The Wonderful Dynamic Puzzle of 3D (or, What's my Work Flow)

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  • StonemasonStonemason Posts: 950
    edited December 1969

    that's odd, I just downloaded for a closer look and the attached image shows what I get, with a before and after render

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  • icprncssicprncss Posts: 3,647
    edited December 1969

    Definitely don't use JPG, and certainly store your files in the native format of your image editor.

    TiFF is just one option and one of the best, but it will depends on what you are doing and looking for. When I did animation we used TGA because they are smaller files, while still retaining data very well (and other reasons). For years I have mostly used PNG as the quality is the same as TIFF or TGA, but file size is smaller. All three are lossless, but PNG and TGA support compression. I don't think TGA does transparencies though...PNG does. So TIFF is the strongest, but if you don't need layers you may have another option.

    The disadvantage of PNG is that it uses more CPU to save a file than the other formats because of its compression.

    If you need thousands of files for an animation file size may become a factor, I know it was for me!

    Using one of my own images here are the file size differences

    PSD file with 2 layers 20.8mb
    Tiff with 1 layer 21.7mb
    TGA 9.65mb
    PNG 3.59mb

    JPG max quality 1.2mb (remember max quality is still lossly!)
    JPG medium quality 167kb (set @ 30% in PS)

    Not a big deal when working with a single image, but it does add up. Not just hard drive space, but impacting speed of file reads if you are creating a video from an image sequence.

    Our printing house requires all files be tiff's. Especially those for 4 color offset.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    One of the great things about products here are that the PA's are often quick to respond, Stonemason being one of the better ones. I of course defer to his experience and assume there is some issue on my end as for the ambient lights. When I sort it out I will post what it was I found.

    The reason I chose his product in the first place was that it was such a good product. The other aspect of that particular demonstration is still valid notwithstanding any issues on my part re.. the lightset. Remember, the idea isn't really to focus so much on a particular product but rather how we can work with the products. I was able to produce a particular look I was after, not better or worse, just specific to some goal I had.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Ok so as a followup to "The Dark Star" and the ambient lights not applying for me. It ends up I was selecting the root node and trying to apply the material which didn't work (at least not for me.) Once I selected the top subcomponent, the one with the first bone titled 'The Floor' and applied the mats all was good. This is actually a good point because I've had this happen to me before. Perhaps it's that the root node doesn't actually contain geometry? I'm not sure, and perhaps it's something I should know... but I've never seen documentation on this particular aspect myself.

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    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    The result was this (basically the promo image and what Stonemason posted):

    Render time 28s vs over 20m for the first example.

    It is a very respectable image in a very short amount of time. If one compares the two side by side however one will see they achieve different results. This is with the same render engine. Neither is right or wrong ofc... just different.

    08.jpg
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  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 7,324
    edited December 1969

    It has some nice effects, and some very good interaction of light with surfaces.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Which? Both I'm guessing.. If you were referring to the original example, it was designed to be much closer to an unbiased render image at the added cost of time.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 7,324
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Which? Both I'm guessing.. If you were referring to the original example, it was designed to be much closer to an unbiased render image at the added cost of time.

    I meant specifically the last one, but yes, they're both excellent renders.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    Ok, that was the original one Stonemason included with the product and which only took 28s to render :)

    The different lighting will play out differently if one adds characters, robots, etc... also.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Here's an example using Neo Station. The camera was a poser camera and all poser cameras come in at 95mm focal length which is not usually what you want, but it did give a good starting point for the camera. After adjusting the focal length down to 65 and adjusting the position slightly it worked well. Lighting was again replaced with UE/UA Lights with a Distant Light for a moon. I purposely left the sample rate low as the grittiness of it worked for the image. If I was adding characters, I might have to adjust that. Again, it's not a finished piece, but it's a good starting point for working from.

    Render time was 9m15s

    01.jpg
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    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    01.jpg
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    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    Robert Melo posted a great topic of his work that is in keeping with the goal of this topic so I wanted to cross reference it for anyone who might stumble upon this thread and might not have seen it. It is here for anyone who might not have seen it. :)

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 7,324
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    Well, yes, you're not usually going to want to use Poser lights and cameras out of the box in DS. At the very least the shadow and DOF settings will be wrong (as you've found).

  • agent unawaresagent unawares Posts: 3,513
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    The streaks in the floor on the first one that look like distorted reflections, how did those turn up?
  • agent unawaresagent unawares Posts: 3,513
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    Well, yes, you're not usually going to want to use Poser lights and cameras out of the box in DS. At the very least the shadow and DOF settings will be wrong (as you've found).
    Which is what makes it so important for someone discussing workflow. Even if a render is done in Poser or with DS lights or in another program with the appropriate presets for such, tweaking things will almost certainly be necessary; I think this example just points out some of the more drastic differences moving away from 'default' presets can make. [I know you know this, I'm just saying.]

    Hey, Gedd. -pokes- Do mood lighting next. :lol:

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Gedd said:
    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    Well, yes, you're not usually going to want to use Poser lights and cameras out of the box in DS. At the very least the shadow and DOF settings will be wrong (as you've found).

    Yes, I've known about that... I was posting as a guide for others what I found after working with them. That is, the lights are sometimes useful for placement but pretty much need to be replaced with lights that will work in the render engine one is going to use, 3DLight (built in) in this case. Same goes for the cameras.. The can sometimes be used for placement, other times are useless.. I was planning on doing an expanded example of this in fact. As for the cameras specifically, what I was trying to show in this initial example is that the focal length is what makes them seem totally useless on initial inspection but is an easy fix in some cases.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Gedd said:
    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    The streaks in the floor on the first one that look like distorted reflections, how did those turn up?

    That is an excellent question. The lights basically consist of and UberEnvironment set for low ambient, around 35% HDR Studio (orange) with 4x settings. There is a distant light for a moon set to royal blue at around 100%. Due to the intensity of the color it isn't as bright as one might suspect (planned.) The florescent lights, tunnel signal lights and sign lights are UberArea lights with various settings similar to what was described in 'The Dark Star' example. The reflections and shadows on the floor are due to the lights but I didn't take the time to figure out exactly which for a couple reasons. One, I like the effect. Two, I know that strange reflections and shadows turn up in real life situations and that these are within a pattern one would see irl and sit trying to figure out exactly that.. what was causing them. And three, the lights were set up very similar to what an unbiased setup would be. Considering these three facts it was for me a happy accident of sorts because it adds an interesting subtle tension to the image, that query exactly that you made that one would make in a real life situation like that. If anyone thinks I'm smoking crack about that I won't begrudge them, it's just my take ;)

    Oh, and for me.. these are mood lights. All lights by definition should be shaping the mood of the environment. That is one of the primary functions of any good lighting imo, and one reason why no out of the box solution will fit all situations. Another being that blending different sources requires matching lighting, but that's another topic.

    Almost forgot to mention, the sign lights were converted to UA lights but those and 1/2 of the Tunnel Signal Lights I forgot to turn on (one has to turn them on and turn up as the default is off and 0% after converting to UberArea.) Converting to UA also blows out the diffuse and ambient channels for some reason so they have to be reset. Confusing at first, and a little bit of a pain but not too bad. The results are worth it. Also, the red, yellow and green signal lights wouldn't all be on at once, but I figured most people wouldn't notice that and it added color to the scene. If in a background, especially if the scene was populated, one can get away with this but there will always be those that notice it. Being there is no center of focus defining the image at the moment, it is more noticeable then it would be in a finished image.

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 7,324
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    Here was the out-of-the-box render for it using the poser lights. Note, there were no changes in the textures other then the ones converted to UberArea Lights. The differences are entirely due to lighting.

    Well, yes, you're not usually going to want to use Poser lights and cameras out of the box in DS. At the very least the shadow and DOF settings will be wrong (as you've found).


    Which is what makes it so important for someone discussing workflow. Even if a render is done in Poser or with DS lights or in another program with the appropriate presets for such, tweaking things will almost certainly be necessary; I think this example just points out some of the more drastic differences moving away from 'default' presets can make. [I know you know this, I'm just saying.]

    Hey, Gedd. -pokes- Do mood lighting next. :lol:

    Sure, that makes sense. It's easy for me to forget there are people who don't know that, but we have new people in all the time, and of course they aren't in the position of having had to learn "Poser lights load with shadows turned off" two years ago. :D


    We really need a more comprehensive orientation system than we've got, don't we.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    ...Sure, that makes sense. It's easy for me to forget there are people who don't know that, but we have new people in all the time, and of course they aren't in the position of having had to learn "Poser lights load with shadows turned off" two years ago. :D

    We really need a more comprehensive orientation system than we've got, don't we.

    Yes that is actually the intent of this thread, to act as a guide rather then be tutorials. There are so many gotchas, creative approaches etc.. involved in this that I thought taking the time to look at them could be very helpful to all of us at all levels. Of course that doesn't prohibit going into as much discussion as people would like on any given point or approach :)

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Roberto MeloRoberto Melo Posts: 496
    edited April 2013

    Hi Guys.

    First I'm sorry for my English translator.

    I use Daz Studio and Hexagon, to publish illustrations for didactic books.

    I face many problems. Daz Studio does not have a Render by measuring cm. And not a Render for quality DPI. All I make for publication in books has to be quality 300 DPI.

    The only way to know how many pixels to render, is opened a blank document in Photoshop by example, 21x16 cm, with quality 300.

    You will get a blank document of 6300X4800 pixels.

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    Post edited by Roberto Melo on
  • Roberto MeloRoberto Melo Posts: 496
    edited December 1969

    Impossible to render 6300X4800 pixels, this image below. Complex, very details, lights, bump, displacement, and still in TIF - My Daz Studio does not support.

    He uses all my CPU, and asks for more and more memory.

    Attacks Kernell Windows.

    My operating system closes the Daz Studio.

    Buy, powerful computer is the solution. But I can not, my computer is new, has 1 year and 10 months. Technology evolves very fast, but the programs are getting very heavy, the way they walk. Soon, I will just work to upgrade my computer.

    Wow, it is a frightening reality.

    To Conduct is illustration I did over 12 Renders, quality TIF, Render each had more than 120 MB's. All in some detail the complete picture. Then I had to put it together in Photoshop in 12 Layers. Could have been better, but did not support more advanced lights.

    Hugs.

    Beto.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    A lot of the older props that have Poser only lights and cameras need rework for the lights and cameras to work, but that's not always the case. Here is a good example. The Greek Bath set has a lot of cameras and lights which can pretty much be used out of the box. The cameras do need the focal length adjusted but in this view, the camera used was called 38mm... so guess what I set the camera to. Other then that, it is straight out of the box render. This is a nice older prop and worth the purchase, particularly if in the PC club.

    Note, the lights are standard DS lights, the render time was 15s.

    01.jpg
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  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 7,324
    edited December 1969

    Gedd said:
    A lot of the older props that have Poser only lights and cameras need rework for the lights and cameras to work, but that's not always the case. Here is a good example. The Greek Bath set has a lot of cameras and lights which can pretty much be used out of the box. The cameras do need the focal length adjusted but in this view, the camera used was called 38mm... so guess what I set the camera to. Other then that, it is straight out of the box render. This is a nice older prop and worth the purchase, particularly if in the PC club.

    Note, the lights are standard DS lights, the render time was 15s.

    It looks very flat to me. The water is okay.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    This was half of a two part. I got busy before I could put up the second. The idea with the first was to show that it had life in it still. If you notice, it has nice lighting along the base of the columns, in the grating, nice shading on the vase. But wait till I can post the second half. With not much work one can bump it up a bit.

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Ok, so this is the mesh we are working with. It's a bit old school but it has detail where we need it. It is the mesh ultimately that defines in many ways what you can do with your shaders and how efficient it will be. That is why good topology is important even in static meshes.

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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    With a little tweeking, we get this. Notice the water... not bad for 2 polys. and the detail in the columns and other areas allow for some displacement mapping. Note, I only worked with the texture maps that came with the prop, adjusting only lighting and shader properties. It did bump up the time though: 26m37s.

    04.jpg
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  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited December 1969

    This is of course not meant to be a work of art, but a proof of concept. Having said that, a background rendered in Bryce or Vue, and something in the foreground for interest and one could have a decent image. Could someone get a better image in less time, probably. The idea is to show what's possible. If anyone wants to redo any of the scenes I've done, or add their own feel free. This is meant to be an open forum and my feelings don't get hurt on things like that ;)

  • SickleYieldSickleYield Posts: 7,324
    edited December 1969

    Sorry about that, I understand now.


    One can really see the difference - and I'm not surprised at the render time (good water is expensive in any kind of lighting).

  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    I thought I'd post one more quick one just to point out some post. This was a quick lighting and brightness adjustment in Photoshop. If one is doing an image that they intend on doing post work on, it they might want to do a detailed but slightly flatter image then if they were not planning on doing post work on it. If one has all of the lighting baked into the final image it leaves less room to tweak the settings in post. That is just one way to work of course. Some people prefer to get the image as close as they can to the final image and then just tweak what is needed. It really comes down to whatever works for you. These are just quicky images but hopefully they are good enough to demonstrate the idea. Also, since this would not be the focal point in the image, it is not meant to be too out there.

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    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
  • Joe CotterJoe Cotter Posts: 3,234
    edited April 2013

    Sorry about that, I understand now.


    One can really see the difference - and I'm not surprised at the render time (good water is expensive in any kind of lighting).

    Yes, I could probably make it more efficient if I knew the ins and outs of the shader and render engine better. I'm still learning myself. I have a number of effects on the water to get it to look like that, some of them may be only using up computer cycles for not much benefit at this point. The stone also chewed through some time with the displacement.

    I'm pretty happy with the refraction and reflection levels though, especially considering it's only 2 polys. They came out well for my purposes. :)

    Post edited by Joe Cotter on
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