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Creating a good chrome/mirror look
Posted: 07 March 2013 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have been playing with getting a good chrome type effect. I have just created a primitive and applied the standard DAZ chrome shader preset without tweaking any dials.

Are there any adjustments you’d suggest to improve on this? (for example, what about increasing “samples”? or does this just bump up render time for no gain?)

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Posted: 07 March 2013 09:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The most important part of anything involving reflections is to have something for it to reflect. Whether that’s a reflection map or actual geometry, without something to reflect it’s going to look a bit flat and unimpressive. Here’s a simple chrome shader when placed inside a skybox with a simple prop ground plane. Raytraced lighting will also help to improve the effect.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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HeraldOfFire - 07 March 2013 09:10 AM

The most important part of anything involving reflections is to have something for it to reflect. Whether that’s a reflection map or actual geometry, without something to reflect it’s going to look a bit flat and unimpressive. Here’s a simple chrome shader when placed inside a skybox with a simple prop ground plane. Raytraced lighting will also help to improve the effect.

Yes, right. But if you look at my image, you will see I surrounded it by plane primitives with a photo applied to give it something to reflect. Not sure what a skybox is, tho…

How do I set “raytraced” lighting? Is that in the surfaces tab?

 

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Posted: 07 March 2013 02:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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A skybox/skydome are ‘complete’, enclosed spaces…a box and a dome…or a sphere. 

In your example, you’ve got ‘sides’ but no ‘top’ or ‘bottom’...or no images on the top/bottom…hence the grey.

Raytracing is ‘on’ but reflections need a bit more ‘depth’ than 1 or 2 (Max Raytrace Depth in Advanced Render settings…probably 4 would do it for the torus example).  It can be turned off with the Uber shaders, but with the standard DS ones, it’s on.

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Posted: 09 March 2013 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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mjc1016 - 07 March 2013 02:58 PM

A skybox/skydome are ‘complete’, enclosed spaces…a box and a dome…or a sphere. 

Presumably I could make one by creating a new primitive sphere and applying a sky MAT to it? I guess it would need ambient strength to light it, right?

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Posted: 09 March 2013 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sertorial - 09 March 2013 01:33 PM
mjc1016 - 07 March 2013 02:58 PM

A skybox/skydome are ‘complete’, enclosed spaces…a box and a dome…or a sphere. 

Presumably I could make one by creating a new primitive sphere and applying a sky MAT to it? I guess it would need ambient strength to light it, right?

Ideally you want a split 50% ground, 50% sky. Also bear in mind that you need one of a decent resolution if you want the chrome effect to look detailed. The easier option without affecting your scene is to simply use a reflection map. The UberSurface shaders which come with Daz have an option for either raytraced reflections or environment mapped. Simply plug a sky texture into the environment map and render. For even better results, plug in a HDR TIFF file.

To illustrate, one of the pictures below is raytraced, the other is environment mapped. See if you can guess which one is which.

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Posted: 09 March 2013 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The standard DS surface shader, if there is any strength at all in the Reflection channel will use either Raytrace or mapped…depending if there is a map specified.

No map = Raytraced.
Image map in reflection color = mapped.

Image 1

DS Default, Reflection strength 100%, skydome/floorm environmental lighting.  Image applied to dome…

Image 2

DS Default, Reflection strength 100%, environmental lighting, Image applied to Reflection Color

In the first image, you’ll notice that the reflection includes the actual ‘floor’...

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Posted: 10 March 2013 06:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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HeraldOfFire - 09 March 2013 02:57 PM
Sertorial - 09 March 2013 01:33 PM
mjc1016 - 07 March 2013 02:58 PM

A skybox/skydome are ‘complete’, enclosed spaces…a box and a dome…or a sphere. 

Presumably I could make one by creating a new primitive sphere and applying a sky MAT to it? I guess it would need ambient strength to light it, right?

Ideally you want a split 50% ground, 50% sky. Also bear in mind that you need one of a decent resolution if you want the chrome effect to look detailed. The easier option without affecting your scene is to simply use a reflection map. The UberSurface shaders which come with Daz have an option for either raytraced reflections or environment mapped. Simply plug a sky texture into the environment map and render. For even better results, plug in a HDR TIFF file.

To illustrate, one of the pictures below is raytraced, the other is environment mapped. See if you can guess which one is which.

I presume the right hand one is mapped (coz it’s better!)

But where do you put the environment map? In reflection colour?

mjc1016 - 09 March 2013 04:55 PM

The standard DS surface shader, if there is any strength at all in the Reflection channel will use either Raytrace or mapped…depending if there is a map specified.

No map = Raytraced.
Image map in reflection color = mapped.

Image 1

DS Default, Reflection strength 100%, skydome/floorm environmental lighting.  Image applied to dome…

Image 2

DS Default, Reflection strength 100%, environmental lighting, Image applied to Reflection Color

In the first image, you’ll notice that the reflection includes the actual ‘floor’...

I can’t seem to get this to work as well as you. Here are my attempts,

first a skymap and the default shader (with reflection colour at white 100%)
second a skymap and the chrome shader
third no skymap, but a map applied to the reflection colour

 

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Posted: 10 March 2013 06:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Make sure that there is very little, if any Ambient Strength…0 to about 5%, in the item you want to be reflective.

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Posted: 10 March 2013 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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mjc1016 - 09 March 2013 04:55 PM

The standard DS surface shader, if there is any strength at all in the Reflection channel will use either Raytrace or mapped…depending if there is a map specified.

No map = Raytraced.
Image map in reflection color = mapped.

Image 1

DS Default, Reflection strength 100%, skydome/floorm environmental lighting.  Image applied to dome…

Image 2

DS Default, Reflection strength 100%, environmental lighting, Image applied to Reflection Color

In the first image, you’ll notice that the reflection includes the actual ‘floor’...

Not exactly. What it’s doing is actually tinting the reflections it receives with the colour on the environment map. It can give an interesting illusion that there’s an environment map, but actual environment maps give superior results.

To illustrate the point, here’s a side by side comparison. On the left is an UberSurface Environment map, on the right is the Daz Default Material with the map plugged into the reflection colour channel. No other settings in the surface were changed, and all other functions unique to UE were disabled.

You’ll notice that the actual environment map is far more vivid. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it’s using HDRI and therefore has a superior light range to work with. Secondly, it reflects light as if it were surrounded in a sphere of that material. On the left, what’s happening is 3Delight is taking whatever reflections it receives and then tinting their colour to match the environment map.

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Posted: 10 March 2013 08:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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HeraldOfFire - 10 March 2013 07:17 AM

To illustrate the point, here’s a side by side comparison. On the left is an UberSurface Environment map, on the right is the Daz Default Material with the map plugged into the reflection colour channel. No other settings in the surface were changed, and all other functions unique to UE were disabled.

You’ll notice that the actual environment map is far more vivid. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it’s using HDRI and therefore has a superior light range to work with. Secondly, it reflects light as if it were surrounded in a sphere of that material. On the left, what’s happening is 3Delight is taking whatever reflections it receives and then tinting their colour to match the environment map.

Sorry, you’ve lost me a bit. Is the one on the left the one you are saying is better?

I know how to do the one on the right (just put a map of, say, the sky into the reflection colour. But how do I do the one on the left? I have UberEnvironment2, is that what I use? Can you explain a little more for a dumbo like me?

Thanks

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Posted: 10 March 2013 08:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Another point about Sky Domes; they are not just a sphere with an image mapped to it. The normals have to be inverted or double sided for them to work as a sky dome as they enclose the other objects in the scene and the normals have to face inward.

I agree that the one on the left definitely looks better here. I’m wondering if left means from the viewer’s perspective or that of the characters in the scene.


... on looking at them both, I have to say, they each exhibit different characteristics… which is better is somewhat subjective in this particular instance.

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Posted: 10 March 2013 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Sertorial - 10 March 2013 08:10 AM
HeraldOfFire - 10 March 2013 07:17 AM

To illustrate the point, here’s a side by side comparison. On the left is an UberSurface Environment map, on the right is the Daz Default Material with the map plugged into the reflection colour channel. No other settings in the surface were changed, and all other functions unique to UE were disabled.

You’ll notice that the actual environment map is far more vivid. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it’s using HDRI and therefore has a superior light range to work with. Secondly, it reflects light as if it were surrounded in a sphere of that material. On the left, what’s happening is 3Delight is taking whatever reflections it receives and then tinting their colour to match the environment map.

Sorry, you’ve lost me a bit. Is the one on the left the one you are saying is better?

I know how to do the one on the right (just put a map of, say, the sky into the reflection colour. But how do I do the one on the left? I have UberEnvironment2, is that what I use? Can you explain a little more for a dumbo like me?

Thanks

UberEnvironment is the lighting, UberSurface is a surface which comes supplied with Daz Studio.

You’ll have to plug a map into the Environment Map in UberSurface. UberSurface is a shader. You should be able to find it in either your Content Library or smart content under “Shaders”. If you hold CTRL when applying it to a surface you can tell it to ignore the maps so that it doesn’t overwrite any diffuse textures you have. If you have the upgraded UberSurface2, which is paid for, then it comes supplied with an ‘upgrade’ version which retains any settings you have on a surface while upgrading it to UberSurface.

The picture illustrates what you need to look for in the UberSurface settings.

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Posted: 10 March 2013 09:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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HeraldOfFire - 10 March 2013 07:17 AM

..On the left is an UberSurface Environment map, ...You’ll notice that the actual environment map is far more vivid…

Ok, brain dyslexia… I was reading that backwards for some reason.. makes more sense now ;p

Thanks for taking the time to go through this HoF, you’re examples and explanations are good smile

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Posted: 10 March 2013 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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HeraldOfFire - 10 March 2013 09:13 AM
Sertorial - 10 March 2013 08:10 AM
HeraldOfFire - 10 March 2013 07:17 AM

To illustrate the point, here’s a side by side comparison. On the left is an UberSurface Environment map, on the right is the Daz Default Material with the map plugged into the reflection colour channel. No other settings in the surface were changed, and all other functions unique to UE were disabled.

You’ll notice that the actual environment map is far more vivid. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, it’s using HDRI and therefore has a superior light range to work with. Secondly, it reflects light as if it were surrounded in a sphere of that material. On the left, what’s happening is 3Delight is taking whatever reflections it receives and then tinting their colour to match the environment map.

Sorry, you’ve lost me a bit. Is the one on the left the one you are saying is better?

I know how to do the one on the right (just put a map of, say, the sky into the reflection colour. But how do I do the one on the left? I have UberEnvironment2, is that what I use? Can you explain a little more for a dumbo like me?

Thanks

UberEnvironment is the lighting, UberSurface is a surface which comes supplied with Daz Studio.

You’ll have to plug a map into the Environment Map in UberSurface. UberSurface is a shader. You should be able to find it in either your Content Library or smart content under “Shaders”. If you hold CTRL when applying it to a surface you can tell it to ignore the maps so that it doesn’t overwrite any diffuse textures you have. If you have the upgraded UberSurface2, which is paid for, then it comes supplied with an ‘upgrade’ version which retains any settings you have on a surface while upgrading it to UberSurface.

The picture illustrates what you need to look for in the UberSurface settings.

Oh wow! that’s awesome! What else is uber surface good at? Should I use it on everything instead of the DS default shader?

 

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Posted: 10 March 2013 03:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I have the upgraded UberSurface2 shaders and I make no secret that I really love it. To say it’s good for ALL surfaces would be a lie though. I also use pwSurface2 for a good number of things as well, as well as pwEffect. Poseworks really does have some simply amazing shaders for all kinds of purposes, so check them out if you’re interested in getting new styles.

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