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what is considered the absolute best program for the type of work done in poser and daz?
Posted: 24 June 2014 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]
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When I mean best I mean best in terms of the realness and sharp smooth graphics of your renders with your figure and scenes. What would be considered the ‘Rolls Royce’ or absolute BEST program to do the types of renders we do on Daz only 1000 times better.

While Daz is good I have seen some pretty incredible works with other programs but have been unable to find out what ones were used for them but they were so good to the point of thinking they were actually real. Like I said I know Daz is good but I don’t think its capable of being that good.

I know also the definition and sharpness of the renders you do are subject to the capabilities of your PC. So lets assume you have a decent/good PC which could create some really impressive works…. what would be the best program?

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Posted: 24 June 2014 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I’m assuming you’re wanting a physically based renderer. Look into something like Octane.

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Posted: 24 June 2014 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The ‘best’ program…? Probably 3D Studio Max because it’s compatible with countless different rendering solutions. It has multiple plugins for animation, particles and soft-body physics. It’s a modeler as well as a manipulator, has a swiss-army knife’s worth of features and has been used for countless feature movies, both fully animated cartoons and live action CG.

Of course, you also pay a lot more for it, and have a lot more to learn and master.

A tool is only ever as good as the craftsman. Give a carpenter a chisel and you’ll get your Pinocchio, give those same tools to someone like me and you end up with a misshapen hunk of wood covered in splinters. The same is very true for Poser and Daz Studio. Both are powerful pieces of software but both have very different ways to achieve their results. Some artists favour one, some favour the other.

All the power in the universe is pointless if you don’t know how to use it. Daz and Poser make it more accessible for the end user.

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Posted: 24 June 2014 04:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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HeraldOfFire - 24 June 2014 04:33 PM

A tool is only ever as good as the craftsman.

Agreed. Max is great for modeling and rendering, but VERY steep learning curve because it has a zillion features.  If you wanted to keep scene setup in DS or Poser, though, the Poser/DS-to-Max workflow isn’t great.  I’m blessed to have Max for free because I mentor a robotics team, and Autodesk provides free software for the students and mentors.  Having said that,  The plugins which import scenes from DS or Poser are buggy and don’t work with complex scenes very well.

Octane is the best-looking render engine, IMO, that works with Poser/DS as a plugin.  It’s also very expensive, unless you are a student and can get the single, free student license for the render engine.  You still have to pay for the plugin, though.  Luxrender (via Reality or Luxus) is a close second, and far more affordable.  The DS-to-Carrara workflow isn’t too bad, and Carrara has some modeling and other features which make it very versatile.  It is comparable to the Poser-to-Vue workflow, with similar results.  Having said ALL of that, I still prefer Poser’s native Firefly because it can tackle complex scenes with IDL and SSS very quickly, and with very high-quality results.  With the advent of AoA’s SSS and advanced lights, DS with 3Delight is also on-par with Poser’s IDL.  It takes a more subtle mastery of the software to achieve photorealism with DS or Poser, but it’s completely doable. 

I have pretty much every software mentioned above, plus Maya (thank you, Autodesk!)  Since I’m not a professional and the finer points of 3DS Max and Maya escape me, I’ve found it better to master the software I’m comfortable with than to fumble with tools which may indeed have more functionality, but will only frustrate me because I feel like I’m trying to write an essay with my toes upside-down in a dark room.

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Posted: 24 June 2014 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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KaribousBoutique - 24 June 2014 04:54 PM
HeraldOfFire - 24 June 2014 04:33 PM

A tool is only ever as good as the craftsman.

Agreed. Max is great for modeling and rendering, but VERY steep learning curve because it has a zillion features.  If you wanted to keep scene setup in DS or Poser, though, the Poser/DS-to-Max workflow isn’t great.  I’m blessed to have Max for free because I mentor a robotics team, and Autodesk provides free software for the students and mentors.  Having said that,  The plugins which import scenes from DS or Poser are buggy and don’t work with complex scenes very well.

Octane is the best-looking render engine, IMO, that works with Poser/DS as a plugin.  It’s also very expensive, unless you are a student and can get the single, free student license for the render engine.  You still have to pay for the plugin, though.  Luxrender (via Reality or Luxus) is a close second, and far more affordable.  The DS-to-Carrara workflow isn’t too bad, and Carrara has some modeling and other features which make it very versatile.  It is comparable to the Poser-to-Vue workflow, with similar results.  Having said ALL of that, I still prefer Poser’s native Firefly because it can tackle complex scenes with IDL and SSS very quickly, and with very high-quality results.  With the advent of AoA’s SSS and advanced lights, DS with 3Delight is also on-par with Poser’s IDL.  It takes a more subtle mastery of the software to achieve photorealism with DS or Poser, but it’s completely doable. 

I have pretty much every software mentioned above, plus Maya (thank you, Autodesk!)  Since I’m not a professional and the finer points of 3DS Max and Maya escape me, I’ve found it better to master the software I’m comfortable with than to fumble with tools which may indeed have more functionality, but will only frustrate me because I feel like I’m trying to write an essay with my toes upside-down in a dark room.

+1 for both posts!!
It also depends on what you want to do, how much your willing to invest (both in terms of funds, and in training). Going from “simple” pin-ups to epic landscape or village type scenes will favor one solution over another. As will the materials/shaders used in the scene. Point us to some images showing what you would like to accomplish, and give more details about the types of renders you want to do (and how long your willing to wait). This info might help focus on solutions that could work well for you.

I’m a big fan of Octane. The workflow with it is so much faster than anything else I’ve used that making better renders is easier. But it isn’t cheap, requires a good Nvidia video card, and has some texture limitations (as well as your scene needs to fit into the RAM on your video card). So, it isn’t a solution for epic scenes, but is great for scenes with 1-3 figures (or more if you have a card with 4-6 Gb of ram).

I’m also a fan of Carrara, having used it since version 2. It renders faster than DS/3Delight, and in many ways the mats/shaders are much easier to use. But, most content isn’t designed for Carrara, so to get the most out of your renders, you need to edit the mats/shaders and be able to set up your own lighting (this is true for Octane or LuxRender also). Carrara also does landscapes, and you can use Daz content in it very much like you do in DS.

The lowest cost external solution to great renders is LuxRender via Reality or Luxus. They both do a great job of converting shaders to Lux, it really is a matter of which interface you prefer. But, using LuxRender typically means longer render times (with outstanding results).

The cheapest solution is to learn RSL, and dig into the nuts and bolts of 3Delight. You can get fantastic renders out of 3Delight, but it does take a bit of investment in learning how to use it, and in DS it is rather slow.

If your interested in seeing what the average person with a bit of effort can do with Carrara, DS, Poser, LuxRender, and Octane, take a look at my gallery over at rendo (link in my sig line below). Lux and Octane renders can be found in the DS, Carrara, and Poser categories (because they are plugins) as well as native application renders.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 04:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Thanks for all your awesome replies! I am thinking when I get some money I may get the Octane plug in. Looks impressive.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 06:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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with a ” decent/good PC” you may consider investing in a high end video card as well. Octane is great if money is no object but it does not give “better” results than LuxRender, it gives faster results provided you have sufficient hardware.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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And of course if you consider getting Octane then also check whether your video card will actually run it, as Octane needs a specific type of card

What are the hardware requirements for Octane Render?
Octane Render requires a CUDA enabled NVIDIA video card. An up to date list can be found here http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_learn_products.html

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Posted: 25 June 2014 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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the best?..

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Xdugef

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Posted: 25 June 2014 09:09 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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chohole - 25 June 2014 07:30 AM

And of course if you consider getting Octane then also check whether your video card will actually run it, as Octane needs a specific type of card

What are the hardware requirements for Octane Render?
Octane Render requires a CUDA enabled NVIDIA video card. An up to date list can be found here http://www.nvidia.com/object/cuda_learn_products.html

And, if you plan to use the DAZ plug in, have a lot of patience with the developer.

I don’t subscribe to the “it’s one guy working on it” so he (or she) deserves patience. In my mind, the minute you charge for something then it is a job. A certain level of professionalism (equated to the price of the item) should be expected.

Not trying to sling mud (or start the mud slinging). I made the investment, tried the plug in, was disappointed in the support, requested my money back.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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No matter what you use, you will have to experiment and compare your renders to real life subjects.

Wowie has recently shown that you can get really nice skin renders with DAZ Studio using the UberSurface2 Layered Shader and appropriate lighting. And it can be actually quicker than many think, especially with the new version of 3Delight in Studio, and Age of Armour’s lights can make it even faster. You just have to remember to experiment with the settings and dig for some good render advice here and over on the 3Delight forums. 3Delight is used in motion picture work by major studios, so it is good. Granted we don’t have easy access to all the features, but to have that really work you would have to be a coder (see some of the code the Softimage users put together for their version of 3Delight). But, there are more features available to access with more of the plugins by AoA, Ominfreaker, DimensionTheory and others than we used to have. There is a reason why you have to pay a ton more for the commercially available version of 3Delight than what DAZ has paid for, and you are getting for free at the moment, but it’s basically the same render engine, now only a few minor steps back. And the DAZ version is unlimited cores on a single PC!

If you are planning on using DAZ content, it’s wiser to spend your money on a much better PC and really learn and experiment with Studio. You’ll be amazed by what it can do and save some of your hair, sanity and cash in the process.If you have a better PC and you decide to move on to other software, you’ll be really glad you have the better PC.

EDIT: Adding: Something interesting to keep in mind, the sharper cameras are becoming with 4K, etc., many filmmakers are using software or special lens filters to soften the images so it looks more like film. So sharpness is something that’s not always sought after or wanted, especially if you don’t want the too crisp CG look or you are blending CG with film or video.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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KaribousBoutique - 24 June 2014 04:54 PM
HeraldOfFire - 24 June 2014 04:33 PM

A tool is only ever as good as the craftsman.

Agreed. Max is great for modeling and rendering, but VERY steep learning curve because it has a zillion features.  If you wanted to keep scene setup in DS or Poser, though, the Poser/DS-to-Max workflow isn’t great.  I’m blessed to have Max for free because I mentor a robotics team, and Autodesk provides free software for the students and mentors.  Having said that,  The plugins which import scenes from DS or Poser are buggy and don’t work with complex scenes very well.

Octane is the best-looking render engine, IMO, that works with Poser/DS as a plugin.  It’s also very expensive, unless you are a student and can get the single, free student license for the render engine.  You still have to pay for the plugin, though.  Luxrender (via Reality or Luxus) is a close second, and far more affordable.  The DS-to-Carrara workflow isn’t too bad, and Carrara has some modeling and other features which make it very versatile.  It is comparable to the Poser-to-Vue workflow, with similar results.  Having said ALL of that, I still prefer Poser’s native Firefly because it can tackle complex scenes with IDL and SSS very quickly, and with very high-quality results.  With the advent of AoA’s SSS and advanced lights, DS with 3Delight is also on-par with Poser’s IDL.  It takes a more subtle mastery of the software to achieve photorealism with DS or Poser, but it’s completely doable. 

I have pretty much every software mentioned above, plus Maya (thank you, Autodesk!)  Since I’m not a professional and the finer points of 3DS Max and Maya escape me, I’ve found it better to master the software I’m comfortable with than to fumble with tools which may indeed have more functionality, but will only frustrate me because I feel like I’m trying to write an essay with my toes upside-down in a dark room.

Interesting points you make about Reality/LUX compared to Octane. Both produce very stunning results.

However when you begin to compare costs of software and hardware required, it might be a bit more complicated or even a tie.
You need a good video card for Octane, and the better/more expensive, the better your results.
LUX runs on your CPU so if you have more processors/cores you get faster results, plus you have the horsepower to do more on your computer in general. A video card might be more restricted in its uses in general computing on your machine.

Plus I think it is only a matter of time until LUX is able to run on video cards as well.

Hope this helps out.
Just thinking out loud.
R

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Posted: 25 June 2014 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Kevin Sanderson - 25 June 2014 09:26 AM

....Wowie has recently shown that you can get really nice skin renders with DAZ Studio using the UberSurface2 Layered Shader and appropriate lighting. And it can be actually quicker than many think, especially with the new version of 3Delight in Studio, and Age of Armour’s lights can make it even faster. You just have to remember to experiment with the settings and dig for some good render advice here and over on the 3Delight forums. 3Delight is used in motion picture work by major studios, so it is good….

Excellent point, UE2 is overlooked in many cases as a fantastic production tool and it comes with DS4.5 advanced, Once you get comfortable with it (it’s not crazy hard, but it does take patience) AoA’s add ons are the perfect complement to it, the distance cameras have come in very handy for me on outdoor shots and 3Delight has some insane power under it’s hood and if Renderman goes free public in the next few weeks I’m sure we will be seeing exporters for that as well.

Kevin Sanderson - 25 June 2014 09:26 AM

.EDIT: Adding: Something interesting to keep in mind, the sharper cameras are becoming with 4K, etc., many filmmakers are using software or special lens filters to soften the images so it looks more like film. So sharpness is something that’s not always sought after or wanted, especially if you don’t want the too crisp CG look or you are blending CG with film or video.

Sit up close to the screen the next time you see the CGI blockbusters and you will see first hand how unconvincing those effects look when they skip that step.

Bendinggrass - 25 June 2014 09:28 AM

...
However when you begin to compare costs of software and hardware required, it might be a bit more complicated or even a tie.
You need a good video card for Octane, and the better/more expensive, the better your results.
LUX runs on your CPU so if you have more processors/cores you get faster results, plus you have the horsepower to do more on your computer in general. A video card might be more restricted in its uses in general computing on your machine.

Plus I think it is only a matter of time until LUX is able to run on video cards as well.
...

In some cases a higher end GPU wont work will with a smaller PSU so it’s not uncommon to need a power supply upgrade as well. If money was no object I would be really interested in Octane however turns out money is an object and I’m very happy with what I can do with Lux.

http://postimg.org/image/uujkc9fu1/
01h16m to render, no post work and it’s cropped.
This was done on a 4 year old dual CPU mac pro with 8 GB RAM.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 12:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Bendinggrass - 25 June 2014 09:28 AM

Interesting points you make about Reality/LUX compared to Octane. Both produce very stunning results.

However when you begin to compare costs of software and hardware required, it might be a bit more complicated or even a tie.
You need a good video card for Octane, and the better/more expensive, the better your results.
LUX runs on your CPU so if you have more processors/cores you get faster results, plus you have the horsepower to do more on your computer in general. A video card might be more restricted in its uses in general computing on your machine.

Plus I think it is only a matter of time until LUX is able to run on video cards as well.

Agreed.  They are both physically accurate render engines capable of stunning results.  It’s hard (in the hands of someone who know what they’re doing) to tell which engine has rendered which image.  I’m also tremendously pleased with the support that Reality has provided.  I’ve used it both in Poser and DS.  If I had more patience, I’d dig in and learn how to improve.

As for Octane, I tend to forget that I’m spoiled, lol.  I already have a fantastic PC with a really nice video card, so I’m lured by the prospect of GPU rendering.  I’ll be happy when LUX has this—I know it’s been under development.  Since I haven’t actually purchased the Octane plugin, you can tell I haven’t been convinced it’s worth the investment.

Kevin Sanderson - 25 June 2014 09:26 AM

EDIT: Adding: Something interesting to keep in mind, the sharper cameras are becoming with 4K, etc., many filmmakers are using software or special lens filters to soften the images so it looks more like film. So sharpness is something that’s not always sought after or wanted, especially if you don’t want the too crisp CG look or you are blending CG with film or video.

I have to agree with the principle of this—stunning realism and physically accurate renders aren’t always the best.  I frequently break laws of physics when I set lighting in my scenes, lol.  To be honest, I am more of a fantasy artist than a photorealistic one.  Poser’s IDL can produce enough realism to satisfy me almost 100% of the time, if that’s my goal.  And Firefly is waaaaaaaaaaaaay faster than anything else.  I’ve done benchmark renders across multiple programs, and (at least on my machine), render times were up to twice as fast in Firefly than anything else.  Having said that, I did those benchmarks before the advent of AoA’s amazing lights, so I’d be willing to bet the playing field has been significantly changed.  The speed improvements aren’t even my favorite thing about AoA’s lights—it’s the CONTROL.  In Vue, you can select which surfaces are illuminated and which aren’t.  With the AoA advanced lights, I have that same control in DS.  (And we don’t have that in Poser yet!)

Asking which 3D program is best is kinda like asking me to pick which of my children I love most, lol.  Carrarra has modeling, dynamics, and environment features.  Vue has physically accurate lighting with astonishing ecosystem features.  DS has AoAs advanced lighting and the incredible native versatility of the Genesis figures.  Poser has (useful/universal) dynamic cloth simulations, IDL and speed.  3DS Max, to me, feels like a famous athlete—looks SO COOL, capable of SO MUCH, but completely beyond my ability to replicate.  Lol.  (I did once create a 12-second animation in Max of a teapot knocking over a pyramid of boxes…)

And I like being able to have these discussions without people ranting with religious fervor about why X is better than Y.  grin

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Posted: 25 June 2014 02:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’m amazed nobody has said Lightwave! Their pedigree is impressive.

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Posted: 25 June 2014 04:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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There’s a lot of Lux vs Octane comparisons going on. It’s worth mentioning that Octane has limitations which Lux does not have. The main one being that you can only use a far smaller number of textures, and often in a limited resolution. The reason is because it needs to fit it all into graphics memory rather than RAM.

Luxrender doesn’t have this restriction since it uses your RAM and thus can have up to 32Gb of RAM and beyond for textures and models giving you scope for more complex or detailed scenes. It’s also worth noting that Luxrender CAN in fact use your GPU via hybrid rendering or SmallLux GPU. The latter is lightning fast, much like octane, but also limited in features. The former is slightly faster than pure CPU rendering, but still gets the benefit of having your system RAM to play with.

Both provide stunning results, but it’s important to remember they’re very different beasts in how they go about that.

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