The Wonderful Dynamic Puzzle of 3D (or, What's my Work Flow)

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    For anyone that uses Uber products and haven't been to his YouTube videos lately, it's well worth going through again. I just did and picked up a lot of stuff I forgot, and even more I didn't fully understand the last time I went through them. Here's his website for quick reference to documentation.

    And on a related note, here's pwSurface, pwCatch, pwToon, and pwEffect. There doesn't seem to be one for pwGhost. I haven't found any video tutorials on them.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    For anyone looking to learn more about HDRI, The HDRI Handbook looks to be a good resource. I haven't checked it out myself other then what's at the site and some other resources that referenced it, so if anyone picks it up and goes through it, let us know what you find and any great hints you might care to share from it :)

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    I believe I was the one that originally coined the term 'Booleans are the spawn of the Devil.'

    Well, it looks like there is a program that has risen them from their dark roots to give them the almost heavenly aspect they promised but was a lie in the past. Said program outputs a 3D mesh that looks very nice from all of the examples. I haven't had a chance to play with it yet , so I'm keeping it to myself till I do.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    This example is in response to the current search for skin and eye settings. The concept behind this particular example is that if we start off with the basic genesis female and can get her to look the best we can, it will help us towards making more advanced skins/shaders look good.

    With DS 4.5 the default genesis comes with HSS which iirc, used to be the default DS shader. The default genesis therefore gives us a good start.

    Here we see it with default flat lighting.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    Normally I adjust the shaders and then the lighting, but in this case we want to see specifically what the differences are from the base under the same lighting so in this image we see the default image with a light set. The light set is all set to generic white as we don't want to influence our results at all. The ambient is a UE at 35%. There is a 3pt light setup with the main set to 50%, raytraced shadows, fill at 10%, no shadows, and back at 20%, no shadows. Main is lined up almost directly with the characters eyes, back opposite camera, and fill appropriate to fill in for main.

    A note on this, one of my goals on skin is to get good dimensional characteristics, have it look like skin, and not loose the detail. Many of the guidelines people put up about skin end up blowing out all detail and for me that is unacceptable. So, I play with my settings to get as much depth to the skin as possible, while still retaining things like freckles, realistic looking pores (vs something that looks like it had too much cake makeup applied,) etc..

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    Well, the skin evened out some nicely, but the eyes and other areas went flat. The specular was set to a blue grey which was changed to 2 spec at different levels of pink, light and lighter. Fresnel was turned on and adjusted, sss also. Eyes had quite a bit of work done to them, with 2 levels of specularity to most of the surfaces to create the gloss with highlights. The reflections are the actual lights in the scene.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    There are a couple things I would tweak on this still. The lips edge.. not sure what exactly is causing it but would blend it a bit better. The inner ear, too red, but that I believe that is the base texture. This image is using the base maps that come with the default genesis female. I would expect these (general) settings to do much better with another set of mats but I will test that later.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    A Quick one, Old West Mercantile Interior:

    Out-of-the-box

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    And, with UE2, Sun Distant, camera adjustment, and shader tweaks.

    [Edit] Due to the posts that follow this example I thought I'd post some of the specific tweaks I made to this image (not one to add fuel to the fire ;p )

    First, the 'metallic, glass, skin' categories are only available with the default DS shaders and basically are a group of settings on how to handle light, which is why the are under 'lighting model' in the DS shader surface definition. More specifically, it refers to how the surface treats things like specularity and reflection. If one converts to another shader like UberSurface, they loose that definition 'shortcut' and are left with all of the components that make up the category to adjust on their own in more detail then the category provided. That is, the category of skin vs metal etc.. are just conveniences, not anything hard and fast. I won't go into the specifics as it would get long winded so we'll have to do our own research here. But, I will point out that metal has a much more gradual ramp to blown out then plastic. Either one will blow out to white eventually, so the whole white vs non white highlight is misleading.. add enough color and guess what you get. It's more, how fast do we get to white. Wood has a wide variety of specular properties, and does not go to white specular in many cases.. go around and look at different types of wood under different types of situations (one of my hobbies is woodworking and furniture refinishing.) In this particular instance, I left the wood to the default ds shader and used 'skin' because that is the lighting model I wanted this particular wood to follow. Forget the rules, use your own eyes, does it look good to you or not (no right or wrong answer here.) The glass I converted to US as the default DS shader wasn't getting me what I wanted. The stock on the shelves are a mix of shaders which tbh were a quick fix sort of thing because of being in the background and not wanting to spend a lot of time on them at the moment for this image.

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  • SiennaBlueSiennaBlue Posts: 216
    edited December 1969

    Very helpful thread! Thank you for sharing what you have worked to discover, Gedd. That goes for everyone who has contributed. :)

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    I'm glad you find it helpful. Jump in yourself anytime, the water's fine ;)

  • kitakoredazkitakoredaz Posts: 3,526
    edited December 1969

    Actually Helpful. thnak you Gedd:)

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited May 2013

    Hi Gedd,

    I'm that annoying chick from wancow's "3Delight Surface and Lighting Thread" thread, and I came to haunt you here as well. I'm really really sorry, but there are things that you aren't doing correctly. I hope I can help. It's not like I'm full of myself to the point of forcing my "opinion" on others - it's just that it's not an opinion. And knowledge is power. Please forgive me.

    Gedd said:
    The ambient is a UE at 35%. There is a 3pt light setup with the main set to 50%, raytraced shadows, fill at 10%, no shadows, and back at 20%, no shadows.

    I wrote that in wancow's thread, but here I'll repeat myself (and theSea):

    All lights MUST cast shadows if you're using SSS. IBL (UE or ahEnv or whatever) MUST use AO. Otherwise you'll get light rays where they don't belong.

    SSS is raytraced in all the shaders we've got available so far. Raytracing is a technique that's pretty sensitive to physical correctness of your setup - it was based on real optics.

    Just think: you don't want the backlight to bleed all the way through your figure as if it were transparent?

    Especially if you're using a SSS scale above 0.1 which already turns your lifesize human into a figurine, in the "eyes" of the shader.

    // more on the scale in my first post in wancow's thread... sorry it's so long, but it was designed to be fairly useful, so you may want to consult it as well: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/21611/P30/#318536 //

    Gedd said:
    The specular was set to a blue grey which was changed to 2 spec at different levels of pink, light and lighter.

    Congratulations, you've just created a metallic type of material with UberSurface. Please refer to http://www.manufato.com/?p=902 for ideas on setting up specular in a more physically correct way for dielectrics.

    Yes I know it used to be fashionable, simply using the "metallic" mode of default "DAZ Material" for skin, but when you've got a better tool, obsolete techniques are just that... obsolete...

    And skin's main highlights are never pink. Honest!! They're white. I would've adviced you to just grab a mirror, but this would only be real apparent if you've got oily skin...

    Fresnel was turned on and adjusted, sss also.

    Is that the default UberSurface, not the paid-for US2? Then unless you're using the Reflection node on your surfaces, Fresnel won't do anything. It only attenuates the reflection strength in all the other shaders apart from US2. Check omnifreaker's own wiki for US2:

    "Fresnel controls now affect Specular for more realistic effects."
    http://www.omnifreaker.com/index.php?title=UberSurface2

    "Now". Never before. That's one of the bigger selling points of US2.

    If you don't believe me, try a simple test: load a sphere, setup two lights: one to shine it right "in the face", another a glancing backlight. Set them to specular only for more clarity. Load the default UberSurface onto the sphere and try enabling Fresnel and fidgeting with it.

    It won't help you neither make your "in your face" specular dimmer, nor make your glancing specular brighter (and this is exactly what Fresnel is supposed to do).

    Then ditch the spec lights and enable Reflection. Set it to Envmap, for speed (and so as to avoid loading other objects to reflect raytracedly). Load an environment map for it, those from UE2 will do (just browse to their location and load). Now play with the Fresnel and see the effect!

    And if you have US2, load it onto the sphere and repeat the specular test. You will notice the effect.

    I've done these tests. I would've uploaded images, but a) I'm on a different computer right now, unfortunately; b) it's better to see this personally, for youself.

    Sorry again for being longwinded.

    Post edited by Mustakettu85 on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    Hmm, interesting post, and a lot of good information. However, there are a few misconceptions I should clear up as well. One, I'm an artist first and foremost when working in this venue and there are no MUST for me. I read the rules, I test the rules. If I get the results I want breaking the rules, I break the rules. I happen to be well aware of the 'rule' of using shadows on all lights when using SSS. I just don't happen to find it to be one I need to follow as my results when I break it are what I am after. I have not had a 'problem' with light leakage. Does that mean I haven't had it? No, it just means that if there were any, it wasn't an issue for me in my renders as I visually test what I am getting. I am not one to blindly follow rules or I wouldn't be an artist. It was good that you pointed it out for anyone who is not familiar with that rule, and had I not already known of it I probably would have been very appreciative myself.

    About dielectrics... hmm, well when I was an electronics tech in the navy we never used the term dielectric in that fashion. It had a very specific meaning related to an electronic device with specific properties as described in this wikipedia article. I looked at his article, and I'm glad you gave it, as it has some good information. I think it might have been better if he had used the term metallic and non-mettallic, or organic, or something else, but I may have a limited understanding of the term dielectric. Basically, the key being di as in two, re polarizing... I didn't know skin could be polarized, at least not to the point that would qualify them for the term dielectric which in electronics at least usually has a very specific meaning.

    As for the Fresnel. Yes, I'm aware of that also btw. I tested it using Fresnel and using the specular. The results in the end ended up being very similar and I probably should have pointed that out. Not similar with the same settings mind you, but after I finished with my settings. I went the route of Fresnel for a couple reasons. One, in my mind, the Specular settings were less in keeping with reality... skin does not have a dark bluegray specular highlight to it, end of story. As to the blue vs pink... I beg to differ here as well. I know it's fashionable to say we have a blue cast to skin really, it's not pink... well cut a piece of skin and shine a light through it. I'm familiar with skin, the layers, the melanin, etc etc.. and guess what, no blue except where there are veins. The second is that I do have US2 and plan to migrate things to that later, so this is more in line with that. Um, and I believe he made that change why? Because it was more correct. I did add a bit of (5-10% ish?) reflection to some surfaces because of this, it was one of my cheats, but most surfaces have some minor amount of reflectivity so..

    I also happen to be aware of the metallic for skin debate that happened a while back. I do not use metallic materials for skin, although I do use them for some surfaces other then metallic occasionally due to the way they treat light and it being the way I wish that surface to be treated in regards to light by the render engine. When I do this, it happens to be because I have tested that particular render engine and found how it specifically appears to handle said definition. The minute one goes to a different render engine it would change. That in itself is a good reason to use that type of effect with some limits since if one were to take something defined using a metallic surface into something like Luxus which is trying to convert materials, the Luxus conversion would probably fail on this point so one would have to be aware of what was happening and fix it. I generally try to keep things as generic and cross product as possible, but I do tweak things for a specific engine and the results I find in that engine. These engines are not real life they do not follow all the rules as well as one might think or wish.

    I see this trend where people read a lot of stuff and decide what things have to be based on things they read. I'm glad you brought this up, because I read voraciously. I'm a strong proponent of reading. I also believe in admitting when I'm wrong. But I also believe in testing things for ourselves. I personally like my results. You may not, that's your prerogative. I also think it's good to bring things into the discussion when they differ from other information we have at hand to sort things out. But, you evidently haven't heard the number one rule, In art, there are no rules

    I enjoyed your input, the tone might have been a bit more in tune with realizing people sometimes do things 'against the rules' by choice, and that's ok. I'm not sure how one could be in a community of artists and not realize that.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    This discussion brings up a good point. I should probably put my thinking out on the table so people can take it into account when deciding to follow my advice or not.

    I do believe in trying to understand whatever 'rules' are out there regarding something. In areas in life other then art I typically defer to following them even if they don't make sense because I realize I may not understand it but there might be some good reason for it. In art, I believe in trying to understand them and work with them as much as they work towards bringing us to our end goal. If, after testing we find something that breaks the rules working better... break the rules. It's art. When we do break the rules, we want to be aware of it and remember we did, because it might be we later change back to following the rules in that instance for some reason, such as the reason we broke them might be situationally dependent, or whatever reason we broke it in the first place might have changed. But to me, art is about understanding the rules and then breaking them anyways at times, going beyond them when necessary. I'm not saying this is right or wrong, it's just me, it's how I fly ;)

    One more thing in the 'food for thought' category. Sometimes we have to work not with what we think should be, but with what we are given.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    Thought for the Day: The real art in life is to simplify, not add to the complexity. There is enough of that already :)

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:

    the tone might have been a bit more in tune with realizing people sometimes do things 'against the rules' by choice

    But I did say I'm sorry... Should I've also said explicitly that I'm Russian and English is not my first language? So, again, sorry if the tone was offensive or something. We aren't taught how to use tone in written English. Unfortunately.

    // and I also always make an assumption that people read profiles of people they don't know. But I guess I'm wrong because I'm, like, the only one on this forum who has meaningful stuff written in the profile =((((( I mean, my profile does say I'm Russian //

    Gedd said:

    I'm not sure how one could be in a community of artists and not realize that.

    Again, I'm sorry. I thought most people here were hobbyists, like myself - people for whom it's not a profession, people who don't have formal training in arts. You're very lucky, then. Here in Russia it's not a job you could count on making a living off, so only the rich kids who don't have to worry for their future get the artistic training.


    Gedd said:

    About dielectrics... hmm, well when I was an electronics tech in the navy we never used the term dielectric in that fashion.

    Well I don't know what the specifics of particular terms are in English-speaking countries, but here in Russia (and apparently in Brazil, where the guy who runs Manufato is from), physics teaches us everything is most broadly divided into conductors and dielectrics aka isolators. Then there's a specific subset of materials which are called semiconductors, whose conductivity heavily depends on temperature (they're strictly dielectric around 0K) and is not generally based around free electron flow (characteristic of metallic conductivity) .
    And actually a lot of why dielectrics are isolators (do not conduct electricity readily) depends exactly on the fact dielectrics can be polarised. Can't recall the exact mechanism off the top of my head, though (I primarily specialise in mechanics). Unfortunately I can't recommend any 110% reliable sources either 'cause I never consulted English-language materials when doing basic university courses. I know, silly me. Who would've thought...

    So, for our "artistic" purposes, skin is quite dielectric.

    Gedd said:

    skin does not have a dark bluegray specular highlight to it, end of story. As to the blue vs pink... I beg to differ here as well. I know it's fashionable to say we have a blue cast to skin really, it's not pink... well cut a piece of skin and shine a light through it. I'm familiar with skin, the layers, the melanin, etc etc.. and guess what, no blue except where there are veins.

    Would you be so kind as to re-read the Manufato article? Nowhere is it stated that the actual real-life specular is blue.

    It is white. http://www.cartoondollemporium.com/forum/pics/cdeblog/00140m.jpg - not me, just a pretty girl from google search, whose skin shines the way the skins of people around me do.

    But the way specular is calculated, it is additive. So if you take a skintone material and add pure white to it, you are going to get skintone bleed which makes it look metallic. Just because the shader math works this way. Take a look at this illustration from another article which shows it clearly: http://www.laurenscorijn.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/bluespec.jpg

    In order to neutralise the bleed, we add a shade which is mathematically opposite, i.e. in the bluish range.

    Then we get white because adding the blues is equal to subtracting pink.

    And if you add pink, you're never going to get white at all =(((((


    These engines are not real life they do not follow all the rules as well as one might think or wish.

    I don't want to go all jamminwolf on you, but isn't it real life that we want them to emulate?

    And it´s exactly the fact the engine math does not simulate real life by itself, that makes people use blue specular when they want white highlights without bleed.


    I do not use metallic materials for skin

    But your pink-specular girl looks metallic to me... And even by definition - your spec colours, they are shades in the same range as your basic diffuse. It makes the whole material "metallic".

    I'm not saying I don't like your girl. She may have artistic merit or something, were it a full scene. Like, subtle colour coordination with the environment or whatever. But, since you came to a clearly tech-oriented thread wancow started, I thought you were interested in the correct tech to springboard your artwork from. Again, apologies if it's not the case. I'm a techie first and foremost.


    The second is that I do have US2 and plan to migrate things to that later, so this is more in line with that. Um, and I believe he made that change why? Because it was more correct.

    Me no argue! No no no por favor! Me just saying that Fresnel for specular does not work in basic US! I've just seen one too many US/HSS mats that used no reflection but had Fresnel turned all the way up. As if it ever did anything.

    And by all means, do migrate to US2 for SSS-based surfaces. It's vastly superior to US in that regard. Let alone the Fresnel! It's alone worth the price of admission...

    But, you evidently haven't heard the number one rule, In art, there are no rules

    I'm not fond of that "rule", to be honest. It's being taken to extremes one too often. Pieces of public toilets put on a pedestal and lauded as "art". All the "freeform verse" that plagues English-speaking poetry. Outlandish anatomy in bestselling comics done through traditional (2D) artwork.

    Breaking the rules is too easy. Adhering to them - not as much. How many contemporary poets have ever written a real sonnet in their lives?..

    Besides - alright now this is probably purely cultural - but we're doing WRITING here. We PUBLISH our writing. Anyone can read it. It can become someone else´s "bible". So, we are responsible for the content we provide. And first of all, we have to publish RULES.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    I think we have to agree to disagree here. There are a number of things that we just don't agree on and doesn't look like we will. When I work with things like wood, skin, etc... it doesn't go to straight white specular no matter what anyone wants to say. I look at it, and I see what I see. I used to do makeup for models, I apply that to what I do. (I know, I have a strange history.) Basically, if it doesn't look the way I expect.. what I see with my own eyes... one can argue all they want, it isn't going to matter to me. I understand that the world looks flat but is round, that things happen at very large and small scales that go totally against what we might think. I get the whole Plato's cave and forms argument. But we are operating in a different medium here where what matters is, does it look the way you want. That's it. For me anyways.

    As for the point about the render engines not being reality, my point is, they try to approximate reality with mathematical formulas that operate within constraints that often prevent them from operating the way we might think based on natural rules, so we cannot blindly apply real world rules to something that is only an approximation. Because you either don't understand what I'm saying here, or don't agree with it.. we won't come to a meeting of the minds it appears on this topic.

    I did look at your example image btw. I prefer mine. I am not saying your image isn't good, nor is it a value judgement, just that if I look at your explanations, and your example image isn't going where I want to go, I'm going to take that into consideration. Your image is not a bad one at all, just not what I am striving for. I hadn't mentioned this earlier because I didn't want you to take it the wrong way.

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  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    I think we have to agree to disagree here. There are a number of things that we just don't agree on and doesn't look like we will. When I work with things like wood, skin, etc... it doesn't go to straight white specular no matter what anyone wants to say. I look at it, and I see what I see.
    ...
    Because you either don't understand what I'm saying here, or don't agree with it.. we won't come to a meeting of the minds it appears on this topic.

    I actually feel it's you who did not understand my reasoning which is solid science, it's not me inventing things. But if you really don´t see white specular on dielectrics in real life... I don´t know what to say. I do see it as white. Moreover, science says it has to be white.

    I guess the saying is true, you artists are one too special.



    I did look at your example image btw. I prefer mine. I am not saying your image isn't good, nor is it a value judgement...

    The girl I linked to? That's a photo.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    This one of yours, vs this one of mine was what I was referring to.

    Another note:

    ...I actually feel it's you who did not understand my reasoning which is solid science, it's not me inventing things.

    I actually was being directed to go into science because I aced all of my science early on. I had a falling out when I realized science is not exact. It is a lot of best guesses and rules we live by because they work better then anything else we have to work with. I loved science because of it's exactness, and lost faith when I realized that was a myth. Be careful in your rigidity or you might find yourself loosing faith also.
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  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited May 2013

    Gedd said:
    This one of yours, vs this one of mine was what I was referring to.

    Ah, that one. OK. Just make sure you're only looking at the skin, not at the rest of the work. The composition is a gigantic failure, I just figured that it wouldn't matter than much for a clothing contest =)

    Be careful in your rigidity or you might find yourself loosing faith also.

    Experimental physics is what I do for a living, so I know firsthand what science is and how far-fetched "empirical relations" can be, so don't worry. But what we're talking is a phenomenon well-supported on multiple levels. If you don't see it, I guess it's most likely psychological - I'm heavily synaesthetic (as in I "see" sounds and tactile sensations, completely involuntarily), so I could imagine other people might have differently wired cognitive/perception mechanisms.

    Pity we don´t have polls on this forum - would be interesting to find out the ratio of "white vs non-white specular seers", and also interesting to find out if it correlates anyhow with formal artistic training...

    Post edited by Mustakettu85 on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited December 1969

    Umm, Gedd... One thing occurred to me... I hope you don't mind me intruding on your privacy, and don´t feel pressured to answer, by all means... but... Are you male? I am female. I remembered I was reading somewhere that there was some research that showed males and females may perceive subtle colours differently.

    // actually "male vs female" research is what I generally take with a freight train full of salt because I'm a feminist, and that type of research is most often funded by patriarchal establishments, so the results are most often skewed too far into finding non-existent differences, but I would not write this one off completely because it may have plausible physiological reasons, like hormone levels influencing the chemicals in the retina cells that let us differentiate colours etc //

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    lol, not touching that one ;p

    other then to say all people perceive color differently actually. No two people perceive it exactly the same.

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  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    lol, not touching that one ;p

    other then to say all people perceive color differently actually. No two people perceive it exactly the same.

    Something in the vein of professional seamstresses being able to discern more shades of black than an ordinary person?

    And then there are languages which structure our conscious thinking - in Finnish, there has long been no word for "orange", so you wouldn't want to talk this colour with an older Finn =)

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    Here, perhaps this will help.. it's the only reason I'm posting this, not to be controversial.

    If you look at the lips and corners of the eyes, they are blown out white specular, but this is dependent on the lighting used. If we look along the nose, we see a more graduated version of specular, where it goes from the skin tone to the white in a much more graduated degree. That graduation is what we try to control whether we are doing photography or any other form of art. The histogram off to the side shows the bit that is blown out to white. We typically avoid this for the most part, and it's generally referred to as clipping. We are working with an additive color model. No matter what method we use, it will go to white eventually. The whole point of what we do is to sculpt the light the way we hope with the tools at hand. They are not a replication of the real world due to limitations to numerous to go into. Nor do we want to exactly replicate reality or as I had previously mentioned, we would go out back and take a picture of the alley complete with it's washed out colors and uninteresting framing. We shape our reality. That is what art is.

    As to the point of shades of black, discerning sounds.. all true. There are sounds Inuits can hear we can't.. (won't go into it, research if you want.) I happen to have had many different times in my life where color played a big part. I was a hair and makeup artist for years after the Navy for one, color specialist in particular, where I worked with combining colors with the natural pigmentation in hair. I have had to attune myself to seeing beneath the surface specifically in this vein professionally, and to understand how colors work in this type of environment. I am not saying I am always correct, far from it. Just that my background tends to frame my point of reference.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    [Edit] missed the part of not you. Removed not pertinent discussion point ;)

    I want to thank you for a very spirited discussion. You've given me a lot to think about. I sometimes get tired during long discussions of this nature, and am not at my best towards the end sometimes, so I hope I didn't offend.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,693
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    [Edit] missed the part of not you. Removed not pertinent discussion point ;)

    I want to thank you for a very spirited discussion. You've given me a lot to think about. I sometimes get tired during long discussions of this nature, and am not at my best towards the end sometimes, so I hope I didn't offend.

    You're welcome. Honest. If you enjoyed it, awesome. I was, too... I wish you hadn't decided to send me that PM, though. There's a line in it that really ticked me off for cultural reasons that you were apparently not aware of.

    So I'd better withdraw from your thread before I run into yet another cultural difference with someone.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    A discussion in another thread reminded me where I got much of my information on UberArea lights and I thought I'd post it here for anyone who hasn't seen it yet. It's Szark's UberArea Tutorial. He did a great job with it and did it for free. If you get half as much out of it as I did, take the time to send him a thanks :)

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    This example is about being able to maneuver tight spaces in DS. I'm using the Parkside Head prop as it lends itself well to this situation.

    For starters, we should all create a camera early on as habit, but we often get lazy and put it off. In this case we don't want to do that. The reason is, we want to use the translation tools to maneuver around rather then trying to use the widgets in the upper right corner of the viewport. So, we start off with loading the prop; head exterior, interior and rubble, in this case. Then we immediately create a camera and switch our view to this. This camera acts as our perspective view from now on, not as an actual camera for rendering. (Well we could also render from it, but we would be better creating separate cameras for that.) Next, select the camera in the scene tab and change the focal length to 28. This is of course variable and depends on the situation so many times we want something like 35, 45... 28 adds distortion but the space in this case is rather tight.

    Now for maneuvering. First, moving up and down is best done by typing in numeric values in the y axis for the camera so start off with something like 500. This will jump us up to the first floor. To move to different floors, test different values in the y axis. This is actually good practice for things like placing cameras and items, as our scene gets bigger, manually moving around is too slow and imprecise anyways. To pan around, don't reach for the widget as tempting as it is. Well, try it then you will see why we don't want to do this, as the camera physically moves around and we don't want that. Instead, grab the y axis rotate* slider and use that. At times it goes crazy and jumps to strange values as soon as we let go of the slider. If that happens, hit undo (ctl+z) and try again, this time paying attention to the value above the slider. When we let go this time, if it goes wonky simply manually put in the value we had before it lost its mind. To look up, use the z axis, and to tilt use the x. Practice using these in combination and we find we get pretty good at looking around the way we would expect in something like a game engine. To move the camera we still need to do that either manually or by typing in values into the translate value boxes.

    I hope this helps others half as much as it did me :)

    *use rotate for looking around, translate for moving

    [Edit] I wanted to clarify something. With further playing, I found I could rotate the camera without moving it as long as the camera is selected in the scene tab and not some other prop. If we have a prop (or surface) selected other then the camera, the camera typically rotates around what is selected, which can be handy at times. This specific topic was on looking around in tight quarters where one doesn't want to move the camera. I find using the widgets vs the sliders vs numeric have various advantages and disadvantages with speed/free form vs precision, so get used to all of them as they all have their place.

    [Second Edit] Using the widgets with the camera selected in another situation moved the camera, so the widgets are unreliable in this regard, whereas using the x,y,z rotation method has always worked for me in rotating without moving.

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  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,252
    edited December 1969

    I'm really enjoying this discussion that's jumping around all over the place. And I can't pick a side! You both have very strong arguments, backed up with examples and science, etc. I am leaning towards siding with gedd because we share a philosophy (seemingly) that I learned from writing: you have to know the rules before you can break them (then break them all you want, as long as it serves the end).

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