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Getting more realistic renders
Posted: 13 September 2012 10:31 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I want to improve my renders above the basic 3Delight - mainly to get “realistic” renders.
I am using DAZ Studio 4 Pro on a Mac (but I might upgrade to 4.5 soon if it is worth it).

As far as I can tell there are 2 options:

1. The “Reality” plugin available here that then uses LuxRender.
Anyone recommend this method? I looked at a vid showing some of the settings but I didn’t see anything about realistic lighting or HDR.

2. An HDRI plugin for DAZ Studio called “UberEnvironment” also available here. Or is it a set of plugins?
I am not sure about any of this: for instance, the “Uber” things seems to be a series of shaders for different things: Environment, skin etc. but I can’t figure out if they work in DS4 . Similarly,

I went to Download SkyMapGen but then saw that it said “DS 2 and 3” so I assume that it won’t work with DS4. But hang on, it only generates an HDRI Skymap, which DS then needs to read, right? Where does it do that? Is that what the Uber Environment plugin does?
I am confused. How can I improve my render quality, preferably without complicating the whole process too much or re- materialing everything in my DAZ Studio files?
I have searched the forums but search does not seem to work well for me.
Thanks for your suggestions folks.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Okay, an update: I got the UberEnvironment plugin and a set of Luminance HDRI’s and tried a render.
I searched the forums and found thread where someone explored some settings for UE in DAZ 3 I think but I have no settings like what he has adjusted: what I DO get is an item in the scene mamngeer that has some settings, but there is nothing in the Render Settings tab or any new tab. I will assume that is normal. So here is my test pic:
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv309/profnull/Sylvie30603Norm.png
and here it is rendered with Uber Env:
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv309/profnull/Sylvie30603Norm.png
It has a sort of marbled texture all over it and I’m stumped as to why.
I did try the product page but it appears he creator’s wiki is gone and i have not found any helpful info here yet.
Anyone ?

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Posted: 14 September 2012 03:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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zug22 - 14 September 2012 03:19 AM

Okay, an update: I got the UberEnvironment plugin and a set of Luminance HDRI’s and tried a render.
I searched the forums and found thread where someone explored some settings for UE in DAZ 3 I think but I have no settings like what he has adjusted: what I DO get is an item in the scene mamngeer that has some settings, but there is nothing in the Render Settings tab or any new tab. I will assume that is normal. So here is my test pic:
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv309/profnull/Sylvie30603Norm.png
and here it is rendered with Uber Env:
http://i694.photobucket.com/albums/vv309/profnull/Sylvie30603Norm.png
It has a sort of marbled texture all over it and I’m stumped as to why.
I did try the product page but it appears he creator’s wiki is gone and i have not found any helpful info here yet.
Anyone ?

There is a thread somewhere by Adam that helps with Uberenvironment. The marbling is caused by one of the settings iirc.

I’ll try and find the thread for you…


found it,  hope it helps…
http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/7679/
and this

http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/5320/

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Posted: 14 September 2012 03:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Its a bit worrying that you say you ‘got a plugin’.
Uberenvironment is built into DS4 (and 4.5).

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Posted: 14 September 2012 07:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Actually uberenvironment and ubersurface have been a part of D|S since 3 came out.  If you want a recommendation on an excellent set of lights for a reasonable price take a look at Lantino’s Lights all of which include uberenvironment as a part of them.  They are great on their own or as a jumping off place to start tweaking/adjusting for your own needs.

The biggest flaw in uberenvironment is in the default settings which even at 4x high setting doesn’t look great without adjustment.  Select the uberenvironment light and look for a setting called “occlusion samples” and set this to at least 128.  This will clear up the mottling effect you see with the default settings.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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UberEnvironment is included in DAZ Studio3 and 4 so no purchase necessary,  though there are some great light sets out there to buy.  Lantios Lights are good. 

But if you are going for realism ,  Reality/LUXRender can definitely deliver realistic results.  And if you know real world photography principles,  you can transfer those in 3D using Reality.

Same model, same hair,  different render options.  The Reality render uses less lights than the others.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Daz 4.5 can only use Reality 2.2, and I highly recommend it if your going for realism and you want to keep your setup simple. PretA3D is a mac developer so I don’t foresee Mac versions getting sidelined by anything Windows can do. Just know that 3Delight and LuxRender approach rendering your scene very differently.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 01:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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One of the things needed is a very good texture set…besides the other things listed.

Here’s a render (post to lighten it…I didn’t ‘test’ the lights before rendering and didn’t want to rerender it), of Pheonix1966’s Thomas on M4 in DS4.5 with the HSS shader and UE (softbox, 4x quality level)...no ‘tweaking’ or anything…load, pose and render.  Shading rate is set to 0.20 in the Render Settings.

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Posted: 14 September 2012 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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And here’s one in LuxRender (M4 DS3A LuxrenderDS exporter)

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Posted: 14 September 2012 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Regardless of the route you choose, keep in mind that each are only tools and you will need to learn the ins and out of what you choose.  There is no easy route.

With that in mind, first I will state that I have two preferences for rendering.  First one is pwSurface2 for use on all my surfaces.  Combined with standard lighting in DS one can achive a really good apearence.  Not hyper realism but still good. 

The second preference is LuxRender via Reality (Reality is the plugin or bridge, not the render engine).  Through it you can achive very realistic renders.  I have an image rendering atm in Lux that I will try to show here once its done.  In my own opinion, it is the best I have done so far to date using Reality and Lux.  The way LR works is that light is treated that same as in real life.  In order to fake lighting in Poser or DS you need a lot more lights and you need to know what your doing with them all the more.  In Lux, not so much but there is still a leaning curve there.  Whatever you know about lighting in Poser or DS you can throw out the window when you render in Lux.  Because of how light is treated in Lux. one thing to keep in mind when rendering in Lux is that painted on features or details will not work as well as they do in Poser or DS.

If you want to take a look at my own work using both pwSurface2 and LuxRender (Reality plugin), check out my DeviantART link in my sig below.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 09:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Why pwSurface2 over Ubersurface2 btw?

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Posted: 15 September 2012 11:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Gedd - 15 September 2012 09:01 AM

Why pwSurface2 over Ubersurface2 btw?


With pwSurface2 you can control AO at the surface level.  I find this to be a far greater way to control AO then leaving it to the lights to do.  With pwS2 I can also adjust overall quality of the shader per surface allowing me to make sure hair is less of a resource hog on the final render even with higher render settings in the program.  With pwS2 on the surfaces, I dont have to depend on any special lights to accomplish the same effect which means I can go with standard DS lights and render a lot faster (based on my own personal testing)

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Posted: 15 September 2012 11:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Ty Mattymanx,

That was what I was ‘almost’ remembering… The per surface AO control and quality per surface. As you say, I had come to the conclusion researching them that pwSurface seemed more flexible but I wasn’t at the point I could test them effectively at that time. I wonder if there are occasions where US2 is better then pwSurface? Does the layered surface make a difference for instance?

I like the idea of Reality and Oxygen renderers but am wondering if there aren’t times where the control of using 3DLight might not be useful.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 12:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Gedd - 15 September 2012 11:38 AM

Ty Mattymanx,

That was what I was ‘almost’ remembering… The per surface AO control and quality per surface. As you say, I had come to the conclusion researching them that pwSurface seemed more flexible but I wasn’t at the point I could test them effectively at that time. I wonder if there are occasions where US2 is better then pwSurface? Does the layered surface make a difference for instance?

I like the idea of Reality and Oxygen renderers but am wondering if there aren’t times where the control of using 3DLight might not be useful.


Both options for rendering have their place.  Rendering in DS is faster so if you need to render sooner then later and hyper realism is not a key issue, then DS it is.  If time is not an issue and hyper realism is called for, Lux is the better option.  But it can also depend on ones own desires or tastes.  Looking at my own work in DS with pwS2, I would say it has a slight comic book feel to it whereas none of my Lux images do.  Lux is more demanding of your system.  My current scene is using over 3GBs RAM for a single A3 character, short hair and a bikini top.  But there is subdivision on all surfaces of the model and hair (minus the mouth and teeth) so it looks more smoothed out and real.  The biggest scene I have ever rendered in DS had 22 people + clothing, 5 cars and 2 stonemason sets in it and render in about 30 hours.  But it only took about 5GB of ram at the most.  With my current scene in Lux, by the time it reaches 3000 samples, it will be over 60 hours of rendering.  One of the last scnes I did in Lux reached 3000 samples in 6 hours but it was an outdoor scene with the sun overhead and no reflective surfaces.  This newest one is indoors with one mesh light and glossy surfaces.  Big difference but it is so worth it for the quality.  Forgot to add, one advantage Lux does have over DS for rendeing is that you can see what your seen is like in a matter of minutes or sooner so you’re not wasting time sitting there waiting for a test render to finish in order to see all the details.


Since i dont use Ubersurface2, I could not tell a thing about the layered surfaces.  Didn’t even know it was in there.

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Posted: 15 September 2012 12:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks Matty smile

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Posted: 15 September 2012 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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You’re welcome! :D

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