July 2016 New User 3D Art Contest “Portrait Rendering” – WIP Thread

barbultbarbult Posts: 10,322

New User's Contest - July 2016
Sponsored by DAZ 3D and Sedor

 

Sedor is offering 1 product to each winner in this month's contest. Only products that list Sedor as the only vendor are eligible prize selections.

Are you new to the 3D World? Are you at the beginning stages of learning 3D rendering? Have you been around for a little bit but feel you could benefit from some feedback or instruction? Have you been around awhile and would like to help other members start their creative journey? Well then come and join the fun as we host our newest contest...
 


"Portrait Rendering (Expressions and Lighting)"

This month's focus will be Portrait Rendering, with an emphasis on the character's expression and lighting. Portraits are the way we show off the unique aspects of each individual. Expressions should convey their personality. Good lighting will enhance your portrait and set the mood. Portraits don't have to look like yearbook headshots. Get creative, hone your skills, and have some fun in this months contest.

Edited July 3, 2016 to add this clarification:

A portrait is a representation of a person, group of people, or even a pet, that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. The focus of a portrait is usually the subject's face, although the entire body and the background or context may be included. Depth of Field is often used to blur the surrounding environment to draw the eye to the subject.

I will be checking in on the WIP thread as will the rest of the Community Volunteers to try and help with anything you may need, so feel free to ask questions.

Inspiration:

Portrait Tips and Examples:

6 Golden Rules of Portrait Photography
Tips for Realistic 3D Characters
Google Search - Portrait Expressions

Lighting:

Lighting Tips from the Masters
Portrait Lighting Patterns
Mastering Lighting in Blender (The first 25 minutes of the video are basic lighting theory and insights.)

Other Helpful Links:

When following tutorials, be cognizant of the different applications (Bryce, Daz Studio, Poser, Carrara Blender, etc.) and different render engines (3Delight, Iray, Reality, etc). Techniques for one may not apply directly to another. If you have some favorite portrait lighting and composition tips, please share them in this WIP thread.

Composition Golden Ratio helpers:
Bryce
DAZ Studio (Also, DS has a built in Rule of Thirds guide; just select Show Thirds Guide in the Viewport context menu)

Thirds Guide in Daz Studio

Lighting Tutorials:
Tutorials by Szark (Credit is given to Szark for this wonderful thread with links to many tutorials.)
6 Tips for Better Lighting - Blender Guru (Most is general lighting tips, not Blender specific)
Daz Studio Gia Character Promo Render Tutorial
Creating And Lighting A Scene With Iray In DAZ Studio
Dreamlight Lighting Video Tutorial (currently free in Daz Store)
Creating Eye Reflections with Reality Poser Edition Part 1
Creating Eye Reflections with Reality Poser Edition Part 2
Carrara Chapter 14: Setting Lights
Bryce Artist’s guide page 123

For a list of the current contest rules, please see this thread : Contest Rules.
To enter the contest, please post your completed image to the Entry Thread.
 


For those veterans of the forums that would like to help, because this contest is designed for the beginner to learn from, we will be randomly selecting posts offering helpful tips and/or critiques to receive a special voucher as well so whether you are a seasoned artist or an aspiring one, there is fun for everyone!

Closing Date: July 31, 2016

Post edited by barbult on
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Comments

  • Here's what I'm kicking around.

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  • barbultbarbult Posts: 10,322

    Here's what I'm kicking around.

    Good start! That looks like an interesting character. I think the darkness of the whole lower half and the extra dark areas on the sides detract from that interesting character. How about cropping to just the upper portion of the character? I think focusing on the interesting illuminated facial area would be more compelling. What do you think? I'd really like a better look at that face.

  • Here we go with version b. Brought the camera closer and used the bloom filter to give his blade more of a lightsaber look.

    I had better try to get some rest for the night. Have work in the morning, but I'll try to get on long enough to see if I've receaved feedback so I can think about things during the day.

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  • isidornisidorn Posts: 1,460

    Shinji, the bloom filter seems to give a good lightsaber look, but unfortunately washes out the character's face, so it probably needs some tweaking. If it's not possible to get the face back without losing the effect on the lightsaber, perhaps it can be solved by splitting the render up in two, with different bloom settings, and then combine them.

  • isidornisidorn Posts: 1,460
    edited July 2016

    This month I'm pretty sure I will have time to join you all in the contest! Starting with reading the first link in the intro post I come across this:

    Make sure male subjects don’t strike a feminine pose

    Then I knew what had to be done.

    This is just a first draft. I think his right hand is a little inside the head so the pose definitely needs work and the background and lights will be looked over too.

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  • isidorn said:

    This month I'm pretty sure I will have time to join you all in the contest! Starting with reading the first link in the intro post I come across this:

    Make sure male subjects don’t strike a feminine pose

    Then I knew what had to be done.

    This is hilarious! That specific caption caught my attention as well (mostly because I couldn't tell if the portraits in the document were meant to be good or bad examples of what they were talking about, or a mix of both?). Great Concept!

  • zax797zax797 Posts: 15

    Just a Concept, bouncing around a couple others.

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  • MN-150374MN-150374 Posts: 922

    There is an excellent set of free HDRIs for portrait rendering: http://trrazor.deviantart.com/art/Redspec-TGX-Official-HDR-Pack-01-453173341

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 3,561
    isidorn said:

    This month I'm pretty sure I will have time to join you all in the contest! Starting with reading the first link in the intro post I come across this:

    Make sure male subjects don’t strike a feminine pose

    Then I knew what had to be done.

    This is just a first draft. I think his right hand is a little inside the head so the pose definitely needs work and the background and lights will be looked over too.

    Haha, Isi, this need to be made!

    Wow, this is day 2 in July and there are already three WIPs going! Never has a New user contest started this early.

  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,379
    isidorn said:

    This month I'm pretty sure I will have time to join you all in the contest! Starting with reading the first link in the intro post I come across this:

    Make sure male subjects don’t strike a feminine pose

    Then I knew what had to be done.

    This is just a first draft. I think his right hand is a little inside the head so the pose definitely needs work and the background and lights will be looked over too.

    Okay, now that I've stopped laughing!    Okay, I still needed a minute.  Yes, you definitely need to do THAT!  

    Shinji - I agree with Isidorn about the bloom.  It does tend to take over.  I might also suggest playing with your camera angles a little more.  Looks like a nice start.

    Zax - the posing on the hand needs a lot of work.  Nice start.  It's a little hard to really see what you've got going on with all the grain, but it looks good for a starting WIP.  

    Now, I'm trying to figure out what I'm doing this month.  Still thinking about it, but I do have some ideas.  I'll think some more after I get some sleep as I've been up since 3 am and I'm definitely ready for a nap!  Gees, guys, it's only the second day and the pressure is already on!  

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,477
    edited July 2016

    Great start everyone.

    If anyone is looking for a background image there are lots of free one available here in the Art Forums.

    Post edited by Kismet2012 on
  • isidorn said:

    Shinji, the bloom filter seems to give a good lightsaber look, but unfortunately washes out the character's face, so it probably needs some tweaking. If it's not possible to get the face back without losing the effect on the lightsaber, perhaps it can be solved by splitting the render up in two, with different bloom settings, and then combine them.

    I hear that isidorn, I don't have that much experiance using the bloom filter and it was almost midnight when I rendered and posted that one. I'll have to hold off on trying to mess with things until I get back from work thou, with my luck I'll miss the bus that I'm aiming to catch.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 10,322
    isidorn said:

    This month I'm pretty sure I will have time to join you all in the contest! Starting with reading the first link in the intro post I come across this:

    Make sure male subjects don’t strike a feminine pose

    Then I knew what had to be done.

    This is just a first draft. I think his right hand is a little inside the head so the pose definitely needs work and the background and lights will be looked over too.

    OMG! laughI'm encouraged to see that people are reading the linked materials and getting inspiration! You need to finish this one, for sure. He has the elements requested for this competition - captivating expression and lighting. Nobody will be bored by this entry!

    The only tiny suggestion that I would offer is to have a little less blank space at the bottom and a little more at the top. He seems a little cramped at the top, to me.

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 10,322
    edited July 2016

    I'm not entering the contest, but I'm trying to learn and improve my skills, too. All critiques and suggestions are welcome. Here is my attempt at "Rule of Thirds" (eye on her left, our right), and also "Catchlights" and "Loop Lighting" as described in Portrait Lighting Patterns. I'm not 100% satisfied with the pose. I was going for looking up at the camera with "why are you taking my picture?" expression. What I actually struggled with more than anything else was the hair. I must have tried a dozen adjustments to get it looking real and finally used UHT2 and settled for this. I kind of forgot to even think about the background. The background is just the studio HDRI that I used. The background could be improved, too.

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  • barbultbarbult Posts: 10,322

    Here we go with version b. Brought the camera closer and used the bloom filter to give his blade more of a lightsaber look.

    I had better try to get some rest for the night. Have work in the morning, but I'll try to get on long enough to see if I've receaved feedback so I can think about things during the day.

    Bloom is hard to get right - at least for me. Here is some documentation, but I still find bloom settings hard to understand and control. I've never seen any bloom presets for sale or posted in the forum. Does anybody have any Iray bloom tips to share?

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,477
    barbult said:

    I'm not entering the contest, but I'm trying to learn and improve my skills, too. All critiques and suggestions are welcome. Here is my attempt at "Rule of Thirds" (eye on her left, our right), and also "Catchlights" and "Loop Lighting" as described in Portrait Lighting Patterns. I'm not 100% satisfied with the pose. I was going for looking up at the camera with "why are you taking my picture?" expression. What I actually struggled with more than anything else was the hair. I must have tried a dozen adjustments to get it looking real and finally used UHT2 and settled for this. I kind of forgot to even think about the background. The background is just the studio HDRI that I used. The background could be improved, too.

    Her expression is really close.  Maybe purse her lips very slightly.

    As for her hair it seems to be missing highlights.  It looks all one shade.  Perhaps try playing with the UHT2 and change some of the hair to either a shade darker or lighter than the rest.

    A darker background might also help her pop.  She isn't standing out from the background much at the moment.

    My eyes are drawn right to hers.  And I think the expression you have in her eyes is perfect. 

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 11,424
    edited July 2016

    Just trying this one out. 

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  • Version c. Made a change to the settings on the blade itself so the light wasn't washing out the face.

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  • Babalar1Babalar1 Posts: 71
    edited July 2016

    Jumping in with my first 3dlight project in a long while.  This is the first draft so just trying to set up the pose and layout.  It can use lots of fixes...  eyes, mouth, hair etc but the overall affect is coming through I think.  Maybe it would be fun to learn to make godrays for the light coming through the window.   

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  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,121

    Any reason a portrait can't have more than one subject? No... right?

  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,477

    Just trying this one out. 

    When I first saw the 2nd image I thought you had changed the background but I see you did some post work.  It makes a huge difference.  I was going to suggest a rim light or something to help bring her out from the background but the post work brings the focus right to her face. 

    Love her eyes and expression.

     

  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,379

    Any reason a portrait can't have more than one subject? No... right?

    Gee, I hope this is okay.  One of my ideas for a portrait involves more than one person. 

  • barbultbarbult Posts: 10,322

    Any reason a portrait can't have more than one subject? No... right?

    evilded777 brings up a good question about multiple people in a portrait. Each month we select a topic for the contest, so new users can focus their learning on a particular type of image. So, let's add some clarification on what we mean by "portrait" for this month's contest. How about this:

    A portrait is a representation of a person, group of people, or even a pet, that displays the expression, personality, and mood of the subject. The focus of a portrait is usually the subject's face, although the entire body and the background or context may be included. Depth of Field is often used to blur the surrounding environment to draw the eye to the subject.

    All that said, we don't want to stifle anybody's creativity. The interpretation of "portrait" has changed over the years. Who knows, you may just invent the next big thing in portraiture! The important thing is to have fun and work on your skills.

  • DefenistratDefenistrat Posts: 68
    edited July 2016

    So I have a seperate toon image I am working on that is going to be my main submission, but I really enjoy portraits, and thought that this would be a good opportunity to do an Iray render.

    So this image, if I do say so myself, looks fairly good. I'm happy with the pose, the colors (even though they are a little washed out). I spent forever getting the hair to look half-way decent (it's actually two instances of flirty hair, each with different parts hidden), and the position of the arm in the front (the rest is just a free pose from Zeddicuss). Only problem is.... I was trying to make a night scene!

    Anyway, I let this render finish after I was toying with the settings cause it looks kind of cool. But I kind of don't know what I am doing. I watched a few videos, and looked up some research on photometric lighting... but all I get is that is a physics based lighting, rather than the traditional 3D image lighting. But it seems that everybody is doing something different, and I imagine that none of the approaches are actually "wrong."

    So if I could ask a couple of clarifying questions:

    1. If I use an HDRI map, am I basically giving up control of my lighting to the map? It seems that if I add lights when I am using an environment map, they are being ignored.

    2. I set a direction light to be the sun node in "Sun and Sky" mode... and all I get is a black image. This isn't my first time toying with Iray, but everything I do I feel like I am giving up control of my lighting, shouldn't the sun node be... well... my main source of light?

     

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  • Kismet2012Kismet2012 Posts: 3,477

    So I have a seperate toon image I am working on that is going to be my main submission, but I really enjoy portraits, and thought that this would be a good opportunity to do an Iray render.

    So this image, if I do say so myself, looks fairly good. I'm happy with the pose, the colors (even though they are a little washed out). I spent forever getting the hair to look half-way decent (it's actually two instances of flirty hair, each with different parts hidden), and the position of the arm in the front (the rest is just a free pose from Zeddicuss). Only problem is.... I was trying to make a night scene!

    Anyway, I let this render finish after I was toying with the settings cause it looks kind of cool. But I kind of don't know what I am doing. I watched a few videos, and looked up some research on photometric lighting... but all I get is that is a physics based lighting, rather than the traditional 3D image lighting. But it seems that everybody is doing something different, and I imagine that none of the approaches are actually "wrong."

    So if I could ask a couple of clarifying questions:

    1. If I use an HDRI map, am I basically giving up control of my lighting to the map? It seems that if I add lights when I am using an environment map, they are being ignored.

    2. I set a direction light to be the sun node in "Sun and Sky" mode... and all I get is a black image. This isn't my first time toying with Iray, but everything I do I feel like I am giving up control of my lighting, shouldn't the sun node be... well... my main source of light?

     

    I am no expert on iray...and I am still trying to figure out HDRI maps myself. 

    SickleYield has a very good video tutorial on using Outdoor Lighting and Skin Settings here.  She also has a video tutorial on Lighting and Tone Mapping in Iray that might be helpful here.

    Hopefully 1 of these will be of help to you.

     

     

  • Babalar1Babalar1 Posts: 71
    edited July 2016

    Shinji Ikari:   I like your expression very intense.    Ice Dragon:  Beautiful skin and colors.    Defenistrat:  Great pose and design I'd give answers to your ?'s but my expertise is limited in the tech side of things.    Isadorn:  Very femenine .. or masculane lol    zax797:  An excellent start.   Barbult:  If you go for shinier hair, I'd be interested in how you got it that way. 

    My  latest progress.  fixed eyes and other tweeks.   changed point light color in front of girls face.  Been looking for a youtube video from way back that tackled the volumetric shader (or something like that) for dust in the lighting but can't find it anywhere.   Darn I really wanted to try that affect out.  Anyone know a good link (with video if possible).

     

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  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,379
    edited July 2016

     

    So if I could ask a couple of clarifying questions:

    1. If I use an HDRI map, am I basically giving up control of my lighting to the map? It seems that if I add lights when I am using an environment map, they are being ignored.

    2. I set a direction light to be the sun node in "Sun and Sky" mode... and all I get is a black image. This isn't my first time toying with Iray, but everything I do I feel like I am giving up control of my lighting, shouldn't the sun node be... well... my main source of light?

     

    Not all HDRI maps are built the same and some are better than others when it comes to good lighting.  It's a matter of trial and error for the most part.  The washed out colors might be helped with a few adjustments in Tone Mapping under your Render Settings.  Gamma and Saturation settings are usually the culprit for that washed out effect if you played with those settings.  Without knowing what your current settings are, I doubt I could help.  I'm still learning a lot of that stuff, too, but I or someone else might be able to offer some suggestions if you show a print screen of your tone mapping settings.  However, usually going up in the settings makes things a little softer and going down increases or intensifies the color.  Crush Blacks and Burn Highlights can also affect how the colors look.  You can use other lights in a scene besides HDRI.  Make sure your Dome is set for both Dome and Scene.  I believe the default is Dome Only and you need both Dome and Scene if you are using the HDRI and scene lights.  Make sure that you turn off the Headlamp on your camera, too, as this added light can really mess up your lighting and give you effects you don't intend.  I do like the pose and camera angle.

    As for Sun and Sky mode, I haven't used it much, but from what I can tell, that mode is ONLY Sun & Sky, no other lights.  That mode does seem to completely take over the whole show and you need to change things around by changing the time of day, the date, and longitude and latitude to make any real difference.  I believe one of the PAs had a product that used the power of Sun & Sky effectively, but I don't have it.  A tutorial about using that mode effectively would be nice, but I haven't seen one yet.  Maybe Sickleyield will tackle it at some point in the future.  Some people find it useful.  Like I said I haven't played with it much.  My preferred lighting is the use of HDRIs and Scene lights.

     

     

    noseeum said:

     

    My  latest progress.  fixed eyes and other tweeks.   changed point light color in front of girls face.  Been looking for a youtube video from way back that tackled the volumetric shader (or something like that) for dust in the lighting but can't find it anywhere.   Darn I really wanted to try that affect out.  Anyone know a good link (with video if possible).

     

    It's a really easy trick and Sickleyield, that goddess of all things when it comes to Iray tutorials, has an excellent tutorial on doing exactly that on her YouTube channel.

     

    Just trying this one out. 

     

    Sonja, I love this.  I love the intensity of color on her eyes in the first version which seems to have gotten toned down a little in the postworked version.  Is there anyway to tone it back a little so that her eyes are as intense in color as in the first one and still have the great parts of the second?  It looks like a great start and I love her expression and the lighting.  Very nice.

     

    Version c. Made a change to the settings on the blade itself so the light wasn't washing out the face.

    Shinji - The face looks much better with the bloom toned down.  It seems like it could use a few lights to highlight the figure more.  It's very monochromatic and your figure seems to wash into the background and not stand out.  Maybe some kind of light hitting the back of his head and shoulders?

    Okay, so I've been playing with some characters in recent weeks for a story idea I had for a children's book.  Mostly, I've just been trying to create my own characters using the Little Ones morphs.  You can use G3 morph dials on them and it's been interesting trying to create new characters because the morph dials don't work exactly like they do on a normal G3 figure.  I think there might be some hidden controls in there to prevent the user from completely breaking the Little Ones stylist appeal.  Which is a good thing because I really like the characters.  So, my story revolves around two best friends and I thought I'd do a portrait with my current version of their morphs because I haven't actually done any real renders with them, just test renders.  So, here are best friends, Makenna and Toby, who have lived next door to each other the entirety of the young lives and have become inseparable getting into all kinds of trouble much to their parents' dismay.  I still have a lot of work to do as this is just a test render of what I've done with posing so far.  Still need to work on things like background and possibly different lighting.  It's just a start.

     

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  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 11,424

    Thank you Kismet.  The effect I was going for was a more romantic style than what I usually do.

    KM I think it will be easy enough to bring the eyes out a bit in the finished piece.  There is still a tiny bit of the overlay on the entire figure so I can remove a bit more of that off the eyes and see what happens.

    Your kids are super cute!  Are you going to have the leaning against each other?  The only thing that I am really noticing is the little girl's right eye looks like it is too far over compared to the left.  Just a tiny bit but it looks a off.

     

    Noseeum thank you.    I like the girls pose it looks very natural, not stiff or awkward

    Definistrat I like the way you have her framed in between the two doorways on two different levels.  Nicely done.  As far as the lighting goes, I am still on a steep learning curve myself.  I know if you dont' have dome and scene on it will completely ignore any scene lights. 

    Isidorn - Priceless!

    Shinji, I like the red glow on his face but I agree he needs something to separate him from the background

  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 7,379

    Thank you Kismet.  The effect I was going for was a more romantic style than what I usually do.

    KM I think it will be easy enough to bring the eyes out a bit in the finished piece.  There is still a tiny bit of the overlay on the entire figure so I can remove a bit more of that off the eyes and see what happens.

    That's good.  You're much better at postwork than I am so I had a feeling that you could manage to pull that off.

    Your kids are super cute!  Are you going to have the leaning against each other?  The only thing that I am really noticing is the little girl's right eye looks like it is too far over compared to the left.  Just a tiny bit but it looks a off.

     

    I'm trying to get them there, but their heads are so big, it's a little tricky, but, yeah, that's the idea.  I still have to play with their poses some more to get them there.  I agree about the eye.  Part of the problem with using the up/down and side/side pose controls with some characters.  I need to make some adjustments with the individual eyes to get it exactly right.  Thanks, I think they are cute, too.  It's been fun trying to get them to look different than the original morphs yet keep the stylized effect that 3D Universe created which I loved so much when I got them.  ​

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 11,424

    Thank you Kismet.  The effect I was going for was a more romantic style than what I usually do.

    KM I think it will be easy enough to bring the eyes out a bit in the finished piece.  There is still a tiny bit of the overlay on the entire figure so I can remove a bit more of that off the eyes and see what happens.

    That's good.  You're much better at postwork than I am so I had a feeling that you could manage to pull that off.

    Your kids are super cute!  Are you going to have the leaning against each other?  The only thing that I am really noticing is the little girl's right eye looks like it is too far over compared to the left.  Just a tiny bit but it looks a off.

     

    I'm trying to get them there, but their heads are so big, it's a little tricky, but, yeah, that's the idea.  I still have to play with their poses some more to get them there.  I agree about the eye.  Part of the problem with using the up/down and side/side pose controls with some characters.  I need to make some adjustments with the individual eyes to get it exactly right.  Thanks, I think they are cute, too.  It's been fun trying to get them to look different than the original morphs yet keep the stylized effect that 3D Universe created which I loved so much when I got them.  ​

    I know I have sat here mumbling 'tricksy tricksy" under my breath for an hour or more trying to get things just right lol. They really are cute.  I don't do kids much but I like these two.

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