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Quick question,.... I hope. :)
Posted: 21 August 2012 05:39 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Setting up scenes up to this point, I’m getting an issue that seems to be pretty common to each character I set up , so I’m assuming it’s an easy fix I just haven’t quite figured out yet. Looking for a suggestion. smile
When I set up a character in a scene, and this is true to pretty much any character I set up. With no no lights added, the mouth interior and nostrils of the character have a ‘glowing’ quality to them, as in there is light from inside the characters head. Once I start adding lights to the scene, this calms down a bit, but doesn’t go away completely. Seems like its likely a ‘shadow’ setting on my lighting. But dont know which one is the magic fix. What am I missing? smile
Thanks!

- Sol

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Posted: 21 August 2012 05:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Also, to follow up. I’m not getting all the shadows I should getting, on a given character. As in, overhead sun will cast a shadow to the underside of various body parts (chin, breast, underarms, etc.). And the body does all have shadow gradients. But for instance, if an arm is placed over a leg, the arm doesn’t cast a shadow on that leg as it should. I simply painted the extra shadowing in my post work in Photoshop and Painter on my first piece. But again, seems like its got to be one of those weirdly named 3D world terminologies that cover this control issue (ray-traced-whatever, etc.). And I have yet to figure it out. smile

Thanks.

- Sol

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Posted: 21 August 2012 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The nose lights, known problem. I believe some people actually insert small lights with a negative value added to them up inside the nostrils, but I haven’t tried that so can’t confirm it. The part about the shadows, you have to turn shadow mapping on in one or more lights. Select your main light, then go to the parameters tab | light section. You should see a controller for shadows. Turn that on to ray-traced or shadow mapped. If you turn shadows on on multiple lights, make sure you adjust the strength so they don’t compete unnaturally.

You might find these tutorials at DAZ’s youtube site helpful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V8vvOzsqEA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW1JrQ0BNV0

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Posted: 21 August 2012 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Gedd - 21 August 2012 06:10 AM

The nose lights, known problem. I believe some people actually insert small lights with a negative value added to them up inside the nostrils, but I haven’t tried that so can’t confirm it. The part about the shadows, you have to turn shadow mapping on in one or more lights. Select your main light, then go to the parameters tab | light section. You should see a controller for shadows. Turn that on to ray-traced or shadow mapped. If you turn shadows on on multiple lights, make sure you adjust the strength so they don’t compete unnaturally.

You might find these tutorials at DAZ’s youtube site helpful:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_V8vvOzsqEA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DW1JrQ0BNV0

Cool, thanks Gedd.
I’ll go check out those video suggestions.
Do you have in personal tips on starting points for the shadow adjustments, as to acheive a more “normal” range as you mention? Seems like many of these setting can get over the top and/or add serious render times, unneccesarrily. Any starter thoughts are appreciated.
Thanks!
- Sol

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Posted: 21 August 2012 06:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I tend to put Shadows on one main light, adjusted to what looks good. I might add some shadow to a second light in the 10-20% range but keep it low. Rarely do I add shadows to more than 2 lights personally. It really depends on the image. In scenes with a lot of visible spot lights such as candles as a focal point, one might want to add shadows to them but that will increase render time as you’ve said so do it when there is a reason. Point is, use forethought as to where, why, and how much to add shadows.

But, watch the videos wink

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Gedd - 21 August 2012 06:37 AM

I tend to put Shadows on one main light, adjusted to what looks good. I might add some shadow to a second light in the 10-20% range but keep it low. Rarely do I add shadows to more than 2 lights personally. It really depends on the image. In scenes with a lot of visible spot lights such as candles as a focal point, one might want to add shadows to them but that will increase render time as you’ve said so do it when there is a reason. Point is, use forethought as to where, why, and how much to add shadows.

But, watch the videos wink

Hey Gedd, thanks for the feedback.
Just watched the videos. Perfect. Just what I needed. The second one answered most of my questions. I think I actually saw that video when I first picked up DAZ Studio, a little while back. But it was All completely over my head at that point. Sarto ng to find my way around a lot more now, so it made complete since.
Another question, Eric mentions using the ‘raytraced’ and covers the shadow softening with it. What is the application of the other one, Deep shadow map? Is one better suited for most applications than the other? Also, he covered the shadow softening, but not the ‘shadow bias’. What does affect does it have? Is that the brightness or darkness of the shadow?

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Shadow Bias adjusts how much the shadow from one light is dominant vs another when you have multiple lights set up with shadows. It is how you actually get the balance of strength between lights. So, bias might be .8 on the main light and .2 on the fill for instance. Since it is a relative measure (between all lights with shadows,) settings of 8 and 2 are the same as .8 and .2. Shadow Softness adjusts the hardness or softness of the edge of the shadow. Ray-traced will give more realistic results but will take longer to render.

Note, there is no way to directly decrease the shadow strength overall. To do this, there is a workaround. Create two lights at the same location, one with shadows, one without. Balance the intensity of the light strength between the lights to get the shadow strength to the desired amount.

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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A good way to practice lighting is to simply create a plane primitive, scale it up with default grey character loaded. place lights and adjust, observe the results and adjust. Keep doing this until you have a good idea of what the various settings do. As an advanced version of this, dial some muscularity on the character and place some lights for specular only at different locations etc… Anytime someone suggests a new lighting technique, dig out this setup and try it out. Greyscale is good for simplifying distracting things when trying to notice details such as lighting and shadow, bump and shadow maps, etc…

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Gedd - 21 August 2012 07:27 AM

A good way to practice lighting is to simply create a plane primitive, scale it up with default grey character loaded. place lights and adjust, observe the results and adjust. Keep doing this until you have a good idea of what the various settings do. As an advanced version of this, dial some muscularity on the character and place some lights for specular only at different locations etc… Anytime someone suggests a new lighting technique, dig out this setup and try it out. Greyscale is good for simplifying distracting things when trying to notice details such as lighting and shadow, bump and shadow maps, etc…

Awesome. Really appreciate your help and feedback, Gedd.
I’m already noodling around with your suggestions as well as my take-aways from the videos, and seeing very positive results.
Have a great day, man!

-Sol

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Posted: 21 August 2012 07:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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You too.

I’ll give you one parting tip. If you are having problems with a particular scene’s lighting, consider saving a version of it with the textures removed. Light and how it interacts with the textures is important, especially when you have things like SSS with the textures. However, the overall light/shadow/specular/bump.. features can be hard to hone in on in all of that visual noise. By adjusting that in a greyscale version of your image you simplify getting those features the way you want. Then do final adjustments and color temperature with your normal scene (textures on.)

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Posted: 21 August 2012 08:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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On Shadow Bias my information was incorrect it appears. Here is a link where it is explained:

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/661/#7434

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Posted: 21 August 2012 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Gedd - 21 August 2012 08:39 AM

On Shadow Bias my information was incorrect it appears. Here is a link where it is explained:

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/661/#7434

Thanks for the follow-ups. Much appreciated! smile

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