Creating Big City Scenes in DAZ Studio

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  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    Thanks @Knittingmommy. I'm sure I will find more city stuff hidden away in my runtime, especially some of the older stuff since they can end up in odd places at times.

  • There is some VERY useful information here, especially about creating categories. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    Thanks for commenting @mmitchell_houston! Glad it's of use. I periodically find myself going back to a specific post to remember how something is done. Some things in DS are very intuitive while others are pretty complex and hard to remember.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,734
    edited October 2017

    Rich, have you had any luck getting lights to shine through windows at night with the Dreamland models? I'm trying to figure out how to do that for a render, and it's driving me nuts. I've played with emissives, translucency, all kinds of settings on the surfaces. I've tried putting a light inside the house, but no luck. I'd rather do it in the render than in postwork but I'm lost. 

    EDIT: Aha! I found it: https://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/comment/1982011/#Comment_1982011

    Yeah, I'm having the same problem. Thanks for documenting that!

    EDITED AGAIN: And, my efforts are just not very fruitful. Short of cutting the walls out behind the windows, I don't know what else in 3D to try at this point. Nothing looks right. That's crazy, because we can do anything in 3D, right? But we can also do it in Photoshop. This tutorial looks promising: https://www.all-things-photography.com/create-light-in-photoshop/

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,513

    I love that there's prepositioned cameras. Most of the time, I never use what the vendors provide because I forgot to do it, but in a large setup like this they will be very handy. Looks good! 

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    Lots of cameras in La Piazza (50) and they are pretty well positioned. Since they are only labeled by number and not position, I set my default camera to look down on the town at a Y distance of 4000 where I can still make out the white camera icons, then click on one's of interest to see what camera number it is.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507
    edited October 2017

    The Backstreets

     

    You don't need a big set to create the sense of a "big city". There are a number of products that only include a street corner or 1-2 streets. One such product is Stonemason's The Backstreets. Although this product is old (released in 2006) and made for 3DL, it translates to Iray remarkably well. These 3 renders are Iray with the uber base automatically applied by DS. The first 2 renders are just The Backstreets. The third has Block 07 from Dreamland's low poly blocks in the background to hide the base of the HDRI and give the sense there is more city "out there".

     

    The Backstreets 3.jpg
    600 x 750 - 588K
    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507
    edited October 2017

    Backstreets by Night

     

    For many sets you have to add your own lighting. Dreamlight made a 3DL light add-on for The Backstreets, simply called The Backstreets by Night, Although The Backstreets easily convert to Iray, that's not an option with this product since 3DL lights and Iray are incompatible. That said, I still find 3DL a great way to render scenes especially when the lights are already set up for you.

    The product has 82 presets. One adds the lights, one modifies prop materials (more on this in a  minute), 8 are multi-light presets, and the remaining presets make up 36 pairs - one to turn on the light and one to turn it off. I tested them all and they work except for the material preset, it just throws an error. It's an older compressed file type that may not be compatible or called the same way in Daz Studio 4+. I'll have to investigate more to see if that can be fixed. It doesn't seem to be essential, as these renders are made without it.

    Here are two renders. The more lights the longer it takes to setup the render as shadow maps are created. Even so, much faster than most Iray scenes I render.

    By the way, the skydome is DigiVault Stardomes default.

     

    The second render has a funny triangle shadow in the middle of the road. I can't figure out what is causing that. Maybe the way a light shines from the building from the left that is off scene?

    The Backstreets by Night 1.jpg
    750 x 750 - 448K
    The Backstreets by Night 2.jpg
    750 x 750 - 390K
    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • RakudaRakuda Posts: 682

    There are really some gems of a thread buried in this forum! Following.

  • GREAT and amazing tutorial ! 

    Thank you so much.

    Love your art ! yes 

     

     

  • Very nice scenes! I like the reflections in the water, and for a night scene, I don't think the lack of Iray hurts it.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    thanks Max_theHitmand and mmitchell_houston!

    I got side-tracked with dForce since Ocotber but have much more to add to this thread

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507
    edited March 2018

    Free Vehicle Source

     

    For some time I have been following Birdman on ShareCG. He publishes a large variety of vehicle models (cars, trains, boats, etc.) plus a number of buildings and other model types. They are in the .3ds format which is not one Daz Studio can import. You can overcome this by several means, two of which I discuss here.

    (1) If you own Bryce, it does import .3ds models. Import the Birdman model into Bryce, then use the bridge to Daz Studio to export it. It works but has some issues: it's slow, each part of the model shows up as an individual item in the Scene pane labeled "shape", you'll need to manually group them, and all the textures had a 50% reflection on them. But it does import at a realistic scale and at ground level. I tried using the Bryce export to .obj method, but it was painfully slow to create the file and I ended up closing down Bryce as it seemed to hang up. I also tried Hexagon 2 which successfully imported the .3ds geometry but failed to import the materials. The Hexagon bridge did export what was imported.

    (2) Download the free PropViewer 3.2 from ShareCG. Open the .3ds file with it and then export the model as either .obj or .pp2. Note that if you rotate or change the view, the exported model will inherit those changes, so best to import and then quickly export. I tested importing two different models. One opened in PropViewer with the textures and the other one did not. For the latter case, the .pp2 file is also missing the textures whereas the .obj file has them. You can use either method to export the geometry, but if you also want to use the materials and they do not open in PropViewer, you'll want to use the obj format.

    (a) If you use .obj as the  export means, the model when imported into DS will be listed in the Scene pane with the filename, it likely will be turned on its side, and it imports overly large. Use the 3DS Max filter to import into DS, then set scale to about 7% to bring it to a more realistic size. You'll also find after scaling it sits far underground and off-center and needs to be raised to the surface using ctrl+d. 

    (b) If you use ,pp2 as the export means, it will import into DS upright but will also be extremely large. The label in the Scene pane will be simply "prop". Set the scale to about 3%. You will find it hovering way above ground level so use ctrl+d to drop it to the ground.

    Below are two renders showing Birdman models in Daz Studio. 

     

    Willis-Overland Car (pp2 format):

     

    1939 Alfa-Romeo 6c (obj format:

     

    birdman willis-overland model.jpg
    1200 x 1000 - 975K
    birdman 1939 alfa-romeo 6c model.jpg
    1200 x 1000 - 882K
    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • donovancolbertdonovancolbert Posts: 1,408

    What does this CTRL-D that you speak about do? 

    I sometimes have characters or figures or props that get way off their center axis. Most often when this happens if you try and Y-Rotate the object, instead of spinning in a cirlce, it spins along the outside of an arc. This seems like a similar problem, and maybe a similar solution? 

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    CTRL+D is Move to Floor command. It's a quick way to get something too high or too low to be on the ground.

    What you describe as spinning along an arc is usually from having the object's center point off to the side. This discussion tells how to adjust.

  • donovancolbertdonovancolbert Posts: 1,408
    RGcincy said:

    CTRL+D is Move to Floor command. It's a quick way to get something too high or too low to be on the ground.

    What you describe as spinning along an arc is usually from having the object's center point off to the side. This discussion tells how to adjust.

    Thanks! Learn new things in the forum all the time! 

     

  • I always remember CTRL+D as "Drop to ground." A very useful command.

    To get around the problem of an object that moves in an arc instead of moving around its center point (this mostly happens with smart props that are supposed to parent to a figure's hands, but it can happen at other times, as well), I have found a solution by creating a GROUP of the object (sometimes just that one object is in the group) and then I select the group and move it around. I find that this "fixes" the problem of unexpected movement or odd rotational behaviours. 

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    Creating a group of 1 is a good idea. You could also parent it to a null point.

    For dropping to the floor, Richard Haseltine also pointed out in another thread the stack feature using the Align tool. Select two or more items - they will stack on top of each other in the order selected.

  • RKane_1RKane_1 Posts: 2,941

    This is an AMAZING Thread! :)

    Thanks so much!

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    You're welcome. More to come when I get tired of playing with dForce wink

  • NoswenNoswen Posts: 355

    Wow... just seen this thread, there are some amazing city renders here!

  • WandererWanderer Posts: 915

    I'm glad someone brought this thread up to the top. I don't generally dig that deep, but this is so helpful. Thanks for making this series. I've bookmarked it.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507
    edited April 2018

    Medieval People Billboards

     

    Big cities are not a modern invention. They've been around for millennia. Creating a big city or even large village scene requires you to either include many structures to imply a lot of people living nearby, or the render needs to have a lot of people in the scene. Populating a scene with that many characters can be a big chore: adding in the individual figures, loading their hair and wardrobe, posing and positioning them, and adding in props. That all takes considerable time plus most computers run out of memory before you use more than a few figures. A way to overcome this is to use billboards of people in action. Riversoft Art has a series of them now. Below is a scene using Now-Crowd Billboards - Medieval City Life positioned in Medieval Fantasy Village.  There are 19 billboards which added in 30 people and a horse. Makes it look full and active. I have quite a few medieval sets, so these billboards are a welcome addition.

    (Note they are available today in a flash sale at 60% off.)

     

    (Click on image for larger version, then click again to zoom in.)

    Post edited by RGcincy on
  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 14,384
    RGcincy said:

    Medieval People Billboards

     

    Big cities are not a modern invention. They've been around for millennia. Creating a big city or even large village scene requires you to either include many structures to imply a lot of people living nearby, or the render needs to have a lot of people in the scene. Populating a scene with that many characters can be a big chore: adding in the individual figures, loading their hair and wardrobe, posing and positioning them, and adding in props. That all takes considerable time plus most computers run out of memory before you use more than a few figures. A way to overcome this is to use billboards of people in action. Riversoft Art has a series of them now. Below is a scene using Now-Crowd Billboards - Medieval City Life positioned in Medieval Fantasy Village.  There are 19 billboards which added in 30 people and a horse. Makes it look full and active. I have quite a few medieval sets, so these billboards are a welcome addition.

    (Note they are available today in a flash sale at 60% off.)

     

    (Click on image for larger version, then click again to zoom in.)

    This got my vote. I like your cityscape renders.

  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    thanks @nonesuch00!

  • EightiesIsEnoughEightiesIsEnough Posts: 857
    edited October 2018

    I am considering purchasing the city blocks this Friday.  But one thing I read on each description is that the City Blocks on Renderosity each have a SkyDome.  If I were to add each City Block to sections of the city, how would I get rid of the SkyDome?  It would seem quite awkward to have multiple skydomes if I were to do a driving animation through the city.  Plus, why have multiple SkyDomes when you only need the one with the base ground?

    Post edited by EightiesIsEnough on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507

    The multiple sky domes is not a problem as you will be able to select any extra in the scene pane and delete them (I'll have to check but I don't think they even load with the city block unless you choose to do so). Since the creator doesn't know who's bought what (and the city blocks can be used free-standing), he adds one to each set.

  • EightiesIsEnoughEightiesIsEnough Posts: 857
    edited October 2018
    RGcincy said:

    The multiple sky domes is not a problem as you will be able to select any extra in the scene pane and delete them (I'll have to check but I don't think they even load with the city block unless you choose to do so). Since the creator doesn't know who's bought what (and the city blocks can be used free-standing), he adds one to each set.

    It's likely because the city block is actually a scene.  I had purchased, earlier this year, the Country Home from the creator in question (Dreamland Models), and it was a scene.  To attempt to add the scene to the city blocks, it is as simple as loading the city block scene and saving it as a scene subset, then loading the city block base scene, and adding such city block subsets to the city block scene, and positioning/rotating to a position that satisfies the user.

    Post edited by EightiesIsEnough on
  • EightiesIsEnoughEightiesIsEnough Posts: 857
    edited October 2018

    I did purchase the city blocks and other city stuff today,and they are now in my inventory.  But I do have one question:  If I wanted to duplicate the city blocks for the commercial district, are there any different textures for the Dreamland Low Poly blocks to purchase or download for free anywhere?

    I seem to be off to a good start with creating my city landscape, but the one problem is, the Dreamland city blocks 11 and 13 to 20, there are some packages that do not contain the blocks, just the outer blocks.

    Post edited by EightiesIsEnough on
  • RGcincyRGcincy Posts: 2,507
    JonSea31 said:

    If I wanted to duplicate the city blocks for the commercial district, are there any different textures for the Dreamland Low Poly blocks to purchase or download for free anywhere?

    Not that I am aware of, but I haven't gone looking either. What I have done is rotate the blocks as you get a different view from each corner. That doesn't work as well if you are doing a distant scene, as you can detect the duplication, but close or mid-distance it works pretty well.  

     

    JonSea31 said:

    I seem to be off to a good start with creating my city landscape, but the one problem is, the Dreamland city blocks 11 and 13 to 20, there are some packages that do not contain the blocks, just the outer blocks.

    That's odd. I have city blocks 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 18, and 19. 7 & 8 had one zip file, 13 had two, and the others had three. Be sure you have all the zip files for the higher numbered ones. If you have installed all the zips, search your runtime folder for Block Thirteen.pp2.  That file should be in My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\Libraries\Props\Dreamland Models\Block 13\_Block Thirteen. If it's in a different location, either move it or create a category as I explain here that points to wherever it is. Then do the same for the other sets. These products don't have metadata so they won't show in Smart Content. Let me know if you can't find them.

     

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