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



  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Making Shaders

    Greetings to those of you surfing in at 5:30am (must be the overseas crowd, thirty of you since 3:30am) If you're not watching this thread, pop over. It's about shaders and has GREAT links thanks to Sean Riesch. I have Filter Forge BTW, but haven't tried it yet.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    Installing The DIM Files Manually and...
    What ARE Those Red Binoculars?

    It's not funny, but it is. I was doing a training video and the ONE product that I chose to show how to download/install the DIM file for, ended up with some funky red binocular thing out in the viewport.

    This thread from the wee hours of the morning solved my DIM problem and binocular dilemma, thanks to:
    Jaderail, SassyWench, niccipb, chohole (who provided another example- thanks!)

    and we figured out the binoculars. Geez. (Scrapped THAT video tutorial.) See both the DIM how - to and the binocular solution if you haven't seen that before. It was JUST what I needed to see in the wee hours of the morning as I trudged along.

    EDIT: My giraffe looks like he's scared of them, lol! Like, "Yo, THING, get out of my viewport!"

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    I REALLY have to tell ya, if you haven't visited that thread in my previous post, Jaderail and Sassy Wench have been SO kind to explain how to customize content- and Jaderail did a GREAT tutorial and you can see the categories and setup someone shared with him. It's NEAT! If you have already visited the thread, jump to page 3. It boggles my mind that at 2am in the morning people are so willing to jump in and help (going on 3am, and Jaderail is in my time zone I think?)

    Anyway, am working on doing this as a video tutorial, so need to get back at it. Just posted the DIM files video a day or two ago, the Product Library search video is under review by Szark (with a second pair of eyes by Scott L) and I'm in the middle of this "customizing content" arrangement video. :) So no tweaking renders for me this weekend. Enjoy yours!

    Will post interesting threads if I get a chance to peruse them. And if you haven't visited Szarks Art Studio, some beautiful work over there.

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Just so ya know, I'm a Drow. Night is my natural habitat. :-P

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Oh, so it takes a comment about the night to get you to come out from lurking?! (LOL) Yes, I'm still up. I'm playing with morphs. Doing a video using the Wednesday figure and showing what a few of the folks' faces look like when morphed in. Just playin'. SOOO much fun. And I'm with you- night rocks! Things go so much faster on the internet when most of the USA is asleep.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Sneak Preview: Fun With Morphs Series

    Have a favorite model you'd like to see combined with another one? Curious about what this figure would do to that one? This series will show you what happens when various folks are combined. The first one is Wednesday. Here's the unlisted link (my Art Studio surfers get first peek) and the description. If there is a figure you don't have and would like to see morphed with someone else, feel free to post it- or throw out suggestions for morph combinations. I can't guarantee I have every figure, but I have quite a few. I may (shudder) try to make up a list.

    "The Fun With Morph Series will randomly select DAZ Studio models and explore combinations of facial morphs. Each morph will be removed prior to exploring the next one. Different models will be added for future videos- the possibilities are endless. Enjoy!

    Video 1 features the wonderful Wednesday For Aiko 4 and 5, with "guest appearances" by:
    Old Man Rex For Genesis, Ken For Hiro 5, Benjamin for M5, Stephanie 5 Model Head, Naoki for V4 and V5, Modern Muses Paloma V5-V4, Keira For Stephanie 5, Kaylee for V4 and V5, Basic Female. Sofia for V4.2 and Genesis, Riley For Stephanie 5.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Here's a doodle COMBINING several of the morph figures. Left Rex out of it, lol.
    Will post the settings for this one later, in case you're interested. Wednesday was left at full value. Naoki head 77.3%, the rest really varied. I really like Benjamin, he really helps with the jaw and chin. (put into the negative values.) Will give specifics late tonight. Enjoy your day!

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Here's the settings I ended up with for the final morph in the previous post, using only those characters and no tweaks with other sliders for specific facial areas:

    Below: Wednesday full throttle with:
    Naoki Head (main) 77%
    Ken Head 26.3% (2nd highest)
    Basic Female head -0.14
    Kaylee Head -29%
    Keira Head -2.9%
    Modern Muses Paloma Head-.33%
    Stephanie 5 Model Head 0.12%
    Benjamin Head -31.4%

    BTW, I didn't include Sean in the video, but when you add him in the mix, it's NICE. (What can you say, it's SEAN.)

    I started a thread over in The Commons. Do you have some morphs you'd like to experiment with and share? Have fun! (You need to provide at least two of the morph settings- the two highest percentages.) Show the newbies what they can do- and newbies, show us what you've got! :)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Gen 4 Iconic Shapes for Genesis

    If you have generation 4 (Victoria 4/ Michael 4 / Girl 4 / Aiko 4 / Freak 4) there are products to help you use them with Genesis. V4 and M4 have a separate one from this one btw. So, you download and install- what then? I asked, and fixmypcmike whizzed in to help. Find out here: (and there is also a question about the files, which are weird-)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Pred Grass One / Creating A Plane / Change Background Color

    Well, this was simple (truly, it was) except for not finding the vendor's name right off the bat and going back into the Studio Library instead of sticking with the Poser Library. Let me explain briefly, even though it's in the thread, it bears repeating-

    If you have 2 DIM files (One being a CF, or Companion File), they are going to be opposites- one will be Poser, one will be DS (DAZ Studio)
    See my video about this-
    If you have a STUDIO CF, it means that first (main) DIM is Poser. Go to the Poser Library in your Content Library to find the main part of the product.

    And vice versa. POSER CF means head to the DAZ Studio Formats section.

    So, Pred Pack One Grass is in the poser section. I just couldn't find it because I was looking for the full vendor name. And it's P3DA so I missed it. Otherwise, this was simple. It all started when other newbies couldn't get their bases to load and we discussed it having to be a plane, which they had guessed. At least they were probably in the right section, unlike me!

    So if you haven't created a primitive, or used Pred Pack One grass (highly recommended) then this is for you. There's no ReadMe so this will show where to find it, and the materials.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    How To Integrate Your Vegetation

    Noodle meets Kudie Bug- whenever I get back around to this one, the title will be, "Will You Be My Friend?" I'll explain a little tip about the bushes later today, I was playing around and the bushes were my main focus. I just plopped the characters in for fun. This is spot rendered, using only the dome lighting that came with a set. (The lighting has not been done, in other words.)

    The main concept I was addressing- if you like the bushes and want more of them, but you are limited by the surface selections or they aren't the combination YOU want, how can you increase your options? Specifically, if you like the first bush and want to expand it but have a lighter color MIXED with it- but the surface selection, again, isn't there. What can you do?

    The cat has dark ears (chosen specifically for that reason) so note the lighter bushes behind the head. But it's the same bush. But it didn't get an "all over" surface change, nor was there the option to do parts of it the way I did it. Okay newbies- THINK. (I"m sure the pros know how to do this.)

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  • mori_mannmori_mann Posts: 1,144
    edited December 1969

    *raises hand* I'm also new to the wonders of 3d. I haven't finished reading everything in this thread, but it is very helpful so far :)

    My learning method is mostly that of trial and error and "Ooooooh, shiny button, what does it do?" And yes, that includes the big ones that say 'do not touch'. That, and a very patient and helpful friend, who is an amazing teacher.

    Who'd say there is so much to that whole world of 3d, right?

    Just wanted to let you know that I enjoy reading this. Keep it up!

    *slinks back to lurking corner*

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Oh don't lurk! :)
    Although you'll learn a lot from just reading, the people on the forums are so kind to assist when you need help. Jaderail keeps telling me over and over not to put a content folder in a content folder- which is fine if I ever figure out which ones are content folders (dont tell him I said that...) But I'm delighted you've found the thread as there is a lot of goodies plucked from the main forums. Come back often and start a studio thread when you get comfortable rendering- would love to see your work!

  • mori_mannmori_mann Posts: 1,144
    edited December 1969

    Folder within folders within folders! I keep telling myself to at least clean up that library, but as I am lazy, remembering where what is turns out to go faster ;)

    I'm a bit shy about showing, because I have no talent whatsoever and skill still needs work. Practise, practise, practise! I did create my avatar, though, so, yeah, I'm playing around and enjoying every minute of it. Combined with reading and more reading and pestering my private 3d teacher, I'm getting somewhere. Slowly.

    I even went so far as to create a set of Test Subjects: characters that can be abused for the most in(s)ane projects. All in the name of science, of course! And yes, I am a character junkie with a really weird mind. Turn off those limits, I say!

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    Okay, here's the siimple solution- how to integrate great colors and tie in with an existing bush, yet give contrast.
    Photo 1.
    Bring in Bush 1. (I'm using Pred Grass One with the ground plane)

    Photo 2
    USE THE SAME BUSH and bring in another one, place them side by side. (Bush 2) Two of the brown ones are shown.

    Photo 3.
    Using Y translation (keep the bush high in the air) Bring in Bush 3 of another color. It works best if it's the same bush but a different material (color) so the leaves are the same shape. If you don't have different colors, we'll simply use the diffuse and change the color. (Do the entire Bush 3, not just parts of it.)

    Photo 4
    Bush 3 should be much lighter, or darker, than Bush 1 and Bush 2 (same color) Newbies: you'll find the diffuse slider in Surfaces Tab. (SHOWN) You must have Surface Selection Tool active (looks like three sheets of black paper, up by the Universal tool directly above your viewport (viewing area) and then click on the bush so the surface is selected. ) This shows the original settings.

    Photo 5 & 6 &7
    TIP: CHANGE THE COLOR before you lower your bush (Bush 3) down into Bush 2 (or Bush 1)
    Experiment using Diffuse and Specular in the Surfaces Tab.

    You now have the ability to move colors around in your bush- by simply using Y translation, you can move colors away from that dark ear, you can rotate so part of the bush has more of a lighter color in one section (great when you have dramatic lighting, but the background seems blah OR your lighting is making that section too bright- just rotate so that bright part of the bush is POOF.

    You can also shrink the leaves so you have the appearance of new growth and a smaller, more subtle impact of the second color.

    So basically, you are thickening your bushes (great for hedges) and gaining full control over where you want your highlights.

    In other words, you're stacking bushes on top of each other. Easy smeezy. Take a look again at the two cat photos and look how I moved the colors by the ear.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    So hopefully this is something you can use. If you do, would love to see how it turned out for you :) Again, look by the cat's ear- see how I moved the leaves so they were lighter by the dark ear?

    Go back and look at the Noodle and Kudie Bug, now that you know what I did :)

    EDIT: You'll note too that I used Translation Y to drop the bushes down to similar height and to vary the height- so you don't get a "chunk" of bush. This IS really good for thick hedges though, as noted. And you can drop part of Bush 3 down, or raise it up, so "sunlight" is making the top lighter. Your options are so much fun!

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  • Thadeus72Thadeus72 Posts: 386
    edited December 1969

    thnaks a lot for this beautiful renders and usefful tips

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    You're very welcome :)

    Heads up- a couple neat products are on sale. The Send In The Clones is 50% off, and although I haven't used it (yet, am buying it) from what I've read in the forums it's a cool tool to duplicate items and bring easily into your scene. Be sure you get the DS4 Pro version if you are using DAZ Studio. I"m also going to try the Gathering Moss Shader while it's on sale. It would be good for old jungle ruins renders.

    New folks- keep an eye out for when Silkessence and The Lacemaker for DS (DAZ Studio) go on sale. I've heard those are neat too. The ones on sale right now are Poser (if you have it.) The Rust Icator is also 50% off, I'm trying it. But to me it can be too easily overdone, I think subtle is the way to go. Ron's brushes are great for Photoshop use, watch for them when they go on sale. is the store on sale and it also has Dental Plan, which changes the teeth. I have it, haven't used it yet.

    A few new hair styles I'm picking up (50%, a so-so deal) or bought that are on sale again right now. I'm not recommending these (as haven't tried most of them) but as they are on sale and a nice variety, thought I'd mention them. Anyone who has used them, feel free to speak up :) (pros and cons)

    Cynx hair
    and the textures

    Portia Hair
    and the textures

    Trixie Hair
    and the textures

    Mane Hair (LOTS of morphs- look at the list. If you're looking for wind blown, wow!)
    and wonderful for fantasy renders (and adds 5 new preset styles)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    And I do have to mention this to new folks-
    When I started, (knowing nothing- and I do mean nothing) I thought of products as wholes. Meaning- I had no idea about kit bashing. Let me explain what that means when you see that term- think of the product as a kit. Bashing is when you take it apart and use bits and pieces. If a ultra sexy outfit comes up and you do family friendly (like I do) don't be so fast to go "Uh uh. No way." Look at the jewelry, the gloves, the boots, etc- for instance the earane outfit, I posted a question- can this be combined with other outfits? Well, I experimented (didn't finish) but you should see it with pants! (Remember the pharoah collar I posted? That was with the Earane outfit.)

    (OMGoodness, it's on sale 58% off- a coincidence!) Anyway, look at it a minute-

    And what I am thrilled about is the products going along with it- (although you can change the outfit somewhat with with diffuse, specular, etc- it's nice to have these render ready-) (all 58%)

    Now, look at that top- there's morphs to make it more family friendly, and you don't have to use the bottoms. But I did- and put pants under there! Raiver works great!!!!! NEWBIES, pick up those pants!!! For 1.99, you won't go wrong, there are lots of morphs to work with, and you can really go family friendly on the sexy-ware! Those Raiver pants have so many fitting options that it's a delight!! (See below)

    And yes, the outfit below is Earane, done totally with my own diffuse, specular, ambient settings- to match the Pharoah's collar- which I also darkened to maroon (it has limited surfaces you can change.) Whatcha think? I even did the buckles on the pants a light mauve- love those Raiver pants. THIS IS NOT EVEN RENDERED!

    Pants (CR2 and OBJ)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    Want you to check out how Chohole combined the Earane out fit with the morphing fantasy dress. And it's a wonderful site- be sure to surf it from the start!
    Scroll down page 15 and look for the Earane dress and MFD.

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Let's continue on with kit bashing.
    I'm not the least bit afraid to mention that I assumed when I bought products, they were tight knit and lights that came with a set were for THAT set. Nope. If you see a product with lights, it works BEST with that set- but I have putzed around and used lights on other sets. And I had never used a sky dome (to me, that sounded intimidating) so imagine my delight when I purchased Skull Cove Complete and found all I had to do was CLICK and POOF I had a beautiful sky.

    Take a quick look at 4 out of the 6 sky domes- I used the leaf hedge. All I did was click and done. This is with the lights that came with the dome. If you look back a few days, you'll see the posts here about Skull Island and how the water does (RENDER it to see it.)

    So just a heads up to you new folks- Skull Cove is on sale right now, if you buy one of the featured, you'll get 50% off. I'd pick it up just for the light domes! :) See the photo below which will show you what it looks like in your Smart Content.

    This is just the island- but has the sky dome.

    The complete has everything- island, props, pirate ship, buildings.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Have just finished the second video in the series "Having Fun With Morphs" but have to wait to upload it, going very slowly. In the meantime, thought I would share my chart. The first video featured Wednesday as the base, then I took each figure and doodled, always eliminating them before the next one was tried.

    What you see here: Riley for Stephanie as the base. Then I tried Kaylee for V4 and V5. THEN I TOOK HER OFF OF RILEY before I tested Keira for Stephanie 5. You're going to love this video- the behemoh is in there! I'll also show you want negative numbers can do. Anyway, here are screenshots (so not the best quality) while in my video editor. Doing this gave me the feel of what the characters do when applied to this character, but I'm seeing similarities for when they were added to Wednesday. For instance-
    Kaylee for V4 and V5 brings the inside of eyebrows down, Keira for Stephanie 5 has made the chin more pointed and lowered the inside corner of the eyes each time, etc.

    As mentioned before, test out some of the male morphs on the females and vice versa- and also test the negative numbers. You'll see a few of the figures listed below have positive and negative numbers- look at the difference!

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    Here's the next set (as you will see when I get the video posted. You'll actually get to see the sliders being moved and the transition. These again have Riley for Stephanie 5 as the base with ONLY these models morphed. Each one is removed so only Stephanie exists when they are applied.

    More coming in a few minutes.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    More morphs coming. Again, Riley is the base, each one is removed prior to the next one being applied.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Here's the last set. Now I'm going to go do a combination of some of these (using only the figure sliders, not using any other adjustments to tweak anything) and let's see what I get.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    Here's the character from these morphs, without any other tweaking. Worked on it late Tues night/ wee hours of the morning Wednesday till 10am then had to get some sleep. She is really cool! Do you like her friend in the cannon? This is still WIP (work in progress) but will be using her for the water tutorial.

    Although she is 100 percent Riley, I wanted to share which morphs I found to be extremely useful. From that entire bunch- I simply ADORE the Summer Edition Josh. Get him on your wishlist for when he goes on sale! Using negatives with him, I got the jaw and chin "squared" away and the nose too. Keeping true to my promise, no sliders were used other than the character heads- no inner or outer eye tweaks, NOTHING.

    She even has a .023 of the Infernal Behemoth!
    Some of the settings are: Kaylee 35, Keira 23, Naoki 34, Toon Amy 5.

    And from .055 to .50 of:
    Tamesis, Aiko, The Girl 4, Freak 4 (.31!) Infernal Behemoth.(.023)

    The negatives from -0.13 to -3.1 were Jasmin (-2), Hiro 4 (-0.13), Jason (-3.1), and Ken (-2).
    The negatives of larger proportions were Josh -23 and Azumi -15.

    So Fun With Morphs created this cutie, shown below.

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013

    TUTORIAL- Test Your Lights
    Why Buy Poses? I Can Do Them...

    TUTORIAL- Test Your Lights
    Everyone does lights differently. Video tutorials can suggest ways to explore lighting, but of course you should really explore- so you can see the pros and cons, and perhaps combine what tutorials suggest and combine what you like. Make lighting your own.

    This post will show you how I test lights. If you like this process, glad to have helped. If you don't like what I'm doing, don't use it :) Turning off lights to test the impact of each one (and in combination with each other) really can pinpoint your areas which need tweaking. I'll show you!

    Why Buy Poses? I Can Do Them...
    Well, I never pay full price for poses (or any product, EVER) but snatch up pose sets if they're 50% or more. Yes, you can do your own poses, but- YOU SAVE SO MUCH TIME using preset poses to START FROM. So what you are about to see is an experiment with a preset. Then I changed her body- leaning more, and the second arm was totally changed.

    The Experiment
    This started with doing a character from my Fun With Morphs series, above- using the base of Riley, I wanted to see what character could be created using just those morphs, NO other tweaking. She was pretty, so I put on "skimpware" so I could better test the lighting on skin. I also wanted a setting where the light would be one sided, with some on top and from the other side. A ship would be perfect with masts. I wanted an elongated pose, so with all that in mind, this poor gal ended up on a cannon (OUCH. But this is fantasy anyway!)

    I also wanted to try making my own water (as per earlier in the thread) as a major portion of the render. So let's start with the square I used (and you're welcome to it.) Here it is below.

    TIP: If you are doing a pool water shot, for an ocean make your plane only 50 X 50 and then use the SCALE to stretch it out. It makes the ripples more like out in the ocean. (as pictured.) But you can try with a bigger plane size and see if you like it (try 100 x 100) You can also experiment with the other surface sliders, this is to get you started.

    TIP: PHOTO. Here's the settings in the photo to get the same color as this ocean. Experiment with your glossiness to get the water glistening- remembre the higher the number though, the LESS glossy it is.

    We'll go to the lights in the next post. If you have the Skull Cove product, come play along! Or the toon ship. Or- create your plane and see if you can duplicate what I'm doing if you're a newbie :)

    TIP: Reminder on creating a plane and creating water:
    1. Go to create>new primitive> plane to get your plane. Set the dimensions 50 x 50 (or more) Don't go over 100 x 100- that is really big for this project.

    2. PHOTO: Click on Surface Selection Tool (looks like three sheets of black paper) up by the Universal Tool. Make sure your plane is selected (Click on it. You can double check it in the Scene tab, should be highlighted in gold) Then go in Surfaces Tab and click on Editor near the top. In diffuse, you click on that left square and select an image to use for the Diffuse. That's where you put the water jpg. (as shown.)

    Next will be the lighting practice. You can follow my trial and error, this is a WIP and you're welcome to see my goofs. (See my motto in my signature, lol.)

    EDIT: AM WORKING ON A POSING PRODUCTS- USING PRESETS video tutorial for you folks who aren't sure about using them, haven't tried them, or don't know about them. It also shows you how to tell how to get to the ReadMe's fast and the product pages! (Ever wondered what product that piece of clothing went to?)

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited May 2013


    Don't do what I just did- I am doing a screenshot for you of the poses- and couldn't find it. GENESIS or your figure has to be selected in the scene. DUH. I was like, "Where are they????" So select your figure>Actor And Props>Files... then you stand a chance of finding them, lol.

    Doing a tutorial video for newbies on posing (not POSER) products. Been working on it all night. I get sidetracked like this when I realize some folks may need to see how these things work in action. It's 8am and I have to get some sleep but that tutorial will be up in a few hours and I'll post the link here. Then will continue on with the water tutorial too.

    Reserved- doing the screenshots for you on the testing of the lights and where they are. WIP so this should be interesting.

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969

    Sorry to annoy all of you subscribed to the threads with another reserved post, but there needs to be continuity once I get these screenshots. Bear with me. :)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 22,245
    edited December 1969
    Be sure and scroll back up to see the finished character from the finished second "Fun With Morphs" series. Riley as the base, with negative men sliders, a touch of The Behemoth and The Freak- and Kaylee, Keira, and Naoki making a big showing. As soon as I get the final render done in the next few days hopefully (but I keep doing tutorials as they pop up) then I'll publish the video. I want the final render included but have a long way to go yet with the lights.

This discussion has been closed.