Mephistopolis Noir, the all-new comic-book shader for DAZ|Studio! IN THE STORE NOW! [Commercial]

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  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited June 2013

    Something gritty and hard-boiled for a change :D An update of Justice and Vengeance, a vigilante duo I made way back in college XD Justice is the guy.

    Apologies in advance for a dumbass question: does the RGB-HSI slider determine the color of an object? I know this is really basic but this is my first extensive use of shaders and 3Delight. When I started with D|S I did about 2 renders in 3Delight before moving over to Reality/LuxRender; having trained and worked as a cinematographer since 1997, the latter was a more natural fit.

    That said, I'm having a ball with Mephistopolis Noir :D

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    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    Something gritty and hard-boiled for a change :D An update of Justice and Vengeance, a vigilante duo I made way back in college XD Justice is the guy.

    Apologies in advance for a dumbass question: does the RGB-HSI slider determine the color of an object? I know this is really basic but this is my first extensive use of shaders and 3Delight. When I started with D|S I did about 2 renders in 3Delight before moving over to Reality/LuxRender; having trained and worked as a cinematographer since 1997, the latter was a more natural fit.

    That said, I'm having a ball with Mephistopolis Noir :D


    Very sweet render, by the way. In answer to your question: yes and no. The ColorMode switch mixes between two color models; RGB uses a subtractive mix of primary "ink" colors (Yellow, Magenta, Cyan) based on the input of the RGB channels. In pure RGB, the only colors you will actually see are Red, Yellow, Green, Cyan, Blue, Magenta, Black, and White, and their antialiased mixes along the edges. HSI uses the same initial RGB channels to refine the precise hue (Max at 255, Median at its ratio to Max, Min at 0), which is overlaid on white based on its saturation, and overlaid again with black at Intensity+Saturation (more white, less black) since Saturation has already been accounted for. The only colors in a pure HSI render will be Black and White and the saturated hues (of which there are 256 possible), few of which will be even very close to the RGB colors (and, of course, the antialiasing). Black in RGB is subtraction from all three channels. Black in HSI is based on the intensity midline. Neither gives the exact input color but a visual analogue to it: the 50% position, combining the two procedural filters, seems in my tests to give the nearest rendition to any given input color. Here the stark RGB colors are diluted by either the white or black of the HSI filter, or enhanced by the refined hue.

    In the News-Herald shader, seen in my last post, I used Intensity (no Saturation added) for the B & W channel, analogous to the RGB in Mephistopolis 20th C., and the same I+S of the HSI mode with the Black (K) channel of a CMYK algorithm to set the Sepia for Duotones (analogous to HSI).

    And yes, all of this will be in the documentation. The biplane pilot in the image above, rendered in News-Herald, uses a 50% mix of Black & White and Duotone. The plane uses the full-color 20th C. shader (obviously) set to full HSI in DS3! That's the reason I made the News-Herald shader in the first place: for Jaderail's (and others') black-and-white needs, since the DS3 bug was corrected.

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969

    Thank you so much for the kind words and information, Eustace. I think I understand it and will be using the 50% for daylight exterior scenes like "Fury". I've also found that the dot displacement of 200 is my sweet spot :D

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited June 2013

    I think I have a better handle on getting the colors that I want in the Mephistopolis Noir render now :D

    "Titan"-- inspired by way Silver Age artists like Jack Kirby and Don Heck (I think) depicted Giant-Man changing size.

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    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    That's looking great!

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969

    Thank you so much, Eustace =)

    This is so much fun and a dream come true because I'd wanted to be a comic book artist when I was younger :D

  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 5,685
    edited December 1969

    What do "clamps" and "clamp blend" signify?

    I'm playing with it today, and having LOADS of fun!! :D

  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    jakiblue said:
    What do "clamps" and "clamp blend" signify?

    I'm playing with it today, and having LOADS of fun!! :D

    "Clamps" and "Clamp Blend" are dials from the Toon node. Each "clamp" is a single, basically-solid band of color from the brightest glare of specular highlight to the ambient shadows on the dark side of the moon--or face, or cardigan, or couch. The hard interior borders in toon renders (with any shader) are the edges of the clamped zones. "Clamp Blend" is the percentage to which those boundaries are smoothed and blended, as the name implies. A high clamp count and 100% blend almost negates the "cartoon" effect altogether. I set the blend minimum to 0.01% because zeroing it entirely interfered with opacity.

    Remember, y'all: the entry deadline is 8 July. I'm looking forward to seeing what y'all've got!

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969

    A genre that was popular during the Golden Age of Comic Books:

    Romance Comics :D

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  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    I'll have to put something in the documentation about the Moiré lines you're getting. I get 'em all the time, too (look at the whisky on Page One), and they are definitely affected/changed by adjustments to the Dot Density. I need to take a look at the ratios of Density/Size again and iron out a best-fit value. Dot density is based on the image height, and only on the height: Active Viewport seems to calculate from the current screen (monitor) size, no matter how much the toolbars or timeline encroach, but in every other case, the Dot Density is approximately the number of rows of dots into which the image is divided, from top to bottom.

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969

    Releaseing Mepistopheles Noir with presets, recommended settings and documentation would be really helpful and much appreciated, Eustace =) Especially when one is a 3Delight noob like me XD

    Regarding Romance Comics I've tried changing the settings of Dot Density, Shadow Bias, Soft Shadow, RGB-HSI, Light color/intensity, etc. and what came out resulted from what I was happy with in the Workspace window, if it weren't for the moire and zebra stripes I'd be really happy with it. Of course I could change the back ground to an apartment with rain outside and that would motivate the zebra stripes; rain was used to create a similar effect in the 1967 version of In Cold Blood.

  • RCTSpankyRCTSpanky Posts: 764
    edited December 1969

    Don't want to rain in your parade, but personally i thing that this shaders have no real Comic Book Effect. They look more like a hommage to Pop Art artist like Roy Lichtenstein to me with all the print pixel effects. Sorry for the critics, but if you want create a comic book effect, than it should be possibile, to create any kind of comic book ... a comic with Micky Mouse is also a comic and maybe some users want their shaders more look like this. Not anyone of us has the ambition to be the next Stan Lee, for me it's enoug to be the next Carl Barks.

  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    Releasing Mepistopheles Noir with presets, recommended settings and documentation would be really helpful and much appreciated, Eustace =) Especially when one is a 3Delight noob like me XD

    Regarding Romance Comics I've tried changing the settings of Dot Density, Shadow Bias, Soft Shadow, RGB-HSI, Light color/intensity, etc. and what came out resulted from what I was happy with in the Workspace window, if it weren't for the moire and zebra stripes I'd be really happy with it. Of course I could change the back ground to an apartment with rain outside and that would motivate the zebra stripes; rain was used to create a similar effect in the 1967 version of In Cold Blood.


    I've found it useful to have moiré lines stand in as extra highlights, but the rain effect was one I had not thought of. Something to investigate?

    I like the render, though, even if I'm not into "Romance Comics": you don't mind if it makes it into the moiré discussion in the documentation, do you?

  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    Don't want to rain in your parade, but personally i thing that this shaders have no real Comic Book Effect. They look more like a hommage to Pop Art artist like Roy Lichtenstein to me with all the print pixel effects. Sorry for the critics, but if you want create a comic book effect, than it should be possibile, to create any kind of comic book ... a comic with Micky Mouse is also a comic and maybe some users want their shaders more look like this. Not anyone of us has the ambition to be the next Stan Lee, for me it's enoug to be the next Carl Barks.

    Both Stan Lee and Roy Lichtenstein deserve credit for inspiration. So do Daschiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Mickey Spillane, Humphrey Bogart and Alfred Hitchcock. One of my credits goes to a lady on the NYPD: in high school she did Lichtenstein-esque portraits with dots of paint in drunken rows, and nearly swore by Mr. Warhol. It's all in what you do with it, and here's another tool to do it with.

    Now a Van Gogh or El Greco shader would be another ball of wax to figure out...

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited June 2013

    I like the render, though, even if I'm not into "Romance Comics": you don't mind if it makes it into the moiré discussion in the documentation, do you?

    Not at all, Eustace =) Happy to be of help in any way possible :D

    Romance Comics have a bad rap for dudes but the first Romance Comics title was created by Joe Simon and Jack Kriby (yes, the guys who created Captain America :D ) and comic buffs might recognize the names some of the artists who've worked on them: Gene Colan, Alex Toth, Wally Wood, John Romita, Sr. and the great Frank Frazetta :worship:

    Other popular genres during the Golden Age of Comics were Western, War (WW 2), Sci-Fi and Horror, if Superheroes and Romance don't appeal XD

    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited December 1969

    I'll be using one of my earlier images in this thread for the documentation cover-art. Here's a sneak peek at it...

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  • DollyGirlDollyGirl Posts: 2,140
    edited December 1969

    Nice Eustace.

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited June 2013

    I really love the period feel :D

    I know this is jumping the gun since the deadline for submissions is still weeks away but d'you have a guesstimate of when this hits the store =) Your shader is the reason I use 3Delight =)

    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited June 2013

    I really love the period feel :D

    I know this is jumping the gun since the deadline for submissions is still weeks away but d'you have a guesstimate of when this hits the store =) Your shader is the reason I use 3Delight =)


    I'll try to get it launched this fall. Thanks for your encouragement, and the excellent renders you've been doing.

    (On a side note--and this is going to go in the documentation--I seem to get the fewest moiré streaks when the dot density value is about 1/3 the pixel height of the render, because that's the operative variable in the dot size. Dot size on center ≈ (Vertical Height (in pixels) / Dot Density), so that for a render n x 900, the optimal choice is to break out of the upper DD limit and use a value of 300.)

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    Post edited by Eustace Scrubb on
  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969

    Sweet! =)

    Looking forward to it, Eustace :D

  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969


    I'll try to get it launched this fall. Thanks for your encouragement, and the excellent renders you've been doing.

    You're very welcome, Eustace =) I would have done more but thee are deadlines for other stuff I'm working on :P When they're done, though I'll go back to your shader and explore other genres or do stuff just for this thread with established heroes :D


    (On a side note--and this is going to go in the documentation--I seem to get the fewest moiré streaks when the dot density value is about 1/3 the pixel height of the render, because that's the operative variable in the dot size. Dot size on center ≈ (Vertical Height (in pixels) / Dot Density), so that for a render n x 900, the optimal choice is to break out of the upper DD limit and use a value of 300.)

    Thank you so much for the tip! It does work and I used really insane settings to fix Romance Comics. I was happy with the guy's jacked at 2000 dots, the girl's blouse at 6000 dots and their skins at a whopping 3,000,000 dots 0_0 The moire had vanished at around 2,000,000 dots :faint:

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  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited June 2013


    (I seem to get the fewest moiré streaks when the dot density value is about 1/3 the pixel height of the render, because that's the operative variable in the dot size. Dot size on center ≈ (Vertical Height (in pixels) / Dot Density), so that for a render n x 900, the optimal choice is to break out of the upper DD limit and use a value of 300.)

    Thank you so much for the tip! It does work and I used really insane settings to fix Romance Comics. I was happy with the guy's jacked at 2000 dots, the girl's blouse at 6000 dots and their skins at a whopping 3,000,000 dots 0_0 The moire had vanished at around 2,000,000 dots :faint:

    Excellent! I like the way you got the moiré to work for you, rather than against you: the jacket looks like a nice ribbed corduroy!

    I doubt my poor laptop could handle DD at 3,000,000 without a gran mal seizure...
    o_O
    ---v^---v^---v^---!

    Post edited by Eustace Scrubb on
  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited June 2013

    Excellent! I like the way you got the moiré to work for you, rather than against you: the jacket looks like a nice ribbed corduroy!

    I doubt my poor laptop could handle DD at 3,000,000 without a gran mal seizure...
    o_O
    ---v^---v^---v^---!

    Thank you so much, Eustace and yes they do :D That's why I stopped at 2000 dots. The moire lines will also be good for the rain effect and I'll try that for another Romance Comic render XD

    I feel your pain about computing power; when I first got into Daz (and this was way before I even discovered the forums) my PC could not even handle a second figure with a patterned dress =( That's when I decided to work and save up for a workstation spec PC I now have and can pretty much take anything I throw at it; the render with the DD of 3,000,000 took 2 minutes.

    Post edited by 3dLux on
  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 5,685
    edited December 1969

    this was a sort of happy accident while playing tonight, and fiddling with the lights. I kinda like this - like she's stepping out of the shadows and about to kick arse. LOL. Straight render with no postwork. Not a great image, but it made me smile.

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  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 5,685
    edited December 1969

    ok, after days of experimenting LOL I was kinda happy with this. Using the 20th century, and turning the dots off, as I was trying to come up with like "line-art" effect.

    I'd love to put a comic panel up the top right that says "SuperVicky stood above the rooftops, flexing her muscles and shouted "Come on, Genesis 2! I know you're out there! Show me what you've got!"

    *grin*

    Still a WiP.

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  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 5,685
    edited December 1969

    and more of a comic book feel.

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  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 5,685
    edited December 1969

    Eustace, what size renders did you want?
    It says "500 x 500" but it also says "450 x approximate height"

  • Eustace ScrubbEustace Scrubb Posts: 2,335
    edited June 2013

    Nice renders, jakiblue! I really like the single-light effect in the first one, and I'm glad to see you're putting all the settings through their paces. Good stuff all 'round!

    As to the image size, between 450 and 500 pixels wide, by whatever height best works for your image. Just remember that the DD value responds to height, not width ("Active Viewport" calculates from screen height).

    EDIT 28 June: I am no longer restricting image size for entries. Any and all--they're likely going to be resized anyway!

    Post edited by Eustace Scrubb on
  • jakibluejakiblue Posts: 5,685
    edited December 1969

    thanks Eustace!

    THIS was something I was quite excited to discover how to do! This would be perfect to then take into photoshop and hand colour. I love that I can create a black and white linedrawing! Or you could just play with the contrast etc in PS and bring it out a bit more.

    This was just from a few minutes of fiddling, so with a bit more experimentation, I might be able to get the eyes to come up with a bit more.

    Size 450 x 960

    (please click for better quality)

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  • 3dLux3dLux Posts: 903
    edited December 1969

    jakiblue said:
    thanks Eustace!

    THIS was something I was quite excited to discover how to do! This would be perfect to then take into photoshop and hand colour. I love that I can create a black and white linedrawing! Or you could just play with the contrast etc in PS and bring it out a bit more.

    This was just from a few minutes of fiddling, so with a bit more experimentation, I might be able to get the eyes to come up with a bit more

    I love it, Jaki :D How did you get this effect =)

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