WIP Thread for New User Contest - April 2013

Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105

New User's Contest - April 2013

Sponsored by DAZ 3D & Eva1


Are you new to the 3D World? Are you at the beginning stages of learning 3D rendering? Have you been around for a little bit but feel you could benefit from some feedback or instruction? Have you been around awhile and would like to help other members start their creative journey? Well then come and join the fun as we host our newest contest...

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"Surfaces, Materials, and Shaders"

This month we will focus on learning materials settings, including how to customize these settings and how to apply a shader. We will be focusing on DAZ Studio, Poser, Bryce, and Carrara this month.

Intent: To create a scene in which at least one key item contains no diffuse texture maps.
There are various approaches you can take, including using a textureless item, or retexturing your item(s) using shaders or shader presets. By eliminating the texture you will more easily be able to see the impact of changes to various materials settings. It will also encourage you to think creatively about lighting and composition.

This month's sponsor is Eva1. Eva1 will be offering a special prize to the contest winners from her DAZ 3D store: http://www.daz3d.com/eva1

I will be checking in on the WIP Thread, as will the rest of the Community Volunteers, to try and help with anything you all may need.

For a list of the current contest rules, please see this thread: Contest Rules

For those veterans of the forums that would like to help, because this contest is designed for the beginner to learn from, we will be randomly selecting posts offering helpful tips and/or critiques to receive a special prize as well so whether you are a seasoned artist or an aspiring one, there is fun for everyone!


Closing Date: April 30th, 2013

Post edited by frank0314 on
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Comments

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited April 2013

    A brief FAQ

    Some of the information here is specific to DAZ Studio...we'll be providing additional tips to users of Poser, Bryce, and Carrara as well as DAZ Studio throughout the month.

    Q: What is the difference between surfaces, textures, and materials?
    A: Surfaces or material zones are regions of a prop or figure that can be edited independently. For example, a human figure will have separate surfaces or material zones for various parts of the body. A texture is an image that is applied (mapped) to the mesh of the figure, giving it color, texture, patterns, etc. Materials are the settings applied to a surface. This would include the texture, but also things like glossiness, opacity, and bumpiness. Sometimes additional texture maps (such as a bump map, for instance) are used, but it's also possible to apply materials to an entirely untextured item.

    Q: What is a "diffuse texture" and how do I remove it?
    A: A diffuse texture map is the image that contains the basic physical appearance of the item's surface or surfaces. It's what you see when you shine a light on a matte or rough surface. If your prop or figure looks plain gray then it probably has no diffuse map applied. To remove diffuse maps from the item, go to the Surfaces pane and select the item's surfaces in the dropdown menu. Then click on the little square next to the "Diffuse Color" slider (depending on what you have selected, this square may either show a thumbnail of the diffuse map, or it may just be gray), and choose "None" from the dropdown menu. Note that applying certain shaders will also remove diffuse maps if you don't hold down the "Control" key (or "Command" on a Mac).

    Q: What is a "shader" or "shader preset?"
    A: My quick layman’s definition: something that controls how a surface looks and how it reacts to light. An example of one of the many things a shader can control is glossiness.

    Here’s a more detailed definition, taken from the Glossary of Terms:

    Shader: A computer program used to determine the final surface properties of an object or image. This often includes arbitrarily complex descriptions of light absorption, diffusion, texture mapping, reflection, refraction, shadowing, surface displacement and post-processing effects. In real-time shading languages there are two different applications of shaders: vertex shaders and pixel shaders.

    Shading (“Shader” or “shading algorithm”): The mathematical process of calculating how a model’s surfaces react to light. A variety of alternative algorithms can be used for the task, including Phong, Lambert, and Blinn shading models. Shaders are often built up as node-based shading trees, with each node controlling a specific aspect of the process.
    A high-level rendering algorithm that determines how a 3D model responds to simulated light. Sometimes called a “shader.” Strictly speaking, a shader or shading algorithm is a piece of computer code that is part of a material definition. For example, the Blinn shading algorithm generically describes how highlights appear on surfaces. However, many 3D graphic artists use the term “shader” to refer to an entire material definition, including all of its component parts such as bitmaps.

    Q: How do I apply a shader?
    A: The short answer is that you first select the item, then go to the Surfaces tab and select the appropriate surfaces to which you would like to apply the shader, then double-click on the shader to apply it to those surfaces. There are some tutorials available which provide much more detail on this process:
    this one by Kraig Hausmann of DAZ 3D,
    this one by R_Kane1 and Jaderail, and
    this one by SGCBearcub, specifically for new users.

    Q: What do all the various settings on the Surfaces pane do?
    A: You can find a good introduction to the subject here: http://homepage.eircom.net/~neilvpose/ds-settings.htm We will be providing more information about this in the coming days and weeks.

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Lady BreeLady Bree Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I am definitely interested in attempting to participate this month as this is an area that I have trouble with. I have alot of shaders, alot of shader presets, I have that nifty fabricator and almost all of her other packs to go along with it but I have absolutely no clue how to use them, ZERO clue on how to retexture something & am hoping maybe this will help me understand how to fiddle with the settings as well as learn how to use some of the products that I have gotten over time that are sitting collecting dust because I, well, dont know how to fiddle with the settings and use them LOL.

    I just googled Diffuse Texture Maps and so I think I understand its technical meaning but I don't understand how to use my new-found knowledge & apply it within DAZ 4.5 Pro to fit within the guidelines of this contest. So I guess I get to start this party off.... where can I go to read up on how it's done?

  • sithkittensithkitten Posts: 141
    edited December 1969

    Aw, crap. Due to insane demands on my time this month, I wasn't planning on doing the contest, but this happens to be the area I wanted to focus on next. Guess I'll have to find time somewhere. Who needs sleep, anyway?

  • Ilena52Ilena52 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Oh, great topic for the contest. In it.:)

  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 966
    edited December 1969

    I'd like to enter. I've been trying to find the courage to join a New User Contest, and it just happens I added to my shader preset collection in MM.

    OK, newbie question time. What's the difference between a shader and a shader preset? I'm guessing my shaders by Marieah and other PAs are presets? Are shaders what you make with Shader Mixer? I don't know how to use Shader Mixer yet, but if anyone can recommend an idiot-proof tutorial I'm willing to learn. :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,782
    edited December 1969

    Aw, crap. Due to insane demands on my time this month, I wasn't planning on doing the contest, but this happens to be the area I wanted to focus on next. Guess I'll have to find time somewhere. Who needs sleep, anyway?
    LOL Yeah sleep is over rated and a waste of time. ;)

  • Lady BreeLady Bree Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Jindi said:
    I'd like to enter. I've been trying to find the courage to join a New User Contest, and it just happens I added to my shader preset collection in MM.

    OK, newbie question time. What's the difference between a shader and a shader preset? I'm guessing my shaders by Marieah and other PAs are presets? Are shaders what you make with Shader Mixer? I don't know how to use Shader Mixer yet, but if anyone can recommend an idiot-proof tutorial I'm willing to learn. :)

    Same here, I don't know the difference between the two but would love to learn as well and you hit the nail on the head there with idiot-proof. Having no previous 3D experience makes it rather difficult to grasp alot of these terms and trying to draw the pictures in my head or link them with what they are supposed to go with and what I do. (hope that makes sense)

    (here's to hoping this doesn't double post on me *cringes and hits Submit Post again* It did not go through the first time on my screen)

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited April 2013

    I updated the second post in the thread with a short FAQ and links to some helpful information...

    I'm going to repeat one of the links here because it's a great introduction to the Surfaces tab and I encourage everyone to take a look: http://homepage.eircom.net/~neilvpose/ds-settings.htm (Thanks, NeilV 1, for putting that together)!

    Here are a couple of renders that I made using no diffuse texture maps. The first one shows a morphed but completely untextured Genesis, lit with two colored spotlights and one UberArea light. Rendered in DAZ Studio using the included toon shader.

    The second shows a couple of Genesis figures. I used a shader from the Supersuit Troopers pack on the happy face and one from Totally Bazaar on the sad face. The eye surfaces have a chrome shader (left) and a glass shader (right) applied (both come standard with DAZ Studio, I believe). The curtain (from DMs Kapelle) was also retextured using a shader from Totally Bazaar. I hid the bodies of the two figures by changing the opacity of every surface from the neck down to 0%.

    masks3a.jpg
    1000 x 800 - 616K
    hope3a.jpg
    772 x 1000 - 199K
    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited April 2013

    Jindi said:
    I'd like to enter. I've been trying to find the courage to join a New User Contest, and it just happens I added to my shader preset collection in MM.

    OK, newbie question time. What's the difference between a shader and a shader preset? I'm guessing my shaders by Marieah and other PAs are presets? Are shaders what you make with Shader Mixer? I don't know how to use Shader Mixer yet, but if anyone can recommend an idiot-proof tutorial I'm willing to learn. :)

    The second post in the thread has been updated to include a full definition of "shader." You're right...all of the various options included in packs by Marieah and others (including Eva1, who is sponsoring this month's contest) are "shader presets." Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but technically speaking they are not the same.

    From the definition:
    Strictly speaking, a shader or shading algorithm is a piece of computer code that is part of a material definition. For example, the Blinn shading algorithm generically describes how highlights appear on surfaces. However, many 3D graphic artists use the term “shader” to refer to an entire material definition, including all of its component parts such as bitmaps.


    That last sentence describes "shader presets."

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • ChoholeChohole Posts: 19,774
    edited December 1969

    I guess Scott will not be surpised at this render drop.

    I know it says shaders, but Bryce uses something similar with it's material presets (ready made or you can roll your own), and I have used them on this bit of "Kit bashing" using parts of 3 different clothing sets to produce this, which is unified by the use of the same mat preset.

    goddess_as_maiden_lo.jpg
    506 x 675 - 176K
  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 966
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the updated FAQ and examples Scott. I'm also taking a look at Neil's Surface Tab info right now.

    Lady Bree -- it looks like we found the right challenge. We can learn together. :)

  • BlumBlumShubBlumBlumShub Posts: 1,079
    edited December 1969

    Ok, count me in! I might challenge myself extra hard though and use Carrara, I've been meaning to learn their procedural shading for some time and been too focused on other things (or just too damn lazy, your choice), so this will shake off some dust!

  • Lady BreeLady Bree Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Jindi, that sounds like an awesome plan. =)

    Scott,

    Thank you so much for posting the link with the information, it was a great help, but, moreso, thank you sooooooo much for posting your little FAQ because it helped me even more. Somehow after I upgraded to DAZ 4 Pro, I got my Genesis to load in with V4's Elite Lana skin and I had absolutely no clue how to remove that. I even had a nice long message written out here asking you what I needed to do. Your FAQ helped me do it in just a couple of clicks. I think I am going to have to PDF all of this to refer back to because my memory is so terrible anymore I will forget by the time next month rolls around if I do not work with this on an every project basis. Thank you again. I guess it is time to get started!

    =D

  • Ilena52Ilena52 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Scott, when you said one item that has no diffuse texture map does that mean if we have, let's say a skirt that already comes with a texture, we simply remove it and add our own via surfaces tab than adjust it to the light and whatnot?

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    That is the Idea, as most items will come with a texture. You just remove that texture and create one of your own in any method you like. Shaders, new Texture maps or just Diffuse Colors are examples of what you can do. Many other methods also exist, not just those I mentioned.

  • Ilena52Ilena52 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Rough draft of the entry. Done in Carrara.

    002.jpg
    640 x 480 - 298K
  • CyonixCyonix Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Here's a quick WIP of something I'm working on for this....all of the character's visible surfaces use these shaders from the Supersuit Pro Bundle:

    Skin, Eyebrows and Lashes: 'Starman Skin' shader (with diffuse color changed)
    Eyes: 'Starman Eyes' shader
    Black Parts of Outfit: 'Trooper (Black Matte)' shader
    Orange Parts of Outfit: One of the 'DotSparkle" shaders (with diffuse color changed)

    alien_wip.jpg
    400 x 800 - 112K
  • sithkittensithkitten Posts: 141
    edited December 1969

    Supposed to be working now, but this is bugging the heck out of me, so here I am. Know how bird eggs can be mottled and splotchy? How can I produce that effect?

  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 966
    edited December 1969

    Here's my WIP. I decided to play with Maclean's Morphing Primitives, which load untextured.

    Grass is by Merlin. Most shaders are Maclean's from Morphing Primitives and Room Creator. Patterns are by Marieah.

    yard_sale_450.png
    450 x 450 - 399K
    yard_sale_untextured_450.png
    450 x 450 - 240K
  • bluemoonbluemoon Posts: 0
    edited April 2013

    Nothing to see here

    Post edited by bluemoon on
  • BWSmanBWSman Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Not an entry or a WIP. This is something I did a couple of years ago. Every surface had a shader preset applied (with no textures in the diffuse channels). The left wall & floor have a mirror shader applied with the floor having a gold colour applied to it. V4's hair has a silver shader applied with the transmap re-applied in the opacity channel. V4 has a gold shader applied to all her surfaces.

    mirror.jpg
    800 x 600 - 278K
  • NeilrNeilr Posts: 69
    edited December 1969

    sithkitten, the only way I know to make it look the way you want is to make a texture map and apply it. For something like this I would make it a tif format so I can easily change the base color. Here is one I just did from a pic of a birds egg I googled, then imported into gimp and using the clone tool made the entire image covered in the mottled spots. I then used the select by color and chose the main base color, this selected everything but the spots, i deleted the base color. Next I made the now white base color transparent leaving just the dots, I saved this as a tif file formatted image for use in DAZ Studio.

    the first is the original the second is the tif ready for use, the third is what it looks like when put on a surface. also I tried to add the tiff but that file type is not allowed....

    EggTexture1.jpg
    553 x 799 - 247K
  • Ilena52Ilena52 Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Further progress of the WIP.
    Could someone direct me how to correct the obvious problem with her pants and also the eyes please?

    doc2.jpg
    640 x 445 - 275K
  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited April 2013

    Fast Fix. Select the Figure and Expand it. Use the EYE to hide the Thighs and Shins. Best fix for Poke through, also If the PART of a figure is Hidden inside another Item (clothing) Hide all you can. This will use LESS Ram at render time and speed up the render.

    EDIT: The image is too small for me to TELL what happened to the Eyes. You can post Images up to 2000x2000.

    Post edited by Jaderail on
  • sithkittensithkitten Posts: 141
    edited December 1969

    nreed said:
    sithkitten, the only way I know to make it look the way you want is to make a texture map and apply it. For something like this I would make it a tif format so I can easily change the base color. Here is one I just did from a pic of a birds egg I googled, then imported into gimp and using the clone tool made the entire image covered in the mottled spots. I then used the select by color and chose the main base color, this selected everything but the spots, i deleted the base color. Next I made the now white base color transparent leaving just the dots, I saved this as a tif file formatted image for use in DAZ Studio.

    the first is the original the second is the tif ready for use, the third is what it looks like when put on a surface. also I tried to add the tiff but that file type is not allowed....


    Thank you!!! Being the weirdo I am, my mind kept trying to overcomplicate the whole notion into the realms of insanity. But the process you outlined is one I can work with, and the texture you made is almost exactly the look I had in my mind's eye. Thanks so much! Now I can attempt the image that sprang into my mind this morning at work.

  • BWSmanBWSman Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Jaderail said:
    Fast Fix. Select the Figure and Expand it. Use the EYE to hide the Thighs and Shins. Best fix for Poke through, also If the PART of a figure is Hidden inside another Item (clothing) Hide all you can. This will use LESS Ram at render time and speed up the render.

    EDIT: The image is too small for me to TELL what happened to the Eyes. You can post Images up to 2000x2000.
    That image is done in Carrara. I don't know if that fix will work in that app.

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    BWSman said:
    Jaderail said:
    Fast Fix. Select the Figure and Expand it. Use the EYE to hide the Thighs and Shins. Best fix for Poke through, also If the PART of a figure is Hidden inside another Item (clothing) Hide all you can. This will use LESS Ram at render time and speed up the render.

    EDIT: The image is too small for me to TELL what happened to the Eyes. You can post Images up to 2000x2000.
    That image is done in Carrara. I don't know if that fix will work in that app.
    OPPS, Sorry did not catch the Carrara bit. Was to busy thing thinking about the Render. My error.

  • NV OracleNV Oracle Posts: 128
    edited December 1969

    This sounds like an interesting contest. Hopefully it's not too late to enter.

    I did have one question, though. Does the entire scene have to be retextured, or just the main item? I'm not so good with retexturing things from complete scratch, but I do have a couple of ideas that aren't too far out of my abilities.

    Your friend
    Oracle

  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 966
    edited December 1969

    Oracle, come join us! There's a lot of the month left. :)

    -----

    My progress on my yard sale scene with Maclean's morphing primitives. I like the glass shader (a ShareCG freebie) but want to find a way to make the reflection more obvious.

    yard_sale_7apr.png
    600 x 480 - 466K
  • sithkittensithkitten Posts: 141
    edited April 2013

    I think the reflection looks great as is, but that's just me. Not all glass surfaces are perfectly reflective, and that one looks about right to my eyes. At least on the outside. The inside looks a bit odd. I do want to ask though, did you notice the horse has no tail? They load tailless, poor things...
    Oops, forgot to mention. I like this angle much better than the original.

    Post edited by sithkitten on
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