Llynara's Loony Bin (WIP Thread)

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  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    Ooh, thanks for the tips, Darwin! Your renders always look so beautiful. Very happy to be able to learn from you. It'll probably save me YEARS of frustration and tweaking. Thanks so much for your help and feedback! I'll try those out and post what happens.

    PS. You always like the darker stuff, LOL

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • You're welcome, glad to help (if that does!).........

    ...and yes.. Yes I do.  The dark side has cookies.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    LOL Must render some soon! 

    Sorry, couldn't resist. I love me some memes.

    Oh, and the 501st is here in Illinois. Bunch of fun, crazy peeps running around Illinois in Star Wars costumes. Haven't had time to join them or I would be too! 

     

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  • Isn't is amazing how a little change in lighting can totally change the look of an image?  I like both images, but my first impression is I like the darker one better.  I tend to gravitate to that more and a lot of my renders are usually darker, too.  The lighter one does seem to have a certain amount of depth that the darker one doesn't though so I can seen why some people like lighter images. 

    I really need to find the time to go through @DarwinsMishap's tutorial.  There are still some settings that I have no clue what they do. 

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    @knittingmommy - I'm amazed at what changes lighting can make. Totally different looks on the same subject. Definitely check out Darwin's lighting walkthrough. Lots of interesting stuff in there.

    Below: I tried fixing the blown out picture above and didn't like the results. Something's off on that one. So I took the darker version and added some catch lights at low levels. This is nice and still fairly subtle, but I don't like the shadows on her face. I still like the first, darkest one best, and that was a crazy accident. Like most of my life!

    On backgrounds- I often turn stuff like that off, and had tried that with the environment but forgot to turn off the dome in the render settings. Coffee is a wonderful thing.

    I'm not sure if I'll lose the bounce of the lights off the background by making it invisible. Probably. Sounds silly, but just trying to figure out how to get the effect and have a background I want, It's either has to be the final in the render or transparent so I can add it in post.

    I kept the background in this one till I get the lights how I want them, then I'll try without it and see how it looks. Not quite there yet. Might change the outfit too. I really like the new Moon and Stars for Fayre.

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  • dracorndracorn Posts: 2,159

    That looks better.  I had liked the darker render as well - it had more depth.  However, I think a factor of that depth was in the dark background.  Notice in classical paintings how the backgrounds are always very dark?  The additional lighting brings her out more in your last render, but see if you can make the background darker and see how that looks.  ​

     

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691

    Thta's a very good point. Let me see what I can do. Also thinking about changing her clothes. Wanted something mystical but she's really not a warrior queen, LOL.

  • Nice stuff. I spent some time after the sale really digging into Gen X 2. Here is me rambling through the process: 

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/137666/generation-x2-and-morphs-characters-presets-and-poses#latest

    As well as a link to a nice supplemental tutorial document by Seliah/Childe of Fyre at the end of it all.

    I'm finally starting to get my head around all the little nuances to getting a morph or character to transfer over - the differences between loading a figure and applying a pose... CoF's discussion about doing a .cr2 export made it click for me why sometimes I set a character all up, do the transfer, and the morph looks like a mutant or does nothing at all on the target figure when I try to apply it. 



     

  • I also didn't understand that you can change the base UV on Gen 1 and load previous skin maps - or how this really facilitates bringing genreation 3 (V4, M4, A4, K4, etc...) characters fully to Genesis 1 through Gen X 2. 

    It is too bad it doesn't work backwards for bringing Genesis 3 skin maps back to Gen 2 or 1. :) 

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 19,865

    Llynara- so happy for you to have your own thread- I surfed through both pages and the renders are really nice. Your toons just sparkle with life! Looking forward to seeing more great pieces of art.  smiley

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691

    Nice stuff. I spent some time after the sale really digging into Gen X 2. Here is me rambling through the process: 

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/137666/generation-x2-and-morphs-characters-presets-and-poses#latest

    As well as a link to a nice supplemental tutorial document by Seliah/Childe of Fyre at the end of it all.

    I'm finally starting to get my head around all the little nuances to getting a morph or character to transfer over - the differences between loading a figure and applying a pose... CoF's discussion about doing a .cr2 export made it click for me why sometimes I set a character all up, do the transfer, and the morph looks like a mutant or does nothing at all on the target figure when I try to apply it. 

    Thanks, Donovan! You know, I've struggled with GenX too, especially with the older figures. Seems like there's some serious finagling to get them to load and transfer correctly. I'm with you on being confused, and will check out your thread and the tutorial. I have wanted to learn how to move M4s correctly for about a year now. And I recently picked up some beautiful V3 clothing that I'd like to be able to use on my V7s. Which means I have to figure out the morphs.

    It is too bad it doesn't work backwards for bringing Genesis 3 skin maps back to Gen 2 or 1. :) 

    I think Cayman might have a UV set that does this. He's released a lot of great UV sets that make transferring skins between generations much easier. Not sure if the Blacksmith software over at Rendo does things backwards. I know it can move textures forward but I don't have it. I do have G3M for G2M and that makes getting the clothes to fit much easier. I'm not sure it works with skins. Will look. There's also a backwards pose converter in one of the recent threads. Been meaning to check that out. My illusionist is a G2M and it would be nice to move some of the newer pose sets back to use them on him.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    Novica said:

    Llynara- so happy for you to have your own thread- I surfed through both pages and the renders are really nice. Your toons just sparkle with life! Looking forward to seeing more great pieces of art.  smiley

    Aww, thanks Novica! Thrilled to see you here! I love my toony toons. There will be more Pinky, for sure! And I just may toonify everything else. They are so much fun. Thanks for the great tips on the white point. I will put those to good use!

  • Yeah, I was looking for backwards pose conversion yesterday, fruitlessly. I figured in general it is easier to convert something more primitive to work with something more advanced, and more difficult to convert something more advanced to work with something more primative - if you followed that. 

    So, Going from V4 to Gen 1 to Gen 3 to Gen 3 is easier than going from Gen 3 to Gen 2, Gen 1 or V4, for example. (And whoever decided to name the generation 3 and later figures "genesis"... thanks for the confusion that causes when you start abbreviating  both"Generation" and "Genesis" to "Gens"... which also happens to be the abbreviation that gets used for "genitals".)  

    The document I link above specifically addresses transfer of V3 and M4 through Gen X... and even touches on A3 and other legacy characters. 

     

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 3,880

    Nicel looking through this, I remember that beach render as well. Its amazing to see how far you have come from that start! those light settings seem to work really good, I like especially that last one.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    Thanks, Linwelly! I'm having so much fun with DAZ, and Darwin's walk through is really good. So is the new Iray update. OMG, my renders are so much faster. This is the same scene as above, just changed the background to a darker one per knittingmommy's suggestion. The original scene took me 12 hours to render. This one took me an hour and forty five minutes, and I could actually use my computer the entire time it was rendering because it was using GPU and not sucking up all the CPU and memory. Oh, happy day! 

    I still want to fix the shadows on her face, but this is coming along nicely. 

    EDIT: Also possible shader issue on her lower lip. Will check this later, was using NGS Anagenesis 2 shaders (particularly the gloss on her lips) and maybe they're interpreted differently in the new Iray version.

     

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  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    I've been playing around with Fast Fog for Iray today. Unfortunately, I can't seem to get the crazy fast render times I did yesterday. With or without the fog. So I don't think that's causing it. The verbose mode is telling me when it loads the scene that it's 4GB, which definitely does not fit on my 2 GB 750Ti. I tried Esemwy's Reduce Textures script, which got it down to 1.2 GB. The GPU is definitely rendering it, but still much slower than before.

    Other stuff I did: 

    • made sure all my graphic drivers were updated
    • rebooted my computer
    • backed out the camera angle a bit
    • turned off the dome so I can get a transparent background
    • added another light to counter the shadows on her face
    • took off the lip gloss shader that was making her lips look strange
    • lowered the opacity of the fog

    Not sure why any of these would matter. The original scene without the changes still renders super fast. Something I've done since then has caused the issue. I save almost every step along the way. So I'll track to the original scene to figure it out or start with a fresh one. I wanted to go through the lighting walk through again anyhow. 

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    Post edited by Llynara on
  • The extra light, most likely. Iray lights exponentially increase render times. Meanwhile, I'm fluxomed at Generation X2 again. 

    I'm wondering if you can transfer a custom dialed character using specific morph packages from one generation to another. This character requires Genesis 3 Female Head and Body Morphs and another morph package for GF3. I'm thinking I need to transfer all the particular morphs required first - but I'm afraid that those morphs will have name conflicts with morphs I already have installed for GF1 and GF2. No matter what I do, when I transfer the morph and try to apply the character... only the naval and ears change. :D  
     

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    Wow, that is a pickle! I'm not sure what the answer is on that one. I have struggled to get M4 into Gen2 and Gen3 using that program, and recently tried moving a V3 to V7. I couldn't figure it out. I need to go back and read the documentation or the forums. I did manage to get the Toons Generation 2 into G2F and G2M (see first page of this thread.) That was a happy accident. Most of the time I have no idea what I'm doing in that program, LOL.

    I think you're right, it's something with the lights. Just did some test renders with DarwinsMishap's Parker for Lucian 7 out of the box.He renders extremely fast with default settings and with ElianeCK's lights and twice the resolution. I'm getting ready to save the original walkthrough lights as presets and try that. The settings are dialed way up and there's a ton more iterations, which is why I was shocked at how fast it rendered before. I really want to know what is affecting those fast render times. I really like those! LOL

    Parker's like, "Could you at least have put a shirt on me?"

    Um...no. He's lucky he got pants!

    Here he is at twice the hunkiness, still only 5 minutes to render. 

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  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    I think it has something to do with the catch light. If I start messing with that, the renders slow way down. Discovered it by accident. I saved the presets from my attempt at the walkthrough and loaded those. Everything loaded except the catch light, because it doesn'ts how up as a light, but as an object. I added one back into the scene and adjusted it like the walk through settings (lowered lumens to 6900, that shouldn't matter.) As soon as I did, everything slowed way down. I turned off the original set and added a new set of FW Promo Catch Lights. Bam! Done rendering in 3 minutes, though it was dark. Deleted those, added brighter ones, still done in 3 and a half minutes. I'm not complaining! The speeds now are incredible, especially for the number of lights in that scene. Just trying to figure out what interferes with them.

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  • fastbike1fastbike1 Posts: 2,809

    Iray photometric lights absolutely DO NOT "exponentially increase render times", as long as you are not using complex mesh lights. Quite the opposite, Iray will render faster with more light.

     You also don't generally need mesh lights unless you want a particular shape to emit light (e.g. a globe lighting fixture.

    The extra light, most likely. Iray lights exponentially increase render times. Meanwhile, I'm fluxomed at Generation X2 again. 

    I'm wondering if you can transfer a custom dialed character using specific morph packages from one generation to another. This character requires Genesis 3 Female Head and Body Morphs and another morph package for GF3. I'm thinking I need to transfer all the particular morphs required first - but I'm afraid that those morphs will have name conflicts with morphs I already have installed for GF1 and GF2. No matter what I do, when I transfer the morph and try to apply the character... only the naval and ears change. :D  
     

     

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    Not sure why, but turning off the dome massively slows it down. Does the light need something to bounce off of? I would think not having to draw the dome would be less taxing, not more. I've done a lot of renders without the background for postwork, and to save time in the past, but I'm not usually implementing this many light sets. There's Second Circle lights and FW Promo Catch lights in addition to an HDR.

    Same problem with Fast Fog. Not so fast for me, on this computer, with or without the dome. It certainly looks cool. The problems could be user error, or having the lights bouncing off of those particles could slow it wayyy down. I'll try with just HDRI later and see how it looks.

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  • fastbike1fastbike1 Posts: 2,809
    edited January 2017

    @Llynara

    If you still have the setup for your "blown out" scene (it's really not blown out in the photographic sense), try reducing the lumen values of your lights a bit, or reducing the Environment intensity (if using a HDRI), or tonemapping for a bit darker image. See if any of these give you what you want.

    The original is actually quite well lit. From my perspective, the darker image is just . . .  darker. Lighting is a bit flat. It you want a mysterious darker image you need some shadows and a fair bit of contrast somewhere,

    In the darker image, try a photometric spot (with, say a 100 to 200 cm diameter disk geometry) that is out of the camera view on the left of the picture (Wilona's right). I would follow the line of Wilona's shoulders so that the light rakes across her bust and the right side of the face. Don't go super bright, but enough to throw some shadow on her face. If you have a light on the left of the scene so that it lights her front fairly directly, dial it back so that it just adds a bit of glow to her front. The light in back should dominate.

    This lighting in this lingerie shoot tutorial is roughly what I'm suggesting except I wouldn't light the backdrop in your image. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PEKIA1O0D8

    Larry

    Post edited by fastbike1 on
  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    Thanks, Larry. I'll try that. I love lighting, but sometimes I manage to confuse myself. I feel like I need a PHD in this stuff to really get it! And a better graphics card!

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    fastbike1 said:

    Iray photometric lights absolutely DO NOT "exponentially increase render times", as long as you are not using complex mesh lights. Quite the opposite, Iray will render faster with more light.

     You also don't generally need mesh lights unless you want a particular shape to emit light (e.g. a globe lighting fixture.

    The extra light, most likely. Iray lights exponentially increase render times. Meanwhile, I'm fluxomed at Generation X2 again. 

    I'm wondering if you can transfer a custom dialed character using specific morph packages from one generation to another. This character requires Genesis 3 Female Head and Body Morphs and another morph package for GF3. I'm thinking I need to transfer all the particular morphs required first - but I'm afraid that those morphs will have name conflicts with morphs I already have installed for GF1 and GF2. No matter what I do, when I transfer the morph and try to apply the character... only the naval and ears change. :D 

    Thanks for this info. We must've posted at the same time. I'm just seeing it.

  • donovancolbertdonovancolbert Posts: 1,360
    edited January 2017

    Larry, everything I've *read* about Iray lighting says that the more lights, the "exponentially longer the render time." 

    My *experience* with Daz 3D says that the more lights I add, the more shadows and bouncing light... the longer it takes to render. 

    Common sense says that in a physics based engine, the more light sources you add, the more calculations are going to have to be computed to figure out core shadows, cast shadows, reflected light, and other proerties relative to a physics based light rendering engine. 

    Now... I think we might be hung up on semantics. Will a single IRAY light with high lumens or cranked up intensity render quicker versus a half dozen iray light sources with low lumens and/or low lumens (a less realistic light source versus a more realistic multiple light source) render faster? 

    An outdoor scene with a single light source ("the sun or "distant light"") or even an indoor scene with a single high intensity light source, ("the sun") will render fast. 

    A night time scene with multiple low intensity light sources (the moon outside coming in through lace curtains in a window, a single incandescent light bulb, a TV set up as an emitter, a candle set up as an emitter....) 

    Will exponentially increase render times - but also radically enhance photo-realism in the final render. 

    If I'm wrong, I'd love to learn what I don't understand. No sarcasm here. I'm operating on assumptions. 

     

    Post edited by donovancolbert on
  • And which render will be more dramtic and detailed? The single high intensity/high lumens photometric light source? 

    Or the multiple lower intenstiy light sources? 

    Again... my experience is that when I use multiple low intensity lights and emitters, I get a more dramatic scene, but it takes *exponentially* longer to render than a single high intensity/high lumens light source - and that seems to make sense in a physics based lighting model. 

    But there is a lot about DAZ that still puzzles me. I can't get characters and morphs to reliably transfer using Generation X 2, for example. 

  • *Aaaand...* 

    It seems like textures and shaders and other variables have a huge impact too. A low-poly room with flat walls that are basically just colored primitive planes renders fast. 

    A high poly backgrond that includes a lot of textures, bump maps, and highly textured and patterned surfaces will take FOR... EVER to render... 

    Say , for example, an Iray room with textured stucco walls and popcorn roof and a woven pattern cushion with a plaid pattern on it and a leather reclining chair with worn metal studs and three IRAY skinmap Genesis 3 figures and a half dozen Iray Lights... 

    will take FAR longer to render than V4 and V3 in a room with flat walls that have no patterns or textures with a single light source.  Even if I add AoA shaders and SSS skins and custom shaders and other tricks to make the final result more like an Iray photorealistic final render. 


    Am I completely off base here? If I'm coming to wrong conclusions, I *want* to be corrected. 
     

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691
    edited January 2017

    I'm still learning too. Seems like the more lights, the longer render time in 3Delight for sure. In Iray, there seems to be a point of critical mass. Too few lights takes longer and too many as well. There's some kind of sweet spot in the middle, I think. What puzzles me in Iray is that removing the dome seems to make my renders longer in the newest version. Weird. 

    For the textures and shaders- yes, they can add up fast. Many people render in layers to reduce times and also for postwork. I've been doing that since I started, since my computers aren't the latest and greatest (they're often free ones I've revived and rebuilt.) 

    I'm playing with Esewy's Reduced Texture script and it does a great job of getting those sizes down small enough to go on the graphics card. I like that the new update actually tells you the sizes, so you have some idea what you're working with.

    But I think I still need a better graphics card. A better computer too. But I think my computer and my wallet could handle a 1070. Was looking at those last night. 

    Post edited by Llynara on
  • I started off with 4.9 beta - so I have *always* found that a single HDRI dome light gives me the quickest render times balanced with the best final results. Starting off I did the DAZ tutorials like Alchemy Chasm and Day at the Beach and they taught to use distant lights...

    ​But a single light tends to cast harsh shadows and to look flat. Some of my best renders have used only a couple of emitters or multiple IRAY can lights with a key, fill and kicker. At some point I picked up Reality for a screaming price - and although I haven't really done a lot of renders with it, the mesh lights it uses do tend to create very realistic shadows and depth on skin... It seems like it would be great for portraits or figure studies in "studio" background settings where you don't have to bother with a lot of textures.

    ​I'd love to have an i7 with a DLSI 10x0 GPU setup with 8GB of RAM. Heh. Heck, I'd love an $8000 Quadra card...

    ​But I really find that my i5 with a 2GB 750ti handles most everything I throw at it pretty well. I suppose I am actually doing a lot of CPU rendering when I believed I was doing GPU rendering... I'm still figuring that aspect of it out.  

    ​Maybe some of the differences in opinion have to do with what versions people are using. 4.9 evidently had some bugs with which render mode it would prefer, and many of the update notes on the release version deal with how IRAY calculates  lights. So my experience may have to do with being on a beta release.

  • LlynaraLlynara Posts: 4,691

    I have a similar setup. Can't remember the exact processor, it's an odd one that supposedly is close to I7 capability but not quite? I read that somewhere. The motherboard can only do 16GB. I've got 14 now, which is odd, but I need one more 4GB stick instead of a 2GB in there. The 750Ti is good enough, but I end up doing a lot of CPU renders too. Which is why I get excited when the thing starts flying through a render. For around $400, I think this machine could take a 1070 with 8GB. That would do just fine till I can build a more robust system, probably in a year or more when I start doing animation. With everything else going on, I don't think I can even think about that till 2018.

    The goal is to do animated book trailers. I've already got them in my head, along with the music to go with them. Heck, I could even storyboard them at this point. But actually creating them is going to take a while. I'm working on creating the characters in 3D first for promos and covers, and then looking at the best way to animate. I'll probably end up with iClone7, but who knows. Plenty of time to figure it out. The tools will be even better by then too.

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