Fiddling with Iray skin settings...

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  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited April 2015

    OK, I think my brain just crashed. :blank: In 3delight, DazDefaultShader, OmniShader, and AoA shader (The three shaders that come with Studio sort of). There is Bump, and Displacement.

    Bump is just a calculation of the angle of that texil (Pixel, whatever) on the surface that light is sent off at (aka angle of reflection sort of) and dose not actually make geometry. Great for some things, not so much for others, dose not taker a tone of ram, and dose not suffer from shadow taring (Example attached, between the floor tiles).

    Displacement, can add that hint of surface texture shadows as it actually adds depth to a surface, however it is adversely effected by shadow-bias on lights (Attached example), and it can eat up allot of ram if it is converted to actual polygons.

    Normal??? Is that another name for Displacement, or bump?
    (EDIT)
    shadow taring, whatever it's called. That inconsistent shadow between the floor tiles in the attached 3delight render.

    Displacement_FloorTileHight_SkirtFloorMistake101.png
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    Post edited by ZarconDeeGrissom on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 54,130
    edited December 1969

    Khory said:
    Architectural displacement maps are a different game all together and more than likely on a much lower poly figure/prop. Doubling the count on a 2000 poly object will not have the same effect as doubling the count as a 60k object. In that case the exchange is between modeling in all those extra details vs having them via displacement and more than likely the displacement is still saving time vs all the added polys.

    Except that a low poly item would require a lot more levels of SubD to show fine detail from displacement than a high poly item.

    I do find displacement in Iray one of the biggest downsides, but I guess the lack of micro-polygon displacement (as in Renderman-type engines) is at least partly down to the need to get everything into video memory.

    The preference for normal maps over bump maps seems to be down to the way bumps are implemented - again, a downside of Iray in my book is that the bump settings are relative not absolute (proportional to the item size, not a set distance in cm) which is good for scaling but bad for precision. A normal map doesn't need or use units, it records the relative facing of the polygon surface for rendering purposes and so avoids the problems that bumps maps have.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 54,130
    edited April 2015

    OK, I think my brain just crashed. :blank: In 3delight, DazDefaultShader, OmniShader, and AoA shader (The three shaders that come with Studio sort of). There is Bump, and Displacement.

    Bump is just a calculation of the angle of that texil (Pixel, whatever) on the surface that light is sent off at (aka angle of reflection sort of) and dose not actually make geometry. Great for some things, not so much for others, dose not taker a tone of ram, and dose not suffer from shadow taring (Example attached, between the floor tiles).

    Displacement, can add that hint of surface texture shadows as it actually adds depth to a surface, however it is adversely effected by shadow-bias on lights (Attached example), and it can eat up allot of ram if it is converted to actual polygons.

    Normal??? Is that another name for Displacement, or bump?

    Normal is the end result of bump - a bump map records the pretend elevation of the surface, from which its angle can be calculated. A normal map records the angles generated by a bump map with particular strength and scale (or records the angles of the surface on actual sculpted high-polygon mesh). Displacement is a different thing - it changes the mesh shape, unlike bump and normal maps.

    Post edited by Richard Haseltine on
  • bohemian3bohemian3 Posts: 689
    edited December 1969

    Can anyone point me to an idiot guide to normal maps? I don't know... anything about them. I've been relying on bump map when speed is needed or the model isn't really close-up, and displacement when I can otherwise.

    A few visuals to help:
    http://blog.digitaltutors.com/bump-normal-and-displacement-maps/

  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Richard and bohemian3. So that's why gray scale maps (That had been the norm for Daz Studio) don't have that odd 3D coloring to them (Old green/red 3D, remember that, lol). I had seen a few around, and thought the image file was just corrupted somehow.

    "O" great timing Nvidea... Driver for what, ??? :-/ I Need coffee.

    WhatDriver_001.png
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  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited December 1969

    OK, so Normal maps are better then Bump, got that.

    How do I turn a Displacement map into a (Tangent Space) Normal map, assuming I have MS paint and GIMP? I still don't know what most of the stuff in GIMP dose.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 54,130
    edited December 1969

    You won't, using just an image editor. You need something that can bake from a model (probably using the displacement as bump) to normal maps. modo will do it, ZBrush will do it, Substance * will do it I think, Mudbox probably, not sure about Blender.

  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited April 2015

    You won't, using just an image editor. You need something that can bake from a model (probably using the displacement as bump) to normal maps. modo will do it, ZBrush will do it, Substance * will do it I think, Mudbox probably, not sure about Blender.
    Well then :lol:

    That sounds like another reason why allot of figures sold here at daz don't already come with 'Normal' maps, lol. Not only dose Daz Studio (before Iray) not come with any shaders that can handle Normal maps (Without purchasing add-on render engines). Making the maps, after all the work to make the bump and Displacement maps, takes allot of work, in tools that cost money.

    Providing Normal maps for figures in the past, was not time and money effective for most PA's. And I guess some PAs are not made of cash, and can just drop a few grand for a new program to add yet another map to there figures, lol.

    I trust that answers some of linvanchene's original questions regarding why no normal maps provided with some figures, and gives me (and my wallet) a bit more confidence with sticking with Displacement maps, lol. There incredibly easy to make in MS Paint for non-figures.
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/613705/

    Thank you Richard Haseltine, SickleYield, Khory, bohemian3, and others.

    Post edited by ZarconDeeGrissom on
  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,244
    edited December 1969

    Um... most of the DAZ shaders include support for Normal maps. Not sure about the DAZ Default, but AoA's shader does, and frankly I'd be shocked to discover that OmniFreaker's don't, but they might be too old.

    ShaderMap will help you convert bump or displacement maps to Normal maps. It works pretty well, too, and is not hugely priced.

    You won't, using just an image editor. You need something that can bake from a model (probably using the displacement as bump) to normal maps. modo will do it, ZBrush will do it, Substance * will do it I think, Mudbox probably, not sure about Blender.
    Well then :lol:

    That sounds like another reason why allot of figures sold here at daz don't already come with 'Normal' maps, lol. Not only dose Daz Studio (before Iray) not come with any shaders that can handle Normal maps (Without purchasing add-on render engines). Making the maps, after all the work to make the bump and Displacement maps, takes allot of work, in tools that cost money.

    Providing Normal maps for figures in the past, was not time and money effective for most PA's. And I guess some PAs are not made of cash, and can just drop a few grand for a new program to add yet another map to there figures, lol.

    I trust that answers some of linvanchene's original questions regarding why no normal maps provided with some figures, and gives me (and my wallet) a bit more confidence with sticking with Displacement maps, lol. There incredibly easy to make in MS Paint for non-figures.
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/613705/

    Thank you Richard Haseltine, SickleYield, Khory, bohemian3, and others.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 54,130
    edited December 1969

    Normal maps have been available in 3delight, through uberSurface, at least since DS3.

  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited April 2015

    OK, now that my first test render of the revised Dinnington Somerset Roman Villa Mosaic 1 has finished, I'll take another look at Wachiwi. Simply because I recall her having AoA, Omni, and DazDefault shader presets. In the past I never noticed a 'Normal' in there, or I simply glanced over it thinking it was something else entirely (like a Gamma, color, Huge offset or something). lol.

    Post edited by ZarconDeeGrissom on
  • scottidog2scottidog2 Posts: 314
    edited December 1969
  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited April 2015

    courius reading thus far, yet, I do question how much of it applies to making maps work in Iray, that were 'Optimized' in the first place for 3delight.

    Case and point, I have tried variations all night long using some suggestions so far, and have decided that some of the original mat backing colors need to be applied that somehow did not get transferred from the 3DL shader set over to the Iray one. Like the Specular color for one figure.

    That document states the color should be a 'Gray' of 51 rgb, not 255r 255gg 255b as the Iray shader set it, or the original mat's 130r 135g 135b.

    That's the kind of stuff I've been looking at all night. lots of spot renders, and no full renders. The settings that worked so well for Fawne's mats (Dropping the Translucency Weight to 0.30 or 0.35), did not do so well on FW Eve or FWSA Wachiwi. And I'm sure my lack of progress was the wrong backing Color (Yes color not a gray) for the mats in the various slots.

    It has been a long day, so I will look at this again after some rest. The rest of that looks like allot of realy good info, thanks for the link scottidog2.

    Spec_Wachiwi_Original_001.png
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    Spec_FromScratchOrToConvertIsTheQ_001.png
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    Post edited by ZarconDeeGrissom on
  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,244
    edited December 1969

    Just throwing this out there...

    No one set of settings is going to work for every texture set. Even say two sets that were produced by the same photographer, then texture artist, et al. Each one is going to be different.

    The Iray base provided to us for the Genesis 2 figures is a great jumping off point, It had to be signed off on by both the tech department and the art department, so you know its a compromise effort.

    While I don't agree with some of the choices, it is still a great place to start.

    I, for one, never take a texture artists' material settings straight out of the box. I appreciate all the work they put in but their artistic vision is not the same as mine.

    Take the baseline and then go where the image or project takes you.

  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 13,473
    edited December 1969

    And, heck, big stuff like black skin vs. pale skin requires, at minimum, a number of changes.

    Which is normal -- there's an interesting history on how photography has long been biased toward white people, because a number of ways color is processed has had to be optimized for one skin tone or another.

  • TjohnTjohn Posts: 10,043
    edited December 1969

    And of course, the lighting is a big factor.

  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited April 2015

    And, heck, big stuff like black skin vs. pale skin requires, at minimum, a number of changes.

    Which is normal -- there's an interesting history on how photography has long been biased toward white people, because a number of ways color is processed has had to be optimized for one skin tone or another.


    And that is a big reason I was having such difficulty yesterday with mid-toned figures as well, lol.

    True tjohn, very true.
    (EDIT)
    So, after looking threw a flood of stuff to ketch up. I have a working Fawne mat on G2F, so I intend to save each zone as a shader preset, and then apply that to G1F Fawne. It appears that SY's mat was for the V4 variant, and the zones would not directly apply to the G1F Fawne.

    Also, I'm going back and trying
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/794215/
    again, with a spread of backing colors for the mats of the other figures. It appears for a few of the figures, that backing color for the mats is necessary, and they don't appear to be drop-in and play direct values from 3delight and Iray.

    Post edited by ZarconDeeGrissom on
  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,244
    edited December 1969

    I really think subtle adjustments to base color, translucency color (and possibly reflectance tint if you have scatter and transmit turned on for the base layer) and transmitted color are all that are required to handle a very wide range of skin tones.

    That's all conjecture at this point, I'm not going to be making any big investigative tests at the moment, but I will post any observations I might come up with while I re-work a long delayed project.

  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited April 2015

    I think Mec4D made a very good point, possibly knowing full well the implications of that comment regarding getting a render engine to reproduce Skin instead of just things.

    Mec4D said:

    Skin is just 2-3 mm (0.10inch) thick so not much of deep flesh effect here
    I use just the maps included in DS so everyone will have it , for my own product I will make the right translucency maps
    the subject is going for the last 17 years in my book , but sometimes you have to do compromises if you don't have what you like, sadly but true, I hope NVIDIA will do a good shader for skin in the future with proper all layers , would be really cool
    /*snip*/
    (emphases in bold by me)
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewreply/803693/

    Now granted I was thinking about subtle translucency for some areas of the body, still when it comes to ALL of the aspects of making realistic looking skin. I think the above copied comment implies why we are all, if not some of us, having such difficulty getting figures to look real.

    We are trying to get a shader to do something it simply was not made to do. :lol:

    Now there is hope, and the comforting knowledge that the shaders for 3delight have been able to do amazing things, so I will and am not implying that it is impossible. Only that it will inherently be difficult, and may very well require using tricks to fake some things.

    Post edited by ZarconDeeGrissom on
  • jepegraphicsjepegraphics Posts: 760
    edited April 2015

    We are trying to get a shader to do something it simply was not made to do. :lol:

    It's exactly what I thought after working a while with the new Iray Shader. It's a wonderful first step in a new direction and I'm sure DAZ will do it's best to put the focus on characters and skin in the future. We maybe have some time ahead faking and experimenting and fiddling around to get some good render results, but it will improve and hopefully easier. :)

    Post edited by jepegraphics on
  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 13,473
    edited December 1969

    Personally speaking, most of the characters I work with aren't nearly close enough to make a lot of these fiddly details matter. Heck, I'm pretty sure most of them don't need translucence or SSS, most of the time.

    So, for me, Iray is a huge leap forward. The characters look better for big shots (IMO), and it's WAY easier to apply sophisticated materials to objects. Lighting is way faster and more straight-forward, too.

    I honestly don't see Iray as any worse at characters/skin than 3delight, and, IMO, a little better.

  • scottidog2scottidog2 Posts: 314
    edited April 2015

    Tutorial: PBR Texture Conversion

    Table of Contents

    PBR: Misconceptions and Myths
    PBR: What Has Changed?
    Traditional Content Recap
    Conversion: Traditional -> PBR Specular
    Metalness Workflow vs Specular Workflow
    Conversion: Specular -> Metalness
    Conversion: Metalness -> Specular
    Comparisons and Disclaimers
    Material Logic

    http://www.marmoset.co/toolbag/learn/pbr-conversion

    Post edited by scottidog2 on
  • Oso3DOso3D Posts: 13,473
    edited December 1969

    Bless you for not making it a video tutorial.

  • Scott LivingstonScott Livingston Posts: 4,287
    edited December 1969

    Tutorial: PBR Texture Conversion

    Table of Contents

    PBR: Misconceptions and Myths
    PBR: What Has Changed?
    Traditional Content Recap
    Conversion: Traditional -> PBR Specular
    Metalness Workflow vs Specular Workflow
    Conversion: Specular -> Metalness
    Conversion: Metalness -> Specular
    Comparisons and Disclaimers
    Material Logic

    http://www.marmoset.co/toolbag/learn/pbr-conversion


    Thanks for sharing--it looks very useful!
  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited December 1969

    Jepe said:

    We are trying to get a shader to do something it simply was not made to do. :lol:

    It's exactly what I thought after working a while with the new Iray Shader. It's a wonderful first step in a new direction and I'm sure DAZ will do it's best to put the focus on characters and skin in the future. We maybe have some time ahead faking and experimenting and fiddling around to get some good render results, but it will improve and hopefully easier. :) I will add that that was intended with some 'Sarcasm' as I keep seeing references made to 'Real' properties, and I'm looking at the Iray shaders and not comprehending how to implement some of the 'Real world' things without some more stuff... That would probably require a top-ten "Top500" Supercomputer to render the shader, lol.

    timmins.william, is also quite correct. Just thinking of some test renders of figures that had my chin on the floor, using the 'AltShader' presets. No SSS at all, using just the 'DazDefaultShader', and the texture of the back of the hand was just breathtaking, lol.

  • scottidog2scottidog2 Posts: 314
    edited April 2015

    Am confused about one thing. On the youtube video
    "Creating And Lighting A Scene With Iray In DAZ Studio" SickleYield applied the "Iray Uber Base" to
    Genesis 2 Male. Wondering why that and not the "Iray Optimised Genesis 2 Male MAT"?

    Edit:
    Got a reply from sickle

    The G2M mat is a decent starting point, but it has some flaws, and they didn't spend as much time on it as on the female preset. At this point I will often start from the uber base and then apply my own settings.

    Post edited by scottidog2 on
  • Ralf1958Ralf1958 Posts: 470
    edited April 2015

    Hi! Can someone please explain me why some Skin material converted to iray gets so glossy? Some look fine and others look like plastic? I don't get it. Thank you! :-)

    Post edited by Ralf1958 on
  • ZarconDeeGrissomZarconDeeGrissom Posts: 5,304
    edited December 1969

    ralf said:
    Hi! Can someone please explain me why some Skin material converted to iray gets so glossy? Some look fine and others look like plastic? I don't get it. Thank you! :-)
    I've had that happen before Iray. Some characters use the AoA shader, some the Omni Uber shader (not the Iray one), and some use the Daz default shader. (yes there are probably others as well).

    Not even looking at figures, just simple props, I've had maps go from specular strength to something completely different when changing the shader from one to another. Sometimes a dial setting for one thing, will and up on a completely different dial on the shader I've switched the surface to. Sometimes dials will just arbitrarily end up at 100% (like reflection strength), when they were off before the shader change.

    It apparently is no different with the Iray shader, lol.

  • Ralf1958Ralf1958 Posts: 470
    edited December 1969

    ralf said:
    Hi! Can someone please explain me why some Skin material converted to iray gets so glossy? Some look fine and others look like plastic? I don't get it. Thank you! :-)
    I've had that happen before Iray. Some characters use the AoA shader, some the Omni Uber shader (not the Iray one), and some use the Daz default shader. (yes there are probably others as well).

    Not even looking at figures, just simple props, I've had maps go from specular strength to something completely different when changing the shader from one to another. Sometimes a dial setting for one thing, will and up on a completely different dial on the shader I've switched the surface to. Sometimes dials will just arbitrarily end up at 100% (like reflection strength), when they were off before the shader change.

    It apparently is no different with the Iray shader, lol.


    Well, I never had that with props, but I was just wondering about this effect. And actually I am getting totally confused with all those sliders and settings. I don't have any Clou about SSS and other stuff. For my renders I always used the characters the way I bought them. Now I have some of them who look like plastic dolls. That bothers me. :-) Applying the normal iray shader (not the one for Genesis 2) makes them look normal. I don't get it. :-)

  • 8eos88eos8 Posts: 166
    edited May 2015

    So I finally figured out how to use SSS Reflectance Tint properly without making Olympia look like a space alien (the suggested value in the docs seems to be way off...) and I redid my skin setup based on some recent suggestions in the Iray render thread. The main change here was to set the gamma of the skin textures in Gimp to 2.2 (making them a lot lighter) and move them from Base Color to Translucency Color, and to put desaturated versions of the textures in Base Color. I also tried out the Macro skin textures (bottom 2 images), setting them up the same way. I wasn't able to use the SSS maps that come with them though, because setting the texture on Transmitted Color doesn't have any visible effect, only changing its color works (guess I should file a bug...) Still, they look very nice to me using just the diffuse and normal maps.

    Base Color = desaturated textures + gray (HSV 0/0/60) (can use lighter gray for paler skin; or white if using albedo textures for translucency)
    Translucency Weight = 0.8
    Base Color Effect = Scatter & Transmit
    Translucency Color = white + diffuse textures (set gamma to 2.2) (update: or use albedo textures)
    SSS Reflectance Tint = HSV 180/85/120 (this should be a dull greenish-gray, like the color of a corpse)

    Glossy Layered Weight = 0.2
    Glossy Color = white (no maps)
    Glossy Reflectivity = 0.35
    Glossy Roughness = no maps + 0.3, or inverted bump maps + 0.6-0.8 (this controls the wetness of the skin; didn't use Top Coat at all except on the lips)
    Refraction Index = 1.4
    Base Bump = 5 (edit: this is too large, it looks weird on limbs/torso. 0.5 is better. Set to 0 and remove maps if using Macro skin)

    Transmitted Measurement Distance = 2.5 (controls overall thickness of skin, affects translucency of ears and nose)
    Transmitted Color = no map + HSV 35/180/160 (Macro) or 20/191/162 (Olympia) (this controls the base skin tone, adjust as needed)
    Scattering Measurement Distance = 0.1-0.2 (controls the amount of translucency and SSS on the skin surface, you don't want this too large)
    SSS Amount = 0.9-1.0 (I didn't like smaller values for this, looked too much like a silicone doll)
    SSS Direction = -0.5
    (update: now I prefer SSS Amount = 0.8 and Direction = -0.9)

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    Post edited by 8eos8 on
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