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WIP THREAD FOR NEW USERS CONTEST, December 2012
Posted: 21 December 2012 01:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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I'm getting somewhat comfortable with basic and UberEnvironment lighting, but I'm still a complete newb when it comes to area lights. A lesson would certainly be appreciated if you have the time.
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Posted: 21 December 2012 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Szark - 21 December 2012 06:26 AM
Before I spend hours, does anyone seriously want to learn about Area ligthing?


The biggest problem I had with area lighting was getting them to work without crashing 4.5. I found a thread in the Commons that suggested turning off Progressive Rendering when using them and haven't had a problem since.

My image above (I want a hug) was done with area lighting (using IG Lighting Studio) and the one bellow was one of my first experiments in lighting a big scene using only area lighting.

My advice to other new users is that they are applied and used just like any other shader in Daz and experimenting with them is the best way of learning.

Two things to watch out for are the diffuse and ambient channels. When you apply the shader to the surface you will have to reload the diffuse map (if there is one) and the ambient channel is turned off by default so you have to readjust it to your needs.

Thanks Szark for all your hard work in putting together this thread and all your examples and mini-tutes.
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Posted: 21 December 2012 02:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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with HeraldOfFire's last post I started to get the info together. smile

Bluemoon. Holding down Ctrl while loading the Base works for retaining the Diffuse Texture maps but only if you do one surface at a time. I am going to bug report that as we should be able to do mutlpile surfaces at once. Thanks for the reminder and back up. Also I am impressed that you are diving into Area Lighting already. They do give great results as you have shown above. Overlay a ambient only render like my examples on page one you you have a nice soft scene with some nice glow. wink
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Posted: 21 December 2012 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Thanks for the tips Szark that will come in handy as I often forget to look where the textures are found before I apply the shader. shut eye
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Posted: 21 December 2012 07:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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If you remember the name of the texture map then it should be listed when you click on the diffuse map channel box.

Update.

This tutorial has grown to be a biggy so I might put it in a thread of its own. Been working all day on getting some simple renders done and screenshots of the settings, typing up stuff while rendering.
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Posted: 22 December 2012 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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Szark - 21 December 2012 06:26 AM
Before I spend hours, does anyone seriously want to learn about Area ligthing?

YES! Very much so.
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Posted: 23 December 2012 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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Here's my progress...I know there's still lots of room for improvement, but it's becoming a very taxing scene for my system to work with, so I think it's almost time to send this to post and move on to the next project. I'll probably render it once more, first. smile
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Posted: 23 December 2012 10:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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Just one comment. We are seeing some great renders here, but there are some that don't really seem to be "Holiday Cards" to me.

OK this is extreme, but this is one I did last year
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Posted: 23 December 2012 10:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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Mine's still in its infancy. No worries, the text will go on before it gets entered. I've been compulsively organizing content all day. cheese
BTW, very nice card.
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Posted: 24 December 2012 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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Thanks Chohole for that. I did have in mind to mention it then forgot due to having my head in another long tutorial making session and yes nice card..no very nice card indeed.

Area lighting tut is coming on nicely and won't be done until after xmas now. I will have to post it to a thread of its own, probably in the New Users Section.

Bluemoon I found something strange the other day, I loaded an Area Light Sphere, left Ambient OFF and I got light so I tested and retested and the same result will all Area Lights. This is so new to me too I have always had to turn ON the ambient channel to get light.

As for the contest I like all the WIP posted so far as WIP and all have great potential.

The reason why Composition was included in this months comp was so you would hopefully think about where you place your subject matter and other elements like text and other scene props. You may find it helpful to take a step back and sit down with a cuppa and just and look at it for a while. Go away for a few hours or a day and sit down and look at it again. Doing this helps me when I get image blindness. smile And sometimes I see where I have gone wrong and adjust things.
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Posted: 24 December 2012 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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Well, I took my original design back to brass tacks, made some big changes with the lighting and decided to render it in 3Delight rather than Lux. The main reason is that despite my best efforts (and over 3k samples per pixel) there's still a ton of fireflies and other grainy bits which are as stubborn as a donkey. The other reason is that I wanted to try something different with the lighting to see what effects I could come up with.

I made an attempt at brightening the christmas tree using area lights (turning each of the bulbs into a light source of sorts) and the result was.. well, it was unique. That being said, I've got a good setup which allows me to play around with various aspects of the lighting a lot easier than before, so hopefully I'll be able to tweak it to my liking.

As an aside, I had to change the parents to look at each other. The depth of field does funny things to 3Delights rendering and made them appear as they were staring into space, or looking up when they were in fact looking down.

As for where I am currently, here's an image of my recent 3Delight venture.
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Posted: 24 December 2012 12:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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It's interesting the kind of differences there are between this one and the one at the bottom of page 4. That one showcased the tree's lighting while this one has a strong central focus where arguably neither is a "wrong" idea.
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Posted: 24 December 2012 12:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 88 ]
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Szark - 21 December 2012 06:26 AM
Before I spend hours, does anyone seriously want to learn about Area ligthing?


Yes, I'm interested in whatever you put together on this, ty smile
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Posted: 24 December 2012 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 89 ]
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ZamuelNow - 24 December 2012 12:03 PM
It's interesting the kind of differences there are between this one and the one at the bottom of page 4. That one showcased the tree's lighting while this one has a strong central focus where arguably neither is a "wrong" idea.
The focus was always supposed to be on the kids, but I got carried away with wanting a more realistic approach to the christmas tree lights. This one puts the focus back in the right place, but loses a lot of the snazzy effects with the tree.

Still, I could try a little postwork to fix that issue.

Edit: Okay, so I did a little postwork on the christmas tree and edited it down into a more christmas-card form. I held back from making it a final submission only because I think the spotlight I used to light Sam is a bit too harsh on the floor to his left. I think I need to tone it down a touch, or add some fall off to address it. But this is how the final image will probably be laid out.
[ Edited: 24 December 2012 01:03 PM by HeraldOfFire ]
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Posted: 24 December 2012 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 90 ]
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Okay, I give in. I'm sure there must be a way to do this, but for the life of me I can't figure it out. I have a spotlight trained on Sam's midsection for one of the main lights. As is evident in the image above, however, there's an obvious 'hot spot' on the floor to the right where the light hits it. There's another one on the opposite side, though less obvious due to the weaker light.

Now I'd love very much to minimize this effect or neutralize it entirely for a more natural effect. Any ideas? Spotlights don't seem to have any falloff settings. My current way of thinking is to shove point lights into tubes to direct the light and use that falloff effect instead. An easier method would be preferred though.
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