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D|S 4 Pro Lights - Befuddled ...
Posted: 04 August 2012 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]
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So many questions ... I’ve got D|S 4 Pro (64-bit) installed and totally aside from the interface issues, the lights have me thoroughly confused and frustrated.

Shadows: how can shadows be reduced without reducing the light intensity or softening them? I don’t see any way to control whether I have a solid black shadow or just a percentage - I don’t want my shadows to look like a flashbulb went off, at the same time I don’t want to underlight my subject.

Ambient Occlusion: Possible at all? Even a Google search only turns up UberEnvironment posts and articles - is this something that wasn’t even included in the software?

Addl. parameters: what are “Display persistance,” “Ray Length” and “Ray Opacity, ” “Edges” and “Edge Opacity?” I get the feeling these latter are something relating to atmosphere?

What are the “Diffuse” and “Specular” choices under “Illumination?”

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Up front, I’ll say that I’m not especially happy to be using D|S, but the Genesis figures kind of force my hand (which is kind of like selling a great car but it only runs on company-built roads!); the interface is, for me, a total clusterf*** compared to Poser Pro (which has its own flaws and faults, admittedly), which is making the learning process more frustrating than it’s worth, at times - I’m sick and tired of views changing just because I want to adjust a material, or having to tunnel down through the figure just so I can use expression controls, rather than being able to select the head, which gives me only morph controls. But even after struggling through all of that and ending up with a pose and a camera view, I’m not having any render results that resemble my preview and no good idea of how I can adjust my lights or even if the controls exist somewhere in the knots of menu options. I’ve looked at several tutorials, but haven’t found any that address my questions, hence this post. I see some nice renders being done with D|S, but the responses I usually get are, “Oh, I did that in D|S 3 ... “

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Posted: 04 August 2012 03:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You can customize the UI for DS4.  Check out Richards links here for UI customization - http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/28/


The Uber enviroment I think is included in DS3 and DS4.  Should be a part of the default DS content.  I dont recall as I dont use it.  Not my cup of tea.

For the AO effect I rely on pwSurface2 and standard DS lighting.

For lighting in DS in general, I still highly recommend this tutorial by Maclean - http://digilander.libero.it/maclean/DStutorial.htm - It was made with DS1 but its all still relevant.  For the cameras covered there, DS4 cameras have a built in Depth of Field assistant that lets you see your area that will be in focus but that is not covered in Mac’s tut since it predates that feature.

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Posted: 04 August 2012 05:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ptrope - 04 August 2012 12:37 AM

Shadows: how can shadows be reduced without reducing the light intensity or softening them? I don’t see any way to control whether I have a solid black shadow or just a percentage - I don’t want my shadows to look like a flashbulb went off, at the same time I don’t want to underlight my subject.


What I usually do is set up a light to provide the level of illumination I want in the shadows, with Shadow type set to None, then create a new light of the same type and expand the dialogue to show more options, from which I select Copy selected light. Adjust the intensity of the new light, set Shadow type to be one of the active options, parent one light to the other for easier adjusting. The uber lights (point and spot) do allow the adjustment of shadow intensity but they are paid-for add-ons.

Addl. parameters: what are “Display persistance,” “Ray Length” and “Ray Opacity, ” “Edges” and “Edge Opacity?” I get the feeling these latter are something relating to atmosphere?


These are the properties of the guides emanating from the light avatar - so you can make them more visible as required.

What are the “Diffuse” and “Specular” choices under “Illumination?”


These control how the light affects surfaces - Diffuse gives light, but no specular highlights, while specular doesn’t light the surfaces it falls on at all but does give specular highlights. The former can be useful for a fill light - I often use a low intensity light set to Diffuse only parented to the camera - while the latter can be used to add interest to shiny objects without over-lighting the scene (and can be very useful with environment lights, which tend not to give good specularity).

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Posted: 04 August 2012 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks Richard. These are great tips.

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Posted: 04 August 2012 09:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks, Richard; those defintiely help.

Sure seems like a complicated way to handle shadows! At least it does render quickly - I get the feeling that a lot of that is needed to see how the lights actually look in the scene.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Ptrope,

I know the thread was posted a while back but I stumbled upon it and thought I could add that DS does have several options for AO. The easiest is to use the UberEnvironment2 light. It is included with DS3 and 4 (advanced or higher I believe). You can find it in the content library under Studio\My Library\Light Presets\omnifreaker\UberEnvironment2 by default.

The !Uberenvironment2 Base will give you AO. It has other features and presets like IBL and bounce lighting but I tend to just use the base light and AO for most things.

By default the quality is set very low. I recommend changing the shading rate, from the default 32, to 1. This will give much cleaner looking results but will still be grainy. To remove the grain you can increase the Occlusion Samples in the light settings. This increases render time so I would keep it low while setting things up and increase it only at final render time. 32 samples still has some grain but is often acceptable for most of my renders. It really depends on the scene though and you might need a higher sample rate.

Oh and I should mention… UberEnvironment2 loads with a sky dome parented to it. That is there for reference if you are doing HDRI lighting. If your just doing AO you can hide or remove it from the scene. With or without the dome, the lighting should be the same.

As others have mentioned, there are other ways to get the similar effect but I thought I should point Uberenvironment2 since you specifically asked about AO.

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Posted: 27 August 2012 07:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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PTROPE,

I too am confused about lighting, environmental lighting, mood lighting, ect…. Sure wish they had a forum just for lighting.rolleyes

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