I am so tired of misleading promo images:( (picure proof inside)

henrykehenryke Posts: 0
edited May 2013 in Daz Studio Discussion

Happened with me about 100 times, but now I just got enough, so I decided to post my thoughts about the subject.

What is my problem you ask? Well, my problem is the missleading, and miniature-sized promo-product images in the daz shop. Here is my latest and favourite example: "a walk across water". (product page: http://www.daz3d.com/a-walk-across-water)

Look at the promo images: they are incredible small, even via zoomed lightbox: the promo images size in the daz shop is usually around*500pixel. 500 pixel in 2013, in the age of HD monitors!
So okay, you can't see anything from the mini-promo pix (my monitor is 1980*1020, so you can guess what I can see from an 500px image regarding texture quality, etc.).
So... you need to decide via these mini-pics.

And this leads to the main problem: the promo pics lies to you! After getting the product, and loading up the so called "ready to render 1 click automatic scene with lights" product, you getting crap, low resolution textures, sometimes without bump and displacement maps, also the rendered product is nothing like the promo image, even when they put "rendered in Daz3d" at the bottom of the (miniature) promo image.

Here is the proof: look at this promo image, and check out the somewhat nice, reflective water. Note: the set supposed to be "one click", with pre-made lights, material settings, etc. (And yes: I did apply everything in DazStudio Pro, it's not hard to click on 3 icons in smart content).

So please, please Daz - actual render (Daz and Poser) images in the shop in HIGH rez! ... without postwork.
That's what the costumer wants. Not uber-postworked-photoshop-uberenvironment light-rendered, miniature images (every render looks good in small size, we all know this trick:)

ps: no, I dont want to do magical tricks in the material editor, these scenes supposed to be "what you see what you get", that's why we buying them. If I want to work with materials for 3 hours, just to get the water on the promo pic, I have Maya or UnrealEd for that.

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  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 48,671
    edited December 1969

    Are you sure you are using the DAZ Studio scene file, not eh Poser prop?

  • henrykehenryke Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the reply, Yeah, I am sure, there is a big "DS" and "PS" in the filenames, so it's easy to identify them. (Also tried with Daz Install Manager as well).

  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 5,003
    edited December 1969

    Interesting - this is a set I have and there seems to be no 'ready to render' option as such, 'just' a .daz file that loads the scene, lights and cameras. In the scene there is no skydome as you seem to have. There is a DS light option, but that merely replaces the sveral lights loaded originally with a single distant light for 'Ambient' and a Reality lights option which does the same for a Distant light called Sun.

  • henrykehenryke Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Thanks for the reply

    "loads the scene, materials, lights and cameras" - if this is not, then what is ready to render?:) Also why the textures are so crappy? Where are the nice sharp textures from the promo picture? How can I achieve this eye-candy water then? What to do? Isn't it supposed to looks like the same (or at least almost the same) like the promo water?

    Look at these textures (attachement) - If I had a high resolution promo image in the shop, and I can see these Xbox360-era textures, I would not buy it - but all I had is an 500pixel promo pic. (I will retexture it anyway with high rez textures, no prob, but hey... misleading advertisement....)

    Anyways, if anyone can tell me *what to do*, if I want to achieve the nice-eyecandy water from the promo pic, I will be thankful. Really, I am curious...

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  • henrykehenryke Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    BTW, there are some vendors, whose promo pic are not "fake" - you get the same high quality after loads up their scene/props, like Stonemasons, P3DA, Nightshift3D.

    Never had this problem with Stonemason props for instance - highrez textures, reflections, bumpmaps, specular settings in materials, etc.

    Just to be fair:)

  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 5,003
    edited December 1969

    Sorry, but there is a 'ready to render' category in Smart Content and some products come with that all set up ...

    I suppose the .daz scene could be deemed that! I've used the product in the past and been quite happy with it, though i agree the water does not (from memory) look quite as good but then maybe it is reflecting the sky (a sky which is not included?). Let's have a test. Pick one of the cameras that load with the scene, pick a render size and I'll see do a render based on that and see what results I get.

  • henrykehenryke Posts: 0
    edited May 2013

    Thanks for the quick reply SimonJM!

    Let's have a test, nice idea! Pick the scene (smart content/presets/walkacrosswater), put some lights on it (realitysun will do, comes with the package), and let's render with the "footbridge3" camera (this is most likely the one used in thbe promo pic with the "no swimming" sign). Let's render it at 2000*2000pixel (highest quality) to check out the below average textures (especiall on the ground). Also let's put a skybox above the scene, to see if the water reflecting it or not.

    Here is a quick render from me (active viewport), I did load up the scene, with the lights comes with the package, I did use a skybox to make sure that's not the prob with the water - and here is the result. Very far away from the promo pic, especially the water:(

    it is possible to achieve a nice pic, with really-really heavy postwork (even need to put reflections on the water in Photoshop, and multitexturing the ground) see the sample pic 2. But that's really heavy postwork, almost 50% is "photoshopped", and a very bit-o-render left:)))

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    Post edited by henryke on
  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 5,003
    edited December 1969

    Ok, will do but ... will just say that the Reality light will not give a good result if used as a standalone light as that is just a single Distant light which will, by default, remove all previously loaded lights, but I'll give it a go. I, too, reckoned the #3 camera was the one :)

  • SimonJMSimonJM Posts: 5,003
    edited December 1969

    Ok, done the tests - water does not look that good it has to be said (a quick peek at the surfaces tab shows it has 0 reflection and refraction), but the ground is, IMHO, pretty good. I gave the water a quick tweak and ... well, let's just say I'm not showing that image ... ;)

    Image 01 is with just the Reality Sun, Image o2 is with default lights

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  • henrykehenryke Posts: 0
    edited May 2013

    Thanks for your help and for the tests!

    I think it's safe to say now, that the promo image is kinda "fake"-ish; looks like all we can achieve is the result we see on your image (and on my renders too). Which is "okay"... but doesnt looks like the promo, by any stretch of the imagination lol

    the ground is not so bad, but for close up renders in high rez, it's just unuseable.

    I am really eager to hear somebody from Daz, about "what were they thinking" when putting up those kind of heavily retouched promo-images... don't mean disrespect, but this is 100% false advertising as it's best:)

    I mean... come on... seriously... look at this promo image...

    thanks again for the tests!

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    Post edited by henryke on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 48,671
    edited December 1969

    Using post-work in the backdrop, if that's how the flare was added, is not faking and is allowed. The props themselves, however, should be as they came from DS (or Poser). I don't see reflections on the water in that last image either, though the water is more solid than in the renders you have made.

  • AdemnusAdemnus Posts: 744
    edited December 1969

    I'm going to toss my 2 cents in here.

    Some products look amazing right out of the box, and those tend to come from the usual suspects. I know that pretty much anything I buy from either stonemason or uzilite will blow my mind. Every time I have bought an uzilite clothing product I am taken aback at the level of detail both in the models themselves and the morphing options coming along for the ride. Often he will make a product similar to one I already own and side-by-side there is just no comparison. Its like buying cars. Sure, 2 people can sell you 2 cars, but one's a honda and the other's a rolls royce.

    That said, other products require tons of work and tinkering to make useful, and many times I will look back at the promos that made me buy it with a more careful eye only to reveal the problems I experience. A fine print here about the rendering conditions or a problem polygon hidden behind a well-placed bush etc. tends to raise my ire. Recently I bought a hair prop that had some serious issues IMO and when i went back to look at the pretty promos, I discovered the problematic area was always blurred, hidden or plain not pictured.

    In the end, however, DAZ offers a no-questions-asked refund policy and I make use of it. If the product has issues, is too problematic or just simply doesnt match the enticing promos, back it goes. I promise you I keep more than I return and I spend a huge sum every month at DAZ -and this policy goes a long way towards keeping me spending at DAZ. In other words, that artist *may* have tried to cheat me, or maybe I misinterpreted promos etc. but I do NOT feel ripped off as I can simply return it.

    What I would like to see, in future, is a stricter code from DAZ about quality, inclusion in smart content, and general value. I feel like we now have a suped up daz studio, the next generation of figures -and its time that all content being sold also be next gen and high quality. We come here for depth and realism -products really need to reflect that.

    And many times they do. 90% of the time, I really have no complaint. But that pesky 10% of the time leaves me wishing DAZ would get stricter and artists would get more dedicated to the product's flexibility, realism, and quality. I keep seeing umteen body moprh packs coming out labelled "for genesis female and v5" when we also have male figures. Im not sure I need 75 MORE breast morphs while I still can't change the brow angle of any figure. Genesis is about flexibility; I'd like to see some more of that. I know artists want to sell specific characters but Ive always bought those -but I also want and need the flexibility to shape that genesis face putty into a cast of thousands. I want all products made now to snap into my smart content. I want more products that can become many things, like the supersuit or the incredible sam and sadie suit. I want interiors and exteriors that go for more realism and have greater attention paid to detail. I'm buying, and buying a lot. Im here to feed a need and fill my library with reliable, high quality products for professional use as well as hobby. Up the standards. Get more stonemasons and uzilites wanting to sell here. And bring the products surrounding genesis into the next gen as well.

  • Herald of FireHerald of Fire Posts: 3,489
    edited December 1969

    One thing to know is that the people who put these promos together really know their stuff and can create absolutely gorgeous scenes with it. Not being able to reproduce that isn't necessarily the fault of the product, but comes from a lack of experience. Reflections, for example, are only good if they have something to reflect. There are plenty of products which show beautifully detailed reflections, but you won't get any of that unless the scene is built around it.

    In your render example, there's no sky, and thus nothing for the water to be reflecting. That's why you won't get quite the same result. Water is, in my opinion, quite a challenging material because it's so changeable. Still, with practice you'll be duplicating those results in a flash.

  • BWSmanBWSman Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    The Reality Sun light is used ofr the Reality Plug-in for rendering in LuxRender (which it appears some of those promo images were rendered in). That light is NOT designed to work best in DS which is why you get a crappy looking image.

  • ZilvergrafixZilvergrafix Posts: 698
    edited December 1969

    you are lucky finding fake promos on scenes, I've found on FIGURES!, specially Genesis figure morphs...when you don't have the same hair on the promo figure intended, you have a genesis figure morph with lack of character.

    some examples...I prefer not mention, but there's many.

    IMO...ask for a refund, don't waste your liver.

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 13,535
    edited May 2013

    I really do not like the bitmapped look in rocks and grass with stone texture painted on and this was apparent in the Old Watering Hole product by the same vendor. (although I love some of his other work). I've bought a couple sets that look great-from a distance- but whose texture sets leave something to be desired when rendered closer up.

    I've also resorted to SHRINKING the scene prop to try to get a better more high res render on occasion.

    I simply return stuff that doesn't look good when rendered.

    Post edited by Serene Night on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 4,383
    edited May 2013

    There is absolutely no post work in those renders beyond adding logos and such though I did enhance that lens flare for dramatic effect in that one specific image, but the render itself came straight out of POSER with a massive spotlight pointing directly at the camera. Promos are broken up into two categories. You have your money shots and the nuts and bolts product shots. Showcase the specific potential uses of the product in the best possible light using the tools available and show what's included. Each of those promo images are either a Poser render, and DAZ Studio 3Delight render or Daz Studio/LuxRender via the Reality plugin render, which just happened to be all the rage a year and a half ago when that set was built. Anyone with rendering talent can duplicate these shots with the tools. On those rare occasions that I also include a Bryce or Vue render, then I specifically label those, because I use one of the procedural textures those applications offer.

    Ready to Render scene are a new product idea here at DAZ and a specific category of product, and the WYSIWYG expectation might apply to those, but doesn't apply here. What we have here is a environment prop set. That's what you paid for. A 3d environment scene. A bunch of models that you can turn into an image. But as every artist and photographer knows, every camera angle and scene setup requires a different light set up, so the lights that are provided are only a starting point. So just because I included a bunch of interesting camera angles, does mean that the one light set will not need to be adjusted by the end user for any given setup.

    On top of everything else, water is a finnicky challenge especially in DAZ Studio. It tends to work a little better in poser. I know because I've been trying to get nice looking water for years. Light and shadows has to be placed to aid in both the reflection and refraction of the water surface. since every camera angle changes the way those two parameters react. The waterplane included and texture included can produce the illusion of a water ripple, but you need to adjust lights, rotate the water plane so the textured ripples are perpendicular to the camera angle and yes you need to turn on reflection and refraction because both those calculation increase render time exponentially.

    Now if you want realistic water, there are a few options. You can export your scene to Bryce, or Carrara or VUE which all have varying degrees of water surface materials that can emulate the look of water, apply it to the existing water plane provided or add another one.

    Or you can go spend your money and you pickup a DAZStudio plugin like Reality or Luxus that provides you with more realistic material solutions for a render via LuxRender. Or you can use the waterplane provided and the light set and the camera angles and any number of other DS water shaders that are available in the store. Again there is plenty to learn in this craft of 3D art and the only teacher is time and experience.

    So yes that single Reality Sun, used with the DAZ Studio Reality plugin and rendered to luxrender, and the waterplane set to water material, will exactly duplicate those renders with the set provided. NO POSTWORK. Just some artistic talent and technical skill.

    Now the issue with textures. Those ground textures are 4096 x 4096 and yes they can look pixelated at closeup view. But this is big expansive set showing a large terrain and is designed for big expansive shots where the detail is spread for the entire scene. 3D is all about trade off, quality vs speed vs file size. For most situations it serves its purpose, but if you are planning close up renders then there are other product solutions that place all their details in a smaller area. It is always about intelligent tradeoffs. I have since moved on the using tiled textures for terrains in my sets, because it remedies exactly these issues.

    In the old store, 500x650 was the size limit for promos. Now in this store we can have bigger promos. And generally larger promos are used.

    Post edited by FirstBastion on
  • TotteTotte Posts: 10,121
    edited December 1969

    OK, I just have to add to this thread. Most renders really require that you know your way around lights (that's why there is a New User contest this months on lighting).
    I such using Poser, I admit it flat out, no shame in that.I never really got friendly with the way Poser handle lighting. I've spent much more time with DS lights, and have learned the hard way what works and what doesn't. Most of the time you need to tweak lights and materials to match the situation you want to capture in a render. Attached are two renders (both setup over a remote desktop connection so the lack fine tuning).
    I did tweak a water in the DS render, added some bluish tint to the specular and reflection color, but I do that with every render, tweak.
    The Poser render is just to show that it does look a little different in Poser as the Poser render engine is a little different. If I've spend some hours of light tweaking it would look superb, or if I had used Luxus or Reality and a real water plane, or if I had imported it to Vue and rendered it there with physical water.

    Also, when rendering Promo images, you do use very hight settings to get a great result. These took about 15 minutes to render (I didnt check, I set one up on one machine then the other, hit render and connected again after 20 or so). I could have gotten really spectacular results with a render taking 24 hours or more, but I didn't want to do that.

    So, promos don't lie, they show you what you can get if your good enough. Just because you have a Nikon 9000 you won't win the photo contest, it's a about experience, knowing how to use what you have at hand.

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  • creativemodelsbecreativemodelsbe Posts: 0
    edited May 2013

    misleading products should better been removed from the store.
    that is my opinion about this.

    alternative/solution could be some info/pdf file in how to setup the scene like the render.
    so newbies also know what to do...
    then newbies could learn something from scene setups and how you can render things.
    That's where the vendors can do more and better work as support to it's product

    Post edited by creativemodelsbe on
  • tiagoandriottitiagoandriotti Posts: 26
    edited December 1969

    When you open the right texture set (DAZ FOLDER) and use a good light set, all the effects are there, but you must be sure the light set came with the prop.

    If the product doesn't comes with a light set it is harder to get the same result, but it is not imposible to achieve a better result: you can change texture and light settings accordingly to your needs.

    I thought it was not enough and then I bought all the uber lights, PWSketch, DZfire and after some tests I can tell you they make a BIG difference AND after that I began adjusting the textures, placing bump in the displacement and using the bump channel for an extra noise.

    After 3 years using DS, a nice render`s scene set takes hours to get ready:

    Lights - (lights) I use Uber Environment (ambient occlusion), om Arealight for details and keylight, infinite light raytraced (for sun) and uber spot in the camera.

    Textures - People with Uber or PW skin, DZfire presets for car paints or metals, PW for glasses and jewels, furify for some clothes, adjust textures in water (I made my preset) and stones (accordingly to the artist ir is easier) and most of the "poser native" textures.

    Result 4-24 hours render, and an AMAZING result.

    I can assure you that you can achieve great results with FirstBastion props because they have a good texture set and mesh design, I have nothing to complaint.

    I`m not sure if it has lights because I make my own lights, but in my renders they work really nice.

    If you have patience, try the reality render: it is awesome.

  • henrykehenryke Posts: 0
    edited May 2013


    As the vendor guy said above: "You are buying geometry"... (quote: " What we have here is a environment prop set. That’s what you paid for. A 3d environment scene.") ... then why don't you showcasing geometry then?
    Instead ... all we have is a showcase of the "uber-awesome-rendering skills" of the vendors, with images says "rendered in DazStudio/Poser" but not saying "oops... and you need Luxrender, UberEnv.ligthing, a lil'bit'ophotoshop, and half a day texture/reflection tweaking to achieve these kind of results". (note: so far, none of the posters in the topic were able to get the promo image results with their test renders... not even close...)

    If we are buying geometry (and indeed, we are, I agree), and you are selling geometry (indeed, I agree), then how about showcasing geometry please? Lot of images from diff. perspectives (in high rez)?

    At the moment all we got in the shop, is a "look how awesome my rendering skills are" in 500pixel mini-images showcase, which is nice for an art gallery and/or DevianArt, but not for an actual online shop, where you actually deciding "to buy or not to buy" according to the images.

    I really would like to see more images, with less uber-post-FX-Luxrender, and more "plain" Daz and Poser renders, showcasing geometry and textures - in this way, we would have a better picture about what we got for our money.

    Post edited by henryke on
  • revenger681revenger681 Posts: 155
    edited December 1969

    I hate stuff like this. It's almost always the case with promo images. They use heavy photoshop to do their promo pictures, sometimes even other programs besides DAZ. They don't reveal any of this so that you'll see the image and scoop it up hoping to be able to get the same result. I think this is a practice that should be banned, at least from the promo images in the store. Or: If they do use vue, photoshop, or some other program to make the promo image: They should be REQUIRED to note it on the store page. A simple note would make the images more "honest" and not a lie.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 48,671
    edited December 1969

    It has already been stated that the images are not post-worked, beyond the background sun's lens flare effect.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 4,383
    edited May 2013

    This idea that you can just press an "make art" button, and not have to tweak and finesse and light a render just doesn't work. 3D is a craft. It requires skills that develop over time. There are plenty of resources here at DAZ that will allow a user to develop that craft. Skills can be learned. Just requires patience and time.

    The two images below were both made in DAZ Studio 3.1 and use the same geometry and have no postwork. One is a DazStudio/Reality/LuxRender and the other is a straight DAZStudio Mat/Shader 3delight render. If a plugin provides additional functionality, and is available for purchase why shouldn't it be used promos for customers that want that functionality. When I created that product "Reality" was sold at this DAZ store and there was a link to it on the store page, it has since moved. There are a lot of different customers with different expectations and plan to use the products in different applications. Our purpose is to provide content that many people can use is various ways.

    Again let me reiterate, absolutely NO POSTWORK, just some 3D experience and patience.

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  • IceEmpressIceEmpress Posts: 638
    edited May 2013

    Yeah, I think it's rather rude and bad business practice when the vendor doesn't mention if postwork was done to the promo images. Oh, and to add to that record, I can confirm that Valea's and Sickleyield's promo images look prettymuch the same as their models (at least to me, anyway), and that their textures are also EXTREMELY high quality (their products are very good, as well, definitely in the upper-tier)

    Oh, and if any vendors are reading this, some more advice (quite a bit actually) from a paying customer, just from my POV:
    Please, PLEASE include hair and clothing promos from BOTH the front and back. This is a serious pet peeve of mine, esp. with hair-- I have counted way too many instances where you can't even tell what type of hairstyle the product is because the promos only show a front profile (in other words, you can't even tell if it's a pullback/topsytail, or worse still, if it's a ponytail!)

    Although to be perfectly honest, I think I recall this problem far more often on Renderosity and RDNA than here. (Oh, and PLEASE also include promos of some of the longer/shorter hair morphs. It seems like almost nobody does this, and I like to see what the hair looks like at varying lengths-- NOT because I'm suspicious of the morph quality, but because I honestly can't picture in my mind what it might look like.)

    Oh, and PLEASE disclose a list of the morphs in "What's included and features". I hate it when a product only says "10 movement morphs" or something like that, and I am far more likely to purchase the product if I know it includes a morph that I want.

    Oh, and one more piece of advice-- a lengthy one, actually-- just IMHO, as a paying customer, I can tell you that long-term freebies (e.g. on renderosity) DEFINITELY make a difference for me on consumer confidence. Valea is actually one of my favorite vendors and the first 3rd-party one I trusted due to her beautiful jewelry freebies on Renderosity and Sharecg (granted, some of her hair models aren't quite as good as others, esp. the brand new and really old ones, and I'm sure there are vendors out there who make far better hair, but to date her hair models are the best quality I've purchased by far. Sickleyield is another fave, who also provides a huge number of freebies)
    Okay, sorry for yammering, back to the subject. My personal advice to vendors who deal in say-- at least 20~25 products, as a customer, is to make available one freebie from each category of product you sell-- that is to say, ideally, one hair, one clothing, one morphing prop, one pose set, and one character morph or figure/character-- or alternatively and more realistically, at least one hair OR clothing model (preferably hair, IMO), and one character morph. Or at least one prop if you only deal in those. This will allow the customer to get a sampling of your skills, fostering trust and confidence-- though yes, even though I am not a designer, I am aware that freebie models (assuming you used at least the average level of skill and resources to create it that you normally exercise for your products) cost a ton of time and money to make, but personally I think that it's well worth the effort. I can tell you from my experience that had Valea offered a free hair model (as opposed to an add-on for a freebie hair), that I would have dove right in and purchased my first hair product from her with zero reservation whatsoever (not that I had a whole ton of reservation to start with, but I did have a decent amount due to it being one of my first purchases) Oh, and because of that, I'd highly advise you use the same SN across different 3D model sites if at all possible (that whole fostering confidence won't do much good obviously if the customer doesn't know it's you :P )
    They need to be REAL freebies BTW, and not add-ons which require the original commercial product.

    Another tip, though this probably isn't very significant: On Renderosity, I keep note of the promptness of replies to my sent messages. A vendor who responds within 48 hours gets erm... "brownie points" if you will, and I make it a note to take even stronger consideration in purchasing their products than I normally would-- esp if it's within 12-16 hours-- I can only imagine how many messages and emails merchants get, and I greatly, GREATLY appreciate the extra effort made to respond within 48, and ESP. 24 hours-- in my eyes that is a good business practice and a sign of merchant integrity. Those who take several days to respond "lose points" if you will, and do not inspire confidence. (I've actually looked for a way to contact DAZ 3rd party vendors directly, but I've had no success so far :( )

    Post edited by IceEmpress on
  • IceEmpressIceEmpress Posts: 638
    edited December 1969

    If a plugin provides additional functionality, and is available for purchase why shouldn’t it be used promos for customers that want that functionality.

    Actually, that sounds like a good idea/practice to me-- then the customer can see how the product looks under different render engines-- but you really need to make that clear in the promo image(s) itself, because n00b Studio users such as the TC and myself (no offense to the TC) aren't going to be able to recognize that by appearance alone.

  • edited December 1969

    FirstBastion, Thank you for jumping into this discussion, where your input is badly needed. Despite my occasionally critical comments to follow, more than anything I appreciate you being available to address directly.

    First off, I need to say that we customers are not all very skilled at 3D art, but we do buy a lot of products. (I have spent close to $600 in a relatively short time here at DAZ.) Remember a lot of your product is being sold to us noobs, and please don't assume we know how different rendering engines affect images. We all start somewhere, and DAZ has now made it possible, and relatively easy, for hobbyists like myself to learn this stuff by making the basic package free but charging for content. (It's like cheap printers with expensive ink cartridges, only you don't need the extra content to use the basic DS software. Glucometers for diabetes are that way too - free glucometers, ruinously expensive test strips.)

    Might I suggest that in the future, instead of saying that promo images were rendered in DS or Poser, if you used Lux, please say so, as Lux isn't included with DS. I think that, in general, DAZ is getting better at naming the products used in promo pics and making it clear what does and doesn't come included with the product, but I really think the render engine used should be named if it is not 3Delight that's part of DS. I would never suggest that you post substandard renders, but I think to us noobs it would help us out a great deal if you listed all products used in promo shots. I don't see any way that could possibly hurt your sales to old pros like yourself.

    (I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned hair. That one really annoys me! If I want a character to look like it did in the promo, I need the hair, but how do I know where to look? For example,I think the Justin promos are mostly done with PH Messy, but that's my best guess. When I set him up in DS, he's just a bald-headed teenager.)

    Luxus isn't very expensive (right now, 5/19/2013, it's on sale for $10.77, I paid $12+ for my copy, & its list price $19.95), and LuxRender is free, open source software. I found it very easy to get up and running with Luxus and LuxRender, though the actual renders take like a day or more on my system.

    FirstBastion, here's some unsolicited advice (worth exactly what you paid for it). Thank customers who criticize your products. They are doing you a favor that most customers will never do. About one in five satisfied customers will tell you that they are satisfied, but fewer than 1% of dissatisfied customers will tell you they are dissatisfied. They are far more likely to tell their friends and acquaintances, which could prove damaging to your business. Opportunities to tweak a business based on customer feedback are rare, and I'd suggest you recognize this. That doesn't mean do what this customer says. It just means that customers might have a seriously adverse response to one component of your marketing strategy. Consider ways to prevent further problems. IMO, all that's needed is a statement that you used LuxRender, and we'll all think you're dealing straight with us. That's a very simple and easy fix to a potentially serious marketing problem.

    Unless you're only interested in selling to the old pros who can recognize a Lux render, or who know how to tweak the materials settings. Do you want to base your business on that narrow market sector?

  • ZilvergrafixZilvergrafix Posts: 698
    edited December 1969

    ChiMakwa said:

    (I agree with the earlier poster who mentioned hair. That one really annoys me! If I want a character to look like it did in the promo, I need the hair, but how do I know where to look? For example,I think the Justin promos are mostly done with PH Messy, but that's my best guess. When I set him up in DS, he's just a bald-headed teenager.)

    Very True!
  • ReDaveReDave Posts: 815
    edited December 1969

    @ChiMakwa: well, I'm not FirstBastion but here are a few tips:
    -check the logo on all promos. If there is no logo on a given image, then it's rendered in an external renderer that is not 3Delight nor Poser (Firefly, actually). Likely LuxRender. In the future expect Octane renders (easy to spot because it looks best in a golden sunny light).
    -if there is water in a promo and it looks real, then it's likely LuxRender, perhaps Octane. In the future I'm sure we'll get a decent shader for water in 3Delight too.
    -compare sky brightness to scene lightness. The two renders above clearly show that one has a dark looking sky: that marks it unambiguously as either a 3Delight or Poser render.
    -Skin will look not so much better in LuxRender than in 3Delight/Firefly, in fact it looks sometimes worse.

  • edited December 1969

    ReDave said:
    @ChiMakwa: well, I'm not FirstBastion but here are a few tips:
    -check the logo on all promos. If there is no logo on a given image, then it's rendered in an external renderer that is not 3Delight nor Poser (Firefly, actually). Likely LuxRender. In the future expect Octane renders (easy to spot because it looks best in a golden sunny light).
    -if there is water in a promo and it looks real, then it's likely LuxRender, perhaps Octane. In the future I'm sure we'll get a decent shader for water in 3Delight too.
    -compare sky brightness to scene lightness. The two renders above clearly show that one has a dark looking sky: that marks it unambiguously as either a 3Delight or Poser render.
    -Skin will look not so much better in LuxRender than in 3Delight/Firefly, in fact it looks sometimes worse.

    Thanks for the tips!

    Unfortunately, noobs like me are visiting the site and buying stuff every day, and this advice won't reach them unless they seek it out, and it won't help them as much as clarity in the sellers' marketing materials at the point of sale. Noobs who don't know any better can become annoyed, and whether or not they're being reasonable, they are still annoyed, and often spreading bad stuff about the seller. Merchants need to weigh the damage that could be done vs. how easy it is to prevent further damage. In this case I think it's a no-brainer. Merchants can't base their entire marketing strategy on noobs, but when it's an easy fix, the potential benefit far outweighs the cost of the fix.

    I hear FirstBastian saying he didn't do anything wrong, and experienced artists seem to agree. That may be the case, but it's not relevant if his goal is to sell product and build a good name in the business. Being right does nothing for a business. Arguing that one is right when there is a component of ambiguity can put customers off. The most effective fix for ambiguity is clarity.

    My brief experience with LuxRender certainly bears out your comment about skin. Well, I shouldn't say it looks worse, but less realistic. I think it has great potential for use as a lighting effect though. (I've had good results rendering in 3Delight and LuxRender, and then blending the two renders in Photoshop.) But the hair in a LuxRender looks extraordinary! It's like each individual strand is given its own lighting rather than just being softly blurred together. It takes forever to render, but the result with the hair really floored me!

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