Novica, Serene Night, & Invited Guest Contributors Tips & Product Reviews Pt 3

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  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    BTW, check out Trish's Silas that she tweaked. Remember, she is learning the studio, she's a Bryce-er. A Brycette? What do you call folks who use Bryce, other than talented? Look at the second render, she replace it with this one. Nice job Trish!

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/34269/P285/#513259

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    I erred when I said I had heard from everyone, a couple days had passed and I'm not the best with keeping up with checklists. I invited this wonderful artist during the holidays, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it. NOW all the product showcase team has been accounted for.
    Welcome to our final member! (Yeah, I know, I'm stealing all of Totte's RRRR participants. What can I say? Good is good. We're going to get the rest of you thread visitors sucked into it....)

    Please join me in welcoming...

    Invited Guest Contributor
    KaribousBoutique

    Looking forward to seeing her renders and what she has to say about those wonderful products she uses!

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 2013

    Stoltz For M4

    Well, it would help if I wouldn't try to add Stefan to Stolz. Jumping back and forth using the Products, I started using Stefan. Cool combination but no wonder the head materials didn't match the body! Finally realized my mistake. So here is Stoltz For M4. I did not put the scar on him. Had to turn the specular way down again, and even then, I got some white. (look on YOUR right, near the chest/shoulder.) Also above the eyebrow on your left.) Ambient 40%, Specular only 14%.

    Okay, I am done for now. Tomorrow have to get busy on some other things.

    Views for TODAY btw (minus posts) is over 1,250 with almost an hour left to go. That is a record for us. Thank you to all the thread visitors- we hope you are enjoying the product showcases.

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  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,570
    edited December 2013

    Novica said:
    what I thought I said. But probably not :) Mine always saved. (thank goodness.)
    Did you get it to work SereneNight?

    yes, thanks for the help. =-) Finally I saved my little surface and didn't have to reinvent the wheel everytime I opened the file. It made really good sci-fi pants too. I combined the boots from Stonemason's Rogue Set, with the cargo pants from Berlin City street, and the Gossip shirt.

    Post edited by Serene Night on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,337
    edited December 2013

    Two more of my Top Ten Tools of 2013...freebies this time...

    - DAZ Studio 4.6 with the Subsurface Shader Base, Genesis 2 Female Starter Essentials, Genesis 2 Male Starter Essentials, Genesis Starter Essentials (this one's not new for 2013), the User Guide, Quick Start Guide, and 3D University free video tutorial series. If you're a seasoned DS user and haven't checked out all the new free stuff, do so!

    - Golden Rules composition helpers (available for DAZ Studio and for Bryce. These things are lifesavers...they'll help you transform a blah render into one that really pops. Artists have known about these tricks for centuries (the Golden Ratio was discovered by the ancient Greeks; the Rule of Thirds first described in 1797). With the Golden Rules tools, it's easy to see how to apply them right from DS or Bryce...no messy estimation or postwork needed!

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,337
    edited December 2013

    The last of my Top Ten Tools (note the "Tools?" I've got a top ten list of content coming too...) is.......

    Advanced DAZ Studio Light Bundle

    I've already written fairly extensively about these lights, so I won't add much commentary now. I'll just say that I love them, use them in almost every render I do these days, and find them well worth the price!

    Post edited by Scott Livingston on
  • Tarina KiviTarina Kivi Posts: 488
    edited December 1969

    @Novica
    Thanks for all the renders!

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,337
    edited December 1969

    I'm enjoying seeing all these Phoenix1966 characters. I own four of hers--Stefan, Thomas, Doyle, and Ian (who is sold at Renderosity) and I think I have Stolz, Caleb, and Ulrich on my wishlist. All her characters have so much personality!

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    Just wanted to catch up (so much nice stuff being posted, hard to catch up while I was doing the Phoenix stuff) and say I, too, was curious about the work that went into the Cryo Tube scene (Totte.) I could sure tell it was a lot of effort and attention to detail. I have some of DzFire's robots but haven't used them yet. Probably get them in a RRRR draw to use, lol! My favorite aspect of it is the smoke rising up, which illuminates the figure in the foreground. Nice! Pulls the eye to where it should be. And I like the depth of field on the flying debris in the foreground. Those little nuances give it a real feel.

    Tarina, your set of Calebs had really nice lighting and in case people didn't notice, the Barbarian Warlord render (first one) had fun depth of field- the back arm was fuzzed out. That's precision! Go back and take a peek-
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/34269/P360/#514760

    I had not seen Barbarian Warlord rendered (that I can remember) and like the crisp details. And with The Executioner, I can almost feel the leather! I love Zac Hair, great for kids. You did such a nice job with all these- thanks for taking the time, great review! (That last image made me laugh. SUCH a confident young man!)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    Hmmm. Your Snowball savings are 10% higher today! Should be interesting! Happy New Year everyone :) I'm staying home tonight and on the computer probably. For those going out drinking- designated driver please! (I don't drink, hand me a Pepsi and I'm good!)

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 2013

    So who are your vendors that you check out when you get better savings? I'll just pick two. They both just happen to be "L" vendors!

    http://www.daz3d.com/luthbel
    The attention to detail is amazing. This is the clothes vendor I like for woodsy, eastern flair, and just overall quality.
    EDIT: War Dog For Genesis is SO practical. Love that shirt, use it often.

    http://www.daz3d.com/larsen
    Larsen: I have fun with these sets.Larsen comes up with some very practical sets. A restaurant with paintings that can be used elsewhere, tables and benches that can be used elsewhere (and dinnerwear, candles, loads of props!) I recommend La Dolce Vita and Oversea Bungalow. Remember, the back deck of that has a jacuzzi! The side decks are a nice nook to have renders too. I showcased it- remember the woman on the lounger reaching her hand to the sea gull? It's also in my gallery.

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    Note that you can NOT apply your Snowball Savings to the "intro prices" (30% off) Snowball items from the entire month. Makes sense. But in small print.

    I think the snowball fight poses are fun!

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,570
    edited December 2013

    Today’s Review is:

    Tech Soldier-Special Forces
    http://www.daz3d.com/tech-soldier-special-forces
    DAZ 3D Valandar


    Other Content:

    Pred Pack- Grass One
    Ruth’s Redemptions
    Sky backdrop
    Pure Hair Punk
    Sky chaser
    Predatron's Essential Lights & Skies *final image

    http://www.daz3d.com/pred-pack-grass-one
    http://www.daz3d.com/pure-hair-punk
    http://www.daz3d.com/ruths-redemption
    http://www.daz3d.com/sky-chaser
    http://www.daz3d.com/predatron-essential-lights-skies


    Here you see the tech The tech soldier: Special Forces outfit for genesis 1. It includes bodysuit, boots, bracers, helmet and harness. It has two texture options. Plain tan and swat. There are no weapons included, however that is an easy fix if you have as many sci-fi weapons in your arsenal as I do. =-)

    I think this is a great set if you want to kitbash. The bodysuit you can change the color in the diffuse and the harness and boots could be fitted easily with other content. With the bodysuit I noticed the texture seems to cling to the coloration of the kneepads. This is a no-brainer fix in photoshop but I left it so you can see it (image 1).

    The helmet is quite interesting in shape and might be useful to try Ron’s brushes with. Too bad the little eye in the forehead doesn’t light up.

    I think this is an awesome set. All around useful, and being gen 1 can work on male and female characters.

    1. helmetless
    2. beige
    3. swat full gear
    4. kitbashed with skychaser with a hearty helping of Ron's brushes

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  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,570
    edited December 1969

    Novica said:
    Note that you can NOT apply your Snowball Savings to the "intro prices" (30% off) Snowball items from the entire month. Makes sense. But in small print.

    I think the snowball fight poses are fun!

    Interesting. I just noticed that Stenemason's Urban Sprawl 2 is on sale, at 45% off, and I just purchased that. LOL.

    So everything not in the snowball sale initially is 10% more off? Wow. I should've waited until the last day of the sale to pick up non-sale items!

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    I really like that grass too- I know that sounds like a funny thing to note, but some of the grass always seems too thick bladed and clunky. This has the wispy feel and the poke through doesn't seem to be an issue. HATE lowering characters into grass! Your lighting is very nice too. Are you still alcoving it? (aka, using the Alcove set lighting)

    You're using Ron's Brushes quite nicely! :)

    Want to point out a character with bushier eyebrows. http://www.daz3d.com/j-king store deserves a look. Naiad is one of my favorites.
    http://www.daz3d.com/naiad

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    Novica said:
    Note that you can NOT apply your Snowball Savings to the "intro prices" (30% off) Snowball items from the entire month. Makes sense. But in small print.

    I think the snowball fight poses are fun!

    Interesting. I just noticed that Stenemason's Urban Sprawl 2 is on sale, at 45% off, and I just purchased that. LOL.

    So everything not in the snowball sale initially is 10% more off? Wow. I should've waited until the last day of the sale to pick up non-sale items!

    You and me both sister!

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,570
    edited December 2013

    Novica said:
    I really like that grass too- I know that sounds like a funny thing to note, but some of the grass always seems too thick bladed and clunky. This has the wispy feel and the poke through doesn't seem to be an issue. HATE lowering characters into grass! Your lighting is very nice too. Are you still alcoving it? (aka, using the Alcove set lighting)

    You're using Ron's Brushes quite nicely! :)

    Want to point out a character with bushier eyebrows. http://www.daz3d.com/j-king store deserves a look. Naiad is one of my favorites.
    http://www.daz3d.com/naiad

    grass is a pita. You only think there is no poke through. :grin: Behind the scenes he is being impaled by thousands of sharp little alien glass blades right through his armored booties which you cannot see!

    Lights here in 1-3 are alcove with a single spot in the face to brighten thing up in pale beige at 22.6%
    Lights in 4 are one of Predatron's light and skies set. I made that image while ago, so not sure exactly, but I believe I tweaked it a to give the impression the blasters were emitting light.

    Ron's brushes and the PSD filed which come with it, are fun. I only wish there was a good library of each effect to save me time finding em. I'd pay for a book of easy reference!

    Post edited by Serene Night on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    What's in my cart?
    Some things I was glad I held off on (getting the extra 10%) that I'm getting now-
    http://www.daz3d.com/wildenlander-version-4
    http://www.daz3d.com/wild-sisterhood-for-wildenlander-v4

    http://www.daz3d.com/fw-caoimhe I actually LIKE the eyebrows- because they are different. The vendor made a gal that doesn't have perfect, or full eyebrows. And it's a Genesis 2 character.

    Picking up the rest of the Phoenix guys. (Yago, Hanzo, Joshua, Callum, etc)

    Want to remind folks (or those who weren't with us near the middle/end of thread 2) SereneNight recommended these:
    http://www.daz3d.com/neanderman-action They get your characters in fast, tweakable positions too!

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    http://www.daz3d.com/cornucopia3d
    Why is Cornucopia still 30% off? Anyway, from what I've read, the doors/windows don't open? But if you're getting a good discount plus the extra 10%, good for background sets.

    Any other stores at 30%? That would stack nicely. This is the only one I happened to surf into.

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,570
    edited December 1969

    Caoimhe has interesting brows. whats with the white thing in the nostrils? Its in every shot. Is that a shine, or part of the texture? Let me know if you get her... I'm curious.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    I didn't- had to trim my cart :) I did pick up the Phoenix guys, Luthbel's V4 outfit. I got UltrueViolet Light and Glowing Shaders for DAZ Studio and Vengeful Spirit for Genesis and Genesis 2 Female(s) for fun too.

    Headed out the door, running errands, etc. Back tonight! Will render a few things at that time.

  • KaribouKaribou Posts: 1,325
    edited January 2014

    Invited Guest Contributor

    I'm so excited -- my first post! :cheese: (Thanks for having me!)

    I took this opportunity to use some of the mountain of stuff I picked up since October, specifically the wonderful Olympia! I absolutely adore her body shape -- healthy, beautifully proportioned, rounded hips, NOT a supermodel, NOT a teen, and NOT an athlete. Just a lovely woman with a beautiful face. I very, very rarely use Daz characters out-of-the-box; the first thing I usually do is change the facial morphs. With Olympia, I wasn't really tempted to do so! So, add Olympia as one of my top picks for 2013!

    And if Olympia is one of my top product picks, then I now must say a few words about one of my top vendor picks -- Age of Armour. In the last year, I've found his products to be indispensable. I use the ambient lights, SSS shaders, and atmosphere cameras in nearly every render I create these days. Allow me to give an example...

    1) After setting the scene, I add an advanced ambient light. In this scene, you can see that there is a large area of hair. With UE, calculating occlusion on the hair is incredibly slow. I can make the hair invisible to raytracing or block occlusion, but then the hair looks flat. With the ambient light, I can set my main occlusion settings at a high quality, but then set a very low alternate shading rate. I then go to the hair's surface, give all of the materials an ambient value of 0.1%. You'll never see this, but it tags these surfaces. I can then go into the ambient light's lighting controls and tell the light to use lower quality settings on the hair. Hair is "busy" enough to hide any quality loss, so the incredible speed boost is highly justified! I "flag surface shaders with an ambient value of 0.1% and, if surface is flagged, use primitive hitmode and alternate samples." Astonishing render speed improvement. For me, this is a reason I now render in DS frequently, whereas Poser was my go-to program before. Render speeds in Firefly vs. 3Delight were so much faster (at equal quality levels.) Advanced ambient lights level the playing field. I now use both programs regularly.
    **Image 1 shows the base scene with an ambient light and an intense "moon" distant light. Only 2 lights in the scene.**

    2) I can use the atmosphere camera to generate light fog. Atmospherics in poser render far slower than a DS scene with the AoA fog camera. You can see that the fog adds a little depth and a little light to the scene. I used a very dark fog with a large visibility for a gentle fog effect.
    **Image 2 shows the scene through a "gentle" fog camera.**

    3) Another AWESOME thing I learned this year... One of my absolute biggest gripes about Poser and DS is that the rendered depth-of-field functions were SLOW. And the "native" Z-depth passes did not account for transparency. In Poser, there is a Shaderworks script that can render a Z-depth map with transparencies, but I was stumped in DS. By chance, I mentioned this in a forum thread and AoA explained that I can use a FOG camera to generate a Z-depth map WITH TRANSPARENCIES! To do this, set the fog color on the camera to WHITE, then turn out all the lights in the scene. I've also learned to make sure there are no shaders with ambient values in the scene, nor shaders with high specular values. Drop your quality settings for a fast render and you get a transparency-mapped Z-depth. I was giddy about this. The Z-depth map ends up "inverted" (Black on close objects, white in the far objects), but this is no problem at all.
    **Image 3 shows the Z-depth map generated from a fog camera.**

    4) If you've never used a Z-depth map to create depth of field, it's excruciatingly easy in Photoshop. (I have no idea if GIMP or paint shop have this functionality, sorry!) Open your regular image. Place the Z-Depth map as a second layer. Select the entire canvas and copy the Z-depth canvas (ctrl-C). Go into the channels tab (right next to "layers" by default, I believe.) Click the little "square/folded corner" icon to create a new channel (PS will name it Alpha 1.) Paste (Ctrl-V) the z-depth data onto the alpha channel. Make sure you click the RGB channel layer before you go back to work, or you'll only see the Alpha channel and have no idea why your scene is gone! Swap back to the layers tab. Go back into your image. Make the z-depth layer invisible or delete it. De-select the canvas. Go to Filters/Blur/Lens Blur. If you're using a DS black-is-close map, make sure the "invert" checkbox is EMPTY. If using a Poser white-is-close map, make sure the box is CHECKED. Then from the pull-down menu, select the "Alpha 1" channel as the source of your depth map. You will see the DOF in the preview window. Changing the radius affects how much blur is in the background. This is SO NICE, because you can see your depth of field without needing to do a zillion, slow test renders.
    **Image 4 shows a foggy scene with the DOF map applied using Photoshop.**

    5) This doesn't have anything to do with AoA or other Daz products, but don't fear postwork. When I first learned Poser and DS, I was militant about not using postwork. It definitely helped me achieve technical proficiency. However, to really create art that expresses my idea, I've found that postwork can take an image from good to amazing. I don't use postwork at all when going for photorealism, but it is perfect for fantasy scenes.
    **Image 5 shows the final, postworked scene.**

    Oh -- one last tip! If running DS on a PC (with Windows) you may be annoyed that while renders are going, your computer is sooooo slow because all processing power is going to the render -- to the point where you can't move the mouse across the screen smoothly. You can fix this! Right after starting DS, hit ctrl-alt-del, then open the task manager. In the processes tab, find the "DAZStudio.exe" process. Right-click on it. Then, set priority/below normal. Hit okay at the warning box. Voila. You can now accomplish other small tasks while rendering in DS. Obviously, the more other stuff you do, the longer your render will take, but it at least allows you to browse the forums or read your email while waiting! :-)

    Anyway, that's my first contribution. Hope it was useful!

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    Post edited by Karibou on
  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I just want to take the time to Thank you ScottL for the mention of the composition helpers. Both of which I had my grubby little blue paws in, I might add. Of course Horo and David did a much better job on the Bryce version than I did but Hey they are PRO's.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    Wow, you're off to a great start KaribousBoutique!!!! I love that last tip. IMAGINE surfing the forums or shopping during a render period- lol. It's nice to know how to juggle all those. Loved reading the tips and your images are beautiful as usual. :)

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Would anyone here like a tutorial on making your own studio style Soft light? Think along the lines of a Photo studio with those soft white (or any color) light panels you can place any location you want. They are not stand alone lights you still need a Ambient fill light as a minimum but to me I prefer these over spot lights. Even over Uber Spot lights... LOL! The reason is clear once used.

  • Serene NightSerene Night Posts: 17,570
    edited December 1969

    I sure would Jaderail. I am interested in all things light-related.

  • JaderailJaderail Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I've been gathering Screen caps anyway. So was sort of a rhetorical question. :red:

  • TJohnTJohn Posts: 11,054
    edited December 1969

    Jaderail said:
    I've been gathering Screen caps anyway. So was sort of a rhetorical question. :red:

    Liking your Avy update. Suitably dark and brooding. :)
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 2013

    Jaderail said:
    Would anyone here like a tutorial on making your own studio style Soft light? Think along the lines of a Photo studio with those soft white (or any color) light panels you can place any location you want. They are not stand alone lights you still need a Ambient fill light as a minimum but to me I prefer these over spot lights. Even over Uber Spot lights... LOL! The reason is clear once used.

    Definitely- and love your avatar :)

    Next, want to post a link to some furniture that I hadn't seen before, while folks still have Snowball savings of some sort.
    http://www.daz3d.com/woodscreation is the store.

    THIS IS DIFFERENT- it has morphs to put depressions where people sit! HOW COOL!!
    http://www.daz3d.com/element-homes-lithium

    Colorful, different styles- same vendor!
    http://www.daz3d.com/element-homes-helium

    I love that this has a wide double opening doors for the sideboard (PERFECT for a child to play in)
    http://www.daz3d.com/element-homes-hydrogen

    Post edited by Novica on
  • NovicaNovica Posts: 23,866
    edited December 1969

    We discussed this vendor either the first thread or the second one- has really nice items and a variety. You'll see promos with people in the weight lifting room/gym, that might be from this vendor. They also have different poses that you can adapt.

    http://www.daz3d.com/ness-period-reproductions

This discussion has been closed.