January 2017 - Daz 3D New User Challenge - Composition

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  • Shortcut said:

    A black & white portrait of a Woodland Elf

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Hello!

    This is my first post to the DAZ forums, and I’m a beginner to rendering, but not new to photos/digital images. After installing DAZ it sat on my hard drive for more than a year before I properly tried to do anything with it. The last few weeks have been my real start on the learning curve by diving into tutorials and tips online to see what other people are doing and how their work turns out. The more I learn the more I get hooked :-) It’s great software and like having a virtual photo studio or cinema set, which is very cool!

    I’d like to offer this as an entry, a portrait using a golden spiral, black&white, and limited DOF to aid the composition. Postwork in PS at this stage includes adding a vignette, a little dodging and burning, and some softening of the elf’s skin to give it that glow. I welcome and appreciate any comments or tips!

    Title: Woodland Elf

    Software Used: DAZ Studio 4.9, Photoshop CS6

    All I have to say is "Wow!" It is really gorgeous. :D Nice job!

  • did that for some reason maybe just put it here i guess!!?

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  • @daybird

    I think it would help if you cropped in and removed the light sources at the top right. Have a look at the suggested crop attached. Notice how the dark areas don't seem quite as dark anymore? It also removes that large and empty black space at top left and takes the figure away from a completely central position. A nice triangle of light leading the eye to and from her face and hands is formed by the figure's bright face and the guns blazing. With the bright street lamp above and the huge area of light from the window included, the eye is taken away from the action and wanders out of the image. Some brighter ambient light streaming down from this same area above but out of the image's frame might also help seperate your main figure from the background and improve the depth of the image. The foreground is looking good with the out-of-focus guard caught in mid-pose falling down, but the middle and background look flat. Perhaps you could even try rotating the image slightly to pull your main figure over to the left more? I like that your figure is looking up and out of the image, suggesting that there is a lot more going on that we can't see, creating tension and inviting us to imagine. Keep going with this!

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  • did that for some reason maybe just put it here i guess!!?

    Ouch, that must hurt a lot! The metal wire-frame underneath the desk is running straight through her legs..

    I can see where you're going with this and it's promissing! You should have a look at the first post and the Golden Rulles (of Thirds, Golden Ratio, etc.) on how to make your composition more interesting or intriguing.

    And then play with the lighting. As the girl's at the back of the room, there's likely only lights in the ceiling in front of her which could make for interesting shadows on the back wall. Maybe a sun light from a window, too. That would really make this picture come to life!
    Right now it appears you have two main lights – all at eye-level or lower as it seems – casting some faint shadows:

    • one coming from the dead left of her – as the leg of the chair casts a faint shadow towards the right, her armpit as well as a bang on the left side of her face, and
    • one coming from the front right of her – as the bang on the right side of her face casts a shadow in her face

    There's a lot of room in this pic to play with that and create some ceiling lights casting some more real life looking shadows on the wall!

    Hope this helps!

  • ShortcutShortcut Posts: 68
    edited January 2017

    @daybird

    @IceDragonArt

    @sidhe_touch

    Thank you for your encouragements!

    Post edited by Shortcut on
  • Sirius1066Sirius1066 Posts: 12
    edited January 2017

    Hi 

    After looking at all the comments here and other posts I went away and rethought my entry for the comp. Here is my latest effort. Please be kind I have only been using Daz for little over a week. I'm completely new to this.

    I call the render "Amazment". I used Daz3d and GIMP for post work.

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    Post edited by Sirius1066 on
  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,247

    I'm not a newbie so I'm not really part of the challenge.  I offer advice where I can, but I'm still learning lots.  I'm posting an image I rendered in 3Delight.  3DL isn't a render engine I'm comfortable in yet.  I'm more of an Iray gal.  However, I'm trying.  And, as I mentioned in a previous post, composition isn't my strong suit. 

    I'm including the two original renders straight out of DS to compare along with the postworked version of the second version, the one with the lights after adjustment.  I like that I can see more of the freckles on the arm, but despite adjusting the lights there still seems to be way too much light on his arms.  However, I love the play of light and shadows on his face and if I adjust so the arms look good, the face has too much shadow and I lose some of the light that makes his face interesting. 

    While I would like some suggestions suggestions on how to fix the blown out lighting on his arms without messing up the nice play of shadows on his face, I would love some tips or suggestions on improving the composition.

    Original render:

    Rendered again after playing with the lights:

    Postworked version of Singer02:

    I've included an attachment that shows where I have the Rule of Thirds lined up.  I can never figure out the best places to put body parts! :)
     

    Forgive me if someone else already asked, but why the mic stand? Its not, IMO, adding to the composition in its current position. Take that away, I like the composition a lot, though I would give some (more?) z-axis tilt to the camera.

  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,247
    Delirious said:
    Delirious said:

     

    I kind of like'd the foreground lighting the best, with your main subject standing out.  My biggest issue is the position of the figure in the rear. If you look at the photo, the rear figure is more obscured by the front figure. Right now, the way you have them positioned the front figure is just bumping up against the edges of the rear figure and not obscuring her in any meaningful way.  You want either obscuring or not, don't do it half-way. Oh, and try to get some shine in your main subject's eyes. She's kind of flat.

    Thanks for the feedback. As I was working on it I kept moving the background figure more and more behind the foreground figure. Here I separated them to give each its own third. I have been trying to get light into the foreground figure's eyes but with no success. I tried spot lights with no success. Any suggestions are appreciated. Otherwise I know the foreground figure's skin is not there yet, I think this adds to her appearing flat. Still, I think the composition works.

    This render timed out at 3 hours. I know I can increase render time for better results, just have not done it yet.

    So you've gone the oposite way, which is a valid proposition if you want both figures to get attention. The way it works now, the rear figure gets my attention first, and then I'm draw to the front. It's a really nice flow, actually.

    For the eyes: One spotlight, turned to either a circle or square (brightness is going to entirely depend on the other lights in your scene, but its going to be a lot less bright than the rest since it only exists to do this one thing), boost the spread angle to at least 90 degrees. Plop it right in front of her face and see if you get something. If you don't, your materials need work. If you do, manipulate that one light to get what you want.

  • Delirious said:
    So you've gone the oposite way, which is a valid proposition if you want both figures to get attention. The way it works now, the rear figure gets my attention first, and then I'm draw to the front. It's a really nice flow, actually.

    For the eyes: One spotlight, turned to either a circle or square (brightness is going to entirely depend on the other lights in your scene, but its going to be a lot less bright than the rest since it only exists to do this one thing), boost the spread angle to at least 90 degrees. Plop it right in front of her face and see if you get something. If you don't, your materials need work. If you do, manipulate that one light to get what you want.

    I am glad you see and like the flow of the image. I want the viewer's eye to travel lefft to right, and then (ideally) down the foreground figure's arm. For what it's worth, the foreground figure's face is alinged with the face of the foreground figure in the photo. . . . Now to get that spotlight working . . .

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391
    edited January 2017

    Still can't let this alternate view go...any help or advice (or even therapy) welcomed.  One thing I'm struggling with is that I'm zoomed in so far every control is super sensitive and even minor changes are getting hard to tweak.  Is there a way to reset the scale of the Daz interface without impacting everything in the scene?  It feels like I'm trying to do molecular level work with pliers...

     

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    Post edited by yhzmurphy on
  • dstuffledstuffle Posts: 37
    edited January 2017

    I'm assuming that this is the WIP thread for this month's contest.   This is what I'm working on.

     

     

     

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    Post edited by Chohole on
  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,247
    edited January 2017
    dstuffle said:

    I'm assuming that this is the WIP thread for this month's contest.   This is what I'm working on.

     

     

     

    That's interesting, but awful busy. With the paralell lines leading me off into the distance, all I can see are those giant clouds.  Literally everything points me in that direction. You've got to break up those lines somehow, and I wouldn't place your two figures on or so close to the two-thirds lines.  There's nothing to focus on here. You need to find something to draw the focus where you want it... the shooter or the shootee? One of them has to be the dominant figure.

    Not to say that there's not some nice stuff here, its dynamic, its pretty (in a way) and the materials pop.  But as a composition... its tough.

    Post edited by Chohole on
  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,412
    yhzmurphy said:

    Still can't let this alternate view go...any help or advice (or even therapy) welcomed.  One thing I'm struggling with is that I'm zoomed in so far every control is super sensitive and even minor changes are getting hard to tweak.  Is there a way to reset the scale of the Daz interface without impacting everything in the scene?  It feels like I'm trying to do molecular level work with pliers...

     

    I'm really liking this a lot!

    Try switching to perspective view and using that to move around the scene and not your camera. I don't know if that will help or not but I have a bad habit of moving my main camera after I have the perfect position.  And I don't know if the perspective view will help with how sensitive everything has become.  You may try going into smooth textured mode as well, that may help a bit, although it looks a bit odd if you aren't used to it.

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,412
    dstuffle said:

    I'm assuming that this is the WIP thread for this month's contest.   This is what I'm working on.

     

     

     

    That's interesting, but awful busy. With the paralell lines leading me off into the distance, all I can see are those giant clouds.  Literally everything points me in that direction. You've got to break up those lines somehow, and I wouldn't place your two figures on or so close to the two-thirds lines.  There's nothing to focus on here. You need to find something to draw the focus where you want it... the shooter or the shootee? One of them has to be the dominant figure.

    Not to say that there's not some nice stuff here, its dynamic, its pretty (in a way) and the materials pop.  But as a composition... its tough.

    Try rotatating the camera for a different view.  I really like where this is going, a more dramatic camera angle may make this more dynamic.  You might also want to make the guy who got shot look more... shot, like the bullet hit him hard enough to knock him off his feet.  I'm struggling to explain what I mean, his arms thrown back more or his back arched more...

  • lolitojfrlolitojfr Posts: 33
    edited January 2017
    Shortcut said:

     

    Does she happen to be a V4 character?  I had some of the same sort of thing happening with one of my V4 characters, the elbow joint was actually clipping into itself.  Might try loosening her grip just a tiny bit and see if that fixes the problem.

    She is a G3F character. I modified the pose of her arm from the collar to the forearm, does it look better now? I don't see much difference...

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    Post edited by lolitojfr on
  • I'm not a newbie so I'm not really part of the challenge.  I offer advice where I can, but I'm still learning lots.  I'm posting an image I rendered in 3Delight.  3DL isn't a render engine I'm comfortable in yet.  I'm more of an Iray gal.  However, I'm trying.  And, as I mentioned in a previous post, composition isn't my strong suit. 

    I'm including the two original renders straight out of DS to compare along with the postworked version of the second version, the one with the lights after adjustment.  I like that I can see more of the freckles on the arm, but despite adjusting the lights there still seems to be way too much light on his arms.  However, I love the play of light and shadows on his face and if I adjust so the arms look good, the face has too much shadow and I lose some of the light that makes his face interesting. 

    While I would like some suggestions suggestions on how to fix the blown out lighting on his arms without messing up the nice play of shadows on his face, I would love some tips or suggestions on improving the composition.

    Original render:

    Rendered again after playing with the lights:

    Postworked version of Singer02:

    I've included an attachment that shows where I have the Rule of Thirds lined up.  I can never figure out the best places to put body parts! :)
     

    Forgive me if someone else already asked, but why the mic stand? Its not, IMO, adding to the composition in its current position. Take that away, I like the composition a lot, though I would give some (more?) z-axis tilt to the camera.

    Nope, I don't think anyone mentioned it.  I don't really have an answer.  I just thought I liked it there.  I have been debating getting rid of it, though, when I redo the render.  I've gotten some good suggestons and I'm definitely going to be working on it some more.  Thanks.  Always a pleasure to get your input.  Thanks for the comment on the composition. I struggle with composition a LOT.  I'm never quite sure that I've 'got' it.

     

     

    yhzmurphy said:

    Still can't let this alternate view go...any help or advice (or even therapy) welcomed.  One thing I'm struggling with is that I'm zoomed in so far every control is super sensitive and even minor changes are getting hard to tweak.  Is there a way to reset the scale of the Daz interface without impacting everything in the scene?  It feels like I'm trying to do molecular level work with pliers...

     

    That's actually an interesting perspective with the addition boat in the foreground.  It totally changes the perspective.  Not a good thing or a bad thing, just different.  Personally, I like the other image better, but there are things that I like about this image, too.  It kind of reminds me of take on Gulliver's Travels.  I don't know why that popped into my head but there it is.  There is nothing that says you can't work on two images even if they are similar or were morphed from the same basic image.  Artists change perspective all of the time.  My advice is to work on both and see which one ends up being your favorite.  There is still about two weeks left to work on images.  If you can't let it go, there is a reason why you need to work on this version.  If you want therapy, work on the image.  That's the best kind of therapy there is for an artist.  :)

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,412
    lolitojfr said:
    Shortcut said:

     

    Does she happen to be a V4 character?  I had some of the same sort of thing happening with one of my V4 characters, the elbow joint was actually clipping into itself.  Might try loosening her grip just a tiny bit and see if that fixes the problem.

    She is a G3F character. I modified the pose of her arm from the collar to the forearm, does it look better now? I don't see much difference...

    It does look a bit better.  Its subtle but it looks more like an elbow now.  Weird that it would do that on G3

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391

     

    I'm really liking this a lot!

    Try switching to perspective view and using that to move around the scene and not your camera. I don't know if that will help or not but I have a bad habit of moving my main camera after I have the perfect position.  And I don't know if the perspective view will help with how sensitive everything has become.  You may try going into smooth textured mode as well, that may help a bit, although it looks a bit odd if you aren't used to it.

    Thank-you, both for the encouragement and the suggestion...I'll try it tonight and see if I can speed up progress.

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391

     

    That's actually an interesting perspective with the addition boat in the foreground.  It totally changes the perspective.  Not a good thing or a bad thing, just different.  Personally, I like the other image better, but there are things that I like about this image, too.  It kind of reminds me of take on Gulliver's Travels.  I don't know why that popped into my head but there it is.  There is nothing that says you can't work on two images even if they are similar or were morphed from the same basic image.  Artists change perspective all of the time.  My advice is to work on both and see which one ends up being your favorite.  There is still about two weeks left to work on images.  If you can't let it go, there is a reason why you need to work on this version.  If you want therapy, work on the image.  That's the best kind of therapy there is for an artist.  :)

    Thank-you...we'll keep working on it as therapy then.  It seems like I'm following the image as it evolves, instead of driving the ship (he said, mixing his metaphors horribly).  I have forked the images - in trying to get the composition right on this one, I had to cheat and diverge from the original 'outside' view. And change the lighting.  And adjust the background. And...   My original "cunning plan" was to have two cameras, and get two images for the work of one...

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391
    yhzmurphy said:

     

    Like where you're going with this. I couldn't help but think of my late father when I saw the ships in a bottle, because he had made one once that the nearest one reminded me of. It was so well done that the local hobby shop had it on display for awhile. (Sorry of this is jumbled, its 0227 hours where I am typing this, and I should be getting some sleep for work in the morning. Night.)

    Thank-you for sharing that, Shinji.  I was away for a few days, and just catching up on past comments, and saw this.  You just made my night.

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391

    Hi 

    After looking at all the comments here and other posts I went away and rethought my entry for the comp. Here is my latest effort. Please be kind I have only been using Daz for little over a week. I'm completely new to this.

    I call the render "Amazment". I used Daz3d and GIMP for post work.

    Hi Sirius.  I really like this concept and where you're taking it.  Given your handle, I surely hope the telescope is pointed at certain bright stars in Canis Major ;-)

    The only suggestion I'd make would be to tone down the brightness of the objective lens.  Either by changing the light that's shining on it, or by modifying it's Shader to make it less shiny reflective if you can.  Keep going - I look forward to seeing this unfold...

     

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391
    yhzmurphy said:

     

    I'm really liking this a lot!

    Try switching to perspective view and using that to move around the scene and not your camera. I don't know if that will help or not but I have a bad habit of moving my main camera after I have the perfect position.  And I don't know if the perspective view will help with how sensitive everything has become.  You may try going into smooth textured mode as well, that may help a bit, although it looks a bit odd if you aren't used to it.

    Thank-you, both for the encouragement and the suggestion...I'll try it tonight and see if I can speed up progress.

    Another face-palm moment...was this perspective view there all along???  Extremely useful tool and much smoother.  I still have to hand tweak my camera setting (I know...Captain Obvious), but otherwise zooming around to change things is much faster and easier.

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391
    dstuffle said:

     

    daybird said:

    Lot of changes since my last post and I hope, I don't have overdone it, but I was in a great creativity mode.
    I'm still not pleased with the light, but think, the camera angle works quite well. Maybe I should adjust the DoF a bit, to bring the fallen guard more in focus, or should I completly erase him from the pic?

    I really like how this is evolving - and as others have mentioned, the guard on the floor really adds to the story.  My $0.02 would be on the muzzle flashes.  The star pattern is formed by the flash suppressor on a rifle, and also they imply both pistols are fired at precisely the same time.  Since the guard is on the floor and she's looking elsewhere, unless she's spraying and praying (and if I remember Underworld, the cartridges were quite special) she probably fired at the guard first then the next one.  Maybe reduce the muzzle flash on the pistol facing the downed guard and give a sense of sequence to the shots fired.  Hope that's helpful (I don't know art...but I survived Infantry School).

  • yhzmurphyyhzmurphy Posts: 391
    edited January 2017

    Therapy Time continues...

    I added a lantern to be a 'light source' on the ship and in doing so, introduced a different hue to the middle-ground.  A complete accident, but I'm going to claim I did it to add a pallete/hue difference between the middle and back grounds.  Yeah...that's the ticket... It also passes my test of being a noticeable change in a thumbnail view.  Also, to explain my intent here, in case it's not obvious (and to solict help in making it obvious, or at least noticable) this is zoomed into the deck of the ship in a bottle in the front corner of the original work.  I'm still trying to get the reflections off the inside of the bottle to work to make it clearly the case.  

    As always, any and all feedback and comments are welcome.

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    Post edited by yhzmurphy on
  • ShortcutShortcut Posts: 68
    edited January 2017

    I probably enjoy fiddling too much but I'd like to get some tips to try and improve the detail on my figure's mouth. The little specular highlights on the lips are kind of noisy and distracting. I figure they should be a bit smoother and I was wondering if there was a way in the render settings, perhaps in the filter settings, to do this, rather than fixing it in Photoshop? The lower edge of the bottom lip should be in shadow too but it has rendered a bright line underneath. The image was rendered with the Iray engine. Anyone?

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    Post edited by Shortcut on
  • AloreeaAloreea Posts: 285

    I have been working on this for several days, and have started over so many times.... And this is what I ended up with.

    It took a while for me to get the lighting and her clothing the way I wanted for quite a while. For her clothing, I wanted a wet and torn kind of look. I used this product for the shirt > Boyfriend T-Shirt Wet and Dry for Genesis 3 Female(s) and I used cut out in order to make the shirt appear torn. then I made the jeans look as muddy as I could. I don't exactly remember what I did to do that, I was in the "zone" at the time, lol.

     I also couldn't decide whether to make the background with rain or not. 

     

    When I finally decided to let it render I decided to stop it halfway so I could make sure that I was doing it right. 

    So what do you think so far, should I let it continue rendering?

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  • AloreeaAloreea Posts: 285
    edited January 2017

    I have been working on this for several days, and have started over so many times.... And this is what I ended up with.

    It took a while for me to get the lighting and her clothing the way I wanted for quite a while. For her clothing, I wanted a wet and torn kind of look. I used this product for the shirt > Boyfriend T-Shirt Wet and Dry for Genesis 3 Female(s) and I used cut out in order to make the shirt appear torn. then I made the jeans look as muddy as I could. I don't exactly remember what I did to do that, I was in the "zone" at the time, lol.

     I also couldn't decide whether to make the background with rain or not. 

     

    When I finally decided to let it render I decided to stop it halfway so I could make sure that I was doing it right. 

    So what do you think so far, should I let it continue rendering?

    Post edited by Aloreea on
  • AloreeaAloreea Posts: 285
    edited January 2017

    I have been working on this for several days, and have started over so many times.... And this is what I ended up with.

    It took a while for me to get the lighting and her clothing the way I wanted for quite a while. For her clothing, I wanted a wet and torn kind of look. I used this product for the shirt > Boyfriend T-Shirt Wet and Dry for Genesis 3 Female(s) and I used cut out in order to make the shirt appear torn. then I made the jeans look as muddy as I could. I don't exactly remember what I did to do that, I was in the "zone" at the time, lol.

     I also couldn't decide whether to make the background with rain or not. 

     

    When I finally decided to let it render I decided to stop it halfway so I could make sure that I was doing it right. 

    So what do you think so far, should I let it continue rendering?

     

    Post edited by Aloreea on
  • Shortcut said:

    I probably enjoy fiddling too much but I'd like to get some tips to try and improve the detail on my figure's mouth. The little specular highlights on the lips are kind of noisy and distracting. I figure they should be a bit smoother and I was wondering if there was a way in the render settings, perhaps in the filter settings, to do this, rather than fixing it in Photoshop? The lower edge of the bottom lip should be in shadow too but it has rendered a bright line underneath. The image was rendered with the Iray engine. Anyone?

    My guess is that you might be able to fix that by playing with some surface settings on the figure itself but I'm not positive.  Which figure and makeup did you use?  Was it with Iray materials or did you use a 3DL to Iray conversion? Also, what lighting setup are you using?  Those kind of things can help us give you better answers.

  • Aloreea said:

    I have been working on this for several days, and have started over so many times.... And this is what I ended up with.

    It took a while for me to get the lighting and her clothing the way I wanted for quite a while. For her clothing, I wanted a wet and torn kind of look. I used this product for the shirt > Boyfriend T-Shirt Wet and Dry for Genesis 3 Female(s) and I used cut out in order to make the shirt appear torn. then I made the jeans look as muddy as I could. I don't exactly remember what I did to do that, I was in the "zone" at the time, lol.

     I also couldn't decide whether to make the background with rain or not. 

     

    When I finally decided to let it render I decided to stop it halfway so I could make sure that I was doing it right. 

    So what do you think so far, should I let it continue rendering?

    It looks like a good start.  Composition isn't my strong suit so I'll let others comment on that but, at first glance, it looks a good use of the rule of thirds.  I like your surfaces but you may have the shirt a little too transparent.  I'm not sure.  I like the rain.

    If you could edit your posts to fix the width of your image so that it is 800 px, that would much be appreciated as it is the preferred maximum width in these forums.  You can find instructions on how to do this here and here.

     

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