Who said Blender was hard?

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  • Just curious, there isn't a way to make it recognize the Z axis as forward and back instead of up and down, is there? Yet another thing that make coming to this program from another a pain in the neck.   ;)

    Not to my knowledge.  I think it's the architectural/CAD approach, having the Z-axis as up.  If you come from that background, it makes sense.

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 4,635
    edited August 21

    That, I do not understand. I am changing material colors in Blender without a problem, pretty often.

    You can assign any color to them.

    I do not know, how to assign them automatically in a random way in Blender,

    but if you have only a couple white ones, what stops you to change them by hand and make for example

    red, green, blue etc.

    That's way you will have easy color to pick for the mask in Photoshop.

     

    Post edited by Artini on
  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,935

    That's all I want, an anti-aliased render with every material assigned a slightly different color.

    Couldn't you just render 2-3 times as big? You could then downsample (effectively aliasing) to match the size of your other renders once you pull it into your image editing software? Or, possibly better yet, upsample your other renders to match the size of the unaliased mask, do your post work/compositing, and then downsample after flattening the whole thing.

    - Greg

  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,488
    edited August 21
    Artini said:

    That, I do not understand. I am changing material colors in Blender without a problem, pretty often.

    You can assign any color to them.

    I do not know, how to assign them automatically in a random way in Blender,

    but if you have only a couple white ones, what stops you to change them by hand and make for example

    red, green, blue etc.

    That's way you will have easy color to pick for the mask in Photoshop.

     

    I think SnowSultan is just referring to the way the colors are assigned by the cryptomatte node in the compositor, not the actual material colors when you preview or render.

    There is an option in 2.8 to view the scene with every material assigned a random color (at work right now and can't download it to my work computer, so I can't check how to do it) but I think that would include lighting information that might make easily "magic wanding" them harder in Photoshop.

    @SnowSultan - sorry, the scenes I have used it on didn't have more than a couple material zones per object so I didn't even notice that that it was duplicating the colors on an object if you had more than that. blush

    I've been doing a little googling and apparently antialiasing Material ID passes is not simple to calculate and a lot of renderers can't do it. It's not just Cycles and IRay, it's also VRay and others as well. It appears to have something to do with the way the colors are assigned - I found this "The Integer (no AA) method, which assigns a Material ID to each pixel in the render element, does not support antialiasing as each pixel can have only a single Material ID assigned to it." in a Vray forum and similar discussions in cycles forums.

    Post edited by Mythic3D on
  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    ArtofMark is right, the "Random" color assignment option is a lit smooth shaded method that isn't "flat" like Material IDs are, as is simply changing the base material color.

    Algovincian: Mask accuracy is *really* important to me because I do a ton of tonal and color correction on raw renders, and if your selections aren't exact, you can end up with bright or dark edges that would be tricky to fix later. That's why I insist on anti-aliased MaterialIDs, jagged ones are useless for the kind of postwork I do.

    Andya's explanation of adding multiple viewing nodes helped, I was able to make this setup that allows me to define masks pretty quickly and export them one by one. Thanks for your help and hopefully that will take care of this problem.   :)

     

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  • andya_b341b7c5f5andya_b341b7c5f5 Posts: 577
    edited August 21

    ArtofMark is right, the "Random" color assignment option is a lit smooth shaded method that isn't "flat" like Material IDs are, as is simply changing the base material color. 

    Algovincian: Mask accuracy is *really* important to me because I do a ton of tonal and color correction on raw renders, and if your selections aren't exact, you can end up with bright or dark edges that would be tricky to fix later. That's why I insist on anti-aliased MaterialIDs, jagged ones are useless for the kind of postwork I do.

    Andya's explanation of adding multiple viewing nodes helped, I was able to make this setup that allows me to define masks pretty quickly and export them one by one. Thanks for your help and hopefully that will take care of this problem.   :)

     

    It seems the colors in the Pick view are auto-generated, and only using minimum shades to distinguish materials/objects so you can pick them.  A bit like using only five colors on a map because that's all you need.  I've used about 13 materials in the image attached.

    Regarding anti-aliasing, I think the best you can do along with rendering at high resolution is to optimize the pixel filter width - 2.5 seemed to be optimal at the low resolution I tried - and make sure the 'Accurate Mode' option is checked in the Cryptomatte options.  Note the tooltip displayed when you hover over this says it only works when rendering with CPU, which will be slower than GPU.  But perhaps you could do a low sample render on CPU to get the mattes, because noise will clear more quickly on them, then your 'proper' render at higher samples?

    Edit to add: You could have more than one Cryptomatte node, each with a different set of 'picks', linked to separate Viewer nodes.  You can save each matte by selecting the Viewer node, and using the Save This Image button in the Item tab of the side panel on the right (hit N if it's not shown).

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    Post edited by andya_b341b7c5f5 on
  • algovincianalgovincian Posts: 1,935

    Algovincian: Mask accuracy is *really* important to me because I do a ton of tonal and color correction on raw renders, and if your selections aren't exact, you can end up with bright or dark edges that would be tricky to fix later. That's why I insist on anti-aliased MaterialIDs, jagged ones are useless for the kind of postwork I do.

    For example, are you sure Iray even utilizes anti-aliasing? I believe that a similar look (no jaggies) is accomplished through super sampling, and subsequent downsampling, during the rendering process. That is why I suggested rendering the material ID passes larger and then down sampling in your image editor.

    - Greg

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Andya: I did notice that Accurate mode button and that it's CPU only, will try it out when I'm able to make a large render where that might be noticable. From the few tests I've done so far, the normal matte renders have done what appears to be a good job. Will have to try the multiple Cryptomatte nodes though, thanks for that.

    Algovincian: I don't know the technical workings of Iray, but I haven't been able to disable anti-aliasing in it (nor would I ever want to). I use Mask and Multipass Toolkit here at DAZ to render masks in 3Delight mode and made a custom Photoshop action to apply all of them as channels on the real render when it's time for work.

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Can I ask a few more simple questions? Nothing as complicated as before, I'm just trying to get used to the practical differences between Blender and Studio that I'm noticing so far.

    - It doesn't appear there is a way to directly select a surface in Blender by clicking on it like we can with the Surface Selection tool in Studio. You have to select the object, then select the surface from the menu or drop-down box in the node editor. Is this correct?

    - Is FBX the preferred export file format for sending things from Studio to Blender? So far, OBJs have come in as a mess and DAE files don't seem to apply textures well.

     

    I have more, but getting those out of the way will help.  :)  Thanks in advance.

  • NathNath Posts: 1,566

    Can I ask a few more simple questions? Nothing as complicated as before, I'm just trying to get used to the practical differences between Blender and Studio that I'm noticing so far.

    - It doesn't appear there is a way to directly select a surface in Blender by clicking on it like we can with the Surface Selection tool in Studio. You have to select the object, then select the surface from the menu or drop-down box in the node editor. Is this correct?

    - Is FBX the preferred export file format for sending things from Studio to Blender? So far, OBJs have come in as a mess and DAE files don't seem to apply textures well.

     

    I have more, but getting those out of the way will help.  :)  Thanks in advance.

    - selecting surfaces: yes (if there is another way, I'd like to find out too ;-) )

    - exporting from Studio to Blender: you might want to follow this thread for the TeleBlender script, or try the Diffeomorphic plugin in Blender.

  • Can I ask a few more simple questions? Nothing as complicated as before, I'm just trying to get used to the practical differences between Blender and Studio that I'm noticing so far.

    - It doesn't appear there is a way to directly select a surface in Blender by clicking on it like we can with the Surface Selection tool in Studio. You have to select the object, then select the surface from the menu or drop-down box in the node editor. Is this correct?

    In Edit Mode, the Materials tab has the Assign, Select, and Deselect buttons.

    - Is FBX the preferred export file format for sending things from Studio to Blender? So far, OBJs have come in as a mess and DAE files don't seem to apply textures well.

    FBX import in Blender is worse than FBX import in Daz, which is to say something profound. Because of the official FBX SDK license, the Blender guys had to re-implement it, and so of course it doesn't work as well as in other apps. I think you'll quickly run into something that doesn't work.

    But can you clarify what you mean? When I don't need an armature, OBJ is my go-to because as an open standard, it's well supported on both ends and always seems to just work. Maybe you export settings? On the left, you probably want Ignore Invisible Nodes checked, as well as Write UV Coordinates, Write Normals, Write Faces, Write Polylines (sure, why not), and Write Object Statements. On the right, you probably want Write Groups checked, as well as Use Surface Names, Write Surfaces, Write Material Library, and Original Maps. Give that a try.

    I also strongly suggest that you check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wavefront_.obj_file and then open up an OBJ file (a simple, small one) in an editor and just poke around. It'll then become obvious why you want the export options that you want, for whatever it is you're trying to do. That's another benefit of a human readable, open standard.

    By the way, Universal Scene Description is making its way into Blender as we speak, at which point FBX will rightfully be relagated to the trash bin of history were it belongs. It's another open standard, so support for it in Daz should not take very long. (Looking at you, Daz).

  • Just to add a couple of other things that may be useful to what has already been said..

    - It doesn't appear there is a way to directly select a surface in Blender by clicking on it like we can with the Surface Selection tool in Studio. You have to select the object, then select the surface from the menu or drop-down box in the node editor. Is this correct?

    Blender doesn't have a direct equivalent to surface selection tool.  (You would almost need - yet another - mode.)  But it's more flexible :).

    In object mode, to select all objects sharing a particular material, select one object that has the material assigned to it; then click on the relevant material in the Materials tab of the Properties panel; now hit Shift-L in the viewport and select Material from the pop-up menu.  All other objects sharing that material will be selected.  (Same option via the menu is Select->Select Linked->Material.)

    To add to what donaldblade says about Edit mode, note that you can put multiple objects into edit mode at the same time, and then the Select button in the Materials tab will select the areas on all the objects being edited that have the highlighted material.  Useful to replace one material with another on all objects using it.

    - Is FBX the preferred export file format for sending things from Studio to Blender? So far, OBJs have come in as a mess and DAE files don't seem to apply textures well.

    +1 for forgetting about FBX as a transfer format between DS and Blender, in either direction.  It's a total crapshoot. Stick to OBJ, mcjTeleBlender or Thomas Larsson's 'Daz Importer' plugin for Blender on his Diffeomorphic blog, as mentioned by Nath.  Depends on what you need.  I personally lean towards the 'Import Daz' plugin - it will import the Daz rig for you, and can import JCMs as corrective shape keys, facial expressions as shape keys, poses and animations (as actions).

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  • Mythic3DMythic3D Posts: 1,488
    edited August 24

    <ignore this - I misread the post I was replying to>

    Post edited by Mythic3D on
  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Thanks for the new information. Couple things though:

    - Can you tell me how to select multiple surfaces in Blender when they have different materials attached? Ctrl-clicking multiple ones doesn't seem to do anything (unlike every other program known to man, I should expect this from Blender by now, lol).

    - If I didn't know that you know more about Blender than I do, I would swear that you're all out of your minds believing that it handles OBJs better than FBXs. Even with those recommended settings by Donald, my OBJs are coming in with weird polygons that are darker than all others, ones that aren't illuminated by scene lights, textures that aren't applied or have maximum specular gloss, and everything needs to be rotated upon import, where every FBX I've brought in loads with almost everything set correctly.

  • nonesuch00nonesuch00 Posts: 11,914

    I would like DAZ Studio to implement import & export of Blender format files given that DAZ 3D is the number one source for 3D content and DAZ Studio is the program designed to use that content. Since the Blender Foundation is the number one NGO dealing with 3D and Blender is their 3D program (doesn't that sound weird when you think about it really) it would be nice if DAZ Studio supported all the features of a blend format file that are already implemented in DAZ Studio so the blend file could be opened in DAZ Studio & Blender with polite not-implemented messages for not DAZ Studio features in Blender.   

  • I would like DAZ Studio to implement import & export of Blender format files given that DAZ 3D is the number one source for 3D content and DAZ Studio is the program designed to use that content. Since the Blender Foundation is the number one NGO dealing with 3D and Blender is their 3D program (doesn't that sound weird when you think about it really) it would be nice if DAZ Studio supported all the features of a blend format file that are already implemented in DAZ Studio so the blend file could be opened in DAZ Studio & Blender with polite not-implemented messages for not DAZ Studio features in Blender.   

    I'm really happy that more and more people seem to be asking for this. Daz and Blender seem to be made for one another.

  • - Can you tell me how to select multiple surfaces in Blender when they have different materials attached? Ctrl-clicking multiple ones doesn't seem to do anything (unlike every other program known to man, I should expect this from Blender by now, lol).

    If the surfaces are from the same object, you can just go into edit mode, select a surface from the list, go to the materials tab, and click select. It is additive, so you can select multiple surfaces one at a time. If they're from different objects, I'm not sure, but you can probably shift-select the objects in object mode, and then go to edit mode to do the same procedure.

    - If I didn't know that you know more about Blender than I do, I would swear that you're all out of your minds believing that it handles OBJs better than FBXs. Even with those recommended settings by Donald, my OBJs are coming in with weird polygons that are darker than all others, ones that aren't illuminated by scene lights, textures that aren't applied or have maximum specular gloss, and everything needs to be rotated upon import, where every FBX I've brought in loads with almost everything set correctly.

    It sounds like you've got some flipped normals. Are you sure the objects are OK in Daz? What is the provenance of the objects you're trying to export? Did they come from Daz, which has good QA, or another place more iffy? You can try fixing a strange polygon by manually flipping or recalculating the normals, to see if that's the problem.

    As for textures, I'm not sure how that would even happen, as OBJs only support diffuse maps. Are you using some other plugin or something to import?

  • andya_b341b7c5f5andya_b341b7c5f5 Posts: 577
    edited August 25

    As for textures, I'm not sure how that would even happen, as OBJs only support diffuse maps.

    Interestingly or perhaps not, if we are to believe the internet (always risky), the OBJ format - or more specifically the MTL format - theoretically supports a number of other types of maps.  PBR materials like those for Iray do seem to be a bridge too far, but if you use 3delight it may work better.  That depends on how good the Daz Studio OBJ exporter is at writing the .mtl file, and obviously how good the Blender importer is at creating materials from the data provided.

    At least I can get the OBJ transfer to produce a very basic material for each Daz Studio surface in Blender.  (With FBX transfer, I have never yet got any materials at all, ever, or vertex groups, so dumped it.)  Which is why, when I need more than a mesh transferred, I use the 'Import Daz' plugin or mcjTeleBlender mentioned previously.

    Post edited by andya_b341b7c5f5 on
  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Donald: I imported a castle segment from the old Castle Creator here at DAZ. It is quite old, so flipped normals are possible I suppose. I'm not familiar with modeling though, so I don't know yet how to fix them. Right now I'm just trying to replicate in Blender the most important things I do in Studio.

    Andya: That is really strange that you're having issues with FBX textures, for me the items import with textures applied and without any of the polygonal issues that OBJs do. We must really be using the absolute best and worst objects respectively in our tests.   ;)

    I'm going to set up the Diffeomorphic importer right now, tested it earlier but I didn't get all the steps right (getting json errors). I'd like to wait to get teleBlender until the next stable release, which the creator mentioned could be by the end of this month. Thanks as always for the information.

  • Interestingly or perhaps not, if we are to believe the internet (always risky), the OBJ format - or more specifically the MTL format - theoretically supports a number of other types of maps.  PBR materials like those for Iray do seem to be a bridge too far, but if you use 3delight it may work better.  That depends on how good the Daz Studio OBJ exporter is at writing the .mtl file, and obviously how good the Blender importer is at creating materials from the data provided.

    Oh, geez, you are absolutely right. I skipped that entire section on the materials library, because it wasn't relevant for my specific purpose. Sorry for spreading disinformation. I liked OBJ because it was simple and minimal, and I'm surprised that they muddied it up with something that has as many valid approaches to it as materials, and in such a way that the exporter and importer have to interpret things in a subjective way, and possibly answer that invitation to get it wrong.

    Blender's material node system is just too fun and too powerful, and the resources too good for me to not just re-texture everything in Blender, once just the geometry is imported, anyway.

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Do you guys know anything about this?
    http://www.onelvxe.com/material-pipeline/

    I don't mind having to set up the textures again in Blender after exporting from Studio, but being able to keep familiar PBR settings that we're used to in Iray would be very nice.

  • TheKDTheKD Posts: 1,439
    edited August 25

    Fixing normals in blender is super easy, tab into edit mode on the object, hit A to select all, then shift N.

    To check if normals are reversed, there is an arrow near two overlapping circles on the top right of blender 2.8, it pops out an overlay menu for the viewport, check the box next to face orientation. Any reversed normals will show a bright red color, while correct normals will be blue.

    Post edited by TheKD on
  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Thanks TheKD, will keep that in mind for when I finally get around to any editing.  :)

     

    BTW, does anyone happen to know if it's possible to stretch the camera view to the width or height of a window? I made a new window on my Layout tab for viewing the render alongside the preview, but the actual camera/rendered view only takes up a small part of the available space (shown). I've just read the camera section in the Blender manual and can't find anything about changing this, if possible. Thanks in advance.

     

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  • TheKDTheKD Posts: 1,439
    edited August 26

    On mine the mouse scroll wheel does it, control plus the arrows on numpad will pan the "render box" in that direction on the screen as well.

    Post edited by TheKD on
  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    The scroll wheel zooms the camera in the scene, I actually just want to increase the size of the actual camera rendering window so it fills more of that space. Numpad arrows just switch views for me, which I assume are the default settings because I never changed them.

  • bluejauntebluejaunte Posts: 1,345

    The scroll wheel zooms the camera in the scene, I actually just want to increase the size of the actual camera rendering window so it fills more of that space. Numpad arrows just switch views for me, which I assume are the default settings because I never changed them.

    Press N, in the View menu there's a checkbox 'Lock Camera to View'. Unchecked the scroll wheel should zoom the viewport instead of the camera.

  • TheKDTheKD Posts: 1,439

    Ah, good stuff. I might have unchecked that box by accident early on, and never noticed what it did lol

  • bluejauntebluejaunte Posts: 1,345
    TheKD said:

    Ah, good stuff. I might have unchecked that box by accident early on, and never noticed what it did lol

    You kinda need it to be checked in order to position the camera though. Otherwise if you rotate it'll throw you out of the camera view.

  • SnowSultanSnowSultan Posts: 2,330

    Thank you, that fixed it. Like Bluejaunte said, you normally need it, but I just turned it back on once the view filled the workspace. Much appreciated.

  • AllenArtAllenArt Posts: 4,463

    I actually keep it UNCHECKED until I want to adjust the camera to avoid constantly screwing up the camera ;).

    Laurie

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