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Learning Carrara 8….
Posted: 26 March 2013 08:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 46 ]
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whispers65 - 25 March 2013 06:14 PM

Oh yeah, a pic I saw last night.  On Page 34 of the 2013 StoneMason Catalogue Contest, Redhorse had a picture called “In the Air Tonight” that was done in Carrara. 

It included a lot of different light affects such as headlights, taillights, neon signs, streetlamps, lighted windows, etc.

What really impressed me though was the sheer amount of people.  Must have been the low polys or something.  I’ve never seen so many in a single scene.

Really nice scene.  I liked it a lot.

Thanks again for the kind words, and thanks for mentioning this thread to me.  Dartanbeck is right, it rocks.  Lots of great tips here.

If you’re interested, I’d be happy to share my techniques with you.  I’m just a hobbyist so I don’t have any secrets to protect. wink  Plus, I’d love to see more artists make Carrara shine so more people will adopt it and help motivate DAZ to continue its development.  Carrara is a real hidden gem in the 3D world.

I’m especially fond of how Carrara handles lighting, which seems easier and is more logical to me than any other app I’ve used, including high end apps like modo.  In my image that you mentioned, Stonemason deserves a lot of credit for doing the heavy lifting and setting up his models to be very easily illuminated for night scenes - a feature I think many people miss by not looking at the shader tree and digging through his textures folder.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 47 ]
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Um… wow. That is a cool render. Here it is for those who don’t want to wade through this incredibly wrong forum setup. lol
Anyways, Man, 11 hours to render? You must have a decent rig, eh? I do animations for must less time than that, but usually accepting slightly less quality per frame.
Anyways, really like the image.

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Dartanbeck @ Daz3d          Check out the Carrara Cafe          ►►►  Carrara Information Manual   ◄◄◄

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Posted: 26 March 2013 04:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 48 ]
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very nice redhorse,
I almost hear street noise, it reminds me Walter Hill’s streets of fire and a couple of other movies

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Posted: 26 March 2013 05:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 49 ]
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Glad to have recommended it.  That book is the one if i could only have one book to help with 3D stuff i would chose.  Getting that book saved me a lot of headaches.  If you get the Brin book make sure it is the newer 2nd edition as he added and expanded the book greatly.  Several things on his site are abbreviated things you’ll find in the book,.

Jeremy Brin, the author, has some info on monitor calibration on his site that you’ll want to look at too.  He talk about calibration in the book and refers you to his site.

whispers65 - 25 March 2013 05:00 PM
Jay_NOLA - 25 March 2013 04:42 PM

Since glows were mentioned for textures you may find this helps.

http://www.sharecg.com/v/47436/browse/3/PDF-Tutorial/Carrara-Users-Glow-Bodysuit-Setup

Not sure if you have the exact product used in the PDF, but the basic technique can be applied to other products.

Also since lighting got mentioned in a couple of posts, if you don’t have this book I both highly and strongly recommend you get a copy of Digital Lighting & Rendering, Second Edition, by Jeremy Birn.  This is the single best thing you can get to learn lighting.

Jeremy Brim’s web site is also worth checking out as he has an illustrated guide to 3D terms on it, several other things

http://www.3drender.com/

The Lighting Challenges are still going on and you can download stuff from the newer ones that aren’t on Brim’s website and take part in the current one if you like.  You can use an 3D program you like in the challenges and the files for the challenges are posted in several different formats.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=185

Glad y’all mentioned glows because in the Cryo Environment and especially the Cryo Tubes there are lights that I stuck a point light on in Studio.  It didn’t turn out well.  Tonight I"ll try and see if I can get the Environment into Carrara and see how it is there.  I’m interested in the glow biz. Actually it sounds like it will be easier.  Thanks for the recommendation on the book.  I don’t think I have heard of that one before.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 50 ]
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redhorse - 26 March 2013 08:57 AM
whispers65 - 25 March 2013 06:14 PM

Oh yeah, a pic I saw last night.  On Page 34 of the 2013 StoneMason Catalogue Contest, Redhorse had a picture called “In the Air Tonight” that was done in Carrara. 

It included a lot of different light affects such as headlights, taillights, neon signs, streetlamps, lighted windows, etc.

What really impressed me though was the sheer amount of people.  Must have been the low polys or something.  I’ve never seen so many in a single scene.

Really nice scene.  I liked it a lot.

Thanks again for the kind words, and thanks for mentioning this thread to me.  Dartanbeck is right, it rocks.  Lots of great tips here.

If you’re interested, I’d be happy to share my techniques with you.  I’m just a hobbyist so I don’t have any secrets to protect. wink  Plus, I’d love to see more artists make Carrara shine so more people will adopt it and help motivate DAZ to continue its development.  Carrara is a real hidden gem in the 3D world.

I’m especially fond of how Carrara handles lighting, which seems easier and is more logical to me than any other app I’ve used, including high end apps like modo.  In my image that you mentioned, Stonemason deserves a lot of credit for doing the heavy lifting and setting up his models to be very easily illuminated for night scenes - a feature I think many people miss by not looking at the shader tree and digging through his textures folder.


My head is swimming lol.  I do get overwhelmed easily.  I would defintely be interested.  I did buy the tutorial vidoes for Carrara and the book up above.  I think it was called “Digital Lighting and Rendering” or something like that.  I bought it today. It’s taking me a while to assimilate everything.

I learn by doing so am planning on 4 basic scenes to start and I chose each scene for a specific learning purpose.

Actually I would love to take your city idea if you don’t mind and do one of my own.  It would be different of course, different angle, different way of seeing things.  I like the lighting oppurtunities in your scene and they may all be similiar but in my mind lighting headlights is different than a tail light because a headlight shines out a distance where as a tail light doesn’t. 

Anyway, I have everything that you used basically.  On my facebook page I have that same scene from a while back (before everything was stolen) except from a different angle and it was in Daz. 

I just think your particular scene offers a lot of different oppurtunities and challenges.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 05:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 51 ]
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I haven’t had a chance to check out the site much.  I may get off this Thursday and Friday so will have more time.  However, I did get the book today and I did make sure it was the newer 2nd edition.  smile

Hmmmm speaking of monitor calibration.  I use a TV as a monitor and there is a lighting difference between that and my laptop.  I wonder about that if there is anything I can do.  The TV actually shows images as darker than the laptop.  It’s frustrating but I’m getting older and looking at a 37” TV sceen is way easier on the eyes than a 17” laptop.  smile

Jay_NOLA - 26 March 2013 05:34 PM

Glad to have recommended it.  That book is the one if i could only have one book to help with 3D stuff i would chose.  Getting that book saved me a lot of headaches.  If you get the Brin book make sure it is the newer 2nd edition as he added and expanded the book greatly.  Several things on his site are abbreviated things you’ll find in the book,.

Jeremy Brin, the author, has some info on monitor calibration on his site that you’ll want to look at too.  He talk about calibration in the book and refers you to his site.

whispers65 - 25 March 2013 05:00 PM
Jay_NOLA - 25 March 2013 04:42 PM

Since glows were mentioned for textures you may find this helps.

http://www.sharecg.com/v/47436/browse/3/PDF-Tutorial/Carrara-Users-Glow-Bodysuit-Setup

Not sure if you have the exact product used in the PDF, but the basic technique can be applied to other products.

Also since lighting got mentioned in a couple of posts, if you don’t have this book I both highly and strongly recommend you get a copy of Digital Lighting & Rendering, Second Edition, by Jeremy Birn.  This is the single best thing you can get to learn lighting.

Jeremy Brim’s web site is also worth checking out as he has an illustrated guide to 3D terms on it, several other things

http://www.3drender.com/

The Lighting Challenges are still going on and you can download stuff from the newer ones that aren’t on Brim’s website and take part in the current one if you like.  You can use an 3D program you like in the challenges and the files for the challenges are posted in several different formats.

http://forums.cgsociety.org/forumdisplay.php?f=185

Glad y’all mentioned glows because in the Cryo Environment and especially the Cryo Tubes there are lights that I stuck a point light on in Studio.  It didn’t turn out well.  Tonight I"ll try and see if I can get the Environment into Carrara and see how it is there.  I’m interested in the glow biz. Actually it sounds like it will be easier.  Thanks for the recommendation on the book.  I don’t think I have heard of that one before.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 52 ]
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Great render redhorse.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 05:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 53 ]
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Dartanbeck - 26 March 2013 03:29 PM

Um… wow. That is a cool render. Here it is for those who don’t want to wade through this incredibly wrong forum setup. lol
Anyways, Man, 11 hours to render? You must have a decent rig, eh? I do animations for must less time than that, but usually accepting slightly less quality per frame.
Anyways, really like the image.


I can’t wait to get into animation….ok baby steps…breathe….just breathe…lol…..did I say I get overwhelmed lol.  Just got to take it one step at a time.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 54 ]
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To learn Carrara I mentioned doing 4 basic scenes and each one contains different elements.

1) Howie’s Country Lane 2 (premade outdoor scene, prelighted) - Pre everything scene with lighting already done, the whole nine yards.  Just going to add hot air balloons, two cars, and two to four people.  The angle I’m looking at seems a little hot/over exposed to me so will prob need to tone down.  I would like to use Genesis figures but time is ticking.  20 days on the trail for 8.5 and don’t know if there is another product code yet.  Haven’t checked.

2) Cryo Environment, Cryo Tube (premade indoor scene, no light) - Hey what can I say?  I’m Sci Fi at heart.  I love the setup.  It will be a good oppurtunity to learn indoor lighting and mood, maybe some - fog, low level lighting, etc.  Again I would like to use Genesis if possible with the super suit if possible.

3) City Scene (premade outdoor scene, no lights) - Great way to learn to light the great outdoors with a lots of people and props not to mention all kinds of light oppurtunities like neon signs, headlights etc.

4) Campsite (from scratch) - I don’t have anything like this so this would be combing objects from what I have and/or make stuff of my own.  I would like to put together a campsite structure like at a state park or something.  There would be 2 to 3 campsites on each side of the road, maybe RV parking, restroom/shower facility, etc. 

5) I would like to do a lot of different portraits.  Just people standing there looking awesome and realistic like I see a lot.  Not necessarily pin-ups but more like glamour or promo type pics. 


*A note on Genesis.  I really like Genesis but the reason I mention it mostly is because I had lost everything before when my apartment was broken into.  I just didn’t have the heart to try and download and install everyting all over again so I gave up the idea of learning 3d stuff.  Then when I came back Young Teen 5 just came out and was on sale.  I picked up a bundle and it gave me everything to start.  I also bought V5 and M5.  I just never went back to anything older and didn’t have much of V4/M4 stuff at that time anyway.  Now with DIM, I have all of my old stuff back.  So in a pinch I can use V4/M4 if needed.  I didn’t care for K4 much.  I like the Young Teens better.  So if I need to use V4/M4 or something else until 8.5 is officially released then no problem.  It’s just not my first preference.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 55 ]
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Thanks for the comments everyone.  I really appreciate it.

My machine is a few years old, but still a decent 64-bit quad core.  What it lacks in speed it more than makes up for in RAM (32GB).  Part of what made the render take so long is:
* Around 100+ individual light sources, not including glow effects, all with angular and range falloffs (mostly spotlights)
* Original render size of 3840 x 2400
* Indirect light enabled
* Soft shadows enabled
* Aura enabled with distance attenuation
* Fairly high settings on lighting quality/accuracy and shadow accuracy
* Fairly high setting on object accuracy - 1 or 2 pixels if I recall correctly
* Liberal use of translucency (part of my lighting tricks)
* Lots of individual figures (mostly lo res) and textures, but it was all done in a single pass

I’ve only done one image bigger and more intense than this one, but it was done in Vue and required 25 separate layers that I composited in Photoshop.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 06:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 56 ]
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redhorse - 26 March 2013 06:14 PM

Thanks for the comments everyone.  I really appreciate it.

My machine is a few years old, but still a decent 64-bit quad core.  What it lacks in speed it more than makes up for in RAM (32GB).  Part of what made the render take so long is:
* Around 100+ individual light sources, not including glow effects, all with angular and range falloffs (mostly spotlights)
* Original render size of 3840 x 2400
* Indirect light enabled
* Soft shadows enabled
* Aura enabled with distance attenuation
* Fairly high settings on lighting quality/accuracy and shadow accuracy
* Fairly high setting on object accuracy - 1 or 2 pixels if I recall correctly
* Liberal use of translucency (part of my lighting tricks)
* Lots of individual figures (mostly lo res) and textures, but it was all done in a single pass

I’ve only done one image bigger and more intense than this one, but it was done in Vue and required 25 separate layers that I composited in Photoshop.

That looks familiar. Wasn’t there a pic or something “so you want a revolution” or something like that. Did you do that one also?

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Posted: 26 March 2013 06:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 57 ]
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Yep.  That one was mine too.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 07:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 58 ]
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Here’s the technique I use for headlights, tail lights, and street lights.  The method is the same, only the colors and values of some parameters change.

1. Add a spotlight to the scene.  Using the scale tool (double ended arrow on the left toolbar, second from top), shrink the spotlight so that it is small enough to fit inside the object that is supposed to emit light.  Then move it inside the object with the big end nearest the glass/lens.  It is important that the spotlight pyramid fits entirely within the object without intersecting the sides of the mesh.  Adjust the spotlight to point slightly down towards the pavement and slightly away from the center of the vehicle.

2. With the spotlight selected, adjust its properties to give you the effect you want in your scene.  I find that around 300% brightness works well.  I also like to set both the angular and range falloffs to 100% to make it appear more realistic (no hard stop to the light - it fades to black so to speak).  The range and half angle should be adjusted to your particular scene.

3. In the material room, select the object that is to be emitting light and open up the material for the light’s glass/lens (assuming the model maker created a separate material zone for the glass - they usually do).  Here there are two ways you can go: Alpha or Translucency.  For my purposes, adjusting Alpha to 40% worked best, making the material somewhat transparent while still retaining its color and such.

4. Next, make the material glow.  Set the glow channel to multiply and set the two nodes that creates to color and value (1-10000%).  Make the color the same as your light.  Make the value whatever looks good.  For me, around 230% did the trick. 

Sometimes you will want to enable aura for an object that is supposed to be glowing to give it that hazy glow around the glass.  I have found that aura doesn’t always work right and sometimes (as in this case) postwork was the better route to add that glow.

Also make sure you check “light through transparency” in the render settings.

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Posted: 26 March 2013 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 59 ]
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I know I skipped some of the “small” steps in the directions above.  If you want clarification on anything, just let me know.

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Posted: 27 March 2013 06:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 60 ]
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Thanks!  I’m going to try some stuff out tonight hopefully it today goes well.  Last night I started reading the book on Lighting and watched about 2 hours of training videos.  Now, I’m ready to try and put some of that stuff into practice.

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