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Simple WorldBalls for DAZ Studio 3/4.5+ and Poser 6+ [Poser WorldBall Version 4]
Posted: 12 June 2013 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]
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(Full list of environment sets released so far at the bottom of this post)


A free (and probably better!) alternative for Poser if my worldball doesn’t suit you - try bagginsbill’s Environment Sphere (and for tips on using HDR with it see this “IBL-HDRI” Renderosity thread)

Poser WorldBall Version 4 released - post 118

Poser worldball bug fixes WIP- post 113.

DAZ Studio worldball IBL/Sun parenting WIP - post 114

Poser IBL/Sun parenting workaround in post #105.

Preview icons to remind you what the environment sets look like - post 98/99

Helper scripts for creating your own sets - post 97

Caution on using UE2 instead of the WorldBall IBL - post #96

Tentative first steps into using HDR lighting with the WorldBall start at post #88. First environment set to include HDR lighting (as well as normal lighting, not instead of!) is E18 Alien Desert (post #94).

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The WorldBall was created as a quick-and-easy way fo add a simple background to a scene without having to hunt through libraries, or worry about backdrop positioning, lighting, and camera angles. It’s far from perfect, and way behind the more professional environments and skydomes, but it’s good enough for the intended purpose and has it’s own upstart charm! ;o) Check out some of the results at the Poser/DAZ Studio WorldBall Render Gallery thread over in the DAZ Art Studio forum (and feel free to post your own there too!)

The Simple WorldBall is available in both Poser and DAZ Studio versions. It consists of an all-encompassing sphere with a full 360° azimuth / ±90° elevation background image, a light for global illumination, another light to create the sun shadows, and a ground plane used as a shadowcatcher. There are five very simple envirponment sets included (plus one test environment).

There’s a single script file to load/change the WorldBall - simply double-click the script icon. It prompts you to select from the available environment sets, and then loads the WorldBall, IBL, Sun (and Ground) with the appropriate settings. Use the same script to change the environment after you’ve loaded the WorldBall.

The environment data is contained in a plain text file so you can easily add additional environments.

Simple Poser WorldBall
The original Poser version is available at ShareCG or Renderosity Freestuff) (Note: The original Poser WorldBall didn’t work on a MAC - Version 2 upload fixed this. Version 3 fixes the irritating ‘please locate WorldBall.lt2 issue. Version 4 fixes the background not displaying in preview and possibly the light colour/intensity not updating)

The WorldBall is a Poser prop, the IBL is a Diffuse IBL light, and the sun is a distant light. The default GROUND prop is used.

The PoserPython script file is in plain text, so if you’re a code-monkey feel free to play with it. It’s still at the ‘held together with sticky-tape and string’ stage - but hey, it works! ;o)

Feedback regarding any problems you encounter would be appreciated (as would suggestions for improvements, additional environment sets, etc)

Simple DAZ Studio WorldBall
Available at ShareCG or Renderosity. (Note: The WorldBall works on DS3 and DS4.5, but NOT on the intermediate DS4.0 - I’ve tried, but failed, to resolve this)

IMPORTANT! SEE THE README FOR INSTALLATION DETAILS - THE SHADERBUILDER IBL MUST GO IN A VERY SPECIFIC LOCATION.There were a couple of errors in the original ReadMe (fixed in the Version 2 upload):
1) it should tell you to copy the CONTENTS of the ‘Studio3/4 ShaderBuilder Light’ folder, NOT the folder itself! See post #6)
2) You need to copy the appropriate ‘Studio3/4 ShaderBuilder Light’ if you use DAZ Studio, REGARDLESS of whether you use Poser.

The WorldBall is a Poser prop, the Ground is a DS plane primitive with a ShaderMixer material,  the IBL is a ShaderBuilder light, and the sun is a simple distant light.

The DAZ Script file is in plain text, so if you’re a code-monkey feel free to play with it. It’s still at the ‘held together with sticky-tape and string’ stage - but hey, it works! ;o)

Feedback regarding any problems you encounter would be appreciated (as would suggestions for improvements, additional environment sets, etc)

Hints On Using The WorldBall
- Do Your Figures Look Too Dark In Your DAZ Studio WorldBall Renders? post #6
- Adding Your Own Environment Sets - The ‘WorldBallData.txt’ File post #7
- A Few Tips For Adjusting The Lighting And Shadows post #13
- If you want AO from the global illumination in DAZ Studio, try using the UberEnvironment2 (free with DS3A and DS4 Pro) instead of the WorldBall IBL - post #25
- A couple more hints on how I use the WorldBall - post #68

Full List Of Environment Sets Released To Date
(All environment sets are available from ShareCG and Renderosity Freestuff. Links to post numbers are to posts later in this thread)
E00 ‘Test1’ -  included with both the Poser and DAZ Studio verisions of the WorldBall
E01-E05 ‘Snow/Lake/Sand/Scrub/Mars’ -  included with both the Poser and DAZ Studio verisions of the WorldBall
E06 ‘Mountain Lake 01’ - post #15, post #31 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E07 ‘Above The Clouds’ - post #15 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E08 ‘Below The Waves’ - post #15 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E09 ‘Swimming Pool’ - post #26 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E10 ‘Northern Forest’ - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E11 ‘Misty Mountain’ x 4 (the same scene in dawn, noon, evening and moonrise variants) - post #34 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E12 ‘Basic Toon’ x 4 (the same scene in dawn, noon, sunset and midnight variants) - post #42 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E13 ‘Earth Environs’ x 2 (a low earth orbit scene with earth, sun, moon, and stars plus a starfield only variant) - post #58 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E14 ‘Grasslands’ x 2 (the same scene in daytime and evening variants) - post #60 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E15 ‘Galaxies And Nebulae’ (14 galactic/nebulous Hubble images strewn unrealistically across an Earth-based starfield!) - post #66 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff
E16 ‘Cinderside’ (volcanic ash over lava) - post #67 - ShareCG / Renderosity FreeStuff
E17 ‘Danny’s Island’ a tropical paradise, with a lurking shark! - post #92 - ShareCG / Renderosity FreeStuff
E18 ‘Alien Desert’ (lo-res background, but includes HDR lighting for Poser/DAZ Studio) - post #94 - ShareCG / Renderosity FreeStuff
E19 ‘Sea Dawn’ - post #100 - ShareCG / Renderosity Freestuff (soon)

(I also have the original cubemap renders and vertical cross images - if anybody prefers those please contact me)
If you can’t see what you’re looking for in that list, I take requests, or you could…

Create Your Own 360° Azimuth / ±90° Elevation Backgrounds
Using just Terragen Classic, GIMP, and HDRShop Version 1 (all free) it’s far simpler than you’d imagine! Check the “Make Your Own Environment Maps And Light Probes” PDF at ShareCG (also at Renderosity > Tutorials > Other Software).
If you picked up Bryce 7.1 Pro when it was free, then it provides a marvellous alternative to Terragen Classic. Just remember to set the render FOV to 112.5° !!! (You need to do this in order to get a 90° FOV render - for some arcane reason Bryce uses 80% of the FOV you type…) And don’t forget to UNCHECK’Link Sun To View’.

Edit 31st Jan 2014: I’ve uploaded a couple of helper scripts to automate the two most tedious and error-prone parts of the procedure - see post 97.

 

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Posted: 12 June 2013 11:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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In the preview pane you won’t see much - you need to render. Here’s the DAZ Studio 3 preview pane.

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Posted: 12 June 2013 11:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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To load the WorldBall or to swap environment sets you simply run the same script. These are the sort of dialogues you get in DAZ Studio 3.

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Posted: 12 June 2013 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Here’s a few sample renders in DAZ Studio 4.5 and DAZ Studio 3.1

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Posted: 12 June 2013 11:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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And here’s the 5 + 1 environment sets. Note that the angular map light probe images are only in the Poser version. The DAZ Studio version uses latitude/longitude maps for the diffuse IBL.

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Posted: 13 June 2013 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thank you. Will be trying this out to see how it works.

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Posted: 13 June 2013 11:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Do Your Figures Look Too Dark In Your DAZ Studio WorldBall Renders?

If they do then it’s likely that DAZ Studio isn’t finding the WorldBall IBL ShaderBuilder file at rendertime.

To check, load the WorldBall with the ‘E01 Snow’ environment, load a figure, and compare with the three renders in the attached image.

The most likely cause of the problem is that you actually followed the instructions in the ReadMe correctly!

I just spotted an error in the ReadMe - It should tell you to copy the CONTENTS of the ‘Studio3/4 ShaderBuilder Light’ folder, NOT the folder itself! E.g. for a Windows 7 / DAZ Studio 4.5 system…

RIGHT...  C:\Users\Web\AppData\Roaming\DAZ 3D\Studio4\shaders\ShaderBuilder\Light\3DCheapskate\WorldBall IBL DS4.sdl
WRONG
!... C:\Users\Web\AppData\Roaming\DAZ 3D\Studio4\Studio4 ShaderBuilder Light\shaders\ShaderBuilder\Light\3DCheapskate\WorldBall IBL DS4.sdl 

My apologies. red face

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Posted: 13 June 2013 11:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Adding Your Own Environment Sets - The ‘WorldBallData.txt’ File

After installing the WorldBall you should have a single WorldBallData.txt file. It’s location depends on whether you use just Poser, just DAZ Studio, or both. It will be one of the following:

<AnyPoserRuntime>\Python\poserScripts\3DCheapskate\WorldBall\WorldBallData.txt
<AnyDazStudioContentFolder>\Scripts\3DCheapskate\WorldBall\WorldBallData.txt

The details for each environment set are contained in this file as a datablock like this:

:WORLDBALLSET
Name
=E01Snow
BgdLL
=:Runtime:Textures:3DCheapskate:EnvironmentMaps:E01SnowLL4096.jpg
IblAM
=:Runtime:Textures:3DCheapskate:LightProbes:E01SnowAM1024.jpg
RflLL
=:Runtime:Textures:3DCheapskate:ReflectionMaps:E01SnowLL1024INV.jpg
SunAz
=-60.0
SunEl
=25.0
SunCol
=255,255,255
SunStr
=0.4
IblCol
=255,255,255
IblStr
=0.6 

The format is pretty intuitive, and there’s some notes at the top of the file itself. Feel free to change the parameters to suit yourself (sun colour/strength and IBL colour/strength are the ones you’re most likely to want to change).

If you have other latitude/longitude-mapped or angular-mapped environment images from other sources you can use them with the WorldBall. All you need to do is make sure that the images are in a mapped Poser runtime, and then add a new datablock

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Posted: 14 June 2013 12:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Woooooow! Thank you!

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I like Bryce, DazStudio, Poser and Vue ... in alphabetical order. And I would probably like Carrara too, if I could find the time to become acquainted with it. Peace?
Poser and Daz Studio Free Resources Wiki: https://poserdazfreebies.orain.org

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Posted: 14 June 2013 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Looks pretty cool on first glance in DS3, Cheap. Well, not FIRST glance, because the first time it crashed the program, but it worked fine the second time—probably just getting to know one another.

I expect this to be very useful. The scripting is way over my head, but delivers instant, easy results. Thanks a lot!

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Posted: 15 June 2013 12:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Dorseyland: Hmmm… crashing DAZ Studio 3? That’s not good! Are you using PC or MAC? Was it while running the script, while rendering, or while doing other stuff? I’ve had the occasional crash (with DAZ Studio 3 and 4) while developing this but never got to the bottom of it…

gingercakes47/Kerya: Don’t forget that I do like to know about problems (if you run into any)! Don’t me afraid about bruising my ego…  cheese

P.S. The Simple DAZ Studio WorldBall got a very low one star rating at ShareCG from somebody else, so I guess there are some serious issues with it! Just on the off-chance that they’re reading this thread It would be nice to know what the problem(s) was(were) - one piece of constructive criticism is often worth more than a hundred ‘thank you’s!

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Posted: 15 June 2013 02:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Low star ratings at sharecg are often by somebody who doesn’t know where to click.
You can go to “my account” (below the login) and see who it was, by the way.
I am very much behind my installations of things I want to install ... *insert very red face*

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I like Bryce, DazStudio, Poser and Vue ... in alphabetical order. And I would probably like Carrara too, if I could find the time to become acquainted with it. Peace?
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Posted: 15 June 2013 06:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I wouldn’t fret about Worldball crashing my DS3 on a weakling PC, certainly not on the first try. What little RAM power I have complains bitterly about the size of my DAZ runtime. I really have to cut the runtime down to size—or get a more powerful computer.

Just launched Worldball again and did a string of renders with no problem whatsoever. Of the 2 below, the second one includes an overhead spot with raytraced shadow, trying to harden up the ground shadow. Doesn’t work too good and spoils the IBL effect. So the ONLY “if only” I have about Worldball would be for more realistic shadows.

I’m certainly not complaining. In fact, I’ll head over to Sharecg right now and do something about that rating. Much appreciated!

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Posted: 16 June 2013 09:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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A Few Tips For Adjusting The Lighting And Shadows

Prompted by Dorseyland’s comment above: There’s a fair bit of flexibility avaible with just the Sun and IBL - check out the attached DS4 renders . To get sharper shadows try adjusting the Shadow Softness for the WorldBall Sun:
- select the ‘WorldBall Sun’ in the ‘Scene’ tab, go to the ‘Parameters’ tab, and you’ll find it under the ‘Shadow’ section.

You can also adjust the colour of the sun shadow, but NOT via the ‘WorldBall Sun’! You need to select the ‘WorldBall Ground DS3/4’ in the ‘Scene’ tab, go to the ‘Surfaces’ tab, and you’ll find it under the ‘Shadow Catch’ section (the ground has a simple ShaderMixer shadowcatcher material applied to it).
If your figures look too dark/bright, or if the balance of Sun versus IBL seems wrong, or if you just want to fiddle with the lighting:
-  select the ‘WorldBall Sun’ in the ‘Scene’ tab, go to the ‘Parameters’ tab,  ‘Light’ section and adjust Colour and/or Intensity
-  select the ‘WorldBall IBL’ in the ‘Scene’ tab, go to the ‘Parameters’ tab,  ‘WorldBall IBL’ section and adjust Colour and/or Intensity
The default settings for all environments in the WorldBallData.txt file are such that IBL Intensity + Sun Intensity = 100% but it’s not a golden rule or anything. In fact I think the lighting looks too flat with the default settings (that’s probably why ambient occlusion is used with most global illumination systems - the DS WorldBall hasn’t got that)

It’s also worth doing two test renders every time you change, one from the sun side and one from the shaded side, just to double check the balance…

Additional distant lights don’t work too well in combination with the IBL/Sun unless they have a very low intensity - try fiddling with the Sun/IBL instead. However, pointlights and spotlights can work quite nicely.

N.B. The WorldBall IBL does NOT use shadows. Although there’s also a ‘Shadow’ section on its ‘Parameters’ tab, ‘Shadow Type’ should be left as ‘None’. The only reason the ‘Shadow’ section appears (and for DS4 the only reason the empty ‘Renderizer’ and ‘Shader Builder’ sections appear on the ‘Lights’ tab) is that I couldn’t work out how to prevent it!
Also the WorldBall IBL does NOT have any facility for ambient occlusion. It’s my first ever attempt at using ShaderBuilder, and it’s basically just a dzPointLight with a bit of lateral thinking applied - see post #18 of my DS Diffuse IBL thread…

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Posted: 16 June 2013 10:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Kerya - 15 June 2013 02:07 AM

Low star ratings at sharecg are often by somebody who doesn’t know where to click.
You can go to “my account” (below the login) and see who it was, by the way.
I am very much behind my installations of things I want to install ... *insert very red face*

Thanks Kerya, I know who it was, and I’m guessing it was an accidental rating. But I’m half-hoping it was a thoughtful bad rating…
And as far as user installation is concerned this WorldBall has been my most problematic upload - it’s still not resolved!

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Posted: 16 June 2013 10:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Don’t Forget The Additional Environment Sets

There’s already a few additional environment sets uploaded to ShareCG. Mountain Lake 01, Above The Clouds, and Below The Waves

Each set is a full 360° azimuth / ±90° elevation environment in three formats:
- A latitude/longitude mapped background image (4096x2048 JPG)
- An angular mapped light probe image (1024x1024 JPG, flipped left-right from the background image)  ...for Poser WorldBall IBL
- A latitude/longitude mapped reflection image (1024x512 JPG, flipped left-right from the background image)  ...for DAZ Studio WorldBall IBL

Each set includes a text datablock (in the ReadMe) to add to your WorldBallData.txt file.

Each set also includes the source file(s) used to create the original cube map. So far I’ve used Terragen Classic and Bryce 5.5…

And if you’re a DIY enthusiast you can Make Your Own Environment Maps And Light Probes using free software (Terragen Classic, HDRShop v1, and GIMP).

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