Will's Tips

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  • fred9803fred9803 Posts: 1,051

    This is great Tim. Explain to my why a geoshell seemingly corrupts the texture map of a parented item like an anotomical element. When I have G3M for example with anotomical element parented, and then I add the Wet Body Iray geoshell, the AE goes white, even though the texture for it is still there.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 34,290

    ...I've worked with the LIE quite a bit  since Daz 1.8  and got pretty used to it's "oddities" which is why I feel it is simpler for small changes like I mentioned. 

  • UthgardUthgard Posts: 634
    fred9803 said:

    This is great Tim. Explain to my why a geoshell seemingly corrupts the texture map of a parented item like an anotomical element. When I have G3M for example with anotomical element parented, and then I add the Wet Body Iray geoshell, the AE goes white, even though the texture for it is still there.

    I don't have the Wet Body Iray (nor am I, despite non-existent rumors to the contrary, Will) but most likely the geoshell doesn't have surfaces for the geograft and defaults to the semi transparent grey that it uses in any non-mapped surface. Just select those surfaces (the ones that correspond to the geograft and show as grayish, that is) and turn opacity to zero or turn them off in the paramters tab of the geoshell (remember, it is non-selectable by default, so you have to click on it in the scene tab).

  • BeeMKayBeeMKay Posts: 6,774

    Thank you for this!

    It would be great if you'd create some ort of index in your first post, so that all the advice you give throughout the thread can be easily found. smiley

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    I like the UV setter and it works across genders, too, so it is easy to use a M4 texture on a V4 body for example.  Which leads to a question, not sure I'd want to do this, but could I have a male figure with a male UV texture and give him a geoshell with a female makeup texure on it set with the female UV?  Not sure that would work asthetically, but, theoretically, is that possible?

    Sure.

    Heck, you could give a Reptilian makeup if you wanted.

    Bee: That would be great except I'm a scattered disorganized person and man, that sounds like work.

     

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 5,718
    edited September 2016

    Do you mean, that one need to have a makeup on the transparent background?

    Most of the makeups, are just the full face skin with makeup applied to it, so it will not work well, because the other skin on geoshell will be different,

    unless you have some other tips to mix different skins. May be: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/42056/how-to-steal-makeup-a-tutorial

    I've just tried Leo 7 with its geoshell's UV changed to Genesis 3 female and applied Maret's makeup to it http://www.daz3d.com/maret-for-victoria-7

    and the result is below. I have to apply full Maret's material to Leo 7 geoshell, though.

    image

    Leo7sc01pic05Maret09.jpg
    1024 x 1024 - 188K
    Post edited by Artini on
  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299
    It depends on the set. Some makeup is an altered skin. Some is an extra layer.
  • It depends on the set. Some makeup is an altered skin. Some is an extra layer.

    Yeah, I have a lot of them that are an extra layer with some cool makeup.  I like mixing them up whenever possible.  I'd rather all vendors had them this way, but I can understand why they may not.  I know a lot of the earlier models I have, they were all makeup on the actual skin surface.  Makes it a little more difficult to separate out, but not impossible.  I hadn't thought about using a female makeup on a male, though, until this thread. I have to admit I like the possibilities I have in my head.

  • jardinejardine Posts: 1,059

    wow...as fred8903 said, this is great.  thanks, will.  :)

    if wishing is allowed, a clear explanation of the different types of maps, what they actually do and what they're actually good for would be wonderful. 

    that's mega terra incognita territory for beginners like me. 

    i know that there are at least five or six different kinds of them.  but some of them may be referring to the same beast by a different name.  and i know that some people reckon that some of them are basically useless, but others disagree...et cetera.

    yes, it is truly a realm of mystery, this 'mapping' of which you speak so knowledgeably...

    j

     

     

     

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299
    Do you mean UV maps or texture maps, like Specular maps?
  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    Handy free apps: UV Mapper and Instant Meshes

    UV Mapper changes the UV map of objects... nice and easy! So if you want a sphere where the UV map is rotated 90 degrees, or has cubic mapping, or a flat mapping from above, the side, an angle... whatever, there you go. Yes, there are a number of programs that can do this, I think, but in most cases it's a lot harder to use. And, again, hey, free program.

    Instant Meshes actually changes the object's mesh. You can convert triangle to quad or back, you can change the mesh to be more even, or higher number of polygons, or lower number of polygons. For example, you could turn a sphere into an evenly subdivided mesh. Of course, then you need to UV map it... which is where the previous app comes in.

     

     

  • firewardenfirewarden Posts: 1,404

    Defintely following this thread. I keep copying and pasting info from Will into a Word file so I can refer back to it. :)

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    On the topic of UV maps, in case this was the question:

    What is a UV Map?

    Well, first, I'm not an expert in this. Buuut... essentially, a UV map tells the renderer where, on the figure, different bits go. The translation of what, in a square image, goes where, on a very bumpy figure, can vary a lot.

    With figures, there are different UV maps for the same figures. Practically speaking, this means certain parts of the figure will be in different 'places' on the map. So, a V4 eyebrow is pointing to a different place than a V5 eyebrow.

    The reason for this is to focus detail in areas considered important to the figure. For a dramatic example, consider a humanoid rat figure, where the part of the face around the nose is pushed forward and larger, and things like ears are tiny. If you don't adjust the UV Map, the snout may end up looking pixelated and lower quality, while the ears have unnecessary detail; it may be worth creating a new UV map where more of the texture space is focused on the nose area and a smaller region for the ears.

    Now there is a lot of debate whether something like a UV map for a specific figure, like Stephanie, is really worth bothering with. That point is debated; theoretically a unique UV mesh can highlight details that are more prominent. Personally I'm not sure it makes that much of a difference, but hey.

     

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    (And in case it needs to be said, random folks who know more about these things are welcome to comment and inform!)

  • jardinejardine Posts: 1,059

    thanks, will.  :)

    i hope you won't mind if i babble some, because i'm going to. 

    well, let's see...here, i hear people talking about UV maps, texture maps, displacement maps, and normal maps...and maybe one or two more? 

    color maps, too, elsewhere, though i don't think i've heard anybody talking about those here. 

    pretty much all of the okay-i'll-try-to-learn-something-now projects i've bitten off lately wind up running into one kind of map or another.

    - trying to make an iray water prop with realistic ripples emanating from a (partially submerged) figure.

    - trying to make an iray moon prop using available real-science maps of various kinds.

    i've gotten as far as digging around in Runtime/Textures/YouNameIt and seeing that for every image file that more or less has the same color values its character or object will have in a finished render, there are several related image files that do something else.  maps of some kind, i guess.  but what's the difference between the mainly-black ones and the mainly-purple ones, and what do they do?  do transparency and translucence live in any of those folders?

    and with whichever maps affect surface contour, however they affect it, how do you decide whether you can achieve your effect with a map, and when it's time to build a prop?  how much variation in elevation is it possible to 'map' onto a surface plane?

    and shaders...what's the relationship between a shader and mapping?  what the heck *is* a shader, anyway?  i've seen some that act basically just like simple seamless tiles, and some that seem to be waaay more complicated and dimensional than that. 

    ***

    well, i did babble, didn't i?  sorry...

    i really like your explanations of things, though.  and i really appreciate you offering them.  they're clear and practical and they stick in my mind well. 

    j

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    Thank you, Jardine! I like to boil things down to simple stuff as much as possible.

    Ok, first, 'map' is nothing more than 'an image which is used on a surface.' It's a map, see, because it basically says 'hey, put THIS pixel value in THAT spot.' Map is sometimes used in the sense of values MAPPING onto a surface, like a function.

    A UV map is distinct from the other sorts of maps; a UV map tells the renderer 'these bits go THERE.' At which point the renderer uses the UV map to place an image onto the surface with the rights bits in the right places.

    Many maps are images 'painted' in some way; a diffuse color map paints colors on the surface. A translucency color map paints colors into the surface but only with respect to translucency. Etc.

    OTHER maps are really just a list of values used, and are often better off grayscale. Like Glossy Weight; the brightness of each pixel (multiplied by whatever you set Glossy Weight to) affects the glossy weight at the corresponding point on the surface.

    Then you have Bump and Displacement. In these cases, the brightness (multiplied) is a 'height.' In Bump's case, this is simulated and becomes a shadow or gloss on the surface. In Displacement's case, this is translated to an actual shift in the mesh (either as pixels, in 3DL, or mesh vertices, in Iray).

    THEN you have Normals. Which are weird and purple/blue/etc. Essentially, each pixel has 3 color values (RGB or something), which translates to XYZ. This is a direction, a vector, of how the surface 'tilts.' In practice, it's a much higher quality Bump (it produces better effects seen edge-on, among other things).

    Realistic ripples:

    You could do this as an Iray decal, if you don't need the surface to deform. If you need the surface to deform, you COULD try using displacement, or finding a good prop. Another option I really really like is actually morphing the surface using: https://sites.google.com/site/mcasualsdazscripts/mcjelevate-reva

    Displacement maps can be really cool and high quality. The problem is that Iray displacement works in such a way that you need a LOT of mesh density (how detailed) to get it to look right; 3DL is incredibly more forgiving here.

    A Shader is a list of qualities that define how a surface is processed by the renderer. It can be simple (color, glossiness), or incredibly complex. In 3DL, there are lots of weird shaders with code blocks that let them do funky things. In Iray, most people use one of three basic shaders: Metallicity (simplified approach), Specular/Glossiness (a little more detailed in certain ways), Weighted (very finicky and weird and I don't grok it).

    But there are others; Mec4D and a few others have explored procedural shaders, where details are generated. The Emission iray shader is simplified a lot to be focused on Emissive objects; there's a lot of qualities an emissive surface generally won't use, and if you pull out that code, the render will be (slightly) faster.

     

     

     

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    Oh, regarding Iray Decals, ever wish you could make snow caps or other simple elevation stuff?

    You can, it's easy! Just make a cutout opacity map with a gradient on an iray decal. It 'projects' from the side, which means the decal will cover some slice of your terrain/object with a gradual fade, depending on your gradient. If you want just one 'layer' of shader, then you can use a gradient that goes black-white-black (or vice versa).

    Now, mind you, your decal layer needs to be pretty simple; any pattern is going to get weirdly stretched across the surface and show an obvious projection distortion. (Because you are essentially 'projecting' an image from the side)

     

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 34,290

    ...I've seen cutout opacity map mentioned before and see they function similarly to the opacity map in 3DL.  So how do you go about making one of your own?

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    Well, you can get any grayscale image, and bam, opacity map.

    For a gradient like I mentioned, you can go into Photoshop (or many other image editors) and do a 'fill gradient' from black to white, pull it vertical. If you hit shift while doing so in Photoshop (and I think also in GIMP), it 'snaps' to straight up and down or side to side or 45 degree angle. And bam, gradient.

    (If you really want to save load, you can reduce width to 1 pixel, since it doesn't matter)

     

  • Really good discussion/tips! There is also the topic of discontinuous UV. I'd be happy to explain discontinuous UV's if it's ok and anyone is interested, but I don't want to hijack will's thread. This would come up when UV mapping a cylinder or any closed shape for example. Since a UV map is 2D and can't loop onto itself, there are certain things to consider when creating your own UV's.

     

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 34,290

    Well, you can get any grayscale image, and bam, opacity map.

    For a gradient like I mentioned, you can go into Photoshop (or many other image editors) and do a 'fill gradient' from black to white, pull it vertical. If you hit shift while doing so in Photoshop (and I think also in GIMP), it 'snaps' to straight up and down or side to side or 45 degree angle. And bam, gradient.

    (If you really want to save load, you can reduce width to 1 pixel, since it doesn't matter)

     

    ..so for example you could take a colour/diffuse map, convert it to greyscale and that would be the opacity map?

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 5,718
    edited September 2016

    Really good discussion/tips! There is also the topic of discontinuous UV. I'd be happy to explain discontinuous UV's if it's ok and anyone is interested, but I don't want to hijack will's thread. This would come up when UV mapping a cylinder or any closed shape for example. Since a UV map is 2D and can't loop onto itself, there are certain things to consider when creating your own UV's.

     

    Yes, please explain. I've just started using Blender more frequently and only scratched the surface of the UV mapping topic.

    So far simple projection map with bounds works well for my needs, but I am also using smart UV project and cube, cylinder and sphere projection, as well.

    Have not practiced marked seams and the other advanced stuff, yet, so any help is much appreciated.

    Post edited by Artini on
  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299
    kyoto kid said:

    ..so for example you could take a colour/diffuse map, convert it to greyscale and that would be the opacity map?

    Sure. Technically you don't even need to convert it to greyscale, but apparently there can be weirdnesses with that (like conversion in-render not being perfect so the effect isn't what you expected).

     

  • pdspds Posts: 556

    While we're on the subject of uv maps, can you explain the strong desire to make extremely efficient use of the map in terms of laying out multiple islands? I've run across such comments numerous times, but never read why that is so important, particularly considering some things (like characters) have multiple uv maps already. It doesn't seem as though having less optimized uv maps (in terms of the islands) would make a significant difference in terms of memory used, but that's the only thing I can think of.

  • DiomedeDiomede Posts: 11,604

    Great thread.  Bookmarked.  Thank you.

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 14,299

    pds: I'm... not sure what you mean by map and islands. Do you mean a literal map, or do you mean trying to fill a texture map with as little white space as possible?

     

  • pdspds Posts: 556

    THEN you have Normals. Which are weird and purple/blue/etc. Essentially, each pixel has 3 color values (RGB or something), which translates to XYZ. This is a direction, a vector, of how the surface 'tilts.' In practice, it's a much higher quality Bump (it produces better effects seen edge-on, among other things).

     

     

     

    Yeah, I think the Red channel corresponds to an X displacement, the Green corresponds to a Y displacement, and the Blue corresponds to a Z displacement, but manually setting up each is a bit hard to get your head around. The latest version of Photoshop CC2015 includes a feature in the 3D workspace that enables the creation of bump and normal maps from a diffuse map/texture and these can be exported for use in other applications. I don't know if that is an implementation of the old nVidia plugin for PS or a different algorithm altogether. I seem to recall in the DOOM3 days that converting photos into normal maps directly was inferior to creating normal maps manually (primarily due to the extraneous noise that was inherent to the photograph and the available conversion utilities having a difficult time correctly interpreting the image data to yield clean, accurate normal maps), so your mileage may vary.

    On a semi-related note as it pertains to PS and experimenting with the influence of color channels and how to independently influence displacement, you can actually use a two-color displacement map with the Displace filter rather than a grayscale map. 

  • IvyIvy Posts: 6,625

    Great idea for a  thread Will,  :)   I definitely bookmarked it so I can follow you, these are awesome tips.

  • kyoto kid said:

    ..so for example you could take a colour/diffuse map, convert it to greyscale and that would be the opacity map?

    Sure. Technically you don't even need to convert it to greyscale, but apparently there can be weirdnesses with that (like conversion in-render not being perfect so the effect isn't what you expected).

     

    You can definitely do this.  You might find it works better if you run it through photoshop or gimp and increase the contrast and/or play with the levels to make the map more effective.  You want true blacks and whites to get 0% and 100% opacity, and a converted greyscale isn't usually going to get you a lot of those.

  • OTHER maps are really just a list of values used, and are often better off grayscale. Like Glossy Weight; the brightness of each pixel (multiplied by whatever you set Glossy Weight to) affects the glossy weight at the corresponding point on the surface.

    Would this be something you would adjust in 3Delight to try to get rid of the shiny plastic looking skin effect you sometimes get on characters?  Would this affect also be something you would adjust to change the brightness/darkness of a character's skin?

    I have been working on a list of questions I've been needing help with and maybe this could be a place to ask them!

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