WIP Thread for New User Contest - April 2013

13

Comments

  • IlenaIlena Posts: 224
    edited December 1969

    the settings

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Ilena52 said:
    the settings

    Looking at your settings, they're pretty much at the default.


    Without hurting the speed of the render too much, you could increase the interpolation accuracy in 10% increments, increase the photon count from 5,000 to 20,000 and leave the lighting quality at fast, but try setting the accuracy to 8 pixels.


    Here's a speed tip I learned on the old forums: If you're using GI (Skylight, Indirect Light) and when you're happy with your scene and you want to render your image, render a low res version of your image with low settings and select the option to save the irradiance map. A save dialogue will appear. Save the map where ever you want and with a name of your choosing. Next, increase your render quality settings and /or resolution to what you wish the final render to be, and uncheck the Save Irradiance option and choose, Use Saved Map. You will be prompted to open your saved map. Load it and render. You will notice the light calculations will drop exponentially without a loss in quality.

  • edited December 1969

    This month has been crazy - every intention of keeping up with this and my efforts have continuously been thwarted - including artists block on what to do. I finally came up with something and I wanted to post what I have so far. I am having some troubles and was hoping to get some help if anyone doesnt mind. Here are the ones that I know for a fact are there and I can definitely handle constructive criticism so if anyone sees anything else I am missing, please feel free to point it out. I really am having trouble with a way to go about this piece and making it stand out and look the way I want it to and highlight my M5 "statue" the way I want to. I am very limited on shader supplies too so I am using Gemologica and using one of the Moonstone shaders (I couldn't help it, I am a huge celestial fan and it looked better on him than the sunstone did & I love the moon better than the sun anyway).

    I am using Reality & LuxRender and the light that I am using is Reality's Sunlight simply because I seem to get botchy results with other lightsets when using reality and so far everything else has made the backdrop and characters come out very grainy & Luxus is coming out too cartoony for my taste.

    1. My first time using a curved backdrop and the it casts shadows unless I move the "sun" to the middle and make it look like a sunrise. I do not care for this because of how the shadows of the girls fall as well as the other items in the scene - they are very LONG and fall across the entire back of the backdrop almost to the water.

    2. The shader went bonkers somewhere along the way on M5 and his head is checkerboard... what the *bleep*?! How do I fix this? In the previous 19 test renders that did not happen, why did it happen now? LOL

    3. For some reason the expression on my blond character just will not render out properly no matter how big of a smiling grin I put on her face, she keeps insisting on frowning when it goes to render out - is it possible for them to have personalities when you start to fiddle with the morphs yourself (yes before I used the expression on her) and decide that they in fact do not want to smile at Mr. Perfect's toast that he is hiding up there like her friend is?

    4. I am having major problems with the water in that "fountain"! I want it to reflect so I turn that up, then it reflects too much and you cannot see into the water as much as I would like, so I turn the opacity down and then you can see through it too much and it looks like some funky line is just there and no water, so I turn up the opacity and no reflect but just a puddle of blue goo. How do I get an even balance between seeing into the fountain like you would a small one like that and having some reflection with the light but not so much it is overbearing? When I can see the arches way down at the end of the property in there, i think we have a problem... or am I just off on my perspective? And, there is a little bit of a breeze, so how do I get a little bit of a roll in the water instead of it just being FLAT?

    Ok, Those are my major issues right now. If anyone can point me in the direction of some good stone shaders (maybe with some marble included) that would be so helpful. I would rather have him in something less, um, eccentric. After spending on these sales and now trying to dig up money for D5, I don't have much to spend on them so a good freebie set would be nice but I am willing to drop the money on a set that is worth it if it has a nice selection.

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  • NeilrNeilr Posts: 69
    edited December 1969

    The thing with luxus and lights I found is that they act relative to each other, so if you add a new light and use the luxus gui you can change the light intensity to washout the shadows you don't want. It can a bit of fiddling with to get the look you want and balance out eh light.

    As far as the head texture I would say it is a tiling issue....check the surfaces and make sure the tiling is set to 1

  • edited December 1969

    nreed said:
    The thing with luxus and lights I found is that they act relative to each other, so if you add a new light and use the luxus gui you can change the light intensity to washout the shadows you don't want. It can a bit of fiddling with to get the look you want and balance out eh light.

    As far as the head texture I would say it is a tiling issue....check the surfaces and make sure the tiling is set to 1

    Thank you very much, Nreed, I will go in and check on that setting you mentioned for the head texture. Not sure how that would have gotten changed unless maybe I accidentally moved it while scrolling through. I guess I should be more careful when doing that. =)

  • Tramp GraphicsTramp Graphics Posts: 2,388
    edited December 1969

    To get ripples in the water you nee to add a bump map. You can find a number of water textures for free at ShareCG.com, and many of them include bump maps. There's also a good freebie tutorial there too.

  • edited December 1969

    To get ripples in the water you nee to add a bump map. You can find a number of water textures for free at ShareCG.com, and many of them include bump maps. There's also a good freebie tutorial there too.

    Thank you so much! and especially for the link - being able to refer back to something will be a huge help and I found some other tutorials for things in other areas that I am interested in while I was there too. =)

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,307
    edited December 1969

    Lady Bree said:
    This month has been crazy - every intention of keeping up with this and my efforts have continuously been thwarted - including artists block on what to do. I finally came up with something and I wanted to post what I have so far. I am having some troubles and was hoping to get some help if anyone doesnt mind. Here are the ones that I know for a fact are there and I can definitely handle constructive criticism so if anyone sees anything else I am missing, please feel free to point it out. I really am having trouble with a way to go about this piece and making it stand out and look the way I want it to and highlight my M5 "statue" the way I want to. I am very limited on shader supplies too so I am using Gemologica and using one of the Moonstone shaders (I couldn't help it, I am a huge celestial fan and it looked better on him than the sunstone did & I love the moon better than the sun anyway).

    I am using Reality & LuxRender and the light that I am using is Reality's Sunlight simply because I seem to get botchy results with other lightsets when using reality and so far everything else has made the backdrop and characters come out very grainy & Luxus is coming out too cartoony for my taste.

    1. My first time using a curved backdrop and the it casts shadows unless I move the "sun" to the middle and make it look like a sunrise. I do not care for this because of how the shadows of the girls fall as well as the other items in the scene - they are very LONG and fall across the entire back of the backdrop almost to the water.

    2. The shader went bonkers somewhere along the way on M5 and his head is checkerboard... what the *bleep*?! How do I fix this? In the previous 19 test renders that did not happen, why did it happen now? LOL

    3. For some reason the expression on my blond character just will not render out properly no matter how big of a smiling grin I put on her face, she keeps insisting on frowning when it goes to render out - is it possible for them to have personalities when you start to fiddle with the morphs yourself (yes before I used the expression on her) and decide that they in fact do not want to smile at Mr. Perfect's toast that he is hiding up there like her friend is?

    4. I am having major problems with the water in that "fountain"! I want it to reflect so I turn that up, then it reflects too much and you cannot see into the water as much as I would like, so I turn the opacity down and then you can see through it too much and it looks like some funky line is just there and no water, so I turn up the opacity and no reflect but just a puddle of blue goo. How do I get an even balance between seeing into the fountain like you would a small one like that and having some reflection with the light but not so much it is overbearing? When I can see the arches way down at the end of the property in there, i think we have a problem... or am I just off on my perspective? And, there is a little bit of a breeze, so how do I get a little bit of a roll in the water instead of it just being FLAT?

    Ok, Those are my major issues right now. If anyone can point me in the direction of some good stone shaders (maybe with some marble included) that would be so helpful. I would rather have him in something less, um, eccentric. After spending on these sales and now trying to dig up money for D5, I don't have much to spend on them so a good freebie set would be nice but I am willing to drop the money on a set that is worth it if it has a nice selection.


    I can't help you with Reality settings (I do use Luxus, but don't know it all that well yet), but I think this is a great start!
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Since the topic this month is shaders and textures, I figured this may be of interest.


    I use Carrara and I have been building a rather complex terrain scene designed with various props and features. It's designed for a Renaissance era village with a Tournament/Fair grounds, the village proper and a lowland. Since it's fairly complex, I don't want the props I'm adding preventing me from eventually sticking in figures such as V4 or M4. I've had to find other ways to lighten the load.


    Please bear in mind that the shader I'm about to describe is still a work in progress.


    One thing I wanted was a crumbled stone fence or wall. I'm not that great a modeler, so I created a simple vertex cube and pushed and pulled the polys around until I had a rough shape. I then rounded the corners, created shading domains (no UVs) and smoothed the model. It now looked like a crappy low squarish blob. I knew Carrara's shading system was the answer. I created a new Master Shader and used some mixers and additive functions in combination with basic colors and color gradients along with some fractal noise functions in the color channel. I also found cellular function I like for the bump channel.


    The bump channel is great, but it's basically an optical illusion. It doesn't actually add a bump or alter the underlying geometry. My model looked okay from distance, but up close, it looked like the same old squarish blob.


    The next step was displacement. Displacement acts like a bump in that brighter areas are "higher" and darker areas are "lower," except that displacement will actually alter the underlying geometry. I used no image maps, so I copied the cellular shader from the bump channel and pasted it into the displacement. I adjusted the cellular shader's parameters until I had the look that I wanted. This mostly consisted of basically adjusting the contrasts between the dark veins between the lighter roundish cells of the cellular shader.

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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Here's the stone wall/fence in a scene:

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  • kittenwyldekittenwylde Posts: 151
    edited December 1969

    Well, here's where I'm at now with my image. I really, really, really wanted to use Luxus for this one, but there's just too much I need to learn yet to get the thing to look right. At the moment, rendered in Luxus with the bits of tweaking I know how to do, there's still way too many issues to resolve before the contest ends. So I stuck with point-based occlusion, which I do like a lot.
    Anyway, this is where I'm at now. Nreed, that's your egg texture giving the skin its mottled look. Thanks again!
    As always, any comments are welcome. And evilproducer, that's an awesome wall! I've wanted to learn Carrara for a while now, but my mind always lets out pathetic whimpering noises and runs away when I try.

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  • HastyDaveHastyDave Posts: 109
    edited December 1969

    Well, after lurking for eight months, this is my first post. Hello, and please be gentle.

    I'm trying to do a version of Canova's sculpture of the Three Graces. Here's a link to a Google image search, complete with marble nudity: https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=canova+three+graces&&tbm;=isch

    I've simply changed all the figure surfaces to the Subsurface Stone shader. As you can see, the big problem is that large areas are completely overexposed. If I drop the overall light so that the faces and hair look good, then the torsos (and the wall behind) are too dark. I'm guessing it's to do with the way that multiple SSS things interact, but I've not been able to pin down the setting(s) that would fix it.

    Any ideas gratefully received!

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  • kittenwyldekittenwylde Posts: 151
    edited December 1969

    Neat concept! Wish I could help, but SSS is still mostly beyond me. Haven't really played with it much yet. But I can say welcome aboard! :)

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    dhmcvey what preset did you use and can you post a screenshot of the surfaces pane with the statue selected. I have a feeling that the shader me be broken.

    If that is the case then you can can use another shader called Uber Surface located in the Content Library under Daz Studio Formats > My Library (or whereever you installed your content) > Shaders > Omnifreaker > Uber Surface Base. I gather there are no texture maps on the statue? If there are then hold down Ctril (CMD for Mac) when applying the Uber Surface Base preset and choose to "Ignore" replacing the texture maps, in the new window that pops up and hit accept.

    This will give all the surface channels you need. But first do your homework on what type of stone effect you are looking for and find out the properties, Does is have SSS in reality, what index of refraction does it have if any. Is it a gloosy stone and therefore reflect its surroundings. How smooth is the stone which will have an effect on how sharp the reflections are this will then give you a good starting point inn setting up the shader.:) look at real images of the stone, Google search/images are valued assets for me when researching this stuff. :)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,021
    edited December 1969

    Aside form the overexposed look, this is looks like a cool idea and a neat effect. Couple things to think about:


    Are there controls to control the SSS shader? Can you dial those down?


    Where is your primary light source? Have you considered a spotlight dedicated to illuminating the subjects and a separate light set-up for the background?

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited April 2013

    here is what I came up with in 20 minutes of looking

    First I researched what marble these statues were made of.
    Then looked for info on white marble and found this
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marble

    Also, the low index of refraction of calcite allows light to penetrate several millimeters into the stone before being scattered out, resulting in the characteristic waxy look which gives "life" to marble

    This tells us that
    A: white marble has an IOR value and
    B; it does indeed have SSS and
    C; we know the effect is very shallow, close to the surface

    So I went looking for info on calcite
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calcite
    http://refractiveindex.info/?group=CRYSTALS&material=CaCO3 plus other sources that report an IOR of between 1.5 and 1.9.

    I then went searching more to verify these findings.

    So we know what colour the SSS will be, an off white as nothing is pure white not even white marble. :)
    SSS strength well that is the question, no idea, try 100% first and test render.
    We now know what SSS IOR value to enter, 1.5 – 1.9 you chose what value or go looking for more in-depth information. ;)
    SSS scale, well if the Daz Studio defaults measurements apply then 1.00 is one CM so 0.02 would be two mil.

    SSS group is not needed here.

    Post edited by Szark on
  • HastyDaveHastyDave Posts: 109
    edited December 1969

    Thank you for your responses. I haven't had a great deal of time to experiment today, but I hope I've made some progress.

    I should have said that I am using DAZ Studio 4.5. The preset is Subsurface Stone - I just found it in Smart Content -> Shaders -> Stone (with a surface selected). The preset sets the IoR to 1.5, so I've left it there. I've reduced the diffuse (I think the SSS effect is tied to it) on most off the hair surfaces, but having fiddled a great deal, returned the rest of the settings to their defaults.

    In the previous image, the lights were the preset from Classic Deco. However the render times were a bit lengthy, even to get a spot render after an adjustment, so I've changed to some more simple lighting. In this image there's a distant light coming in at approx 45 degrees from left of camera (intesity 65%, deep shadow map, shadow softness 5%, shadow bias 0.2) and a spot coming down from upper right of camera (intensity 35%, spread 180, deep shadow map, shadow softness 4%, shadow bias 0.2).

    Changing the shadow bias made a big difference to the glowing hair.

    Render settings are for speed not quality :)

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,307
    edited December 1969

    dhmcvey said:
    Thank you for your responses. I haven't had a great deal of time to experiment today, but I hope I've made some progress.

    I should have said that I am using DAZ Studio 4.5. The preset is Subsurface Stone - I just found it in Smart Content -> Shaders -> Stone (with a surface selected). The preset sets the IoR to 1.5, so I've left it there. I've reduced the diffuse (I think the SSS effect is tied to it) on most off the hair surfaces, but having fiddled a great deal, returned the rest of the settings to their defaults.

    In the previous image, the lights were the preset from Classic Deco. However the render times were a bit lengthy, even to get a spot render after an adjustment, so I've changed to some more simple lighting. In this image there's a distant light coming in at approx 45 degrees from left of camera (intesity 65%, deep shadow map, shadow softness 5%, shadow bias 0.2) and a spot coming down from upper right of camera (intensity 35%, spread 180, deep shadow map, shadow softness 4%, shadow bias 0.2).

    Changing the shadow bias made a big difference to the glowing hair.

    Render settings are for speed not quality :)


    Yes...looks like you're making progress. Doing test renders with settings optimized for speed makes a lot of sense, but I'd recommend against using the OpenGL render engine (Quality Level 1, 2, or 3) instead of 3Delight (Quality Level 4) when testing out surface settings or shaders, as the results can look drastically different. Not sure if this is what you're doing, but I thought it was worth mentioning...
  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    dhmcvey said:
    Thank you for your responses. I haven't had a great deal of time to experiment today, but I hope I've made some progress.
    I Like the Idea. But to me the shaders from the figure to the bathing suits do not MELD or blend. If this was carved from one block of stone all the surface's would match 100%. They would all be just different shapes carved on the one surface.

    Check the settings on the bathing suits and compare those to the surface of the figures.

    What I see so far are statues that a person has dressed with clothing, not statues carved from a solid stone.
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    dhmcvey said:
    I've reduced the diffuse (I think the SSS effect is tied to it)
    Just so you don't always think this I thought best to correct you...SSS does not effect or tied to Diffuse in fact many surface channels work independently from each other.
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,307
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    dhmcvey said:
    I've reduced the diffuse (I think the SSS effect is tied to it)
    Just so you don't always think this I thought best to correct you...SSS does not effect or tied to Diffuse in fact many surface channels work independently from each other.
    SSS controls (or rather simulates) how light is scattered as it passes through an object's surface. As Szark said, the amount of scattering is not affected at all by changing things like the Diffuse settings.

    However, the way the surface appears to the viewer is the result of the interaction of all the various materials settings with the lighting in the scene. So changing the diffuse settings could impact the extent to which the SSS is visibly apparent. Rawn (RawArt) has a good tutorial on SSS here in which he recommends lowering the diffuse strength to 70% (of course, that's for human skin...you may need different values for other materials like stone).

  • HastyDaveHastyDave Posts: 109
    edited December 1969


    Yes...looks like you're making progress. Doing test renders with settings optimized for speed makes a lot of sense, but I'd recommend against using the OpenGL render engine (Quality Level 1, 2, or 3) instead of 3Delight (Quality Level 4) when testing out surface settings or shaders, as the results can look drastically different. Not sure if this is what you're doing, but I thought it was worth mentioning...

    Thanks - I just meant that I hadn't set a high quality shading rate, upped the pixel samples etc. I am rendering with 3Delight.

    If this was carved from one block of stone all the surface's would match 100%. They would all be just different shapes carved on the one surface.

    Check the settings on the bathing suits and compare those to the surface of the figures.

    What I see so far are statues that a person has dressed with clothing, not statues carved from a solid stone.

    This is the big problem I've been having. If I use the same settings on the clothing and hair as I do on the figure 'skin', then the clothes and hair are far too bright - because they're thin and therefore treated as 'more translucent' by the shader, I guess.

    Here's another render after adjusting the clothing surfaces. I've reduced the Ambient, Diffuse and Specular sliders on all the pieces of clothing to around 50%. Getting closer, I think.

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  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,307
    edited April 2013

    For DS users who also use (or would like to try) Bryce:

    Here are some quick instructions on using the Bryce-to-DS bridge and importing your DS props and figures into Bryce...where you can apply a wide variety of interesting Bryce materials to them.

    1. Log in to your system as an Administrator.
    2. Open Bryce and click the DAZ Studio Bridge button (looks like the DAZ 3D logo).
    3. Select your version of DAZ Studio and it will open.
    4. In DAZ Studio, load the figure or prop you want to export to Bryce
    5. Do any necessary morphing and posing (you won't be able to do this in Bryce)
    6. Click File>Send To Bryce
    7. In Bryce, you'll be able to rescale and reposition your item, and apply materials to it

    This is a decent starting point when it comes to learning Bryce and Bryce materials: http://www.pxleyes.com/tutorial/bryce/1218/Absolute-Beginners-Guide-to-Bryce.html

    There are TONS of Bryce tutorials available here: http://www.bryce-tutorials.info/bryce-tutorials.html and on other sites (including the Bryce forum here at daz3d.com). I'm still a beginner when it comes to Bryce, but I'm enjoying learning how to use it.

    The image shows Genesis (Stephanie 5) imported into Bryce and retextured as a terrain. There's still a LOT of room for improvement (for instance, I haven't done much with the lighting or atmosphere) but I wanted to get this posted before the month gets much older.

    In case it's not clear what you're looking at, Stephanie is lying on her back. The camera is near her chin, pointed down towards her feet. The "mountain" is her left knee, and the toes on her right foot are visible in the distance.

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    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    dhmcvey said:
    This is the big problem I've been having. If I use the same settings on the clothing and hair as I do on the figure 'skin', then the clothes and hair are far too bright - because they're thin and therefore treated as 'more translucent' by the shader, I guess.

    Here's another render after adjusting the clothing surfaces. I've reduced the Ambient, Diffuse and Specular sliders on all the pieces of clothing to around 50%. Getting closer, I think.

    LOOKING Much better. Your on it now.
  • IndigoJansonIndigoJanson Posts: 1,100
    edited April 2013

    Thanks for all the examples, lots to learn from this thread. I haven't ventured into Bryce yet but one of these days.....

    Well, here's where I'm at now with my image. I really, really, really wanted to use Luxus for this one, but there's just too much I need to learn yet to get the thing to look right. At the moment, rendered in Luxus with the bits of tweaking I know how to do, there's still way too many issues to resolve before the contest ends. So I stuck with point-based occlusion, which I do like a lot.
    Anyway, this is where I'm at now. Nreed, that's your egg texture giving the skin its mottled look. Thanks again!
    As always, any comments are welcome. And evilproducer, that's an awesome wall! I've wanted to learn Carrara for a while now, but my mind always lets out pathetic whimpering noises and runs away when I try.

    I love the viewpoint on this, it's almost like the tail is starting some clever golden spiral. Can't wait to see the finished render.

    Post edited by IndigoJanson on
  • kittenwyldekittenwylde Posts: 151
    edited December 1969

    For DS users who also use (or would like to try) Bryce:

    Here are some quick instructions on using the Bryce-to-DS bridge and importing your DS props and figures into Bryce...where you can apply a wide variety of interesting Bryce materials to them.


    Ahh, Bryce. Just for the heck of it, after I read this last night I exported my girl and her dragon into Bryce. Ten minutes later, I had gorgeous lighting and the materials almost exactly the way I want them. As opposed to the hours of fiddling I've been doing in Studio to get even close to what I want. *sigh* Dratted honesty. I should never have let the cat out of the bag that I've used Bryce forever! :lol:
  • StormlyghtStormlyght Posts: 666
    edited December 1969

    Hi,

    I've been having computer issues so I haven't been as active as I would have liked this month. Although I had retextured an outfit in my original post, I decided to go in a different direction. I'm attempting to learn how to use LuxRender and it's shaders. I've really struggled but this "New User Contest" has encouraged me to explore and learn more about shaders and textures. Anyhow in the attached picture, I used a copper shader on the texture of the dress, a glass shader on the eyes, a glossy translucent shader on the hair and changed the specular, diffuse, transmission and absorption colors on the skin. It's not where I want it to be and I'd like to try the skin techniques that @Slosh is using in LuxRender and has kindly shared in the Common Forum, however I don't know if I'll get an opportunity to attempt this before the end of the month. On different note, I truly am appreciative of this community and the willingness of everyone to help each other learn. Thank you!

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  • kittenwyldekittenwylde Posts: 151
    edited December 1969

    You are braver than I. I wimped out on trying to get my entry to work right in LuxRender. So much to learn, so little time!
    If I might make a suggestion: I think your lady would stand out very nicely against a different color background. Might just be because I'm super tired, but she blends right in to the background to my eyes. Maybe something green, or blue...

  • StormlyghtStormlyght Posts: 666
    edited December 1969

    Hi @sithkitten,

    Thank you for the suggestion :) I'll try it.

  • BlumBlumShubBlumBlumShub Posts: 1,108
    edited December 1969

    I've been working on something in Carrara since I saw this thread. Sadly I haven't been able to work in it for as long at a time as I'd like, but I'm definitely getting to grips with it.

    Carrara's shaders remind me of the Filter Forge setup, but in a different way. Probably because of the various noise and turbulence settings. I'm really enjoying playing with them.

    I'm working on an almost complete re-work of Howie Farkes' fantastic DarkWald set and a very ethereal Vicky who is still very much a work in progress, I haven't decided at all what to do with her. I might make her scary, or I might make her thoughtful, or cute, I don't know yet. I have three rough sketches for pose ideas and for facial expressions. Problem is I like all of them and I'm running out of time so need to make decisions.

    Here's my last render, but it's several works behind where I'm at now.

    I am going to work on the pose now, and some more shaders for ground and the smaller mushrooms.

    Constructive criticism is most welcome :D

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