UberSurface Tutorial

Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
edited December 1969 in Daz Studio Discussion

UberSurface Tutorial, Part 1: Understanding UberSurface

1. UberSurface and other shaders

UberSurface is one of the most powerful shaders available for DAZ Studio...and the best part is, it’s free (it comes with the software). Using UberSurface, you can render realistic skin, hair, fabric, and other materials.

This tutorial covers UberSurface’s basic functions and some of the many more advanced or esoteric ones.

UberSurface is often compared to (and sometimes confused with) certain other shaders:
- HumanSurface (also known as the Elite Human Surface Shader, EHSS, or HSS) was the predecessor to UberSurface, and has much in common with it. You could say that UberSurface is HumanSurface with some additional features (these extra features are listed in Section 4, “More Advanced Functions”). Any tutorials for HumanSurface that you find should also work with UberSurface, with similar results.
- UberSurface2 is a more advanced version of UberSurface. Perhaps the most significant improvement is the ability to handle layered materials. It is available for purchase from the DAZ 3D store.
- UberHair is an add-on for UberSurface
- SubSurface Shader Base is the new (released earlier this year) shader by Age of Armour. It’s available for free with DAZ Studio and contains a more advanced SubSurface Scattering algorithm. A tutorial for the SubSurface Shader Base is available here.
- pwSurface 2 is an alternative to UberSurface, made by PoseWorks instead of omnifreaker, and available from the DAZ store. The functions are mostly similar, but usage is somewhat different.

2. Basic Functions

These same dials exist for many of the shaders commonly in use, including the DS Default Shader. Functionality is similar, though some differences between the specularity model of UberSurface (and HumanSurface) and that of the DS Default Shader deserve mention.

- Diffuse
- Specular
- Glossiness
- Reflection
- Bump
- Displacement
- Opacity

There are other resources for learning what these terms mean, but here are a few quick reminders/rules of thumb:

- A matte surface will have a high diffuse value and a low specular value
- A shiny surface will have a high specular value (it may have a high diffuse value too)
- Specular strength controls the intensity of the highlight; glossiness controls the size of the highlight (with glossier surfaces having smaller highlights)
-Bump creates the illusion of roughness (or bumpiness) while displacement actually changes the geometry to increase roughness (or bumpiness)

Please note that the glossiness setting works differently in UberSurface than it does in the DAZ Default Shader. If you are converting an object to UberSurface, you may need to drop the glossiness value significantly to achieve similar results (for instance, DS Default Shader glossiness of 50% is similar to UberSurface glossiness of 4%, and DS Default Shader glossiness of 85% is similar to UberSurface glossiness of 50%).

3. Advanced Functions

- Tiling

This is particularly useful for textures that are seamless tiles. As the values get higher, the pattern gets smaller and repeats more frequently. You can adjust the horizontal and vertical tiling separately.

- Fresnel

This is perhaps one of the more obscure and arcane settings, but it can really help boost the realism of some types of material, including water and glass. It’s related to reflection and controls how reflection is affected by the viewing angle. For an illustration of how fresnel works, see the renders on this page (note: not DAZ Studio renders--I think they were done in Cinema4D), comparing fresnel reflection to reflection without the fresnel effect.

- Velvet

Some surfaces like velvets and other fabrics, and also human skin, have very fine hairs or fibers that catch the light, especially when viewed at an angle. With the right settings, this can greatly increase the realism of skin and clothing.

For use on skin, it’s worth considering that vellus hair is not evenly distributed on the human body--there’s none on the lips, palms, soles, etc.--and it’s more noticeable on women and especially young children.

Fabrics differ too--velvet itself, of course, will have show a very strong velvet effect, while silk, for instance, will have little to none. Most other natural fabrics such as cotton, wool, and linen, plus some artificial microfiber-type textiles, will benefit from this effect.

- Subsurface Scattering

Subsurface Scattering refers to how light can penetrate a surface and scatter within it rather than merely bouncing off.

First, let's look at a few common myths about SubSurface Scattering (SSS):

Myth: Renders with SSS are more realistic than renders without SSS
Reality: This is often true but not always--SSS is one of many factors that contribute to realism, and a render with SSS that’s been set up poorly will probably look less realistic than one with no SSS at all. And of course, it's not a good idea to apply SSS to surfaces that are not at all translucent.

Myth: Poser has SSS but DAZ Studio does not.
Reality: This may have been true at one time, but not anymore. DAZ Studio has had SSS capabilities for years.

Myth: In order to use SSS in DAZ Studio, you need to use the SubSurface Shader Base by Age of Armour.
Reality: While the SubSurface Shader is an excellent tool for achieving a SSS effect in DAZ Studio, it’s not the only shader capable of SSS. UberSurface, UberSurface2, HumanSurface, and pwSurface2 all have SSS functionality as well. One advantage of the SubSurface Shader is that it allows for automatic backscattering which is difficult to achieve with other shaders. Backscattering refers to the way that ears and other translucent objects seem to glow when lit from behind, due to light passing through them.

The first time SSS was used on a CG character in a major film was in The Two Towers (2002) for the character of Gollum. The lack of SSS prior to this was a big part of the reason why CG characters tended to look plasticy and unrealistic.

The more translucent the surface, the stronger the SSS effect will be. This means that pale-skinned characters will exhibit more SSS than darker-skinned characters.

In human skin, the SSS color should be orangish or reddish due to the presence of blood vessels under the skin. If the creature you’re rendering has green blood, be sure to change the SSS color accordingly!

If you want to have a deeper understanding of how the effect works, here’s the groundbreaking paper that enabled the technology behind SSS in 3D rendering (the paper is very technical in nature, so it might help to have a math, physics, or engineering background).


4. More Advanced Functions

These features are what distinguishes UberSurface from HumanSurface. UberSurface has them, HumanSurface does not.

- Anisotropic Specular

Don’t be scared off by the techspeak...this is a very useful setting. Basically, when this is turned on, the specular reflection will be directionally dependant (the reflection is stretched along one axis). Hair, for instance, tends to look wrong when the specular reflection is not anisotropic. Brushed metal is another example, as well as other surfaces with parallel grooves.

- Diffuse Roughness

It’s easy to see how specular reflections are handled differently by glossy surfaces vs. matte surfaces. But the diffuse response will be affected too, and this setting gives some additional control over that. Very matte surfaces should have a low diffuse roughness value so that the diffuse response is broad; shiny surfaces might need to have a higher diffuse roughness value.

- Fantom

Fantom is useful when you want something to be invisible but still cast a shadow or appear in a reflection. For another use, see the Fantom Occlusion section of my Hair Tutorial for DS4 Users]hair tutorial.

- Raytrace

Turning raytracing OFF on surfaces with transmaps (opacity maps)--hair, for instance--may make your renders faster, especially when using UberEnvironment or other lighting with Ambient Occlusion. A little realism may be sacrificed as a result, but often it’s hard to tell the difference. It’s kind of the opposite of Fantom: the object will be visible, but won’t cast raytraced shadows or appear in reflections.

References:
Omnifreaker page on UberSurface
Omnifreaker page on HumanSurface

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Comments

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

    UberSurface Tutorial, Part 2: Using UberSurface

    Using UberSurface, you can render realistic skin, hair, fabric, and other materials. (See also the above tutorial, “Understanding UberSurface”).

    This tutorial explains how to apply the UberSurface shader, as well as providing some advice on usage in various situations.

    The two most important things to remember:

    1. There’s no “magic” set of values that will look great 100% of the time.
    2. Your surface settings control how light interacts with the object. So, if your lighting conditions are poor, it’s not going to look good, regardless of how much you tweak the surface settings.



    1. Applying UberSurface to a Figure or Prop

    It’s a relatively straightforward process:
    1. Select the item you wish to apply the shader to
    2. Go to the Surfaces pane (make sure you’re in the Editor tab within Surfaces, not the Presets tab)
    3. Find your item on the list, expand the list if necessary, and click on all surfaces that you want the shader applied to (for instance, if you’re using a human figure, you might want to select all skin surfaces, and deal with eyes, teeth, nails, etc. separately). Ctrl-click to select multiple surfaces
    4. Find the icon for !UberSurface Base.duf
    - On my computer, I see it in the following locations (your results may differ, depending on your installation):
    - Smart Content: Shaders>Other
    - Surfaces pane, Presets: Shaders>Other
    - Content Library: DAZ Studio Formats>My (DAZ 3D) Library>Shader Presets>omnifreaker>UberSurface
    5. Hold down Ctrl and double-click the icon
    6. When the pop-up appears, under Images, select Ignore (instead of Replace) and then click Accept

    Alternative process:
    1. Select the item you wish to apply the shader to
    2. Select the Suface Selection Tool (Tools menu>Surface Selection)
    3. Click directly on the regions of the figure or prop that you want the applied to (Ctrl-click to select multiple surfaces). Then follow steps 4 through 6 above.

    Note: you can follow this same process in order to apply any shader to a surface. If you want the shader to replace images (remove the texture maps and apply different ones) then you don’t need to hold down Control when clicking the icon.

    2. UberSurface and Skin

    Photorealistic skin is one of the holy grails of 3D graphics. Just keep in mind that beauty is in the eye of the beholder...not everyone will agree on what looks right. The 3Delight render engine that DAZ Studio uses is capable of some outstanding results, and the UberSurface shader is one tool that can help you achieve the results you are looking for, whether you strive for photorealism or not. However, it’s worth remembering that 3Delight is a biased renderer, and even when the results are photorealistic, behind the scenes the lighting and surfaces aren’t behaving with 100% physical accuracy.

    When experimenting with skin materials settings, typically I will first highlight all skin surfaces so that I’m making changes to them all at the same time. Once I have something I’m happy with, then it’s time to tweak individual material zones (for instance, the lips should be shinier than the face, the face is usually a bit shinier than the body, etc.) I don’t select teeth, eye surfaces, fingernails, etc. - these are too different from skin surfaces and the same settings won’t look good at all.

    Most people advocate keeping the diffuse strength pretty high; somewhere in the 70% to 100% range. As a general rule of thumb, the stronger your Subsurface Scattering effect, the lower your diffuse strength should be (which makes sense: any light that is being absorbed and scattering within the object is light that’s not bouncing off the surface).

    Use anything from 25% to 50% as a general starting point for specular strength, and tweak from there. If your character’s skin is wet or oily, go with a higher value. Older characters may have less specularity than younger characters. Another consideration is what to do about specular maps (images that are designed to show which parts of the body/object will have stronger highlights). Specularity maps come with most characters; many users stick with these, but some prefer to replace them with other specular maps--the ones that come with Lana Elite seem to be very highly regarded--or, to remove specularity maps altogether. It’s also possible to plug the specular map to several different channels: either specular strength, specular color, or glossiness. Experiment, and see what looks good to you. For more information, here’s a link to a forum discussion on the subject.

    SubSurface Scattering (SSS) has a huge (but sometimes overstated) impact on realism. For best results, you should apply SSS maps. If the character you’re using didn’t come with them, you can either use maps that came with another character, or generic ones such as Interjection. You can also use SSS strength with no maps applied (try 25% strength and tweak from there), but the results probably won’t be as good. Also keep in mind that lighter-skinned characters will exhibit more subsurface scattering than those with darker skin, as light skin is more translucent. Subsurface color should generally be in the pink-to-red range, due to blood vessels under the skin. RawArt has a handy tutorial on setting up SSS using UberSurface that is worth taking a look at.

    Velvet is another channel worth playing with...it’s designed to mimic the appearance of small hairs on the surface, and at the right value can increase the realism of the skin surfaces. Try 10%-15% strength, with a color somewhere between white and peach-brown (though some people use light blue).

    Typically I like to leave Ambient OFF in order to let the lights in the scene do their job. Others have different opinions on this, though. After doing some test renders, sometimes I’ll add ambient to the eyes and teeth if they seem too dark.

    Bump is a channel worth tinkering with. The default setting may not look right if the camera is too close or too far away. You may need to lower the bump strength for closeups and raise it if the character is more distant.

    Not all characters come with displacement maps. If you’re using one that doesn’t, it’s best to leave Displacement OFF. Alternatively, you could try adding the bump map to the displacement channel...sometimes that can look pretty good. Another option is to apply a displacement map from another product: for instance, Aged for V4 and M4, or use an Layered Image Editor overlay with displacement (like this one).

    There are many more settings and it’s worth exploring what each of them does (though I tried to cover the ones that are probably most important to the typical render). One good way to do that is to remove the image maps (for instance, load the UberSurface shader without holding the Control button) and turn off all channels except for the one you are experimenting with. Another good tactic is to take a look at the default settings of a character you like whose mats use UberSurface. If you like the results, then the settings might be worth replicating (with adjustments as needed) for use on other characters.

    3. UberSurface and Hair

    Basically, there are two reasons to use the UberSurface shader on hair: to speed up renders, or to improve the appearance of the hair. It often can be an either/or proposition: the things you can do to decrease render times tend to come at the cost of less realism. However, with the right values, your hair can wind up looking better and rendering faster.

    For faster renders, the most effective thing is to turn Occlusion OFF. This will usually have a very significant impact, particularly if you're using UberEnvironment or other lighting with Ambient Occlusion. If you'd prefer to leave occlusion ON, or if you need even more speed, try turning Raytrace OFF and/or Accept Shadows OFF. Though technically less realistic, hair with Occlusion and Raytrace both OFF often still looks great (sometimes even better than with those settings ON). Another trick to speed up renders, though unrelated to UberSurface, is to select the hair, go to the Parameters pane, and turn Cast Shadows OFF.

    If you wish to explore a more efficient means of generating an occlusion effect, my hair tutorial includes some information on a technique called fantom occlusion (or fantom shielding) which involves turning Occlusion OFF on the hair itself and using a geometry shell with Fantom ON and Occlusion ON.

    For better-looking renders, keep in mind the fact that the ideal settings will depend on how the model and its textures were put together. At least in theory, activating Anisotropic Specular will increase realism, because the specular highlights will be stretched out along an axis perpendicular to the strands of hair, much like how real hair reacts to light. However, artists often simulate this with specular maps and leave anisotropic specular OFF. You can experiment with removing the specular maps and enabling Anisotropic Specular; it may take some work but that should yield good results.

    Also worth noting are the Specular2 settings. According to omnifreaker, to maximize realism, primary specular should be tight and white, while Specular 2 should be broader and tied to the hair color.

    4. UberSurface and Fabric

    Sometimes clothing looks great right "out of the box," but at times I find that clothes can look a little stiff, flat, or plasticky. When that happens it might help to convert the clothing to UberSurface (most clothing seems to use the DS Default Shader) and experiment with the following things:

    - Specular and glossiness: the values to use will depend on the type of fabric or material. Some materials (like cotton for instance) are rather diffuse, and should take relatively low specular and glossiness values. Patent leather would have high specular and glossiness, while silk would probably need high specular and lower glossiness. Some (like wool and linen) vary quite a bit in the degree of shininess. If you're converting from the DAZ Studio Default Shader, after converting you'll likely need to drop the glossiness value significantly, regardless of the type of material.

    - Velvet: just like with skin, adding some velvet can greatly increase the realism of certain fabrics. The velvet color should be somewhere in the white/light gray/light tan range if your fabric is light in color or multicolored. For darker, bolder fabrics, make the velvet color a lighter version of the base color. For velvet strength, start high for most natural materials (wool, cotton, linen, plus some artificial microfiber materials), and lower for silks and most artificial fabrics.

    - Bump: Don't be afraid to raise it above 100%, especially if it's not a closeup.

    - Displacement: If the clothing item does not come with displacement maps, you can try loading the bump map here, with a strength of perhaps 10%.

    - Opacity: Sometimes dropping this a bit under 100% can help boost realism. After all, much real clothing is slightly transparent (think of layered clothing, and how you can sometimes see the inner layer through the outer layer). Try 90% and adjust to taste. Keep in mind that if you plan on posting the render on the DAZ 3D forum, transparent clothing can lead to violations of the nudity clause of the Terms of Service, so make sure to give your characters some underwear or otherwise make sure they're appropriately covered!

    - Other settings (fresnel, subsurface scattering, specular2, anisotropic specular, reflection) may be worth investigating as well, depending on the clothing item and on the look you're going for.

    5. Other things you can do…
    Use UberSurface to create a ghost-like effect
    Conversion from UberSurface to LuxRender via Luxus

    Acknowledgements:

    Special thank you to everyone who has posted tutorials, shared settings, and contributed to discussions on this topic in the DAZ forum (and elsewhere). There are far too many to attempt to list everyone (though if I did make such a list, Szark, wancow, Rogerbee, and Slosh would feature prominently on it). Thanks also to RawArt and toadz for your skin tutorials at DeviantArt, and jamminwolfie for the hair mats. Most of what I have written above is merely my attempt at distilling all of your various discoveries, experiments, and pieces of advice into a single relatively concise resource.

    Thanks to my fellow CVs for your input and guidance.

    And of course, thanks to omnifreaker and DAZ 3D for giving us access to this impressive tool!

    References:
    Omnifreaker page on UberSurface
    Omnifreaker page on HumanSurface
    toadz: http://toadz.deviantart.com/art/Skin-and-Hair-Mini-Tut-302518883
    toadz clothing tutorial: http://toadz.deviantart.com/art/Clothing-Mini-Tut-302709948
    rawart: http://rawart3d.deviantart.com/art/Sub-Surface-Scattering-in-DS-306744678
    basic hss settings: https://helpdaz.zendesk.com/entries/20658113-How-to-use-the-Elite-Human-Surface-Shaders
    jamminwolfie: http://jamminwolfie.deviantart.com/art/DS-UberSurface-Hair-Settings-209299684
    3Delight Surfaces and Lighting Thread, Realistic Renders threads, and others.

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited December 1969

    Also available in pdf format...you can find the links here (plus links to other shader-related tutorials that may be of interest)

    If anyone has feedback (additions, corrections, suggestions, etc.) on this, feel free to post. :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited November 2013

    Thanks for the mention Scott.

    One thing I love about Uber Surface is reflection Blur...oh man that can make a huge difference it how an image looks.

    Not only does it blur the reflection but the further away the reflection gets from the reflecting object the blurrier the relfection gets. This image shows what I mean. This image has Uber Surface on nearly every surface.

    Sentry_copy1.jpg
    888 x 1240 - 525K
    Post edited by Szark on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for adding that, Pete, and great render!

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited December 1969

    My pleasure and thanks. ;)

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited December 1969

    Nice read.

    My suggestion would be to add more info on other things beside skin. The Occlusion switch and shading rate override is indispensable to rendering hair and having more manageable render times.

    I'd also would love to see tutorials/how-tos on achieving realistic glass or architectural glass.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:
    Nice read.

    My suggestion would be to add more info on other things beside skin. The Occlusion switch and shading rate override is indispensable to rendering hair and having more manageable render times.

    I'd also would love to see tutorials/how-tos on achieving realistic glass or architectural glass.


    Thanks, wowie. Yes, the tutorial is somewhat focused on skin, as that is probably the most common application of UberSurface. But I agree with you and Szark that it can be applied to all sorts of surfaces and often yields better and/or faster renders than with the DS Default Shader. I go into more detail on using UberSurface with hair in my Hair Tutorial.

    As far as realistic glass with UberSurface is concerned, I don't know of a good tutorial either, and I don't have enough experience experimenting with it myself to try to do one. NeilV 1 has provided some good DS Default Shader settings here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/45827/

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited December 1969

    I have been promising to do a full Uber Surface tutorial and I still intend on doing one but time is an issue these days but it is on my long to-do list of tutorials. Also I am waiting for a new PC so I can quickly get examples done without waiting hours and without software crashes.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited November 2013


    Thanks, wowie. Yes, the tutorial is somewhat focused on skin, as that is probably the most common application of UberSurface. But I agree with you and Szark that it can be applied to all sorts of surfaces and often yields better and/or faster renders than with the DS Default Shader. I go into more detail on using UberSurface with hair in my Hair Tutorial./

    Oh, haven't read that one. After reading it, I don't think it's the number of polygon that causes problem with occlusion. From what I know, it's basically the burden of calculating occlusion between each layer of hair (or clumps of hair), with each layer having opacity maps. I generally turn off AO for the skull cap, but enable it for the strands (with Shading Rate set to override and a value 16 or upwards).

    As for volume and layering, I've recently experimented with opacity color to allow a little bit bleedthrough. Haven't got the transluency right though. Below you can see the difference between having AO for the strands (the upper image) and turning off AO completely (the bottom one).

    Render time is 1 minute 53 seconds with AO and 1 minute 12 seconds without AO..

    Test2.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 284K
    Test.jpg
    800 x 1040 - 282K
    Post edited by wowie on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:
    After reading it, I don't think it's the number of polygon that causes problem with occlusion. From what I know, it's basically the burden of calculating occlusion between each layer of hair (or clumps of hair), with each layer having opacity maps. I generally turn off AO for the skull cap, but enable it for the strands (with Shading Rate set to override with a value 16 or upwards).

    That makes perfect sense...so it is related to the complexity of the hair model, but not exactly for the reason I had thought.

    As for volume and layering, I've recently experimented with opacity color to allow a little bit bleedthrough. Haven't got the transluency right though. Below you can see the difference between having AO for the strands (the upper image) and turning off AO completely (the bottom one).

    Render time is 1 minute 53 seconds with AO and 1 minute 12 seconds without AO..


    Very nice! If you want, feel free to post to the Hair Tutorial thread too. :)

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,105
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    I have been promising to do a full Uber Surface tutorial and I still intend on doing one but time is an issue these days but it is on my long to-do list of tutorials. Also I am waiting for a new PC so I can quickly get examples done without waiting hours and without software crashes.

    There's certainly a lot more to say on the subject. I tried to keep this one relatively brief in terms of length, and fairly basic in terms of complexity level, in an effort to make it approachable to beginners and casual users. And because to make it more complete would be a much larger undertaking, as you have found. Particularly considering my own experience level--a lot of the things I didn't include are things I'm still learning myself, like the Reflection Blur setting.

    Looking forward to seeing your tutorial when it is ready--hopefully this will help people in the meantime. :)

    Having a new computer will definitely help...before I got my current one, there was a limit to the number of test renders I was willing to wait for (often taking hours at a time, unless I really focused on optimizing for render speed). And final renders were typically an overnight proposition at least...

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited December 1969

    I agree Scott, this is a good start, there is not doubt about that.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 771
    edited December 1969


    3. UberSurface and Hair

    Also worth noting are the Specular2 settings. According to omnifreaker, to maximize realism, primary specular should be tight and white, while Specular 2 should be broader and tied to the hair color.

    Can I just ask what you mean by "tighter" and "broader"? My spec and spec 2 only have a strength and a sharpness setting

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:

    Can I just ask what you mean by "tighter" and "broader"? My spec and spec 2 only have a strength and a sharpness setting

    I believe this means glossyness/roughness. Tighter means more gloss (or less roughness with the 2nd specular.

    I do wish Omnifreaker used the same name for the 2nd specular. Calling it roughness is counter intuitive, more so since the controls is backwards (closer to zero is very rough, while closer to 100 is very smooth).

    Post edited by wowie on
  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 771
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:
    Sertorial said:

    Can I just ask what you mean by "tighter" and "broader"? My spec and spec 2 only have a strength and a sharpness setting

    I believe this means glossyness/roughness. Tighter means more gloss (or less roughness with the 2nd specular.

    I do wish Omnifreaker used the same name for the 2nd specular. Calling it roughness is counter intuitive, more so since the controls is backwards (closer to zero is very rough, while closer to 100 is very smooth).

    aah... right. Thanks.

    So we have a channel called "glossiness" (which doesn't seem to be specific to either spec1 or spec2 - so what does it affect?)

    Spec 1 has a channel called "sharpness" (but no "roughness")

    Spec2 has a channel called "sharpness" and one called "roughness"

    Clear as mud! Can anyone elucidate?

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited June 2014

    Yes Glossiness pertains to specular, both 1 and 2 and it controls the size of highlight. say 10% will cover most of the surface making it all shiny, 95% will make a focused spot of highlight...this is opposite of the Daz Studio default.

    Spec 1 and 2 sharpness controls how sharp the edge of the highlight is.

    Spec 2 roughness adds noise (as far as I am aware) but it is one of those things that need confirming.

    Diffuse Roughness is also something often overlooked. Increasing the roughness will make the surface react better with high gloss so for smooth metal I usually go for 1.20 - 1.30. For rougher surfaces like cloth I go for 0.80 - 0.90

    Post edited by Szark on
  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:

    aah... right. Thanks.

    So we have a channel called "glossiness" (which doesn't seem to be specific to either spec1 or spec2 - so what does it affect?)

    Spec 1 has a channel called "sharpness" (but no "roughness")

    Spec2 has a channel called "sharpness" and one called "roughness"

    Clear as mud! Can anyone elucidate?

    I generally think of sharpness as falloff between the outer area and the inner area of the (specular) highlight. Tends to make things look very 'oily' instead of 'wet'.

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 771
    edited June 2014

    Szark said:
    Yes Glossiness pertains to specular, both 1 and 2 and it controls the size of highlight. say 10% will cover most of the surface making it all shiny, 95% will make a focused spot of highlight...this is opposite of the Daz Studio default.

    Spec 1 and 2 sharpness controls how sharp the edge of the highlight is.

    Spec 2 roughness adds noise (as far as I am aware) but it is one of those things that need confirming.

    Diffuse Roughness is also something often overlooked. Increasing the roughness will make the surface react better with high gloss so for smooth metal I usually go for 1.20 - 1.30. For rougher surfaces like cloth I go for 0.80 - 0.90

    right. Thanks.

    So we can't control the glossiness of spec1 and spec2 independently? This appears to be at odds with Scott's comment about hair in US2 (above) which (I thought) suggested a glossier spec1 (white colour) and then a less glossy spec2 (of the hair colour). But perhaps I misunderstood?

    Post edited by Sertorial on
  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited June 2014

    Sertorial said:

    right. Thanks.

    So we can't control the glossiness of spec1 and spec2 independently? This appears to be at odds with Scott's comment about hair in US2 (above) which (I thought) suggested a glossier spec1 (white colour) and then a less glossy spec2 (of the hair colour). But perhaps I misunderstood?

    I believe you can. Just use different values for glossy (1st specular) and roughness.(2nd specular). If you use the same value for glossyness/roughness they cover the same area.

    Post edited by wowie on
  • Takeo.KenseiTakeo.Kensei Posts: 935
    edited June 2014

    Hi

    For what I know Spec 1 and Spec 2 are indendent or should be

    First glossiness parameter is for Spec 1

    The spec2 Glossiness is controlled by spec 2 roughness and as a rule, to have an idea of the influence of the value, it should be
    glossiness = 1 - roughness

    It shouldn't be just adding some noise (not retested but that is what I recall having seen on Ubersurface)

    The goal of that, if I'm correct, is to have the dual specular layer to simulate the "usual" surface specular and the second for grazing angle

    Post edited by Takeo.Kensei on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:

    Spec 2 roughness adds noise (as far as I am aware) but it is one of those things that need confirming.

    I did test the two speculars for my upcoming tutorial, and it appears to me that the two specular models are exactly the same, but with a different name for the SpecII control (this "roughness" designation even got carried over to US2 where it's but a spec channel of the second layer which is otherwise identical to the first one, minus SSS). No noise or any other extra stuff about SpecII, as far as I could see.

    All in all, I have been able to switch these two over without any changes in the rendered image.

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 887
    edited December 1969

    Hi

    The spec2 Glossiness is controlled by spec 2 roughness and as a rule, to have an idea of the influence of the value, it should be
    glossiness = 1 - roughness

    The thing is, I thought so, too, and started testing to confirm it, but it's not! "Roughness" and "glossiness" values in the UberSurface case map across identically. A 10% SpecI glossiness is the same as 10% SpecII "roughness".

  • Takeo.KenseiTakeo.Kensei Posts: 935
    edited December 1969

    Hi

    The spec2 Glossiness is controlled by spec 2 roughness and as a rule, to have an idea of the influence of the value, it should be
    glossiness = 1 - roughness

    The thing is, I thought so, too, and started testing to confirm it, but it's not! "Roughness" and "glossiness" values in the UberSurface case map across identically. A 10% SpecI glossiness is the same as 10% SpecII "roughness".

    Hi long time no see :)

    And you're right. Just tested and the roughness seems to act like glossiness parameter

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited December 1969


    The thing is, I thought so, too, and started testing to confirm it, but it's not! "Roughness" and "glossiness" values in the UberSurface case map across identically. A 10% SpecI glossiness is the same as 10% SpecII "roughness".

    I also believe this is also true for UberSurface2. There's some flexibility though on how to combine both layers using different blend modes.

  • Takeo.KenseiTakeo.Kensei Posts: 935
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:

    The thing is, I thought so, too, and started testing to confirm it, but it's not! "Roughness" and "glossiness" values in the UberSurface case map across identically. A 10% SpecI glossiness is the same as 10% SpecII "roughness".

    I also believe this is also true for UberSurface2. There's some flexibility though on how to combine both layers using different blend modes.

    You have the choice of blending mode in US2 ?

  • wowiewowie Posts: 975
    edited June 2014


    You have the choice of blending mode in US2 ?

    Yes. The 2nd specular controls are located inside the second layer, unlike HSS and US. Here's a snapshot of what I'm seeing. It is different to the screenshot available on omnifreaker's site, so I'm guessing he changed it afterwards. It might just be around the same time he recompiled it to support DS4 but I'm not sure about that.

    Uber2.png
    460 x 913 - 43K
    Post edited by wowie on
  • Takeo.KenseiTakeo.Kensei Posts: 935
    edited December 1969

    OK thanks. that gives a lot of possibilities to create cool effects

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited December 1969

    Sertorial said:
    wowie said:
    Sertorial said:

    Can I just ask what you mean by "tighter" and "broader"? My spec and spec 2 only have a strength and a sharpness setting

    I believe this means glossyness/roughness. Tighter means more gloss (or less roughness with the 2nd specular.

    I do wish Omnifreaker used the same name for the 2nd specular. Calling it roughness is counter intuitive, more so since the controls is backwards (closer to zero is very rough, while closer to 100 is very smooth).

    aah... right. Thanks.

    So we have a channel called "glossiness" (which doesn't seem to be specific to either spec1 or spec2 - so what does it affect?)

    Spec 1 has a channel called "sharpness" (but no "roughness")

    Spec2 has a channel called "sharpness" and one called "roughness"

    Clear as mud! Can anyone elucidate?

    yeah when I said Glossiness pertains to spec 1 and 2 I didn't mean they were dependent on each other but replying to the bolded text above.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 8,781
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:

    Spec 2 roughness adds noise (as far as I am aware) but it is one of those things that need confirming.

    I did test the two speculars for my upcoming tutorial,

    does that mean I don't need to do mine that I promised. ;)

  • SertorialSertorial Posts: 771
    edited June 2014

    Ok, thanks everyone.

    I have been doing some quick tests on a sphere primitive and I can confirm that glossiness refers to specular 1 only. For specular two, glossiness is called roughness (rather annoyingly) and the percentages are the same (i.e. a glossiness of 80% for spec 1 is the same as a roughness of 80% for spec2).

    Maybe Mr Omnifreaker might like to rename his channels in the next version to something a little more logical?

    I suggest :

    spec1, glossiness 1, sharpness1
    spec2, glossiness 2, sharpness2

    Then we'd all be a bit clearer. :)

    Post edited by Sertorial on
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