Novica & Serene Night's Renders, Tips, Tutorials & Product Reviews Part 1



  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,548
    edited August 2013

    Novica said:
    Where in the heck are you FINDING all this stuff??? I've never noticed those before, and even if I haven't done scifi I would think I wouldn't have missed these. The third one is definitely my favorite, I love the glossy, gleaming metal :) These look really fluid and graceful, like you can imagine them being animated and just zipping and curling around with ease. Thanks for sharing the pose information. I've wishlisted these and it's all your fault! The price is good as it includes all the models. (Hey, I can see the Infiltrator (snake) doing battle with that one with the red glow tail instrument. Wonder who'd win?

    Yeah they are so cool. They are tough to find. I don't remember exactly how I found them. DAZ really needs a better index. =-) If you do a search for robots, they don't show up, but they should because they are and they really are most awesome. =-) They have a nautical feel and the laser attachment is really just neat. Each of the little attachments seem to have moving parts. The artist did a magnificent job of 'em. One other thing you can do is multiple select the tentacles. They have great movement morphs, so you can do s-formations and give them sort of a need in sync movement feel.

    Yeah, I spent more time on number 3 than on the others. I think you can really make these look spiffy with the shaders. I admit, i'm not sure if the six legged one will ever get all 6 attachments. But i went through and attached all the arm parts to probe number 1. Since it only has one arm, and saved them out. Then if I ever nedto render a probe I just upload it. LOL.

    I went through and added smoke and a laser hole to the one firing into the door of dark star.

    My bet in infiltrator vs: probes is the probe! Nothing can defeat the probes!

    I probably won't be able to post tomorrow, so I posted tomorrows review today. My sister is coming into town, but I thought you might enjoy this now. =-)

    Post edited by Serene Night on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Have a great time! Just post when you can kiddo. You do renders, and when I cover big sets (like the bungalow) I am only doing screenshots so it's much faster. The sets are just too big to render every aspect of, and it wouldn't be timely. So sometimes I just do one render (like the sea gull with Chiara) but that goes at night.

    Enjoy your sister! I'm going to be posting more of the head dress materials, and am looking at Easy Shadows at the moment. I'm also doing the thread roundup of the product reviews and getting those listed bit by bit this week in that section.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Easy Shadows
    BRC Empathy
    Woodland Realm Playset 1

    Okay, I am tackling all the products that have sat there for a long time, so Easy Shadows was next up on the list after the fog. And it was easy.

    So, here's how this works. Find this product in the Content Library> DAZ Studio Formats>My Library>Light Presets>SickleYield>Easy Shadows.

    There will be little squares with instructions! Basically what you are doing is added a plane with gel presets.Think black outlines that when the light shines through, creates shadows. For instance, black outlines of tree branches.

    You have the option of attaching the plane to your spotlight (just be sure yours is selected in Scene tab, easy!) or click and load the lightset. That has UberEnvironment2 and a spotlight. It's cute- it will say "FIRST LOAD THIS" (And tell you it's got the UE2) or OR THIS (spot only) identified. So I went with the first choice (UberEnvironment2 and a spot light.)

    Then the third square (made this idiot proof) will say, "THEN SELECT SPOTLIGHT, THEN LOAD THIS." (which is the plane.) So up in Scene tab, be sure you select that spotlight. Go back and click that third box option and presto, the plane will be parented under the spotlight. So what you've done is ATTACH the plane to that spotlight.

    So be sure in Scene tab that the plane is now selected, and there will be an option for the shadow plane to "click one of these" and you'll get the wonderful selection of gels to choose from. Double click on the one you want and it's loaded onto the plane, which is loaded onto your spotlght- which is shining through and creating shadows now!

    I'm assuming you can add multiple spotlights of your own, attach planes, and add these gels. Remember- less might be more. Don't overdo it.

    So go to that spotlight's view out in the viewport (where it says Perspective view) and select that spotlight as the camera. You'll see the gel outlines and you just point it where you want the shadows. Note it doesn't have any softness to the shadows and they are HARSH if you leave that light at 100%. It's playtime!

    I do add specular lights when I have UE2 (UberEnvironment2) because otherwise the people and objects look flat.

    You'll see the three items at the top in a render tomorrow. It's going now. And I'm going to get some sleep at 4:30am I did screenshots of this in progress and will post them too.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    So you'll know what that plane looks like, and what you can expect, I've attached a couple shots.
    One thing I am learning from playing with this- the plane can be XYZ'd and be careful where the huge tree branch blobs go- it made a column VERY splotchy. By using scaling you can stretch the blobs out of the picture if you are covering something with a splotch and need it moved.

    So what you're seeing is the view from the spotlight that the plane (with the gels) is attached to, then the second is a sliver showing what you see in the viewport. It takes getting used to, seeing these dark creepy tree branches in the scene.

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,331
    edited December 1969

    "Prop Stop" suggested addition:

    from Royal Court Props: (see also: Royal Court Bundle)

    Pedestal (Bases/Pedestals)
    Candlesticks (with candles)
    Chairs (cushion back, high back, and throne)
    Scrolls (parchment, parchment roll) more: Banners, Cups/Goblets/Mug/Stein, Jugs, Plate, etc.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,331
    edited December 1969

    From The Dungeon Props: (see also: The Dungeon Bundle)

    Board (wallboard)
    Jail Cell: square cage
    Furniture: table, stool
    Tools: mallet, pliers, poker, saw

    Plus more: cage, chain, dagger, lock and key, various torture implements...

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    So, what am I up to? Well, posing hands. Just a reminder to newbies to zoom in and test from all sides- AND ABOVE AND BELOW. Every single one of these images below are WRONG, but look good from that angle. One or more of the fingers ALL POKE THROUGH THE LEAVES!

    "But they look good from the camera angle I'm shooting from...."

    Well, yes, But if you want to change your camera angle, and you forget, and you render- then you've wasted your time. It's just my opinion, but do it right the first time. And that makes you better at it.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Scott-L, will add tonight :)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    By getting the first flower correct, it makes it VERY easy to add a second one on top of it. The first one took me about twenty minutes to manipulate, the second five minutes. One thing about the hyacinth I do not like- Lisa did not attach the leaves to the stem. Down at the base, the stem and the leaves do not attach.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Easy Shadows
    BRC Empathy
    Woodland Realm Playset 1

    So I've been busy rendering to show you how the Easy Shadows works. I wanted to do something with substance, and not just the usual quickie "here's the product." (Necessary to cover products, I can't render all of them as artistic-spend-time-ons, you wouldn't get timely information, particularly during sales.)

    So what I found is this: by using the XYZ translations, you can move the tree limbs in the shadow plane (that is attached to the spotlight) so the shadows are strategically placed. The first image shows one of the challenges- you might start getting the tree shadows where you want them, but if you keep the spotlight with them, then the light is too strong/creates the wrong shadows. (PHOTO 3) See the arm/hand shadow on the surface. This was the original pose I was toying with.

    When you try to put the shadows where you want them, you will need to move the spotlight separately from the plane to avoid harsh shadows and get the lighting right. And again, stretching the plane will make it easier.

    Now, for those of you who haven't tried UberEnvironment2, I am posting two other images. One uses it, (PHOTO 1) one doesn't. (PHOTO 2) UE2 gives more realistic lighting- you'll see more of the face, and more detail in the hand. LOOK AT THE TENDON LINES. Also note I was able to get the tree shadows, and keep them off the face. I also was able to eliminate the arm and hand harsh shadows.

    The BRC Empathy is a beautiful set, and you don't have to have the casket.
    Hope you enjoy the render- you won't see mine too often lol.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    BRC Empathy

    Just a reminder- I showed you before, and I'll remind again-

    This is BRC Empathy flipped so the floor is the backdrop. Next, I'll scroll it up to show you what the border looks like and post later today.

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  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,548
    edited August 2013

    I like the look of those renders with Easy Shadows. The speckled leaf shadow on the tomb is cool. It produces a subtle but realistic look to your renders. =)

    I bought this product a while ago and so far have used it only once. It does produce some nice looks. Thanks for showing it. =-)

    Post edited by Serene Night on
  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,548
    edited August 2013

    IRONSTAR. by Kibarreto

    IRONSTAR is a complete starship vehicle, which can look great in your sci-fi renders. (It also happens to be on sale right now for 40% off). This little vehicle has lots of moving parts. For example: you can adjust the seats by raising and lowering and tilting them. The screens are very colorful and look nice renders in daz 4.6 especially as backdrop. It includes lights and camera poses.

    The Ironstar is easily lit using commercial or personal lightsets, but there are also some included. Point lights can be used to add emphasis to different areas and create interesting visual looks. I particularly like the look of all the panels, and there is a nifty pilot's seat and cockpit which are quite cool.

    My only negative, I would prefer more detail in the seats. For close up renders, the seat can look blocky, especially the cushions.

    Here are a few renders to show you the interiors of IronStar.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    BRC Empathy

    Another in my Flip That Floor series (lol) from BRC Empathy. I like this one better.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Oh my goodness, where to begin.
    First off, did you and your sister have a good visit? Is she still in town? I hope you showed her what you've been doing in 3D. That would be mind boggling to my sis- she really appreciates art. She's a teacher over in Jacksonville (FL) and she really appreciates creativity.

    So let's spend some time on Ironstar. I know people viewing those renders are thinking "How'd she do that?" so far as the lighting. You mentioned some lights came with it- can you be specific as to whether you used any of them, and if so, where?

    Let's go to the 3rd, 4th, 5th photo. Can you explain the lighting there for newbies? I've been reading about Area Base lighting (I hope that's the right term, it was last week. It's where you make the surface the light. That's on my list to explore.) It seems some of those panels would be good for that.

    Things I noted that I REALLY like (besides the entire thing, lol) in the photos is the glow on the man and on the last one, the gradient lighting on that curved section coming down from the ceiling. THAT is awesome. It really pulls the eye around in a sweeping motion.

    Kudos kudos kudos! Went on my wishlist. I'm a 50% off or more gal, mostly more ha ha!

    And thank you regarding Easy Shadows. There's a few effects in there I might load up just to show everyone.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Creepy Tomb

    It's kinda funny- after spending time on BRC Empathy and that set, it was sad to see it in THIS state. It's $1.99 Platinum Club.

    The Tomb
    Tomb Of The Ancients

    Well, I normally don't buy at 30% off, but I noticed something. First one is PC so is $1.99, you'd need it for the second one.

    For this: (Platinum Club gets 30% ALL PA Stores Today) 30%

    Now, why this caught my eye. If you want to experiment with lighting, this is a great opportunity. LOOK AT THE TWO WINDOWS SO CLOSE TOGETHER. Wow! And a pretty column you can get in the render too. The lighting coming in from those two windows on that column should be awesome from the right angle. The bench gives you the perfect seating area for someone looking out those windows, or sitting there doing something, with the light coming in from two directions. So for under $5 I wanted to point it out. (I'm buying it too of course.)
    EDIT: I noticed that the Tomb Of The Ancients is a DAZ Original, so if you wait a few days or wait until sometime next month (if there's nothing else you want), you could use your $6 coupon on it

    EDIT: That floor isn't half bad either...... (lol)

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Atmopsheric Effects Cameras For DAZ Studio

    When I was doing BRC Empathy I had tested fog from this product and was considering using it on the woods, then decided to just keep it simple to showcase the dappled tree effects from Easy Shadows. But while this is loaded up, decided to show you the "Colorize" option from the Atmospheric Effects product. Again, you use the Parameters tab just like you would other lights to adjust the brightness, etc, and just be sure you are looking through the Color Camera or your render won't change color.

    A very fast way to get that sepia, monochrome vintage look or set the tone fast. Remember you can also colorize the fog option, but this keeps all the crispness of detail without hazing anything out. I found the Saturation should be really low if you're using medium or dark colors, it doesn't take much. And boy do I mean LOW. I am finding that to do the richer colors, I'm at 3% saturation, and that is with lightening the colors up so much I am losing the gray/brown input. I'm having to take the slider bar in the color chart WAAAAY up to almost the top, and in the color square, going way down to the bottom. So less is more.

    So this is 209 / 198 / 154. It's with 3% saturation. One side of her was a lot darker, too- so with evenly lit scenes you'll be able to use more saturation. I tested about 10 colors for you to get a good sepia-type, and this one got the results that I found most pleasing.

    I've included another sample (more mauve/rose) at 2% and want you to take a look at the eye that was on the shadowed side. You can barely see it. So just be aware you'll really get darker renders (which can be a neat tool) with anything in shadow.

    If you have any colorized renders (from this product or others) feel free to share :)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Easy Shadows

    Testing out one of the colorful planes in Easy Shadows. Shown is the RENDER, the way it looks from the spotlight with the plane attached, and what you'll see in the studio choices. This is COLOR 2 from that selection.

    EDIT: The spotlight was at 88% which was what it was at to light the scene.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Country Cottage

    So your options for Country Cottage ($1.99 PClub) are
    Preload, Back Wall, Curtains, Front Wall, Ground, Roof, Roof Beams, Shutters Closed / Open, Side Walls.
    In other words, some great choices if you only want a PIECE of the set. Wish other vendors would learn from this one.

    CON: One thing I just found, there is no curtain option to have them open, so it's either closed or non-existent. Or Fabricator.

    Photo 1 When you load the scene, Genesis will be as shown.

    Photo 2 Turn off roof and roof beams to see from top view. This is how large the set is without scaling to enlarge. Very roomy.

    Photo 3 Curtains need some pizazz. As mentioned, there's no "open these" option.

    Curtain Choice:
    In Totally Bazaar, the Goodies>Jute Herringbone has a good texture. Then I just Diffuse channeled the color over in Surfaces.
    Since the Herringbone is brown, to get this color you'd use 165/239/255 at100% If you decrease that, you'll get a darker shade which still works. Next, increase the Bump to 100% with the positive and negative .50 and -50 respectively, and you get a nice texture.

    Photo 4
    This is with spotlights to help the SPOT RENDER show you the details- there is my curtain on the left. Now, for the drawbacks. You can NOT change that wallpaper (two different ones converging in the corner) because the walls are all one surface area. In other words, this set is very simple, you will only be able to change the curtains or remove them, and you're stuck with two different wallpapers and those are the ones you get. You can't change the wood scrolled bracket thing (SEE PHOTO ONE) This set is $1.99 for PClub. We'll look at screenshots of the outside next.

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  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,548
    edited August 2013

    My sister and I had a blast. We drove up north to go the shopping outlets, and a big chain bookstore. (we don't really have a bookstore in either of the towns we live in, there are a couple small tourist shops but nothing that sells good magazines and books town),tomorrow we are going to the county fair, which I enjoy very much.

    RE: Lights

    I messed around with lighting with IRON STAR, and the reality is you can use many different lights.

    Because it is an interior I sometimes had to lower the HEIGHT of the light, so the interior is properly lit. 100 suits most room like environements. Too high and the room can be dark.

    Here's what I did.

    Render 3

    Default lighting that came with product Looks like a spot light with a number of point lights to light up the panels throughout the scene.

    Render 4

    Sarge (I know unrecognizable without the yellow armor and cigar, and with a little less freak in the face) is lit with Lantios Mood lights number 10, With the distance lowered to 100. One distant lights in olive at 63.2% 3 poiint lights to light up the bot and Sarge's face. One yellow at the top near the tail one orange in front of the HEROFX panel and one Blue rim light on the other side of Sarge's head.

    I have attached a picture so you can see the placement of Sarge's point lights

    Render 5

    Built in lights.

    Most light sets look great with this. You can lower the Uber Environment to 100 DISTANCE for better looks if it is too dark.

    I bought Iron STAR and A-Deck together. I like A-DECK even better. I also bought Warzone (it is 65% off), because warzone has some nice debris which will suit ruined cities and just as rubble in scenes.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Heads up they have Stonemason, Xena, Vyktohria, Markus Dunn on sale for 24 hours. It's that buy 1,2, or 3 things- and get 50% off if buy three things sale. Items must be over $3.00 Just came up at 1:20am

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969


    This is one of the items that you can get up to 50% off, reminder- SereneNight reviewed it here:

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Country Cottage

    Okay, the outside of the Country Cottage-
    What I did- I brought in (merged) my barn scene I had rendered awhile ago, as it has good lights (my set, not theirs.) I kept Cassini, removed the barn, and slid over the Country Cottage. So that gave me (at least) a chance to compare how the cottage compared to the barn with the same lighting.

    I did bump at 100% and .50 and -50 (positive and negative) to get detail that I wanted. There is no ground, that is from the barn.
    The door scene is a RENDER. Click to enlarge, then click again. To me, the blue flowers are blurry. It would be okay for not-so-close-ups IMO, but if you're picky, even the shot of Cassini (full length) I think you can still depict the flowers being fuzzy. Remember, that is with bump.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    Roses Garden: Pumpkin House

    Don't overlook this little gem. The window and door have Open/Close in Parameters tab, and the door can swing either IN or OUT. Nice touch! I shone a spotlight into the front door for you.

    It's a DAZ Original so it's 30% off for PClub members ($6.97) and you can use your monthly coupon on it. Why am I showing this now? Think ahead for October- if you can't find something you want for your monthly free $6 purchase of a DAZ Original, this pumpkin is functionally cute! Of course, the House Mouse is perfect for it. But you can put people or any animals you want in it- this thing comes into the scene taller than Genesis!

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Hacienda Hermosa

    Get ready to rock n' roll- we're going to explore the fantabulous Hacienda Hermosa!!!
    I'm going to do a lot of screenshots for you and I can tell you, when this appeared in the viewport, it was really exciting. So many nice details and props! I've got to get some sleep (7am) so we'll start exploring this late this afternoon or tonight (full day this afternoon.) But below are screenshots and a list of the props.

    And, as usual, if you have this set and want to share any renders, feel free!

    Hacienda Hermosa:
    41 parts, Including eight buildings, and 22 Pose-able Doors

    27 Different Plants:
    Four Types of Trees
    A variety of plants and flowers, with 12 different flower materials and five different leaf materials to choose from

    Four Planters
    Four Pots
    Four Rocks

    17 Props
    Surrounding ground prop and skydome
    Three benches
    Two chairs
    A table
    A chest
    A parasol
    Two fountains
    A Five-Piece Outdoor Furniture Set
    Preassembled scene containing 104 props
    A 10 light lightset

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Well, I liked it too much and had to do a render. This is using the lights that came with it. You will see the palm tree group, then the furniture group BEHIND the palm tree, then I swept around to our left, and continued swinging around back toward the palm trees. (You'll see a red bush/tree as I'm shooting toward the palm tree and be able to see the palm fronds near the top.) EDIT- That is in the next group, rendering now.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    Okay a few more then we'll resume later today. I am leaving parts of the previous image in so you can have a reference, for example, the rock or a plant. This is swinging on around and coming full circle back to the furniture group behind the palm tree/plants. (Again look up in the last image and you'll see a wisp of palm frond in the upper right corner.)

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  • bighbigh Posts: 8,147
    edited December 1969

    you are all most at 100 :roll:

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited August 2013

    And a few more. :) Now I am done until I get some sleep. (9am US time)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,855
    edited December 1969

    bigh said:
    you are all most at 100 :roll:

    That's because I usually don't do gorgeous renders like you do on every post! :) Guess we'll just be doing a part II when we get there in a day or so.

This discussion has been closed.