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Carrara Portrait Lighting
Posted: 09 September 2012 02:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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And here’s the same setup (sidelight and toplight) with a ring flash added to the camera lens.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 10:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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I apologize for not responding sooner - haven’t been able to get through to the forum in two days.

Yes, rim lighting can be back, side, top lighting - but it is a specific style that only gives a highlight on the very edge, or rim, of the subject.  As in the darker side cheek of the model in your first pic.

In one of those 7million sites that I found, the photographer uses a flexible 50-foot light ribbon, which he winds around in various positions to get the effect.

A very puzzling feature of Carrara is when I switch on the “show scene lights”, it gives a pretty good idea of where light will fall and it looks great in the viewer, but doesn’t render the same as shown.

Good pics, by the way - especially the eyes.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Roygee - 10 September 2012 10:46 AM

Yes, rim lighting can be back, side, top lighting - but it is a specific style that only gives a highlight on the very edge, or rim, of the subject.  As in the darker side cheek of the model in your first pic.

In one of those 7million sites that I found, the photographer uses a flexible 50-foot light ribbon, which he winds around in various positions to get the effect.

I am not arguing about the effect of giving a highlight on the edge, or rim, of a subject. Of course that’s an option, and many people use that. My only point is that just because there are 7 million websites that discuss “rim” lighting, that doesn’t mean that everyone uses the same term for the same effect. Because they don’t. 

Even in the first link you gave with the 30 or so “rim light” examples, a commenter said the guy was way off in his use of the term “rim” for the examples he was posting. Which is why I tend to be more specific in my terminology. Doesn’t mean anyone is “right” or “wrong” with their terminology, what’s important is whatever does the job. And if I tell someone to add a rim light, I know that they’ll ask for a lot more clarification than if I ask for a sidelight. And if I tell ‘em I want a “hair halo”, which is my own personal term (and you probably won’t find in Wikipedia), everyone knows right away what it means and how to do it. 

Which is also why I caution people to be a bit skeptical when they read something on the internet or Wikipedia, and assume it’s fact, or universal.

In any case, clearly there were people here who weren’t clear on the concept of lighting the subject from behind and taking advantage of the subject’s translucency, and were trying to mimic that effect by using extremely intense lights to force the effect. Hopefully things are a bit clearer now.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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BTW, I’m kinda puzzled at why a photographer would go to the trouble of finding a 50 foot long light ribbon and coiling it around the subject just so he can get the same effect he could get with a single spot light.

Sounds to me like you’ve got some different effect in mind, and it’s still not clear to me what that is…..

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Posted: 10 September 2012 02:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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No argument from me on the terminology - I just find the term “rim light” so specifically descriptive, whereas side light or back light can mean many things.

If you take a look at the link I posted you will see excellent examples of what I mean.  Also on the main Daz home page - the Michael figure is a good example.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 04:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Roygee - 10 September 2012 02:38 PM

If you take a look at the link I posted you will see excellent examples of what I mean.  Also on the main Daz home page - the Michael figure is a good example.

Okay, well I’m not gonna chase you down a rabbit hole, so I’ll drop it. Nothing I’ve seen requires a 50 foot long rope light or 20 foot diameter ring light. Best I can tell all you need is a single spot with a narrow beam or barndoors.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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And Roy, please, just consider turning on full shadow casting for the lights in your scene. I know you’re a skilled 3D artist, but when you post images that have that weird “Poser nostril glow”, it makes everyone think that you’re one of those amateur newbie guys who hasn’t figured out how lights work.  smile

Really, it will improve your lighting tremendously. And it doesn’t even take any work, just leave the default settings on your lights. smile

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Posted: 10 September 2012 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Thank you for the complement - firstly, I am not a skilled 3d artist and make no pretensions of being one.  I am primarily a modeller and more of an artisan than an artist.  Which is why I am so interested in learning correct lighting techniques - so I can present my models in the best possible light - pun intended.

Secondly, I don’t know what you mean by “Poser nostril glow” - I certainly don’t see anything like that in my renders and the light shadows are on full - maybe our monitors are set differently and we see things differently?

But thanks for the concern - I’ll bear it in mind.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 10:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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I’m attaching your latest with arrows to show what I’m talking about. Her right nostril interior is bright compared to the surrounding nose. Very bright. And the far side of her nose and eye, the left side of her face, are lit, even there’s no apparent light source lighting that area.

If you look at her face, the lighting doesn’t make sense. It’s as if the light was bending around her face, which it can’t do. Also, her right cheek is partially in shadow, though her upper right lip is lit.

The only thing I can figure is you’ve got a light somewhere with either cast shadows not checked, or the shadows are set at something less than 100%. Or maybe you’ve got ambient light set above 0.

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Posted: 10 September 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Okay, I did a quick reproduction of your scene, and it sure looks like the key light (the one off the subject’s direct right side an pointing down at around 30 degrees) has shadows turned off, or shadow intensity set very low.

First image is without shadows, second is with.

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Posted: 11 September 2012 08:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Thank goodness!  Here was me thinking “Rudolph?”

You could well be right about the shadow reduction - I’ve changed the settings so often since then - do recall lowering the shadows on some lights in a fruitless bid to soften the unnaturally dark shadow in the eye sockets.  So this Poser nose glow thing is possibly the light penetrating the nose mesh and shining in the nostril?

Anyway, thank you for pointing it out and showing me the right way.  This my first effort at doing an e-doll close-up - trying to get some play of light and shadows to give an otherwise bland face a bit of interest.

Here’s another take - this time with a studio lighting HDRI and two globes - an improvement, I think, but not happy with the skin.  This is Elite Glamour GI - will have to play around with SSS and translucency?

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Posted: 11 September 2012 10:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Another thing that can cause nostril glow is using the shadow buffer to simulate soft shadows. If you’re doing a portrait or still image, and you want soft shadows use the raytraced soft shadows. It does take a bit longer, but there are tricks to speeding it up. If you’re doing an animation, then a shadow buffer may be what you need, especially if it’s a fast moving shot.

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I find it somewhat liberating not to be encumbered by accuracy.

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Posted: 11 September 2012 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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More good info ...keep em coming!

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Posted: 11 September 2012 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Roygee - 11 September 2012 08:54 AM

Here’s another take - this time with a studio lighting HDRI and two globes - an improvement, I think, but not happy with the skin.  This is Elite Glamour GI - will have to play around with SSS and translucency?

My first recommendation is this…

Stop with the HDRI and GI and SSS and drag ‘n drop solutions. You’ll never learn about lighting if you’re always going for the fancy or prepackaged solutions. It’s why most amateur/hobbyist images all look the same and have no impact, and why stuff like “Poser nostril glow” is so common and, to many, so obvious and silly looking. The throw a bunch of stuff that they don’t understand at their images and hope it will look good.

If you really want to showcase your modelling efforts as well as you can, start simple. Get rid of all the stuff you mentioned, and spend the next two weeks learning about spotlights. Just spotlights. Nothing else.

Put a model in a scene, black background, NO AMBIENT LIGHT, no fancy HDRI or GI or SSS or whatever. Just insert one spotlight. Get rid of the default distant light. And that’s it. Leave all the default settings. Which means 100% shadow casting.

Now, just go in to the Effects and select Enable Soft Shadows, and set it at around 1 or 2 ft. light radius. 

Now start doing renders as you adjust the spotlight. Change the half angle down to like 5 degrees, point it at the subject, and render. See how it looks. Put the spotlight to the front, to the side, above and below the subject. And spend the next two weeks just trying out the one spotlight. Then start adjusting the Effects. Just play with Gel, Shadow, and IES. Try them all, see what they do.

Then spend the next month or two doing your renders using only that one spotlight. Every scene, every render, just try to get the best possible image using just ONE spotlight. No ambient, ALWAYS have 100% shadow casting, and just try to get the best possible render.

You can’t learn if you’re trying out 12 different things at the same time. It’s great for playing with software, and if that’s what you want to do, then fine. But if you really want to learn like you say, you have to learn. And the only way you’re gonna do that is start simple, and start with the basics.

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Posted: 11 September 2012 04:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Now, I’m putting this in a different post because it’s so important, but so often overlooked.

Vary the light color. I guarantee that 99% of amateurs/hobbyists never touch the light color, and leave it at the default white. But it can have a huge impact. Just a tiny variation in light color (ie, slightly blue or yellow or whatever) makes a huge difference. Try it.

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