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WIP Thread for New User Contest - April 2013
Posted: 12 April 2013 04:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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the settings
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Posted: 12 April 2013 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Ilena52 - 12 April 2013 04:41 PM
the settings


Looking at your settings, they're pretty much at the default.


Without hurting the speed of the render too much, you could increase the interpolation accuracy in 10% increments, increase the photon count from 5,000 to 20,000 and leave the lighting quality at fast, but try setting the accuracy to 8 pixels.


Here's a speed tip I learned on the old forums: If you're using GI (Skylight, Indirect Light) and when you're happy with your scene and you want to render your image, render a low res version of your image with low settings and select the option to save the irradiance map. A save dialogue will appear. Save the map where ever you want and with a name of your choosing. Next, increase your render quality settings and /or resolution to what you wish the final render to be, and uncheck the Save Irradiance option and choose, Use Saved Map. You will be prompted to open your saved map. Load it and render. You will notice the light calculations will drop exponentially without a loss in quality.
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Posted: 18 April 2013 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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This month has been crazy - every intention of keeping up with this and my efforts have continuously been thwarted - including artists block on what to do. I finally came up with something and I wanted to post what I have so far. I am having some troubles and was hoping to get some help if anyone doesnt mind. Here are the ones that I know for a fact are there and I can definitely handle constructive criticism so if anyone sees anything else I am missing, please feel free to point it out. I really am having trouble with a way to go about this piece and making it stand out and look the way I want it to and highlight my M5 "statue" the way I want to. I am very limited on shader supplies too so I am using Gemologica and using one of the Moonstone shaders (I couldn't help it, I am a huge celestial fan and it looked better on him than the sunstone did & I love the moon better than the sun anyway).

I am using Reality & LuxRender and the light that I am using is Reality's Sunlight simply because I seem to get botchy results with other lightsets when using reality and so far everything else has made the backdrop and characters come out very grainy & Luxus is coming out too cartoony for my taste.

1. My first time using a curved backdrop and the it casts shadows unless I move the "sun" to the middle and make it look like a sunrise. I do not care for this because of how the shadows of the girls fall as well as the other items in the scene - they are very LONG and fall across the entire back of the backdrop almost to the water.

2. The shader went bonkers somewhere along the way on M5 and his head is checkerboard... what the *bleep*?! How do I fix this? In the previous 19 test renders that did not happen, why did it happen now? LOL

3. For some reason the expression on my blond character just will not render out properly no matter how big of a smiling grin I put on her face, she keeps insisting on frowning when it goes to render out - is it possible for them to have personalities when you start to fiddle with the morphs yourself (yes before I used the expression on her) and decide that they in fact do not want to smile at Mr. Perfect's toast that he is hiding up there like her friend is?

4. I am having major problems with the water in that "fountain"! I want it to reflect so I turn that up, then it reflects too much and you cannot see into the water as much as I would like, so I turn the opacity down and then you can see through it too much and it looks like some funky line is just there and no water, so I turn up the opacity and no reflect but just a puddle of blue goo. How do I get an even balance between seeing into the fountain like you would a small one like that and having some reflection with the light but not so much it is overbearing? When I can see the arches way down at the end of the property in there, i think we have a problem... or am I just off on my perspective? And, there is a little bit of a breeze, so how do I get a little bit of a roll in the water instead of it just being FLAT?

Ok, Those are my major issues right now. If anyone can point me in the direction of some good stone shaders (maybe with some marble included) that would be so helpful. I would rather have him in something less, um, eccentric. After spending on these sales and now trying to dig up money for D5, I don't have much to spend on them so a good freebie set would be nice but I am willing to drop the money on a set that is worth it if it has a nice selection.

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Posted: 18 April 2013 02:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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The thing with luxus and lights I found is that they act relative to each other, so if you add a new light and use the luxus gui you can change the light intensity to washout the shadows you don't want. It can a bit of fiddling with to get the look you want and balance out eh light.

As far as the head texture I would say it is a tiling issue....check the surfaces and make sure the tiling is set to 1
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Posted: 18 April 2013 10:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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nreed - 18 April 2013 02:37 PM
The thing with luxus and lights I found is that they act relative to each other, so if you add a new light and use the luxus gui you can change the light intensity to washout the shadows you don't want. It can a bit of fiddling with to get the look you want and balance out eh light.

As far as the head texture I would say it is a tiling issue....check the surfaces and make sure the tiling is set to 1


Thank you very much, Nreed, I will go in and check on that setting you mentioned for the head texture. Not sure how that would have gotten changed unless maybe I accidentally moved it while scrolling through. I guess I should be more careful when doing that. =)
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Posted: 19 April 2013 12:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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To get ripples in the water you nee to add a bump map. You can find a number of water textures for free at ShareCG.com, and many of them include bump maps. There's also a good freebie tutorial there too.
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Posted: 20 April 2013 07:03 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Tramp Graphics - 19 April 2013 12:44 AM
To get ripples in the water you nee to add a bump map. You can find a number of water textures for free at ShareCG.com, and many of them include bump maps. There's also a good freebie tutorial there too.


Thank you so much! and especially for the link - being able to refer back to something will be a huge help and I found some other tutorials for things in other areas that I am interested in while I was there too. =)

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Posted: 20 April 2013 07:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Lady Bree - 18 April 2013 02:28 PM
This month has been crazy - every intention of keeping up with this and my efforts have continuously been thwarted - including artists block on what to do. I finally came up with something and I wanted to post what I have so far. I am having some troubles and was hoping to get some help if anyone doesnt mind. Here are the ones that I know for a fact are there and I can definitely handle constructive criticism so if anyone sees anything else I am missing, please feel free to point it out. I really am having trouble with a way to go about this piece and making it stand out and look the way I want it to and highlight my M5 "statue" the way I want to. I am very limited on shader supplies too so I am using Gemologica and using one of the Moonstone shaders (I couldn't help it, I am a huge celestial fan and it looked better on him than the sunstone did & I love the moon better than the sun anyway).

I am using Reality & LuxRender and the light that I am using is Reality's Sunlight simply because I seem to get botchy results with other lightsets when using reality and so far everything else has made the backdrop and characters come out very grainy & Luxus is coming out too cartoony for my taste.

1. My first time using a curved backdrop and the it casts shadows unless I move the "sun" to the middle and make it look like a sunrise. I do not care for this because of how the shadows of the girls fall as well as the other items in the scene - they are very LONG and fall across the entire back of the backdrop almost to the water.

2. The shader went bonkers somewhere along the way on M5 and his head is checkerboard... what the *bleep*?! How do I fix this? In the previous 19 test renders that did not happen, why did it happen now? LOL

3. For some reason the expression on my blond character just will not render out properly no matter how big of a smiling grin I put on her face, she keeps insisting on frowning when it goes to render out - is it possible for them to have personalities when you start to fiddle with the morphs yourself (yes before I used the expression on her) and decide that they in fact do not want to smile at Mr. Perfect's toast that he is hiding up there like her friend is?

4. I am having major problems with the water in that "fountain"! I want it to reflect so I turn that up, then it reflects too much and you cannot see into the water as much as I would like, so I turn the opacity down and then you can see through it too much and it looks like some funky line is just there and no water, so I turn up the opacity and no reflect but just a puddle of blue goo. How do I get an even balance between seeing into the fountain like you would a small one like that and having some reflection with the light but not so much it is overbearing? When I can see the arches way down at the end of the property in there, i think we have a problem... or am I just off on my perspective? And, there is a little bit of a breeze, so how do I get a little bit of a roll in the water instead of it just being FLAT?

Ok, Those are my major issues right now. If anyone can point me in the direction of some good stone shaders (maybe with some marble included) that would be so helpful. I would rather have him in something less, um, eccentric. After spending on these sales and now trying to dig up money for D5, I don't have much to spend on them so a good freebie set would be nice but I am willing to drop the money on a set that is worth it if it has a nice selection.


I can't help you with Reality settings (I do use Luxus, but don't know it all that well yet), but I think this is a great start!
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Posted: 20 April 2013 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Since the topic this month is shaders and textures, I figured this may be of interest.


I use Carrara and I have been building a rather complex terrain scene designed with various props and features. It's designed for a Renaissance era village with a Tournament/Fair grounds, the village proper and a lowland. Since it's fairly complex, I don't want the props I'm adding preventing me from eventually sticking in figures such as V4 or M4. I've had to find other ways to lighten the load.


Please bear in mind that the shader I'm about to describe is still a work in progress.


One thing I wanted was a crumbled stone fence or wall. I'm not that great a modeler, so I created a simple vertex cube and pushed and pulled the polys around until I had a rough shape. I then rounded the corners, created shading domains (no UVs) and smoothed the model. It now looked like a crappy low squarish blob. I knew Carrara's shading system was the answer. I created a new Master Shader and used some mixers and additive functions in combination with basic colors and color gradients along with some fractal noise functions in the color channel. I also found cellular function I like for the bump channel.


The bump channel is great, but it's basically an optical illusion. It doesn't actually add a bump or alter the underlying geometry. My model looked okay from distance, but up close, it looked like the same old squarish blob.


The next step was displacement. Displacement acts like a bump in that brighter areas are "higher" and darker areas are "lower," except that displacement will actually alter the underlying geometry. I used no image maps, so I copied the cellular shader from the bump channel and pasted it into the displacement. I adjusted the cellular shader's parameters until I had the look that I wanted. This mostly consisted of basically adjusting the contrasts between the dark veins between the lighter roundish cells of the cellular shader.


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Posted: 21 April 2013 08:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Here's the stone wall/fence in a scene:
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Posted: 21 April 2013 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Well, here's where I'm at now with my image. I really, really, really wanted to use Luxus for this one, but there's just too much I need to learn yet to get the thing to look right. At the moment, rendered in Luxus with the bits of tweaking I know how to do, there's still way too many issues to resolve before the contest ends. So I stuck with point-based occlusion, which I do like a lot.
Anyway, this is where I'm at now. Nreed, that's your egg texture giving the skin its mottled look. Thanks again!
As always, any comments are welcome. And evilproducer, that's an awesome wall! I've wanted to learn Carrara for a while now, but my mind always lets out pathetic whimpering noises and runs away when I try.
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Posted: 21 April 2013 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Well, after lurking for eight months, this is my first post. Hello, and please be gentle.

I'm trying to do a version of Canova's sculpture of the Three Graces. Here's a link to a Google image search, complete with marble nudity: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=canova+three+graces&&tbm;=isch

I've simply changed all the figure surfaces to the Subsurface Stone shader. As you can see, the big problem is that large areas are completely overexposed. If I drop the overall light so that the faces and hair look good, then the torsos (and the wall behind) are too dark. I'm guessing it's to do with the way that multiple SSS things interact, but I've not been able to pin down the setting(s) that would fix it.

Any ideas gratefully received!

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Posted: 21 April 2013 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Neat concept! Wish I could help, but SSS is still mostly beyond me. Haven't really played with it much yet. But I can say welcome aboard! smile
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Posted: 21 April 2013 04:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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dhmcvey what preset did you use and can you post a screenshot of the surfaces pane with the statue selected. I have a feeling that the shader me be broken.

If that is the case then you can can use another shader called Uber Surface located in the Content Library under Daz Studio Formats > My Library (or whereever you installed your content) > Shaders > Omnifreaker > Uber Surface Base. I gather there are no texture maps on the statue? If there are then hold down Ctril (CMD for Mac) when applying the Uber Surface Base preset and choose to "Ignore" replacing the texture maps, in the new window that pops up and hit accept.

This will give all the surface channels you need. But first do your homework on what type of stone effect you are looking for and find out the properties, Does is have SSS in reality, what index of refraction does it have if any. Is it a gloosy stone and therefore reflect its surroundings. How smooth is the stone which will have an effect on how sharp the reflections are this will then give you a good starting point inn setting up the shader.smile look at real images of the stone, Google search/images are valued assets for me when researching this stuff. smile
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Posted: 21 April 2013 05:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Aside form the overexposed look, this is looks like a cool idea and a neat effect. Couple things to think about:


Are there controls to control the SSS shader? Can you dial those down?


Where is your primary light source? Have you considered a spotlight dedicated to illuminating the subjects and a separate light set-up for the background?


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