What exactly is UberEnvironment2? . . . and other lighting stuff.

SolarviewSolarview Posts: 159
edited June 2012 in New Users

So, trying to deal with lighting here.
A bit of a headache so far. Which is pretty ironic considering I'm a professional photographer by trade. lol!
DAZ Studio lighting, does NOT behave like my studio lighting.
Been trying to dial in levels using multiple lights. Preview rendering only helps so much. And rendering takes so long, that's not real practical either. Would love to hear what everyone else might suggest here.

But back to my main question. What is UberEnvironment2???
I turned on a preset, UberEnvironment2 > Set HDR KHPark > Quality 1Lo.
Not really seeing what it's doing? Seems to look mostly like a better version of the 'headlamp' default lighting. It looks better, but can't do much with it. If I scan around the characters, it looks the same, lighter toward the viewpoint, with shadows to the back.
I do see the node for it in the middle of the scene (has a large 'C' there), but moving things around are giving me no visible changes to the lighting.
What gives? What does UberEnvironment2 actually do?

Thanks

- Sol

Post edited by Solarview on

Comments

  • niccipbniccipb Posts: 0
    edited June 2012

    Hi...


    Well a simple discription Of UE2 is that it is a sphere that projects light inward towards the little C at the center.
    The Preset that you used placed an image on the sphere and that image is used as a map for determining the amount of light that is passed at any given point in the image.
    The Quality 1Lo is just that, the light settings are set to the lowest quality which makes for faster rendering when using UE2. Higher settings mean longer render times.

    For a more in depth on UE2, see this tutorial -> Learning UberEnvironment 2...
    ETA: Other tutorials can also be found in the Stickies in the Daz Studio Discussion forum


    The 3Delight render engine Daz Studio uses is a bias renderer. You have to use lights a little differently than in photography.


    For un-biased rendering, just like real world photography lighting set-ups, you could use the Reality Plug-in for rendering in LuxRender or there is another plug-in being worked on for Octane Renderer. In the Free-Pository there is a script for using Blender Cycles also.


    Hope this helps... :)

    Post edited by niccipb on
  • JimmyC_2009JimmyC_2009 Posts: 8,250
    edited December 1969

    A good explanation niccipb!

    The other thing that may not be obvious, is that Uberenvironment is a 'shader' light, and it's parameters will be found in the Surfaces tab.

    Shaders can be Materials, Lights or even Cameras (to add to the confusion), and because they are written in a shader language (RSL) they only work with the 3Delight render engine, and even then, only at rendertime, they can be very difficult to work with.

    Shader lights can add enormously to the render time, especially if there are trans maps (e.g. Hair, Eyelashes etc), and a lot of people wont use them at all for that reason. As niccipb says, an unbiased render engine like Lux can help to get closer to real world lighting.

  • niccipbniccipb Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thank you JimmyC... I had hoped that I gave a good general overview of UE without getting to techie right of the bat ... :P

  • edited December 1969

    If you are a photographer in RL (as I am) and want lighting to perform realistically in DS, I STRONGLY recommend investing in the Reality plug-in. With the plug-in and the LUXRender engine, light behaves like it should. Do not pass GO, just get Reality and forget about trying to make DS and 3Delight work properly.

    ~ Russ

  • SolarviewSolarview Posts: 159
    edited December 1969

    niccipb said:
    Hi...


    Well a simple discription Of UE2 is that it is a sphere that projects light inward towards the little C at the center.
    The Preset that you used placed an image on the sphere and that image is used as a map for determining the amount of light that is passed at any given point in the image.
    The Quality 1Lo is just that, the light settings are set to the lowest quality which makes for faster rendering when using UE2. Higher settings mean longer render times.

    For a more in depth on UE2, see this tutorial -> Learning UberEnvironment 2...
    ETA: Other tutorials can also be found in the Stickies in the Daz Studio Discussion forum


    The 3Delight render engine Daz Studio uses is a bias renderer. You have to use lights a little differently than in photography.


    For un-biased rendering, just like real world photography lighting set-ups, you could use the Reality Plug-in for rendering in LuxRender or there is another plug-in being worked on for Octane Renderer. In the Free-Pository there is a script for using Blender Cycles also.


    Hope this helps... :)

    Thank you for the feedback. :)
    FYI, I found that thread 'Learning Uberenvironment' last night, but all the images that are mentioned as reference points are missing. So for a complete newbie to this product, it was kind of hard to imagine exactly what was be discussed. I'll check out those stickies, though.

    When you say "placed an image on the sphere", not quite sure I understand what you mean.
    I watched a YouTube video on UberEnvironment basics, and it showed a sphere like your talking about, I think, which looked like an 'outdoor' scene superimposed on a sphere. But my tabs don't have that sphere in the GUI. Don't know if that is an older version maybe. I am currently using the base Studio 4 set-up as far as tabs and workspace goes.

    FYI, my working test scene here is two V5 female characters, Hair only, no clothing, no props. Just want to see what Studio 4 is doing. So going through the whole process front to end, to see how each aspect and phase works.
    I played with the DAZ Studio lights, Distant, Spot, etc. Seemed overly harsh for the most part (at the default 100%). Seemed to be a 'less is more scenario'. When I cleared the scene of all Studio lights, and then added the UberEnvironment presets, it seemed to be a better quality of light overall, but it as I panned around the characters, it seemed to always be a 'Viewport' lighting view. As in, the side facing me was always front lit, and there were shadows/darker edges basically away from me. So is it meant to be like being outdoors with no direct lighting? Basically, as I tried adjusting sliders from 0-100%, there seemed to be no visual effect on the scene, except for the main 'Intensity' slider. Do most of these sliders only show up on the render side? With Studio 4's Distant lights and such, I can see immediate adjustments. Any chance there's a preview button I need to activate?

    Anyways, thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

    - Sol

  • SolarviewSolarview Posts: 159
    edited December 1969

    If you are a photographer in RL (as I am) and want lighting to perform realistically in DS, I STRONGLY recommend investing in the Reality plug-in. With the plug-in and the LUXRender engine, light behaves like it should. Do not pass GO, just get Reality and forget about trying to make DS and 3Delight work properly.

    ~ Russ

    Thank for the suggestion, Russ. I just looked up the site for Reality, and it does look pretty cool, and maybe a nice solution. And well worth the price if it saves on rendering times, and is easier to use.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 19,387
    edited December 1969

    The images are there, just not showing as you can';t log in - take the link from the html (postimages...jpg) and paste it after http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/ in the address bar to see the image (I advise using a separate tab or even window for the images).

  • niccipbniccipb Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Hi Sol765...


    Just as JimmyC said, UE2 is a 'Shader' light and as you have noticed, it looks the same as the default Studio light in the viewport. The effect of most all shaders will not be seen until render time. Just as I said before, the sphere radiates light inward evenly or based on the image mapped to the sphere. This basically simulates ambient lighting, light bouncing off of things in the environment. The image on the sphere is what is simulating the ambient effect.
    With the UE2 Sphere selected in the scene, click on the HDR KAPark preset and you should see a blurred image appear on the sphere, that's the map that UE2 will use to pass light to the scene. The maps don't have to be photo images, they can also be gradient color maps. With the sphere selected, go to the parameters tab and find the Color parameter, click on the drop down on the right and select 'Browse'. That should open the folder were the included maps are. Take a look at the different maps, lighter areas pass more light than darker areas.
    When you are building your scene and you want to see how things are looking just use the lower quality presets and do a render, save the high quality settings for your final renders. Remember, Higher quality means longer render times. As JimmyC also pointed out, transparency maps on things like hair will increase render times.
    When using UE2 you can also add other Studio lights to your scene if you need to and those will show in the viewport.
    UE2 is really useful for giving you a good ambient light to fill your scene.


    As for render times, well that depends on lots of things. Your computer for one. The example pics below are on a Core2 laptop with 4GB ram on DS4 32bit.


    Lux via Reality is a great option, especially if you are use to lighting for real world photography. The light and camera settings are the same. As for render times, well...LuxRender never finishes, it will render from now till the end of time...and beyond. Your render is done when you feel it's done. As for speed, again it depends on your computer, you can network several computers together for rendering. Also large or complex scenes need more memory to load into Lux.


    As Richard H noted above, the images on the archive forum are there, you just have to use the method he discribes to see them. It's a bit of a pain, hopefully at some point that will get a fix.


    The below renders are examples of UE2 with the KAPark preset at different quality settings


    As always, I hope this is of some help and you know, just ask if you need assistance. Myself or somebody will always be around to help... :)

    UE2_KAPark_3X.jpg
    800 x 600 - 89K
    UE2_KAPark_1Lo.jpg
    800 x 600 - 115K
    UE2_KAPark_Base.jpg
    800 x 600 - 114K
    UE2_KAPark_Base_preview.jpg
    800 x 600 - 72K
    UE2_Base.jpg
    800 x 600 - 120K
  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    That is one of the best VISUAL examples I have ever seen. Thank you for that, it should have been done long before.

  • niccipbniccipb Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thank You Jaderail... :)


    the forum mess up the order of the first to though... 1st should be second and 2nd should be first... :roll:

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    niccipb said:
    Thank You Jaderail... :)


    the forum mess up the order of the first to though... 1st should be second and 2nd should be first... :roll:

    You put text. It is easy enough to understand if you read. The New Users need this type of examples. You did AWSOME in my book.

  • niccipbniccipb Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Yes... without inline images i thought it was better to put the info on the images, little more work but necessary...

  • SolarviewSolarview Posts: 159
    edited December 1969

    The images are there, just not showing as you can';t log in - take the link from the html (postimages...jpg) and paste it after http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/ in the address bar to see the image (I advise using a separate tab or even window for the images).

    Awesome! Thank you for the tip, Richard. Much appreciated.

  • SolarviewSolarview Posts: 159
    edited December 1969

    niccipb said:
    Hi Sol765...


    Just as JimmyC said, UE2 is a 'Shader' light and as you have noticed, it looks the same as the default Studio light in the viewport. The effect of most all shaders will not be seen until render time. Just as I said before, the sphere radiates light inward evenly or based on the image mapped to the sphere. This basically simulates ambient lighting, light bouncing off of things in the environment. The image on the sphere is what is simulating the ambient effect.
    With the UE2 Sphere selected in the scene, click on the HDR KAPark preset and you should see a blurred image appear on the sphere, that's the map that UE2 will use to pass light to the scene. The maps don't have to be photo images, they can also be gradient color maps. With the sphere selected, go to the parameters tab and find the Color parameter, click on the drop down on the right and select 'Browse'. That should open the folder were the included maps are. Take a look at the different maps, lighter areas pass more light than darker areas.
    When you are building your scene and you want to see how things are looking just use the lower quality presets and do a render, save the high quality settings for your final renders. Remember, Higher quality means longer render times. As JimmyC also pointed out, transparency maps on things like hair will increase render times.
    When using UE2 you can also add other Studio lights to your scene if you need to and those will show in the viewport.
    UE2 is really useful for giving you a good ambient light to fill your scene.


    As for render times, well that depends on lots of things. Your computer for one. The example pics below are on a Core2 laptop with 4GB ram on DS4 32bit.


    Lux via Reality is a great option, especially if you are use to lighting for real world photography. The light and camera settings are the same. As for render times, well...LuxRender never finishes, it will render from now till the end of time...and beyond. Your render is done when you feel it's done. As for speed, again it depends on your computer, you can network several computers together for rendering. Also large or complex scenes need more memory to load into Lux.


    As Richard H noted above, the images on the archive forum are there, you just have to use the method he discribes to see them. It's a bit of a pain, hopefully at some point that will get a fix.


    The below renders are examples of UE2 with the KAPark preset at different quality settings


    As always, I hope this is of some help and you know, just ask if you need assistance. Myself or somebody will always be around to help... :)

    niccipb,
    Thank you for posting this. It really helps.
    Both the explanation, and the images.
    For us newbies, it really helps to see the differences laid out there with your actual settings.

  • Kevin-McKeeKevin-McKee Posts: 645
    edited December 1969

    O.K., I see a lot of threads referencing "UberEnvironment2". However, there is no product in the DAZ store called UberEnvironment2; the latest DS4-compatible version of UberEnvironment is 1.2 (not 2.X); and even though Omnifreaker references it on his webpage, I simply cannot find this product anywhere. What did I miss?

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,100
    edited December 1969

    Sarsifus, UberEnvironment2 is included in DAZ Studio 4...no additional purchase or download is necessary. (On an unrelated note, the same is true of the Elite Human Surface Shader...for a while I didn't know that).


    Thanks for this thread! I'm just noticing it now, but I'm finding it very informative. I never really understood what UE2 was, even though I've used it many times through purchased lighting presets. It may not be as good as Reality, but UE2 can yield some really spectacular results that are well worth the render time.

  • Kevin-McKeeKevin-McKee Posts: 645
    edited December 1969

    Sarsifus, UberEnvironment2 is included in DAZ Studio 4...no additional purchase or download is necessary. (On an unrelated note, the same is true of the Elite Human Surface Shader...for a while I didn't know that).


    Thanks for this thread! I'm just noticing it now, but I'm finding it very informative. I never really understood what UE2 was, even though I've used it many times through purchased lighting presets. It may not be as good as Reality, but UE2 can yield some really spectacular results that are well worth the render time.

    Before I forget -- thank you; I found UE2 and have been playing with it for the last couple of days.

Sign In or Register to comment.
Rocket Fuel