My WIP and Reviews

mark128mark128 Posts: 907
edited March 2014 in Art Studio

I thought I would start a thread to post some of the my work in progress and some reviews/comments on products.

Yesterday I bought Lacey and Black Light for Genesis 2 Female.

I almost did not buy Lacey for a couple of reasons. I did not like the promo renders. I think it was a poor choice of hair that spoiled the promos for me. Lacey has a nice photo-realistic skin, but the hair in the promos looks so cartoonish. It just does not go together and put me off from buying Lacey. I finally decided to give it a try based on the skin/facial appearance.

After the my first test render, I was immediately glad that I bought her. There are regular skin mats and AoA SSS mats. I have only tried the AoA SSS mats. The diffusion texture is very pale. Much of the skin color comes from the SSS as is natural with Caucasians skin. The diffusion strength is 70% and the SSS strength is 50%. The SSS color uses the diffusion texture with the color 255,233,225. The shading scale is 0.5, which is unrealistically large and exaggerates the SSS effects. The Absorb/Scatter coefficients are the skin B values that everyone uses. The UV set is the G2F Base Female.

I really like this skin texture. Much of the time when I first render a new character I am disappointed with the results, but I really liked Lacey from the first render I did. I like that the PAs did not feel obligated to use 75% SSS strength like almost all the other characters released with AoA SSS mats. They picked a SSS strength to get the appearance they wanted.

I've attached a quick render of Lacey wearing the Black Light for Genesis 2 Female outfit, which although not shown in the promos, also comes with red mats. Other products used in the render:

Micah Hair
Advanced Ambient Light
The backdrop is from InaneGlory's Photo Studio 3, but I did not use any lights from that set for this render.
Pose is from Casual Sexy Poses for Genesis 2 Female

Portrait_03.jpg
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Post edited by mark128 on
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Comments

  • tinneybryantinneybryan Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Good render. love the short hair.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited March 2014

    Good render. love the short hair.

    Thanks. I think she looks so much better with this hair than the Diva hair used in the promos.

    Post edited by mark128 on
  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    This is an experiment I did to try to understand how SSS works better.

    For this I am using the V6 Anna skin that comes with Victoria 6 HD Add-On. This skin has diffusion strength of 50% and SSS strength of 75%. The SSS color is the diffusion textures with color 255, 210,189. The shading scale is 0.5, which is unrealistically large. The more physically correct value would be 0.1 to 0.2, but the large value gives a softer SSS effect, which I guess lots of PA like. The Absorb/Scattering coefficients are the skin B ones that everyone uses.

    I have attached a render with three images. The first has the diffusion strength set to 100% and SSS set to 0%. This shows that without the SSS, this skin texture is very pale white, almost dead looking. This is true of real Caucasian skin. Much of the skin tone comes from the SSS.

    The second image shows the SSS at 100% with the diffusion at 0%. The SSS on its own is dark reddish brown. A lot of the reddish color here comes from the pink (255,210,189) color in the SSS color. Without that added pink the SSS would be more brown.

    The third image is the result of combining diffusion and SSS in the strengths set in the V6 Anna All MAT. There are presets for 25% and 50% SSS strength too, but I have not experimented much with them.

    This is one of only a few skin mats that use 75% SSS that achieves an appearance something like Caucasian skin.

    The diffusion textures used for most high quality skins are based on photographs of actual models skins. When you photograph a real persons skin, much of the skin tone/color in the picture is the result of SSS. Most diffusion texture resources come with the SSS coloration already baked into the diffusion texture. When you add SSS effects in the shader, you get a result that is darker than the original model. I think this is why a lot of characters with 75% SSS strength render with darker skins.

    Many PAs try to make the diffusion texture paler by putting a light blue color for diffusion in the shader. This Anna texture does not do that. In this case I think the diffusion texture was made paler in Photoshop, which gives the PA more control over the result than a single color in the shader. In Photoshop you can make separate adjustments to eyebrows and lips, which you generally cannot in the shader.

    In case anyone is wondering, the Absorb/Scattering coefficients that are in the AoA SSS shader appear to come from A Practical Model for Subsurface Light Transport by Jensen, et al. The Skin B coefficients are Skin 2 in table 5b. They made laboratory measurement of these coefficients for two different skins, but the paper has no information about what kind of skins these were. The coefficients are very different. The Skin A coefficients produces darker results than Skin B, which appears to be why almost everyone uses the Skin B coefficients.

    compare1_small.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    I have been working on setting up skins to use the AoA SSS shader. One of the characters I have been working with is Audrie, a Genesis 1 and V4 character by OziChick at Renderosity. I have only been using the Genesis 1 version. I have learned quite a bit doing this. One thing I've learned is that skin using the AoA SSS shader can look very different under different lighting conditions, just like real skin.

    Here is a WIP render of where I've gotten so far.

    Other things used in this render:

    Dea Araneam Hair
    Purple Rain Outfit
    MRL Fusion by Mihrelle at Renderosity
    Egypt City for DS

    audrie_sc_test_15.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    I bought the Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2 today. Here is a quick render of one of the light setups. This package has around 90 different light setups. I picked on here that gives higher contrast lighting for a more edgy effect.

    Other products in the render:

    Lacey
    Nordic Hair
    Sunny Swimsuit HD
    i13 Signals And Vibes

    IG_light_test02.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    mark128 said:
    I have been working on setting up skins to use the AoA SSS shader. One of the characters I have been working with is Audrie, a Genesis 1 and V4 character by OziChick at Renderosity. I have only been using the Genesis 1 version. I have learned quite a bit doing this. One thing I've learned is that skin using the AoA SSS shader can look very different under different lighting conditions, just like real skin.

    Here is a WIP render of where I've gotten so far.

    Other things used in this render:

    Dea Araneam Hair
    Purple Rain Outfit
    MRL Fusion by Mihrelle at Renderosity
    Egypt City for DS

    Continued working on this. Reduced the SSS strength which I think gives a more realistic skin tone. Also changed the lighting.

    audrie_sc_test_18.jpg
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  • KharmaKharma Posts: 1,528
    edited December 1969

    mark128 said:
    I bought the Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2 today. Here is a quick render of one of the light setups. This package has around 90 different light setups. I picked on here that gives higher contrast lighting for a more edgy effect.

    Other products in the render:

    Lacey
    Nordic Hair
    Sunny Swimsuit HD
    i13 Signals And Vibes

    The lighting looks very good here, I picked up these lights also but had a bit of a time trying to figure them out. Any user tips you have would be appreciated. I have a render that I will post later in my thread using these lights.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Kharma said:

    The lighting looks very good here, I picked up these lights also but had a bit of a time trying to figure them out. Any user tips you have would be appreciated. I have a render that I will post later in my thread using these lights.

    I have some of the earlier InaneGlory light sets, so I was familiar with the basic lights.

    The InaneGlory lights are based on the UberArea light shader, although he may have tweaked it some. They are basically UberArea light emitting surfaces surrounded by a shell to direct the light. The newer version included in this set come parented to something that appears in the light section of the camera drop down, so you can "look through" the lights to get them pointed at your subject. The actual light controls are on the surface tab, similar to UberArea lights. To try to make them simpler to use, there are presets for intensity, color, quality, and shadow intensity that you can use rather than fiddling with the actual surface tab.

    The intensity on the surface tabs with these lights seems very high. The 100% preset seems to correspond to 15000% intensity on the surface tab. This may vary depending on the type of light used. I used Light Set Quality 24 preset. I don't think you need to go much higher, but you can if you want.

    The Point and Shoot set 1 allowed you to load individual lights and make your own setups, but Point and Shoot 2 seems to only allow you to load light sets, with a bunch of 3 point light sets and some adjustment presets. I have worked with some professional photographers and helped them with lighting. The different kinds of lights are suppose to act like the studio lights used by photographers.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    I noticed that skins using the AoA SSS shader look paler when I use Gamma 2.2 lighting than when I use Gamma 1.0 lighting. Here is an example using the Victoria 6 Anna skin. On the left is a render using Gamma 1.0 with a simple light setup. One distant light, 50% intensity, ray traced shadows with 50% shadow softness. One Advanced Ambient light also at 50% intensity. This setup gives some nice shadows that help define the face and give it a 3 dimensional look.

    The 2nd image shows the same light set rendered at Gamma 2.2 with gamma correction. The skin tonne is much lighter, but the image also looks flat and washed out. The washed out look is because you need much less fill light at Gamma 2.2 to get the same shadows that define and make the subject look 3D.

    The 3rd image shows the Advanced Ambient light turned down to 10%. This gets us some nice shadows again, but the image is a little darker.

    The 4th image shows the distant light at 80% and the advanced ambient at 15%. This is similar looking lighting to the gamma 1.0 image, but look at how much paler the skin looks in the gamma 2.2 lighting.

    I'm not sure why this is happening, but I have noticed it on other skins too. Does this have something to do with the way the gamma correction works?

    compare1.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Did some more experimenting with Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2. This uses:

    Victoria 6 HD
    Estal Hair
    PHC and PHCN for Estal Hair
    DJ Remixed

    I used the 3pt Rim Right Light Setup and I turned the intensity of light 1 (the key light) down from 80% to 60%. This is rendered with Gamma 2.2.

    ig_test_03.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    mark128 said:
    Did some more experimenting with Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2. This uses:

    Victoria 6 HD
    Estal Hair
    PHC and PHCN for Estal Hair
    DJ Remixed

    I used the 3pt Rim Right Light Setup and I turned the intensity of light 1 (the key light) down from 80% to 60%. This is rendered with Gamma 2.2.

    This is same character and pose (except I moved her fingers to not be going through the sleeve), but I changed the light setup to 3pt Tight Right.

    ig_test_04.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Here is the final version of the 3pt Rim Right portrait. I added this in my Gallery. Changed the hair color and adjusted the specular a bit on the hair.

    ig_3pt_rim_right_gamma_22.jpg
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  • LimneryLimnery Posts: 124
    edited December 1969

    I've been watching these with interest. Thanks for posting your work.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Tonight I tried out Domina with her Domina Outfit.

    Also used in this image:

    Gregoria Hair
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2
    DMs Sensual V6 - I

    I love the Domina skin texture. It is really outstanding. This render uses the default skin setup, which has 45% diffusion strength and 75% SSS strength with the SSS shading scale at 0.5. The SSS color is white with a texture that looks like the diffusion texture with some pink added. It looks like they did more than just mask the diffusion texture with some pink. They applied some extra pink in some body regions. The UVs are the Genesis 2 Base Female UVs.

    The Gregoria hair is a Genesis 1 hair. I just parented it to the head and manually adjusted it rather then use auto fit to avoid any distortion of the hair by auto fit.

    I used the High Right 3pt with Rim (HQ) light set for this image.

    portrait_test05.jpg
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  • tinneybryantinneybryan Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Love this one...Once again its the hair....works well with the outfit.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Love this one...Once again its the hair....works well with the outfit.

    I tried a lot of different hairs on her before deciding on Gregoria Hair as the one I liked best.

    Here is another full length render that shows the boots as well.

    portrait_test09.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited March 2014

    Needs a little tweaking, but here is portrait of Domina. This took 2 hours to render with all the hair, so will probably wait till tonight to re-render her.

    portrait_test11.jpg
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    Post edited by mark128 on
  • tinneybryantinneybryan Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    mark128 said:
    Needs a little tweaking, but here is portrait of Domina. This took 2 hours to render with all the hair, so will probably wait till tonight to re-render her.

    Cant wait to see it.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited March 2014

    Today I tried out Genesis Generation X2 with the GenX2 AddOn for Genesis 2. I used Blackhearted's Girl Next door character available at Rendosity.

    The transformation to Genesis 2 Female went smoothly, with no issues. I had GenX and had used it a number of times, so I was familiar with how to use the previous version. In fact I had already created a Genesis 1 version of the Girl Next Door.

    The skin texture is the Girl Next Door skin set to use the AoA SSS shader. I had done this some time ago.

    This render is my feeble attempt at ripping off the main Girl Next Door promo image. Also used in this image:

    Victoria 5 Elite Ponytail Hair
    Black Light for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    The stockings and shoes are from Boudoir for Victoria 6
    Backdrop is from InaneGlory's Photo Studio - Point and Shoot (this is the older set, not the one just released).
    Advanced Spotlight
    Advanced Ambient Light
    The sword is apparently from the Genesis Starter Essentials.

    Materials could still use a little tweaking on the specular, but GenX2 seems to be working fine.

    Updated image with a little different lighting. More ambient light on the Girl Next Door, less ambient light on the backdrop.

    G2_test02.jpg
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    Post edited by mark128 on
  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    mark128 said:
    Needs a little tweaking, but here is portrait of Domina. This took 2 hours to render with all the hair, so will probably wait till tonight to re-render her.

    Cant wait to see it.

    Ok, here she is. Just a few little tweaks to the hair and eyes.

    portrait_test12.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited March 2014

    Fiddle around some more with the Girl Next Door render. Increased the ambient on her, so you can see the skin better. Wasn't real happy with the outfit, so switched to the Hongyu's Bikini for V6. Also added 3 specular only advanced spot lights that only illuminate the sword blade.

    The lighting looks better, but I'm still not happy with the outfit.

    G2_test05.jpg
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    Post edited by mark128 on
  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Here is what I've been working on for the last few days. I used:

    Stephanie 6 HD
    V4 Elite Texture: Ariana
    Paxton Hair
    Short Sleeve Mini Dress for Genesis 2 Female
    Fun Textures for Short Sleeve Mini Dress
    Jewelry Box-Earrings
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2
    DMs Sensual V6 - II

    I picked up both the Ariana texture and the Paxton hair with my MM first week coupon.

    I used S6 because Ariana is suppose to be a smaller woman. Ariana is just a skin texture for V4, but the apply MAT seems to change the V4 scale to around 90%. Ariana skin uses the human surface shader and includes SSS, but changed the skin over to use the AoA SSS shader. My final settings use a diffuse color of 235,250,255 and strength 70%. The SSS strength is 50% with color white and the skin B absorb/scatter coefficients.

    I tried several different hairs before deciding on the Paxton hair. It was not just because it was new. I liked the way it looked on her better than the other hairs.

    First time I've used the Jewelry Box-Earrings. The material setting for this are a little different. The earrings have three zones, bead, stones and metal. There are separate presets for the kind of beads, stones and metal, but you have to select the correct zone in the surface tab. You can apply the stone preset to all three zones. It looks kind of funny. I guess it allows you to make the beads metal.

    I used the 3pt rim right light setup, but I made some adjustment for this pose. I brought the key light, which is camera right, around a little more forward to give me something approaching Rembrandt lighting (when the shadow of the nose touches the shadow on the cheek giving an illuminated triangle under the eye). I moved the rim light back further so it was close to opposite the key light and lowered it a bit to get more light under the chin.

    I reduce the specular on both the hair and the dress, because at gamma 2.2 with these lights it was way too strong.

    Rendered using 3Delight at gamma 2.2 with gamma correction. No post work, other than my signature.

    Speak_Low.jpg
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  • starionwolfstarionwolf Posts: 2,726
    edited December 1969

    I like the Paxton hair. Thanks for posting the render. sorry for the short post but I need to sleep. lol

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    I've been not feeling well lately. Have some health problems. Hopefully they will work out in the next few days.

    Anyway, to create this I used:

    Stephanie 6 HD
    Bell for A4 and V4
    Gia Hair
    Bellissima for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    Belle Textures for Bellissima
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2
    Advanced Ambient Light
    Subsurface Shader Base

    The Bell skin texture was setup using the AoA SSS shader. The setup has Diffuse Color at 235,250,255 and Diffuse Strength at 70%.
    The Subsurface Color is 255,255,255, Subsurface Strength is 50% and Shading Scale is 0.3.

    I had to reduce the spectacular on the Gai hair a bit and reduce the Velvet strength on the blouse a lot.

    Not completely happy with these results, but getting there.

    test14.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited March 2014

    Gave Shabby-Bunny a try today. Used the following:

    Sabby-Bunny for Genesis 2 Female(s)
    Taylor Dress
    SAV Alpha Hair from Renderosity
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2
    Advanced Ambient Light

    Bunny renders beautifully at gamma 1.0 as the attached renders show. At gamma 2.2 I had some problem with her skin have a bluish tonne to it. I have noticed this with skins that use AoA SSS shader that I setup myself. The optimum settings for gamma 1.0 don't work very well at gamma 2.2, but I have not seen a PA setup skin that was this bluish before.

    She definitely looks great at gamma 1.0, and I'm sure I could adjust the skin to work at gamma 2.2 with a little work.

    The Advanced Ambient light was only used to light the back drop.

    scene02_11_gamma_1.jpg
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    scene01_10_gamma_1.jpg
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    Post edited by mark128 on
  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Charlie
    Capucine Hair
    Little Black Dress for Genesis 2 Female
    Little Black Dress - Not So Black Add-on
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2

    Got Charlie and Capucine Hair today and decided to try them out.

    Charlie seems to render great at both gamma 1.0 and gamma 2.2. This image is rendered at gamma 2.2. Diffusion strength is 70% and SSS strength is 50%. Skin does not seem overly bright. I think she looks great.

    I was a little disappointed with the Capucine hair. Seems to have specular highlights painted on the diffusion texture and no specular in the shader. Has a lot of morphs, but I had trouble find ones to do what I wanted in posing situations. Finally used this simple pose where didn't need any morphs.

    scene01_02_3pt_wide_left.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Charlie
    Capucine Hair
    XBikini
    Hot Mess Outfit
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2

    Here is another one of Charlie, this time wearing the outfits that were packaged in the bundle with her. This is the Hot Mess Outfit over the XBikini.

    scene02_02_3pt_wide_left.jpg
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  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    Still feeling under the weather, but here is a quick render of LY Gwenifer. Used the following:

    LY Gwenifer
    Chic Hair for Genesis and Genesis 2 Female
    Colors for Chic Hair
    Short Sleeve Mini Dress for Genesis 2 Female
    Fun Textures for Short Sleeve Mini Dress
    Photo Studio - Point and Shoot 2

    The Gwenifer skin uses the AoA SSS shader. Diffusion strength is 65% with color 220,240,255. SSS strength is 80% with SSS color 220,204,194. With the combined diffusion and SSS strength like this, I expected the character to glow in the dark, but she definitely does not. The skin does not look too bright in the preview window, and it does not render too bright at either gamma 1.0 or gamma 2.2. Maybe it is the colors in the diffusion and SSS that keep the total light down. Not sure. Shading scale is 0.5 and the group ID is set to 6278! Great that PAs are not using group id 1, which screws up things as soon as you get multiple character in the scene. Congratulation Lyoness for taking that step.

    I did not realize how "fun" this dress texture was until I rendered it, but I thought the furry dress fits in with the whole look.

    Rendered at gamma 2.2.

    LYGwenifer_scene01_02.jpg
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  • LyonessLyoness Posts: 275
    edited December 1969

    thank you for the nice review.
    I highly recommend Khory's Tutorial: Introduction to Character Surface where it describes WHY we need to use different group ID's. It's one of those little things that really makes a difference.

  • mark128mark128 Posts: 907
    edited December 1969

    lyoness_1 said:
    thank you for the nice review.
    I highly recommend Khory's Tutorial: Introduction to Character Surface where it describes WHY we need to use different group ID's. It's one of those little things that really makes a difference.

    I picked it up as soon as I saw it, although I have not had time to read it yet. Hope to get to it this weekend. I have been setting up a lot of old skin textures to use AoA SSS shader.

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