TraffiKar shader ugliness in Carrara

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited December 1969

    3DAGE said:

    * (I'm not a Mac user, so I'm not sure of the correct daz library location on mac) perhaps Evilproducer can help there.

    Nope. evilproducer uses Mac as well ;)
    I use Windows and, yes... Runtime > Textures
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,298
    edited December 1969

    HI Dart :)

    No, you've misread that,.. :) no prob.

    I'm on PC too (still on win7 pro),. but Simontex is on Mac,... and I know Mr.Evil is an apple core :).

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited March 2014

    Just to help clarify a bit, where 3dage is mentioning "Diffuse" channel, it's called "Color" in Carrara's Texture room, just in case there was any confusion. The Color channel in Carrara is the Diffuse Color, found in other software, so many of us interchange the term.

    Now, if we go back to what I was saying in my long, pre Warhammer 40K game post, 3dage has supplied us nicely with an excellent screen shot to take us to the next level. Sorry... finances are not allowing me to actually buy the Kar, just yet. But 3dage has this great shot available. The one I'm referring to is the second image on the previous page. The one that shows the shader in the Texture room, with the Blender in the Color channel.

    This is where I was planning to take you next. Thanks 3dage!

    Please realize that, often things with multiple maps and/or blenders, even just maps, don't always show as you'd expect in preview mode, even with your interactive render settings the way you have them. So I like to do two things as I am working with shaders:

    Take frequent Spot Renders
    Set a camera to the area I'm testing, set my render settings to render quickly, and use Ctrl R (jumps to render room and renders and image) to check my work.

    So before we get really crazy into looking at shader optimization, let's get some good, Carrara basics out of the way, just to get on the same playing field.

    I've made some notes on the image below.

    First is the Spot Render tool. Keep in mind that, as rendering qualities and complexities grow, larger selections can be faster for the tool to calculate than really small ones.
    Use this tool to perform quick checks on the results of shader work, or simply go Ctrl R to render in the render room using the camera selected in the middle tab of the render room.

    Second is the default library for Poser format products installed to the default DIM library.

    In the image, you can see that I have multiple Runtime-Style libraries. I have an article that explains how to add Multiple Runtime Libraries using DIM, if you would like some instructions on that level.

    So, if you've used the DIM and the DIM's default location to install your Kar, it is this library with the "Runtime" suffix, which will contain the Poser files evilproducer and 3dage were talking about.

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    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited December 1969

    Now let's take a look at the image that 3dage provided for you.
    What we're starting with is the Color channel settings. Have a good look at his color channel.

    Notice that the top level of the color channel is "Mixer"

    When you already have something allocated in the color channel, and then change it to Mixer, what you've had will be stored into "Source 1" of the Mixer. You then have "Source 2" and a final setting (in this example - "Blender") to determine how the two sources get mixed together.

    By him selecting "Blender", he is able to use the gray scale image that came with the product to determine where we can see Source 1 (white or black) and where we see Source 2 (white or black) , and where the two are 'blended' together (all shades of gray except white and black).

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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited December 1969

    When allocating your texture maps to Source 1 and 2, blending them in the blender, if you find the results looking really odd, try swapping which image map is in which Source.

    Now take a look at how shiny the model appears in the preview. We may often use the included texture maps to help us get really precise with shine allocation, as well as reflections. Just hold down the Cntrl key and drag the entire Color channel into the highlight channel.

    Once this is done, you can decrease the amount of highlight on the rust by selecting Source 1 (now in the Highlight channel) and, under the image thumbnail, drag the slider down low - say 5 or 6. If you don't want any shine on the rust, you can even change this Source to 'Color' and then make the color chip black.
    For more shine in the other areas, you could replace the image with a color and make it white, or somewhere close to it.

    Once you get highlights the way you like them, you may also change Reflection from "none" to Reflection, and then Ctrl Drag either the Highlight or Color channels into the "Shader" node of the Reflection channel.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited December 1969

    A note about Highlights

    The highlight and shininess channels work together to control specular highlighting.

    While the Highlight channel determines how bright the highlights are, and what color they will be, at their highest values, the Shininess channel determines how light reacts with the models surface - so it actually determines where the highlights are present according to how your scene is lit.

    Mouthful, I know. Here is how I simplify the thought:

    Highlight: Bright = Lots of highlight, Black = No highlight

    with no highlight, the shininess channel becomes obsolete

    Shininess: Higher values tighten the shine, which can cause a glossy appearance. But there is a limit to how tight of angles will actually appear in a render, according to render resolution. So I try not to go any higher than 30 for a really high gloss, but I often use values even lower - say 18 or 22.
    Zero Shininess lets the light spread as evenly as it can across the model. This works great for highlights without gloss - like what you would expect human skin to have. These lower values might require a lower highlight to reduce blow-out of the incoming light. Like human skin, I'll often reduce the value of highlight to 4 through 6, with a shininess of 0.

    A word about Reflection

    Many newcomers to rendering scene will mistake reflection for gloss, since reflections can simulate gloss fairly easily - even without good setting in Highlight and Shine.

    Reflections can really slow down a render, which is to be expected. But when you don't need reflections, the extra render time in inefficient.

    Before setting up reflections, always set this value to "none" and work out the other channels first. This will make the best of your reflections once you do decide to add them.

    Also note that reflections need something to reflect. Many shaders included with Carrara that rely on reflection will not look proper without at least some sort of surrounding scene. For quick surrounds, sky domes or surrounding background images work great! But if you have neither, or don't need that sort of precision, you may also simply use a Background Bi-Gradient or a realistic sky from the atmosphere settings. All of these will help your shaders that require reflections to look better. Chrome is a perfect example for this, as it looks black without and reflections upon it.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited December 1969

    To Bump, or Not to Bump?

    If you're using a really high-resolution image in the bump channel, try cranking this value up (remembering where it was) and shoot a test render. Some bump maps work great cranked to the max. Others might make everything look furry or just plain wrong.

    It can often pay off to try many different values for this.

    Also, you might even benefit in a case like this from using a setup similar to the color channel in the bump channel, to get extra bump on the rust. If you want to try this, look at your Bump channel and see what image map is in there. While you're at it, if this map doesn't say 'dirt' or 'rust' (whichever you're using) in it's name, have a look for such maps in the textures folder. If it has a separate bump map for the dirt or rust, you can use that with the bump that's already in place.

    Just Ctrl Drag the Color channel into the Bump channel and replace the texture with the appropriate bump maps. But, again... check for the extra maps and look at what's in there first - as some products actually use their image maps for bump too - saving you a few steps.

  • edited December 1969

    Holy cow guys, I was going to log in and apologize because I had be swamped at work and hadn't had time to try your latest suggestions, and I come back to find a 3rd whole page of new info devoted to my issue so, I am again very grateful, and I'm going to read through this stuff today and get cracking, fingers crossed, you guys rock!

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,583
    edited December 1969

    We just want to help our friend get up and running ;)

  • edited April 2014

    wow I'm sorry guys, I don't know what I'm doing wrong... I followed everything to the letter as far as reproducing 3dage's screenshot, as you can see by mine, and it didn't change anything :-/ After that I drug the color channel into the highlights channel out of desperation but since that also didn't do anything, I figured it would be a waste of time to keep going at this point unless I can resolve this bit. I'll try to load some of his shader files and see if that does anything next.

    By way of comparison, the second screen shot is of the teardrop model itself vs the 1st one, which was standard TraffiKar. I went into the browser and drug the mats onto it for both accent and condition, and as you can see, but unknown to me until now, the setting are identical, and yet *this* one looks even worse! I just don't get it guys...

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    Screen_Shot_2014-04-09_at_1.25_.52_AM_.png
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    Post edited by simon.fex_03751fa4a4 on
  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,298
    edited December 1969

    Hi Simontex :)

    I understand your frustration with this product.

    After some further investigating , and becoming confused in the process,. I looked at DIM to show the installed texture files.
    What i found is that this product comes with DSI files ,. which I believe are Daz Layered image format files, which are for the layered image editor.

    In Poser,. the "texture" for the Sedan,. is made by first mixing two colours (red and yellow) using the B/W "Sedan front" as the blender,. then
    that Mixer is combined with a "Details" map, and those two things (colour mixer and details map) , are Blended together using the "Sedan Alpha FF" map.

    So,. you have a Mixer, where the First channel is another Mixer, rather than just a colour or texture map.

    If this was such a PITA for me to figure out,.. then I can completely understand your frustration, and sympathise with you on this essentially unusable product.

    It's not something you can Fix easily to work in Carrara,. and it's not for the faint hearted or newbie to shader building.

    Using the Poser mat's "Can" work for some texture,. but most don't.
    So,. dragging the Thumbnail images for the Preset materials from the browser,. normally won't work well.

    All of the shaders need some kind of rebuilding in Carrara to even function.

    If you're still within you 30 days,... I'd return it.

    Have you had a look at the Vehicles that come with Carrara, In the Native Content installer. Most of those are more realistic that these.

    Sorry that's not much help, but....

    Here's a Carrara shader for the "Red Sedan",.. I've only set-up the "Body" shader,. but this is just an example of what you'd need to do to get these working in carrara.

    Carrara shader :
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7907045/TK_Sedan.cbr

    Drop this file into your :
    My Documents / DAZ 3D / Carrara / My Presets / My Shaders

    Hope it helps

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    TK_posr.jpg
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  • 3DAGE3DAGE Posts: 3,298
    edited December 1969

    Here's the three basic shaders.

    just unzip into your My Documents.... etc,... My Shaders

    then drag and drop from the browser onto the Global shader.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/7907045/Trafikar_Shaders.zip

    Hope it helps :)

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