Rendering in Reality is a whole different ballgame, it seems.
Before I go into that, a good rule of thumb (at least based on my rendering experience) is this: Render in Daz for a more painterly vibe and in Reality for a more photoreal approach. That’s probably oversimplifying it and doubtless more experience will add nuances.
But for the present, it’s why I like The Magic Hour (my first render). It has a kinda early Boris Vallejo vibe to it and Unhappily Ever After, where I was going for a romance novel/Victorian gothic feel.
Rendering in Daz also seems to require more lights to get the desired effect. Of course it’s possible to render without lights—if you want a flat waxy look
In Reality, I’ve found it possible to get by on one light. In the previous render the source was a single softbox from the reality set.
But the key (pun intended) in Reality is knowing how to use the Camera tab: there are Film Response and Exposure Control options (as well as a DOF, which I haven’t used yet) and this seems to be key to getting a good render.
But even before that, the first step seems to be calibrating scene elements in the Materials tab. I learned the hard way that the default values need major tweaking Fortunately there’s a preview window so you can see the results.
Having done that the Camera tab is where it comes together. I’ve learned (again the hard way ) that if the render doesn’t look good when it first starts to resolve, then it’s not going to get better
And this tab is where my training and experience as a cinematographer comes in useful. The Film Response pull down menu offers a choice of film stock. This will be immediately understandable to those with at least some experience in using celluloid: the film’s lattitude, how “forgiving” it is in being “pushed” or “pulled”.
The Exposure Control option is where you can “rate” the film to “push’ or “pull” it and the f/stop is how much light you want to let in for high or low contrast. I leave the shutter speed at 1/60 to be safe.
The render above, which is in a studio setting, shows that I’m using “fast” film (rated at 800), have “pushed” it to 1000 and am shooting wide open at 2.0.
The resulting render is high key/low con with shadows that have a lovely wrapping effect on the figure. I also set her uniform to velvet so it has the quality of that material instead of the default glossy.