Tutorial Uber Area Lighting: The Basics

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  • HorusRaHorusRa Posts: 1,660
    edited April 2015

    Szark said:
    My pleasure

    a) This shader replaces the default shader and removes Refraction etc which is a little limiting IMHO. But you could use a Geometry Shell (Create > New Geometry Shell) as the light source which will keep your existing shader intact on the original mesh.
    b) the fire texture is part of http://www.daz3d.com/yuletide-dreams which is a texture addon for http://www.daz3d.com/holiday-nook

    That is limiting, I'd agree. =( ooh, that geometry shell stuff is a bit advanced for me. No need to explain though, I could probably just leave my sconces as they are, until I mess with DS 4.8.

    Holiday nook: ok now I see. That is actually in my wish list, but I have been using the "Reflections" series of products. Coincidence that I found u'r tutorial and u were using almost the exact same scene, that was a god send.

    Oh yes, "Transparency (Opacity Daz Studio calls it)" like an alpha channel texture. I was kind of assuming that, and that's why I didn't use it and asked. Makes sense. I guess I'd have to wonder how I get the fire texture from the "Reflections" set fire place, if that's possible?
    http://www.daz3d.com/reflections-victorian-bedroom

    Where your diffuse color shows the fire texture mine shows the whole fireplace sheet, in the attached image.

    Thanks

    bedroom.png
    1920 x 1080 - 3M
    Post edited by HorusRa on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    it doesn't matter that the fire texture is part of a bigger texture set as it has it's own Material (surface) zone so it will work the same as my example.

    Geo Shell isn't advanced as you might think. It is just a copy of the mesh with no textures that surrounds the original mesh. It is very simple compare to other functions.

    Sorry I don't understand your question of

    "I guess I’d have to wonder how I get the fire texture from the “Reflections” set fire place, if that’s possible?"

    aren't you using that set in your screen shot?

  • HorusRaHorusRa Posts: 1,660
    edited April 2015

    Szark said:
    it doesn't matter that the fire texture is part of a bigger texture set as it has it's own Material (surface) zone so it will work the same as my example.

    Geo Shell isn't advanced as you might think. It is just a copy of the mesh with no textures that surrounds the original mesh. It is very simple compare to other functions.

    Sorry I don't understand your question of

    "I guess I’d have to wonder how I get the fire texture from the “Reflections” set fire place, if that’s possible?"

    aren't you using that set in your screen shot?

    Yes, I am using that set. Sorry for the confusion. How to explain? What I mean is, if this makes any sense; you said u got that fire texture, I just meant I wonder how I would pull the fire texture from that set I'm using to use as u did. I think maybe u answered that above though when u said it didn't matter that it was part of a bigger texture set. At least I take it that that's what u meant. =P So in other words where I have the drop down, that's what I need to use there? The diffuse in my screen shot that I have open, top middle right.

    Post edited by HorusRa on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited April 2015

    Arr ok yes that is easy. In your last screenshot click on the Diffuse Texture small thumbnail beside the Diffuse colour bar and a menu should pop up, chose Browse and that will open the folder in your content library that houses the textures.

    This is what I do. With the texture map folder open I right click on the map and Open With > Photoshop. If you have Gimp you should have a separate command when right clicking yhe map called Edit with Gimp. Or with Gimp open you can drag and drop the map from the content folder into Gimp.

    Reading your post again I still a little confused. You have a fire texture map in place when the set loads. If you want to keep that map in place when applying the Area light shader just hold down the Ctrl key and double click on the Area Light Base and a box will pop up, In the second option chose to "Ignore" to replace texture maps.

    Post edited by Szark on
  • HorusRaHorusRa Posts: 1,660
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Arr ok yes that is easy. In your last screenshot click on the Diffuse Texture small thumbnail beside the Diffuse colour bar and a menu should pop up, chose Browse and that will open the folder in your content library that houses the textures.

    This is what I do. With the texture map folder open I right click on the map and Open With > Photoshop. If you have Gimp you should have a separate command when right clicking yhe map called Edit with Gimp. Or with Gimp open you can drag and drop the map from the content folder into Gimp.

    Reading your post again I still a little confused. You have a fire texture map in place when the set loads. If you want to keep that map in place when applying the Area light shader just hold down the Ctrl key and double click on the Area Light Base and a box will pop up, In the second option chose to "Ignore" to replace texture maps.

    Doesn't look like I'm going to have success finding that texture. I used the browse and couldn't find it. I then manually went into my content folder (that took some time), never found it. Since that is the case let me ask u this: I'm guessing u used the fire texture to be "accurate" on the color that the fire would give off instead of say, guessing/choosing on the RGB scale, is that right? If so I probably just choose a reddish-yellow color instead as that would be good enough since I'm not finding that texture.

    Gimp: I understand. I use Paint.net, but either one. =)

    Your last paragraph: yeah I understand that clearly from your tutorial. I have been using that, so far on the sconces, but since I haven't been able to find the fire texture I've no need to use it on the uberarea sphere yet.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    That is strange. If the map is showing in the diffuse channel as your screenshot shows it will always go directly to the texture folder in your content library when using the Browse function. I have never seen this behaviour. If the texture map is not loaded then yes using Browse won't take you to the right folder.

    If you look at your screenshot again it tells you the location of the texture map as does this http://docs.daz3d.com/doku.php/public/read_me/index/12849/file_list

  • HorusRaHorusRa Posts: 1,660
    edited April 2015

    As close as I can get to any fire textures are these two. These were taken from the file list, uh, err, unless somehow I'm over-sighting:

    Fire2.png
    1920 x 1080 - 380K
    Fire1.png
    1920 x 1080 - 1M
    Post edited by HorusRa on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    What I would do is crop the fire map down to just the flame part and use that on a sphere. You don't need the Opacity map as you will be hiding the sphere using the Fathom http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/#211165 function but yes choosing a red/orange colour would do.

  • Virtual MediaVirtual Media Posts: 85
    edited December 1969

    Is it possible to render separate items in the same scene with different uber lighting settings? For example the character in uber and charter hair / fibermesh in uber without without raytrace?

    Thanks

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    Is it possible to render separate items in the same scene with different uber lighting settings? For example the character in uber and charter hair / fibermesh in uber without without raytrace?

    Thanks

    You need to apply the UberSurface shader to the hair to take advantage of being able to exclude the hair from the occlusion calculations/raytracing.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    If they have different Material Zones then yes you can have different Area light settings per material zone. But I am a little confused on your last part "without raytrace". Do you mean without shadows? Or do you mean to exclude raytrace calculations, then the answer is yes as there is a Raytrace ON/OFF toggle in the Area Light surface settings.

  • HorusRaHorusRa Posts: 1,660
    edited April 2015

    Szark said:
    What I would do is crop the fire map down to just the flame part and use that on a sphere. You don't need the Opacity map as you will be hiding the sphere using the Fathom http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/#211165 function but yes choosing a red/orange colour would do.

    Thanks Szark. I guess I'll either do that or choose a color that's close to the flame color. I'm working on it right now. Thanks again.

    [edit]: I used the color piker In Paint.net on the flame part u mentioned several posts above and applied that to the Uberarea in the fireplace.

    Result:

    Fireplace.png
    1114 x 882 - 1M
    Post edited by HorusRa on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    Sorry for the late reply. We don't get notified for Edits. :P Nice one. For brighter looking flames you could increase the Ambient Strength more just for the flames but not bad for your first try. .

  • HorusRaHorusRa Posts: 1,660
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Sorry for the late reply. We don't get notified for Edits. :P Nice one. For brighter looking flames you could increase the Ambient Strength more just for the flames but not bad for your first try. .

    Why thank you. I don't even remember what the settings were, since that was a few weeks ago or so, but this was a good learning experience for me while working with your tutorial. It was just all experimentation. I understand about the ambient strength, when I go for the real deal on a real scene I'll up that. I picked up Faveral's Medieval Tavern http://www.daz3d.com/medieval-tavern during yesterdays limited sale and was thinking about setting up my lighting in it right now, so I'm back referring to your excellent tutorial.
    Thanks again.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    my pleasure and I can't wait to see what you do with the Medieval Tavern

  • Mage 13X13Mage 13X13 Posts: 428
    edited June 2015

    Szark, I made a flashlight in Wings 3D with all the parts that you would see if it were a real one. I had been experimenting with the Area Lights and was unable to get the light from the bulb to actually pass through the lens. Let me give a better description of the model here.

    There is of course the tube where batteries would be encased, with a push switch on one side. At the end of the tube is part of a dome shape that is actually extruded from the tube, and given a curvature. That part has a short but wide tube at its open end, Inside the business end of the model is a full dome with normals pointing into itself. A globe is attached to the bottom of that inner dome to act as the light bulb. There is a lens covering the open end of the inner dome. Each part has its own material zone, and the model is UV mapped.

    What I had tried was replacing the light bulb with an area light sphere, using the Chrome Metal Shader from the Reflect Me product pack from DAZ 3D on the inner dome, and various other shaders for the rest of the model. I was thinking that this would make the model behave like a real flashlight would, but after all that work lo light was passing through the lens. So I replaced the area light sphere with a spotlight. The light did pass through the lens, but when rendering the model pointing at the camera, I could see the surfaces the light was shining on, but the lens was all zeros black. This had me confused because I expected that the light would be visible in the lens since it was clearly lighting other objects in the scene.

    I started a thread of my own here in the DAZ Forums to try and find help with that problem, and another member directed me to this thread. I am planning to revisit the model and try your method of using the area light base to convert my light bulb to an area light, and I will be using your other instruction the make the lens have refraction. Also, I will set the raytrace depth up so that the light will pass through the lens. It will need to be set to at least 6 to allow for the reflection off the inner dome to pass through as well.

    I thank you for providing your tutorial, but I do have a question for you. Would it be possible to get a pdf document version of your tutorial?

    Post edited by Mage 13X13 on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    I started a thread of my own here in the DAZ Forums to try and find help with that problem, and another member directed me to this thread. I am planning to revisit the model and try your method of using the area light base to convert my light bulb to an area light, and I will be using your other instruction the make the lens have refraction. Also, I will set the raytrace depth up so that the light will pass through the lens. It will need to be set to at least 6 to allow for the reflection off the inner dome to pass through as well.

    I thank you for providing your tutorial, but I do have a question for you. Would it be possible to get a pdf document version of your tutorial?

    It's always a good idea to go one more than you think you'll need for raytrace depth. And if you are turning the filament (if you modeled one) into the emitter, then you will need at least a depth of 8.

  • Mage 13X13Mage 13X13 Posts: 428
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:

    I started a thread of my own here in the DAZ Forums to try and find help with that problem, and another member directed me to this thread. I am planning to revisit the model and try your method of using the area light base to convert my light bulb to an area light, and I will be using your other instruction the make the lens have refraction. Also, I will set the raytrace depth up so that the light will pass through the lens. It will need to be set to at least 6 to allow for the reflection off the inner dome to pass through as well.

    I thank you for providing your tutorial, but I do have a question for you. Would it be possible to get a pdf document version of your tutorial?

    It's always a good idea to go one more than you think you'll need for raytrace depth. And if you are turning the filament (if you modeled one) into the emitter, then you will need at least a depth of 8.
    Actually I did not model a filament inside the light bulb, although if this method works I will definitely be looking at doing so. My flashlight model was made specifically to test my idea of creating a working model that behaves like a real one. So the surfaces for the rays to either bounce off of or pass through are as follows: The inner dome, which is what I'm using for my reflector cone, the inside surface of the lens, and the outside surface of the lens. That makes a total of 3; however, I got a hunch that the backs of the surfaces may be treated as separate surfaces, and if that is the case, the total would 5. So a maximum ray depth of 6 will likely do the trick. Of course it may be better to have more than 1 over the needed maximum ray depth, because the light will need to bounce off of objects in the scene that the model is pointed at. If I do model a filament in the advanced model I have planned, I will need to increase that to at least 10, and more than likely to 12.

    Thank you for mentioning a filament, as I nearly forgot that I wanted the final version to have that.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    I am here finally. Oh PDF yes that can be done when I get some time.


    One thing that strikes me of your two posts is the thinking that in 3delight you will have the benefits of having a shiny reflector to push the light forward. This would be true if you were using some sort of Global Illumination that would provide such a light bounce effect but generally you won't get that type of material and light relationship.

    This would be true of Iray but not 3delight.

    What I would do is to use a Area Light Disc behind the lens, as far back as the disc will go, to provide the light. The sides of the torch head will help constrain the light spread The Max Raytrace Depth is dependent on the Lens that the light has to pass through. If the lens has a thickness, having two sides then your starting Max Ray Trace depth would be 2.

    I wouldn't go as far as a filament if using 3delight. Iray yes but in my experience small objects and area lights in 3delight don't work as well as I expected.

  • Mage 13X13Mage 13X13 Posts: 428
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    I am here finally. Oh PDF yes that can be done when I get some time.


    One thing that strikes me of your two posts is the thinking that in 3delight you will have the benefits of having a shiny reflector to push the light forward. This would be true if you were using some sort of Global Illumination that would provide such a light bounce effect but generally you won't get that type of material and light relationship.

    This would be true of Iray but not 3delight.

    What I would do is to use a Area Light Disc behind the lens, as far back as the disc will go, to provide the light. The sides of the torch head will help constrain the light spread The Max Raytrace Depth is dependent on the Lens that the light has to pass through. If the lens has a thickness, having two sides then your starting Max Ray Trace depth would be 2.

    I wouldn't go as far as a filament if using 3delight. Iray yes but in my experience small objects and area lights in 3delight don't work as well as I expected.


    Thank you for that info and the suggestion. My lens does have thickness, and is slightly convex, like a lens that focuses a beam of light to make it shine further in real life. An example of what I want to achieve is a flashlight known as a Maglight. It has a way to widen or narrow its beam. I have owned a few of them and have always loved the performance they gave. As for the transparency of the lens, I can make it fully transparent if needed. As long as the refraction index is right though, I think a 2% opacity value will work fine and it will give a sense that there is a lens when viewing it from a less than direct angle. So my question now is how far can I make the falloff for the Area Light Disc? I am hoping it will be a good distance.

    One thing I don't know is whether the refraction works as well as it does in Bryce 7.1 Pro. I have created a working telescope in Bryce that actually magnifies distant objects in my scene. The same principles that govern that telescope in Bryce should also work in DAZ Studio for this purpose of creating a good flashlight. Of course in Bryce there are textures provided in the Materials Library that can provide different refraction index values for different effects. I am also able to create my own glass textures with different values for refraction. For a 32 bit application, that is a fantastic ability.

    Unfortunately though, SSS for human skin materials does not at all work well in Bryce, plus any figure I use in Bryce would need to be posed first in DAZ Studio, and then sent to Bryce. This is what I call a hit and miss way of working between the two applications, and the DAZ to Bryce Bridge is not working with DAZ Studio 4.8, making the process slower to achieve due to having to export from DAZ and import to Bryce.

    So doing my flashlight in DAZ Studio is the best option I have; and if I can make a working model for DAZ Studio, it will be worthy of putting up for sale. That is my goal for this product. I have not seen anything like it anywhere on the internet, so I think it would be something people would really want to buy.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,634
    edited December 1969

    Ok yeah I know what a Maglite is so I get the shape of it in my head.

    I understand what you want and if you where using the Iray render engine then what you want would work really well. However you need to understand the 3delight render engine, the main render engine for Daz Studio, is that it fakes everything and as the user to needs fake everything like lighting and surfaces. It doesn't work as we see things reacting to light in the real world. This is why 3delight can be so creative as opposed to realistic. The only time you might get close to realistic light and surface interaction using 3delight is when you use advanced Global Illumination and then it take some work to get things looking right. On top of this you aren't going to see a beam of light emitting from the touch as that needs an Atmosphere. There are some tools to help with this for the 3delight render engine in the DAZ3D Store but how well it will work on a mesh light is another story.

    Personally I would ask myself do I want realism and use the internal parts of the torch to work like a real world torch. If the answer is yes get learning about the Iray render engine and surfaces. For 3delight expect a long learning curve to get the best of what you want. Both aren't easy but it is achievable.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Ok yeah I know what a Maglite is so I get the shape of it in my head.

    I understand what you want and if you where using the Iray render engine then what you want would work really well. However you need to understand the 3delight render engine, the main render engine for Daz Studio, is that it fakes everything and as the user to needs fake everything like lighting and surfaces. It doesn't work as we see things reacting to light in the real world. This is why 3delight can be so creative as opposed to realistic. The only time you might get close to realistic light and surface interaction using 3delight is when you use advanced Global Illumination and then it take some work to get things looking right. On top of this you aren't going to see a beam of light emitting from the touch as that needs an Atmosphere. There are some tools to help with this for the 3delight render engine in the DAZ3D Store but how well it will work on a mesh light is another story.

    Personally I would ask myself do I want realism and use the internal parts of the torch to work like a real world torch. If the answer is yes get learning about the Iray render engine and surfaces. For 3delight expect a long learning curve to get the best of what you want. Both aren't easy but it is achievable.

    I won't get into the whole mess of how, but with the shaders commonly available in Studio, it's not absolutely impossible...but very, very difficult to do everything 'realistically' with 3DL. The refraction is a sort of, using the typical way of making 'glass' in DS, no, it doesn't refract properly...using an actual glass shader (the one in the Shader Mixer presets, counts), then yes (and I think making a glass preset for the omnifreaker family will work).

  • Mage 13X13Mage 13X13 Posts: 428
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:
    Szark said:
    Ok yeah I know what a Maglite is so I get the shape of it in my head.

    I understand what you want and if you where using the Iray render engine then what you want would work really well. However you need to understand the 3delight render engine, the main render engine for Daz Studio, is that it fakes everything and as the user to needs fake everything like lighting and surfaces. It doesn't work as we see things reacting to light in the real world. This is why 3delight can be so creative as opposed to realistic. The only time you might get close to realistic light and surface interaction using 3delight is when you use advanced Global Illumination and then it take some work to get things looking right. On top of this you aren't going to see a beam of light emitting from the touch as that needs an Atmosphere. There are some tools to help with this for the 3delight render engine in the DAZ3D Store but how well it will work on a mesh light is another story.

    Personally I would ask myself do I want realism and use the internal parts of the torch to work like a real world torch. If the answer is yes get learning about the Iray render engine and surfaces. For 3delight expect a long learning curve to get the best of what you want. Both aren't easy but it is achievable.

    I won't get into the whole mess of how, but with the shaders commonly available in Studio, it's not absolutely impossible...but very, very difficult to do everything 'realistically' with 3DL. The refraction is a sort of, using the typical way of making 'glass' in DS, no, it doesn't refract properly...using an actual glass shader (the one in the Shader Mixer presets, counts), then yes (and I think making a glass preset for the omnifreaker family will work).
    I've only ever made one shader in DAZ Studio, and it was a simple one, that included a transparency map. As soon as the shader was saved DAZ Studio ran out of memory on my laptop and it crashed. So for such a task I would need more RAM, and I have no way ATM to fund that. The machine does have the ability to have it's RAM doubled. So you know, I have 4GB RAM total, and the OS uses a fair amount of that to run my computer. It is odd that in my Poser 10 application, I am able to create multiple shaders, or if you prefer procedurals with no trouble, and that is a 32 bit application! Likewise creation of textures and materials, including procedurals, in Bryce can be done with little RAM use.

    I do need to get going with Iray, but I don't know how it will react with my small amount of RAM. I do not have an Invidia graphics card, and in fact this laptop has something other than a graphics card to perform the operation that one would perform. So it may be that I won't be able to use the Iray render engine. Of course it could not hurt to try it.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    Iray runs fine without Nvidia graphics...just in CPU mode.

  • Mage 13X13Mage 13X13 Posts: 428
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:
    Iray runs fine without Nvidia graphics...just in CPU mode.

    on a total of just 4GB RAM?
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    That would limit the size of the scene...basically it wouldn't be a very big scene, but yeah.

  • Mage 13X13Mage 13X13 Posts: 428
    edited December 1969

    mjc1016 said:
    That would limit the size of the scene...basically it wouldn't be a very big scene, but yeah.

    Well I will start learning about it ASAP.

    Perhaps I'll be able to get something more powerful to use soon. I have been looking at some fairly powerful towers recently and trying to come up with enough funds to get one. Alternatively I have also thought about having one built to my own specifications, which would require about twice or more what I would pay for a good used one.

    I found a used AlienWare Gaming computer tower about a year ago and tried it out and was amazed at the speed and responsiveness of it. It was a quad core with 24 GB RAM, a 2 TB hard drive and a 1 TB Expansion hard drive, a high end graphics card (Likely an Invidia), An excellent sound card, and an excellent video card, and the processor was a GPU rather than a CPU. Oh yeah, I almost forgot; it also had a liquid cooling system. Now that's a dream machine if there ever was one. I suspect it was custom built. All I know is I really wanted it, but even being a used one, it was way out of my price range. Maybe someday!

  • Roman_K2Roman_K2 Posts: 1,175
    Szark said:

    ...Area Lights also commonly referred to as mesh lights as we use a geometric shape as a light source.

    What category of lights do these these fall in? Some of this reminds me of candlelight. Or Cyalume light sticks.

    "Afterglow Iray emissive shaders, props & lights" (Renderosity web page link)

  • Roman_K2 said:
    Szark said:

    ...Area Lights also commonly referred to as mesh lights as we use a geometric shape as a light source.

    What category of lights do these these fall in? Some of this reminds me of candlelight. Or Cyalume light sticks.

    "Afterglow Iray emissive shaders, props & lights" (Renderosity web page link)

    I think it is called Uber Area Lights. I have been experimenting with them recently. Basically you load a simple mesh object, and assign the uber area lighting to that object. After tweaking the settings, the object appears to emit light and can even put a glow on nearby objects in the scene, and cast shadows. 

     

  • TotteTotte Posts: 13,401
    Roman_K2 said:
    Szark said:

    ...Area Lights also commonly referred to as mesh lights as we use a geometric shape as a light source.

    What category of lights do these these fall in? Some of this reminds me of candlelight. Or Cyalume light sticks.

    "Afterglow Iray emissive shaders, props & lights" (Renderosity web page link)

    First of all, those are Iray Emissive Surfaces and not 3DL Area Lights, but the functionallity is the same, light emitted from a mesh surface.

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