3Delight Surface and Lighting Thread

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  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,831
    edited May 2013

    Gedd said:
    If you notice, dielectrics, at least in english speaking countries, refer to a specific subset of insulators, that exhibit particular properties.... I think that is what I've been trying to say all along, though perhaps not very well.

    Aha, I think I'm getting it now. Thanks - live and learn... One of the "false friends" in translation, I guess.
    // trying now to come up with a material that does not conduct but cannot be polarised at all... gotta be something exotic and state-of-the-art, I reckon //

    PS Actually, any water is, it's the impurities that move within the water... hmmm... forget it ;p

    Exactly, yet for an empirical physicist, water is water is water, - it always has impurities =) and one too often poisonous ones =D

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

    One can drown with a cup of water, it doesn't make it a swimming pool.... there is something called 'a matter of degree.' What we in english speaking countries generally refer to as dielectrics exhibit those properties to a degree greater then other insulators. Or, at least that what I was taught. There are times when here in America at least, we are taught one thing because that is what we can understand at that level, then taught something very different later because we can understand the nuances of the more complex idea we couldn't before. Perhaps that is something I am running into, who knows.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,831
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    One can drown with a cup of water, it doesn't make it a swimming pool.... there is something called 'a matter of degree.' What we in english speaking countries generally refer to as dielectrics exhibit those properties to a degree greater then other insulators.

    You folks are so relative... no wonder Einstein had to emigrate to one of your countries =D

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

    Btw, I cannot speak two languages. The best I can do is a few words in various ones, and English. I applaud anyone who can, even if they struggle with it, which you do not.

  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,831
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Btw, I cannot speak two languages. The best I can do is a few words in various ones, and English. I applaud anyone who can, even if they struggle with it, which you do not.

    Thank you, but I do struggle. It's just that it's not noticeable.
    "Struggle" as in "wrecking my brain over choosing the best word... and failing, continually". It's actually worse than just not knowing grammar or basic vocabulary.

    A native speaker wrote a song about that same thing, though... should make me feel less bad, but it doesn't... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pNAop3I-GF0

  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,387
    edited December 1969

    that was NOT sarcasm Mustakettu85, that was honest.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,987
    edited May 2013


    Well I have an older computer, but I can use IDL mode alright, if the max distance is dialed down to around 20.
    You meant lowering the shading rate, right? Another quality knob is "max error", try lowering it to 0.1 if you're tracing fine displacement details - sometimes there are artefacts with occluding displacement that shading rate alone cannot fix.

    Yes. Lowering shading rate. I usually set UE shading rate to 16 for fast renders (4 or 1 if I wanted a clean render). Max error is always set to 0.1.

    IDL penalty is way too high once you have reflective/refractive materials (render times were about 4 times long). For the same amount of penalty, I can use reflective surfaces (ray bounce= 2) while lowering the UE2 shading rate to 1 and render options shading rate to 0.5. Personally, I think it's a better tradeoff (color bleeding vs reflection + generally noise free renders).

    As you can see from the added renders, UE2 max trace distance set to 50 produced darker areas around the sphere, which is in the occluded area of th wall. Since those area are supposed to be lit, it shouldn't be darker. After some tinkering, I think 75 is better though.


    So, what are your shadow samples? If they're too low, the shadows may get "washed out" because too few samples are spread over too much an area.
    Otherwise, I don't know why you would be getting shadows "in the wrong place" - on my system, the only visual difference between raytraced shadows and DSMs is the way they look at default softness.

    What I mean is for the shadows to behave 'properly' it should be harder between the point where the an object meets the ground plane. A more technical term will be correct umbra/penumbra.

    Generally, UberAreaLight - 8 for fast renders and 32 for final renders. The directional light should be using the render options settings (set to 16). Another point to consider is the time to generate shadow maps and the penalty with multiple spotlights. UberAreaLight behaves pretty much like UberSoftLight - adding additional light has minimal impact to render time.

    Edit. Added the renders below. First image is Raytraced shadows. Notice how the shadows starts rather sharp and then gradually becomes softer furher out. For comparison's sake, the second and third are DSM shadows. You can have soft or hard shadows, but not both. This is with a distant/directional light and no other lights in the scene.

    Render_7.jpg
    1137 x 640 - 99K
    Render_6.jpg
    1137 x 640 - 93K
    Render_5.jpg
    1137 x 640 - 109K
    Post edited by wowie on
  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,987
    edited May 2013

    Gedd said:

    @wowie, very nice example. Your mention of UberSurface is very applicable here. I probably would get better results using them then the traditional 3pt light setup I used. I am just now getting comfortable with UberSurface lights myself and really like the results I've gotten so far.

    Thanks, though pardon me for correcting - it should be UberAreaLight.

    Like I wrote before, I think the DAZ default lights (point,spot,directional) don't offer the controls needed to get more accurate shadows. Although you could try tinkering with them in Shader Mixer, I found using multiple area lights are generally faster than using multiple default lights (if the need arises).

    Pity it doesn't work (correctly) with DS4 and up.

    Post edited by wowie on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,303
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:
    Gedd said:

    @wowie, very nice example. Your mention of UberSurface is very applicable here. I probably would get better results using them then the traditional 3pt light setup I used. I am just now getting comfortable with UberSurface lights myself and really like the results I've gotten so far.

    Thanks, though pardon me for correcting - it should be UberAreaLight.

    Like I wrote before, I think the DAZ default lights (point,spot,directional) don't offer the controls needed to get more accurate shadows. Although you could try tinkering with them in Shader Mixer, I found using multiple area lights are generally faster than using multiple default lights (if the need arises).

    Pity it doesn't work (correctly) with DS4 and up.
    UberArea lights were broken in a previous release of DS4 (I think it was the first or second DS4.5 beta release) but they're working now. Or do you mean there is something about them that doesn't work the way you think it should?

  • Type 0 NegativeType 0 Negative Posts: 316
    edited December 1969

    I have not had time to read through everything in this thread yet and hope to do it right now;

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/4357/

    MindVision G.D.S. was kind enough to share some tips for me, might could help some.

    Best of luck to you all and keep up the good work. I'm truly greatful for you all.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,987
    edited May 2013


    UberArea lights were broken in a previous release of DS4 (I think it was the first or second DS4.5 beta release) but they're working now. Or do you mean there is something about them that doesn't work the way you think it should?

    My version of DS4.5 is DS.4.5.1.6. Haven't seen updated builds but it wasn't working the same as it did in DS3. When I compared shots of the same scene, rendered with the same light and camera, DS4 shots were noticeably darker.

    This is just one of many reasons I'm still working in DS3.

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

    Mmm, I guess I misread. I have been working with Ubersurface lights and they are working well for me, but then I didn't have experience with them before so I may just be adjusting them so that they work to a level beyond what one had to before.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,987
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Mmm, I guess I misread. I have been working with Ubersurface lights and they are working well for me, but then I didn't have experience with them before so I may just be adjusting them so that they work to a level beyond what one had to before.

    Just for clarity here, can you point me to the wiki for UberSurface lights you're talking about? I'm curious whether or not we're actually taking about the same thing (it may very well be the case).

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

    Ok, part of the confusion is that I was referring to them incorrectly, I meant UberArea lights. I wasn't referring to any wiki, just my experience going into lighting, finding UberArea and applying it to the surfaces I wanted to emit light, and adjusting them to get the effect I wanted, as demonstrated here and here (the study example.)

    Note: if one doesn't read all of 'The Dark Star' example, they might get a false impression about the prop as I was having some problems with the lighting that Stonemason was kind enough to take time to help me sort out. The example I posted was still a valid one of a different take on lighting, and the fix for the problem I was having might help others if they run into the same thing.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,303
    edited May 2013

    Yeah, I've gotten some good results from UberArea lights in DS 4.5.1.6+ also, and like you Gedd, I never used DS3.

    I learned most of what I know about them from here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/ Judging from reply #4 it sounds like there are some changes between how they worked in DS3 vs. DS4.5.

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,831
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:
    When I compared shots of the same scene, rendered with the same light and camera, DS4 shots were noticeably darker.

    Confirmed. Intensity has to be upped at least 50%. I've also noticed samples had to be set about twice as high for the DS4.5 render to look the same as the DS3 one.

    wowie said:

    This is just one of many reasons I'm still working in DS3.

    Me too, 90% of the time. US2 doesn't seem to have been recompiled natively for the new 3Delight as well - it renders OK, but it's noticeably slower in DS4.5 than in DS3 when we're dealing with SSS precomputation in cases of AO/IDL.
    Unless there has been a silent update that I never got wind of...

    wowie said:
    I usually set UE shading rate to 16 for fast renders (4 or 1 if I wanted a clean render)

    Oh wow... what's the time penalty for setting it to 1?


    IDL penalty is way too high once you have reflective/refractive materials (render times were about 4 times long).

    True, if you're setting max ray bounce over 1 for a scene with IDL, it becomes way too slow. I'm still planning to test that bounce-restricting feature of US2 (which lets all the rays bounce the generally specified time, but limits the indirect diffuse bounce), but I honestly can't be bothered since I've never yet come up with a scene that would call for multiple interreflection/refraction AND IDL.


    What I mean is for the shadows to behave 'properly' it should be harder between the point where the an object meets the ground plane. A more technical term will be correct umbra/penumbra.

    Well yeah, if that's important for you, then raytraced shadows are a better option. I found that the default lights in DS3 are waaaay slower re:raytracing than the scripted ones, though. If you've managed to grab the scripting kit when it was available, you can get access to these easily and speed up the workflow by at least a couple dozen percent...

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited May 2013

    Yeah, I've gotten some good results from UberArea lights in DS 4.5.1.6+ also, and like you Gedd, I never used DS3.

    I learned most of what I know about them from here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/ Judging from reply #4 it sounds like there are some changes between how they worked in DS3 vs. DS4.5.

    Not many changes though. :) Also a change I missed was in the early days of DS3 you had to turn Ambient On for light to be emitted this is no longer the case.
    Post edited by Szark on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited May 2013

    double damm posting. ;)

    Post edited by Szark on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:

    What I mean is for the shadows to behave 'properly' it should be harder between the point where the an object meets the ground plane. A more technical term will be correct umbra/penumbra.

    Well yeah, if that's important for you, then raytraced shadows are a better option. I found that the default lights in DS3 are waaaay slower re:raytracing than the scripted ones, though. If you've managed to grab the scripting kit when it was available, you can get access to these easily and speed up the workflow by at least a couple dozen percent...
    and don't forget DSM's as only rendered at a resoluion of 1024 x 1024 in Daz Studio so when using a higher res image DSM's are always going to be crap. ;)

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

    DSMs?

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

    Yeah, I've gotten some good results from UberArea lights in DS 4.5.1.6+ also, and like you Gedd, I never used DS3.

    I learned most of what I know about them from here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/ Judging from reply #4 it sounds like there are some changes between how they worked in DS3 vs. DS4.5.

    Took me a minute to reply as I just went back through this as a refresher. Szark put together a great resource here, and it was invaluable to me when I was originally learning UberArea lights. I don't know if I've said this before, but it bears repeating either way, Thank you Szark for taking the time to put this together :)

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    DSMs?
    Deep Shadow Maps
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited May 2013

    Oh yes, ty... I didn't remember that and it's very helpful to keep in mind :)

    I typically use raytrace only or none, but have on the odd occasion used them as they were 'good enough' for that particular usage and render time was starting to climb.

    On a related note, how many are familiar with IES light profiles? It is something that I think will make a big difference when this type of technology becomes more standard (as in being implemented in various software tools like DS and the various render engines,) easier to use, and includes things like natural light sources (candles, oil/gas lamps, fire...)

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Yeah, I've gotten some good results from UberArea lights in DS 4.5.1.6+ also, and like you Gedd, I never used DS3.

    I learned most of what I know about them from here: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/14536/ Judging from reply #4 it sounds like there are some changes between how they worked in DS3 vs. DS4.5.

    Took me a minute to reply as I just went back through this as a refresher. Szark put together a great resource here, and it was invaluable to me when I was originally learning UberArea lights. I don't know if I've said this before, but it bears repeating either way, Thank you Szark for taking the time to put this together :)My pleasure Gedd. As you know I was going to do the same for HSS, Ubersurface and Uber Surface 2 and since my computer went pop on New Years Eve stopped the tutoail in its tracks. Which in a way it was a blessing as I realised I didn't know as much as I thought I knew, this was confirmed with has been said here and other threads and DA. On top of that I can't even use DS4.5 for rendering. I can use DS3A but doing anything major is a chore. Eaxplame UE2 on AO/IDL and two area planes, one M4 with US2 and two birds has taken 4 days to get to 25% at 848 x 1200 resolution.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Oh yes, ty... I didn't remember that and it's very helpful to keep in mind :)

    I typically use raytrace only or none, but have on the odd occasion used them as they were 'good enough' for that particular usage and render time was starting to climb.

    On a related note, how many are familiar with IES light profiles? It is something that I think will make a big difference when this type of technology becomes more standard (as in being implemented in various software tools like DS and the various render engines,) easier to use, and includes things like natural light sources (candles, oil/gas lamps, fire...)

    No worries.

    IES Light profiles are well cool..I think they can be used in Carrara too.

  • wowiewowie Posts: 1,987
    edited May 2013


    Me too, 90% of the time. US2 doesn't seem to have been recompiled natively for the new 3Delight as well - it renders OK, but it's noticeably slower in DS4.5 than in DS3 when we're dealing with SSS precomputation in cases of AO/IDL.
    Unless there has been a silent update that I never got wind of...


    I wish there was an option for point cloud SSS though (plus the ability to save the point cloud for subsequent renders). If that's possible, some of the precomputation could be reused instead of doing it for every render. Or provide a way (and tutorial) on how to bake reflection and SSS. My DS3 always do a hard crash (not even an error report) whenever I tried to bake anything.


    Oh wow... what's the time penalty for setting it to 1?


    I don't have the figures in my head, but it's still bearable. :) It does depend on how much AO is in the scene/viewable area.
    Edit: Did some quick test with two scenes. The penalty is about 20 to 25 % longer render time.


    Well yeah, if that's important for you, then raytraced shadows are a better option. I found that the default lights in DS3 are waaaay slower re:raytracing than the scripted ones, though. If you've managed to grab the scripting kit when it was available, you can get access to these easily and speed up the workflow by at least a couple dozen percent...

    I did try using shader lights. Umbra/penumbra is still off, so no dice.

    and don't forget DSM's as only rendered at a resoluion of 1024 x 1024 in Daz Studio so when using a higher res image DSM's are always going to be crap. ;)

    Ah yes, I forgot about that fact.

    Post edited by wowie on
  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 35,524
    edited May 2013

    ...so, only light sets available from ShareCG. I have one that I often use that is part of a character package which is still available as a freebie on Rendo. (though not also available on ShareCG like some items are). It is often my "go to" set for portraits and posed character pics as it doesn't take a lot of time to render yet gives some wonderful results.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • Mustakettu85Mustakettu85 Posts: 2,831
    edited December 1969

    wowie said:

    I wish there was an option for point cloud SSS though (plus the ability to save the point cloud for subsequent renders). If that's possible, some of the precomputation could be reused instead of doing it for every render.

    In theory, this could be done in DS4.5 through scripted rendering - the devs supplied a working script for point-cloud AO which is pretty good (though I still went and edited some code to make the cloud work more to my preference), so at least we know clouds are officially implementable now... I still haven't had the heart to tackle this - my eyes hurt from all the code'n'data I have to go through in real life... maybe when I'm on vacation or something.

    Haven't ever tried baking anything in either Studio version, so unfortunately can't help at all.

    wowie said:

    Edit: Did some quick test with two scenes. The penalty is about 20 to 25 % longer render time.

    So, kinda not _that_ much. Thanks, I'll keep that in mind for future scenes with particularly capricious displacements...


    I did try using shader lights. Umbra/penumbra is still off, so no dice.

    I meant for raytraced shadows. On my dual core, when using raytraced shadows, these lights from the script kit (not shader mixer or shader builder ones) give a crazy boost to render time, even with softness on. Probably less noticeable of an increase on a more "up to date" system, but still...

    and don't forget DSM's as only rendered at a resoluion of 1024 x 1024 in Daz Studio so when using a higher res image DSM's are always going to be crap. ;)

    Like, how much higher? Print resolution poster-size? I never noticed anything particularly wrong with them, but then, I rarely render over 1200 px per side...

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969


    Szark said:
    and don't forget DSM's as only rendered at a resoluion of 1024 x 1024 in Daz Studio so when using a higher res image DSM's are always going to be crap. ;)

    Like, how much higher? Print resolution poster-size? I never noticed anything particularly wrong with them, but then, I rarely render over 1200 px per side...I rarely go over that size too but I have seen and heard that 3000 and above you start to see shadow quality drop.

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

    People will render to that size when rendering for poster print as was mentioned. Art to be sold in places like Renderosity.

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