bit the bullet and got the full PS but PSE or the GIMP are definitely viable options. The new subscription options that Adobe’s offering takes the sting out a little bit but then you have the recurring charges every month, and you lose the software if you ever stop your subscription so there’s pros and cons.

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Posted: 21 November 2012 05:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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Because I am using PSE and I cannot apply Masks (like 10 and 11 can) so I use GIMP instead and have done so for a while now. But because I know PSE inside and out and tend to apply masks in GIMP save out as a PSD and finish off in PSE. But I am starting to use GIMP more and more now with 2.8 and UI customisation. I know have GIMP looking like my PSE does makes it so much better on the eyes too.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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I just found this and it looks extremely helpful. Thanks so much for putting it together!

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Posted: 01 December 2012 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Thanks Scott.

I was planning on doing some more over the course of December but I have to man the December’s New Users Contest My plan is to have something done toward the end of Jan next year.

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Posted: 02 December 2012 06:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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Szark - 01 December 2012 02:13 PM

Thanks Scott.

I was planning on doing some more over the course of December but I have to man the December’s New Users Contest My plan is to have something done toward the end of Jan next year.

 

We wait anxiously (:

 

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Posted: 05 December 2012 12:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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LOL 2Fatbear not too anxious I hope.

Here is what has been taking my time recently http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/12654/ some real newbie art info, cut down for obvious reasons but it might help if you are new to art in general.

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Posted: 11 December 2012 10:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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This thread has been invaluable to me now that I’m really getting into all this stuff, so first of all, thanks for the time you put into it Szark.

I do have one question, though, reading the link on cameras and lighting. What the heck is “shadow banding?” The author implies that it’s a big deal and you don’t want it to happen, and says that it is “obvious” in one example picture.. but I can’t tell what he’s talking about at all. And Google gives me nothing but people asking how to “fix shadow banding” in one program or another, with no indication of what is actually in need of fixing.. I feel like it’s something I’m supposed to know, heh.

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Posted: 12 December 2012 06:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Another happy customer. My pleasure asd000
Good question. I know what it is and how it comes about but this is going to be a hard one to get across. Unlike the first page of this thread this is hard for me to put in to words without referring to, what jaderail calls geekish terms. smile Plus I am under the whether a bit today.
Shadow Banding: Take a look at the second pic in this post http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/12943/P15/#187102  Also banding can occur with Soft Shadows where the shadows go from dark to light in sharp bands of contrasting shades so the term can mean different things but the first example is the most common IMHO. However using Ray Traced Shadows and adjusting the Shadow Bias will fix the issues.

Deep Shadow Maps and are just that, maps and I think the resolution in DAZ Studio for DSMs is 1024 x 1024. Shadows are pre-calculated before rendering and overlaid on to the main rendered layer. We don’t this take place as it is all done by magic elves in our computer. So if your image is a higher resolution than 1024 x 1024 then the shadows will be somewhat poor because of the resolution conflict.

Ray Traced Shadows are calculated and rendered together with the whole image and are more precise with how they are calculated hence taking longer to render. In simple terms a ray is sent out, it detects a surface, calculates the properties of the surface, and is it reflective, dull etc, and renders the surface according to its settings and calculates where the shadows fall etc. Ray Traced is also connected to Max Ray Trace Depth (MRTD) in the Advanced Render Settings. With Ray Traced Shadows though a MRTD value of 0 will still casts shadows. But if say have an empty glass with thick sides (not just a simple skin mesh) in the scene and you are using Refraction and Ray Traced Shadows then the MRTD should be increased to how many surfaces the Ray has to go through before it passes all the way through the object and casts a shadow or even caustics. In the case of the empty glass it has 4 surfaces for the Ray to pass though, 2 on each side so this gives us our MRTD value, 4. If the glass had liquid in then add 1 to the Max Ray Trace Depth setting making the overall value, 5. This is a long subject and as you can see the Advanced Render Settings are key when dealing with light, shadows and surfaces.

So when to use DSM or Ray Traced well it goes back to what you want to do. Ray Traced Shadows are more suited to realistic or higher quality images in general. But many around here use DSMs as they generally do a lot of postwork and given the more artistic side of these images accuracy doesn’t matter so much.


So when to use DSM or Ray Traced well it goes back to what you want to do. Ray Traced Shadows are more suited to realistic or higher quality images in general. But many around here use DSMs as they generally do a lot of postwork and given the more artistic side of these images accuacy doesn’t matter so much.

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Posted: 13 December 2012 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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One note about deep shadow maps, I’ve noticed that in some circumstances they just don’t work right. I seem to recall reading there’s an issue with point lights and deep shadow maps, not sure if that’s been fixed or not but I have seen it in the past. I had a linear point light in a lantern and when it was on deep shadow map the outside of the lantern was being illuminated by the point light. As soon as I switched it to raytraced shadows the problem went away.

I’ve seen some other weird issues with certain types of lights too in specific situations, so in some cases don’t be afraid to test something and if it seems like it’s not working the way you think it should try tweaking the settings or try a different light type and see if the problem persists. Not saying it’s a guarantee but I’ve seen it a few times.

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Posted: 13 December 2012 06:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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Quiclky before I go to bed point light never have worked with Deep Shadow Mapping and far as I am aware it has always been like that and will continue to.

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Posted: 13 December 2012 07:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Szark - 13 December 2012 06:04 PM

Quiclky before I go to bed point light never have worked with Deep Shadow Mapping and far as I am aware it has always been like that and will continue to.

Yeah, that’s what I found out. That really put me off deep shadow maps at the time and I haven’t gone back to them since.

The other really odd issue I came across was the lights in the UberSoft kit don’t seem to work with transparency. I tried putting an ubersoft distant light to shine through a window and it didn’t work, which drove me nuts for awhile until I figured that out. Then later, I tried an ubersoft point light in a lantern (seems to be a recurring theme for me) and the inside of the lantern lit up but nothing outside of the lamp was lit. By that time, I’d already determined the transparency issue so I just switched it for an Uber Point light instead, which worked fine.

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