Creating Big City Scenes in DAZ Studio

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  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited April 2017

    Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

     

    Every mid-20th century American city would have had one or more baseball fields: high school, college, or pro. This is Collective3d Baseball Field set down in River Front. The field comes with Iray materials but I'm using it with 3DL buildings, lights and sky, so I did the following steps to make it work:

    1. Select all the baseball field objects in the Scene pane by expanding the product group and highlight everything.

    2. Go to the Surfaces pane and select all the surfaces.

    3. Click on the Presets tab then click on Shaders. 

    4. Type default into the search bar. You should (may) find near the top a shader called !SimpleSurface Base. Double-click to apply. This gives the Iray materials 3DL properties.

    5. Go back to the Surfaces editor tab. Find the chain link fence surfaces under Backstop object. In the Opacity Strength channel, click on the image box and select Chain Link Fence opacity.jpg. You will now be able to see through the fence rather than having a solid plane.

    6. Find the three Dirt_Decal surfaces and turn Opacity Strength to 0%.

     

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    Baseball Field 02.png
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,957

    Looks great mixed in with the rest of the city in the background.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508

    Looks great mixed in with the rest of the city in the background.

    Just like the old time stadiums - now they are oftentimes centered in a sea of parking!

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited April 2017

    Busy Streets!

     

    I recently got "20 Low Rez Vehicles" from Rendo to help fill city streets. This is a Poser product but imports just fine into Daz Studio. Once installed to your Runtime, you can access it from Poser Formats/My DAZ3D Library/Props/Powerage/LRVehicles. To make for faster access, I right-clicked on the LRVehicles folder, selected Create a Category From/Selected Folder and added it to my Dreamland Props category.

    The product has 20 vehicles: 13 cars and a school bus, dump truck, fire engine, police car, SUV, truck tractor (but no trailer) and a step van. You can add each prop individually but there's also a "60 Vehicles Powertown" preset. Click on the preset and you have 60 vehicles added to your scene.  Powertown is a reference to another Powerage product, so the cars aren't located where we want them for River Front but I'll outline the steps to quickly get them set up for a busy street scene.

    1. Load River Front or whatever city product you plan to use.

    2. Click on the 60 Vehicles Powertown Preset.

    3. The cars will be scattered over about four River Front city blocks, not aligned to the streets

    4.Click on Windows/Panes/Align on the main menu to open the Align pane.

    5. In the Scene pane, highlight the first 30 vehicles, click on Create/New Group from the main menu and give it the name Group 1. Repeat for the other 30 vehicles and name it Group 2.

    6. Expand Group 1 in the Scene tab and select all 30 vehicles. On the Align pane, set X-Axis to Align:Centers and click the Apply button. The vehicles will get lined up in one long row. While still highlighted, go to the Parameter pane and select all 30 vehicles in the list. Type in 0 for Y-rotation. Set scale for all of them to 90%.

    7. Repeat step 6 for Group 2 but type in 180 for Y-rotation. You'll now have two rows, facing opposite directions. 

    8. Select Group 1 in the Scene pane and move the group so the cars are in one lane of one of the roads. Repeat for Group 2. Zoom in and make sure the cars are facing the right way in the lanes for the country you are modeling. If not, switch them around. 

    9. Next select the first 15 vehicles in Group 1 and make it into Group 1a, Make the other 15 vehicle into Group 1b. Re-parent the two sub-groups under Group 1. Select Group 1a and move it into the second lane.

    10. Repeat step 9 for Group 2.Now you'll have 4 lanes filled, although many cars in each lane will be overlapping.

    11. There's two ways to resolve the overlap. One way is to select a vehicle then drag on the arrowhead aligned with the street and move it to a new position. The second is to select a group of vehicles in the Scene pane, then in the Align pane set X-axis to No Change and set z-axis to Distribute:Centers. Click Apply. This will spread the cars out evenly between the vehicles at either end of the selection. You can then fine tune the location by dragging or using the parameter dials.

    12. Save the vehicles as a Scene Subset and you can merge it into any of your city scenes.

     

     

     

     

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    20Vehicles in lanes.jpg
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    20 Vehicles rows.jpg
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,957

    Cool.  I'll have to remember this.  I have those cars on my wishlist over there.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited April 2017

    Street Signs

     

    I forgot I had this until I saw it in Fast Grab today: Street Decor - Street Signs. This is a pretty complete set of street and highway signs with a lots of options for both US and European streets. As the store promo says: 19 sign shapes, four post designs (with galvanized, enameled & wood finishes), a variety of hardware, and 335 premade signs. Plus it comes with Photoshop templates and fonts to modify them to fit your own needs. Here's two renders with a number of these signs in use. 

    Street signs 1.png
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    Street signs 2.png
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,957

    Nice.  I keep missing these when they end up in FG.  Still on my wishlist.  

  • Nice.  I keep missing these when they end up in FG.  Still on my wishlist.  

    same.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    Sometimes items are in Fast Grab for days (especially over the weekend) and other times here and gone again fast.
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508

    Step Van Bundle is 70% off today. Here's the link to a post I made describing them plus some thumbnails of images featuring the van:

     

     

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 5,136
    edited April 2017
    RGcincy said:

    Street Signs

     

    I forgot I had this until I saw it in Fast Grab today: Street Decor - Street Signs. This is a pretty complete set of street and highway signs with a lots of options for both US and European streets. As the store promo says: 19 sign shapes, four post designs (with galvanized, enameled & wood finishes), a variety of hardware, and 335 premade signs. Plus it comes with Photoshop templates and fonts to modify them to fit your own needs. Here's two renders with a number of these signs in use. 

     

    The signs are an excellent addition,  I think you could scale them larger on the bridge,  cause they really do help sell the scene, 

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited May 2017

    The signs are an excellent addition,  I think you could scale them larger on the bridge,  cause they really do help sell the scene, 

    Good suggestion! I was thinking they were small when I did the first render but sized them to match the concrete sides of the bridge. But after your comment, I was thinking you usually see them on a metal bracket jutting forward from the overpass so no need to constrain them. Here's a repeat of the same scene with the larger signs.

    Street signs 2a.png
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited May 2017

    Speeding through the City

     

    I recently picked up the new Animation Four Wheeler Template. There's a number animations already set up for some of the cars sold at Daz (Car Ranger, Army Truck 1930, 1936 AM Sedan, Luxury Car 1950, Family Car 1950, Pickup Truck 1930, Delivery Sedan and Wagon 1930). Preset icons for those cars appear with the other parts of AFWT so you don't have to go looking for them. It's easy to use the prepared animations: load the car, apply an animation, then position it in your scene as you would normally (translate and rotate). I found that I could access the animation timeline through DS's Timeline, Keymate, and Animate panes without any special action on my part. I made a small GIF to show a car speeding through the neighborhood. 

    In addition to the cars it comes with, you can apply the animations to other vehicles. I haven't tried that yet, so I'll make a future post once I learn how.

    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited May 2017

    Here's another animation of the same car and motion except I parented a camera to the chassis and have it inside the car. 

    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,531

    That is just AWESOME!!!!!!

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited July 2019
    Novica said:

    That is just AWESOME!!!!!!

    This is a lot more fun than I was expecting. A whole new way to experience a 3D city.

    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508

    One more animation of the same scene. In this case, I moved the parented camera up and away from the car so it follows down the street and through the turn then a different stationary camera picks up the scene to show the car disappearing down the road.

  • TooncesToonces Posts: 919

    It would be cool to have a camera pointing at the side of the car too, assuming the wheels spin.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    Toonces said:

    It would be cool to have a camera pointing at the side of the car too, assuming the wheels spin.

    Here you go. You can see the tires rotate, wheels turn, and (hard to see) steering wheel turns. Now it just needs a driver!

  • LindayLinday Posts: 72
    edited May 2017
    RGcincy said:

    This is a lot more fun than I ws expecting. A whole new way to expereince a 3D city.

    Really good work here, RGcincy. This was exactly what we were thinking when we were creating this product - 3D City Scenes have new and different looks and possibilities. On One-click Presets we're using only Daz owned cars, 'cause we weren't sure if other vendors wouldn't object if we use their vehicles with our wheels.

    Linday

    Post edited by Linday on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited May 2017
    Abrahms said:

    Really good work here, RGcincy. This was exactly what we were thinking when we were creating this product - 3D City Scenes have new and different looks and possibilities. On One-click Presets we're using only Daz owned cars, 'cause we weren't sure if other vendors wouldn't object if we use their vehicles with our wheels.

    Linday

    Well, you had a good idea and I'm glad I got it. I would think other vendors wouldn't mind you rigging their cars as long as you need to own their products to use them in yours. It would only help increase their sales. 

    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited May 2017

    Flying

     

    Not at all what it was made for, but here is a "flying car":

     

    This was my first atempt. It was a little jerky so I tried again as you can see above. 

     

    I attached the biplane to the chassis bone of the Four Wheeler Template. You can see the chassis in the attached image - it's the blue and white checkerboard object. I then added some yaw and roll to the plane itself along the way.

    Template viewable.jpg
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited May 2017

    Animated Fire Engine

     

    The  Animation Four Wheeler Template has a number of Daz vehicles rigged for animation. You can also rig your own vehicles, but as a short cut, you can just parent a vehicle to the template. First, load the template by using the preset (the blue and white checkerboard vehicle). Load your prop (in my case a fire engine) and parent it to the chassis bone of the template. You may find as I did that the vehicle is buried in the ground. You can either change the Y-translate of the prop or of the template so the wheels are on the ground. Next load the animation you plan to use, then position the template so that any turns occur at the intersection of a road or driveway. Since the wheels aren't rigged, it's probably best to have a more distant view of the vehicle as the wheels won't rotate or turn. Here's the animated fire truck:

    Here's a render of the template:

    And here's a render of the fire engine parented to the template:

     

    Fire engine template.jpg
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    Fire engine on template.jpg
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • TooncesToonces Posts: 919

    This is pretty cool!

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited June 2017

    Dreamland Single Homes

     

    Single Homes Bundle One is a new Dreamland product designed for Daz Studio (many of his previous products that I've showcased were made for Poser). It comes with three houses, detached garages, lots, driveway, street, power poles, and several other features. It has two forms of grass (simple and modeled). It has a large number of Iray roof and wall materials as well as a large number of presets to turn design features on/off. In this first Iray render of Single Home 01, I put a Caravan Minivan (for Poser) in the driveway (I'll do a more detailed review of this car in the future). For the sky I used Green Hills Skydome and HDRI. The grass is the simple version. These houses have a style that fits with many of the Dreamland City Block products, so these could be used as foreground houses in a city scene.

     

    There's a number of lights preset on the house. I turned many of them off, otherwise you have a house that looks like it's having a party in every room. For this night scene, I used First Light Skydome and HDRI for the sky.

     

    Dreamland Single Home 1.png
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    Dreamland Single Home 1 night.png
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • SaphirewildSaphirewild Posts: 5,571

    I think you are doing an amzing job of showing us how to render a great city scene!!!

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508

    Why thank you @Saphirewild It's fun to see which products go together and how best to use them.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited June 2017

    Dreamland Single Homes - Presets

     

    I mentioned previously that there are a number of presets for the Single Homes Bundle One houses. A listing of some of them:

    • Materials/Misc/Home 01: here you will find presets to show/hide bands (horizontal trim between floors), corner trim, turret trim, dental blocks (square decorations at roof level), house lamps, and power lines from house to poles. You wil also find railing colors (black, white) and lighting. Be sure to choose the house in the Scene pane; if you select the lot (the top level in the hierarchy), the presets won't apply.
    • Materials/Roofing: 30 roof colors to choose from!
    • Poses Hide Show/Home 01: here you can show/hide antenna, smoke, and simple grass style. The smoke is one feature I don't care too much for as it shows up as too opaque, even though the images for the smoke seems to have more subtle shading. I found better results if I set cutout opacity to 0.75 and made Base Color 0.
    • Shader Preset/Base Color Only: 50 colors to choose from! Like any other shader, you have to choose the surface with the surface tool or in the Surfaces pane to apply. There's lots of surfaces for each house, so you can make a multi-hue house if you'd like.
    • Shader Presets/Brick & Plaster: choose various brick colors, including painted brick, plus new versus old (rough) brick. Plaster choices from smooth to rough.
    • Shader Presets/Siding Types: these add no color but change the type of siding to 4, 6, or 8 inch clapboard, asbestos tile, fish scale tile, and 8 inch shakes.
    • Materials/Full Home Sets/Home 01: instead of choosing surfaces and applying shaders, you can quickly transform the whole house with these presets. Presets cover the different brick/plaster/siding colors/types options. 
    • Props/Fences: 3 types - wood privacy, wood lattice, and concrete pillars with metal posts. The first and last cover the same size lot and can be used interchangeably, the lattice is for a smaller lot so works best with Home 02

    One thing I like about the above presets is that the pop-up images in the Content Library are large, so you can easily see what the preset is going to do.

    As you can tell from the above, there are many, many options to modify the design. This is a great product for the price in my opinion.

    Here's a daytime Iray render with different roof color, wall color, siding instead of brick, different types of siding (clapboard, fish scale, and asbestos), and many of the extra design trim turned off.

     

     

    Dreamland Single Home 1 new materials.png
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • Worlds_EdgeWorlds_Edge Posts: 1,843

    That looks pretty great!

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,508
    edited June 2017

    Smaller Homes

     

    One comment I've read about the new Dreamland houses is they are large, luxurious, and of a type only wealthy people could afford. Some of the City Blocks Dreamland sells at Rendo have smaller homes. I wondered if the new Iray materials from the Single Home collection could be applied to them and the answer is yes.

    This first render shows two houses from City Block 14. The materials are the native Poser ones converted using the Iray uber base.

     

    This next render shows materials from the new Single Homes Bundle One being applied. Since there are shaders for the wall colors and wall type (brick, siding, plaster), those can be changed by selecting the appropriate surfaces and applying the shaders as normal. Since the single home's roof colors, grass, sidewalks, walkways, roads, etc. are modified using material presets, they don't make any changes when applied to the city block structures. What I did was load one of the single homes and do a copy/paste for these surfaces. This takes a bit of time but you can save the result as a scene or sub-scene file for easy reapplication. This render shows the single home materials on the smaller city block houses. So if you like Iray renders, buy one of the new single homes and you have a variety of materials to use on 3DL structures.

    Dreamland City block 14 homes.png
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    Dreamland City block 14 homes with iray shaders.png
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    Post edited by RGcincy on
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