Tutorial Uber Area Lighting: The Basics

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  • TotteTotte Posts: 11,548
    edited December 1969

    Some useful stuff here Szark. I've been using area light shaders for lights but they have a lot of options that is not always very clear (and I always have too little time to test them all.

    Szark 1 - Area Light Mysteries 0

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Kyoto Kid and Totte

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Ok a follow up to this about Point Lights is now live http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/23911/

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    ...thank you very much. Bookmarked.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    You are most welcome Kyoto Kid

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited December 1969

    ...yeah, don't have the zloty's for the UberPoint/Spot lights ATM, but find the linear point lights to be incredibly useful. I like the section on making gels for them, Have to play with that.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Yeah it wasn't so much an advert for Uber Lights I just had to mention what they have different.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited June 2013

    ...no prob. Actually have the full Ubersurface bundle on the wishlist, just waiting for Omnifreaker's store to show up on one of those 4 hr 60% off sales.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    I am a fan of his products though just not his documentation. All you really need are spots and points as the new SSS shader base will do instead of Uber Surface 2, SSS wise. Uber Surface the one we get in Daz Studio will do for metals and glass etc.

  • kyoto kidkyoto kid Posts: 33,976
    edited June 2013

    ..what about the Area and Soft Lights? Supposedly in the product description for the Area Lights, the actual plugin has more features than the built in one included with 4.6.

    Post edited by kyoto kid on
  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Soft lights are good but I must admit I haven't gotten to grips with them yet.

    As for Area Lights...lol I had no idea these ones were different..I have now put those in my wishlist..I love the extra functions. Thx for educating me Kyoto.

  • Swawa3DSwawa3D Posts: 231
    edited December 1969

    Thanks a lot for this, it was very helpful! I just took notes so far, did not have a chance to experiment but I can already see how useful this info will be. I also bookmarked your other tutorials.

    I'm looking at the UberLightingBundle. It looks like you now recommend the Spot, Point & Area lights from that set. I think those HDRIs are included free with DS and there is no point in UE since we have UE2 for free, right? So I guess it's best to just get those 3 lights separately to save $10. I'm curious as to what the OmArea lights can do that the normal Area lights cant?

    Also does anyone know if UberHair, SkyGen or ReLight are useful? I figure I can just do the ReLight stuff manually. SkyGen looks like it might be good just for IBL but I'd prefer a sky generator that creates nice skies to render in the background as well.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Swawa3D. Yes that is correct UE2 will be fine. better IMHO when you use the fix http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/18998/ on UE2.

    Area Light well it looks like we can have double sided illumination and control spread and shadow softness more, by the looks of the Wiki.

    SkyGen, don't use it sorry.

    Relight will only work for DS3

    Uber Hair now that I have. Yes it does what Uber Surface does but for me convenience says it all.

  • Swawa3DSwawa3D Posts: 231
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Thanks Swawa3D. Yes that is correct UE2 will be fine. better IMHO when you use the fix http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/18998/ on UE2.

    Area Light well it looks like we can have double sided illumination and control spread and shadow softness more, by the looks of the Wiki.

    SkyGen, don't use it sorry.

    Relight will only work for DS3

    Uber Hair now that I have. Yes it does what Uber Surface does but for me convenience says it all.

    Thanks for the additional info.

    As for the UberArea vs the omArea, I think UberArea could have the same effect as the double sided illumination with the use of geometry shell? Also according to the omnifreaker wiki omArea is limited to a rectangle and is a cheat that only provides area-like shadows? I don't really get much from his documentation but omArea seems inferior in most ways except it may have more control over spread & shadow softness, which might make it worth getting just for that.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Not too sure on the Geometry Shell but to get double sided but you could use two area light panels back to back. ;) Yeah it does look as though it is just a rectangle and nothing else and not even a surface based light either. I never get much from his documentation, a pet peeve of mine so at this stage I am not sure about needing it.

  • Swawa3DSwawa3D Posts: 231
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    Not too sure on the Geometry Shell but to get double sided but you could use two area light panels back to back. ;) Yeah it does look as though it is just a rectangle and nothing else and not even a surface based light either. I never get much from his documentation, a pet peeve of mine so at this stage I am not sure about needing it.

    I don't think that's just a pet peeve of yours, I heard a lot of people complain about the omnifreaker documentation. Your guide is so much more informative & detailed, I may have missed key features of the area light without it. Thanks again.

    Yeah I think I can skip the omArea. Just get the Spot & Point lights, maybe look into the hair and soft lights. Probably wait for a sale since I'm so far behind on mastering everything I already own.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    I would say get the spots and points when you can. They realy are excellent products. But I would hold off on the others until you learn more. I wish I had learnt more before buying a lot of products.

    It does make me happy seeing others getting something out of these tutorials I make. It seems more and more people want me to finish an Uber Surface tut I said I would do. I wish I could but with this computer I am finding it hard going and there is a lot to cover. I have every intention of doing it it's just a matter of when I can get a new PC.

  • Swawa3DSwawa3D Posts: 231
    edited December 1969

    Szark said:
    I would say get the spots and points when you can. They realy are excellent products. But I would hold off on the others until you learn more. I wish I had learnt more before buying a lot of products.

    It does make me happy seeing others getting something out of these tutorials I make. It seems more and more people want me to finish an Uber Surface tut I said I would do. I wish I could but with this computer I am finding it hard going and there is a lot to cover. I have every intention of doing it it's just a matter of when I can get a new PC.

    Yeah I bought way too much stuff too fast, feel like I may never use it all, trying to stay away from the Genesis 2 stuff. Any tutorial from you would be great but I though UberSurface is less illusive than some of omnifreakers other products. I also think the new subsurface shaders replace it for a lot of things but I do need more practice with UberSurface for the anisotropic and stuff. I think it may be better with metal and hair, etc.

    I saw your dA journal, that sucks your PC died. I really struggle with my PC that is over 5 years old. Makes it hard to do multiple figures or detailed landscapes. Decimator helps a little. Sounds like you might have it rougher than me though. I can't wait to get a new one as soon as I can afford it. I wish you luck as well.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Thanks yeah for a while I was only working with one 2GB RAM module as the other slot went bye bye then the motherboard went pop. Now I have a realy old 2GB machine that I am borrowing. But at least I can still make images with this one using DS3A and 4.6 for small stuff.

    I agree that the new SSS shader base does the job of Uber Surface and probably better. I say probably as I can't test as 4.6 will crash when using the shader but from what I have seen and read it does a better job. Also yes I agree the Uber Surface will be good for hair, metal and glass. And funny you should mention metal as I have a render cooking in DS3A now, using Uber Surface for metal using Anisotropic on Stonemason Mech 2012 Enforcer and lit with two area light discs and UE2. The render has been going for 24 hours now and only at 69%. But I am using UE2 set to IDL with stupid high quality settings and raytraced reflections so I am not surprised. Looks good though, well I think so. :) I will be posting it tomorrow. In fact every surface in the scene has Uber Surface applied.

    As for SSS info the PDF that comes with the new SSS shader is absolutly great for the info contained, so I will probably gloss over that part of Uber Surafce SSS functions.

  • Swawa3DSwawa3D Posts: 231
    edited December 1969

    Yeah the subsurface documentation is excellent and helped me to understand shaders better in general. Also learned a lot from the following forum threads which you were also a part of:

    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/22193/
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/22952/

    Look forward to seeing your render.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    LOL Yeah I am still learning but recently with help from others here and on DA I had gotten it all straight in my head just as the new SSS shader base came out, and with me asking questions I gained a better insight. Which came out when I did my last two monster renders using Uber Surface 1. I just went in set up the channels and rendered a test, tweaked a little bits and I was done very quickly. Same thing with this render that is cooking. one day setting up the scene and materails, for me that is super fast. I normally spend two weeks or more on one image.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    I got a PM today asking about Specular highlights when using Area Lighting.

    The nature of both Area and Environment lighting in Daz Studio is that both are called Diffuse Light which by their nature being surface based lights is that the Specular highlights will always be weaker than using a Distant, Spot or Point light. So if you are using Area or Enviroment lighting and you want stronger highlights then adding a further light/s like Distants or Spots set to Specular light only will help in that regard.

  • kitakoredazkitakoredaz Posts: 3,526
    edited December 1969

    Thank you,,,,,^^;

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    My pleasure kitakoredaz

  • IceEmpressIceEmpress Posts: 639
    edited December 1969

    So, are you telling me that the reason default UE lights (including the neon light) turn all the models in my scene into silhouettes is because the normals on everything is inverted?! Why is this? And why wouldn't Omnifreaker have fixed this from the getgo?

    Also, do I have to flip the normals on every object in my scene, or just the object emitting the light? This is really hard to understand.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Not sure how you came to these conclusions. The flipping normals I refered to was when using a default Daz Studio Spehere Primative as a light source in which it has the normals facing outward at defualt. So if you wnated the light to go inward then the normals would need flipping.

    All Area Light presets have correct normals. All Daz Studio content have the normals the right way.

    You only have to flip normals for a an object that is being used as a light source and this is only the maker of the said object didn't flip them from the get go. Again not common from DAZ3D store products.

    As for the Uber Area Light Neon Preset (not UE) what exactly did you do. Take a deep breathe, chill and take me through the process.

    As you can see below it is working in DS4.6.

    neon.jpg
    424 x 600 - 203K
  • IceEmpressIceEmpress Posts: 639
    edited December 1969

    need to fix new cape
    Not sure how you came to these conclusions.
    I had read about the normals thing in other topics as well. It was my understanding that this was what they were saying, though admittedly I found it pretty confusing..

    As for the Uber Area Light Neon Preset (not UE) what exactly did you do. Take a deep breathe, chill and take me through the process.
    I loaded an object, then loaded the neon light. That's literally all I did. The light glows, but any object in the scene is black.

  • Swawa3DSwawa3D Posts: 231
    edited December 1969

    opal42987 said:
    need to fix new cape
    Not sure how you came to these conclusions.
    I had read about the normals thing in other topics as well. It was my understanding that this was what they were saying, though admittedly I found it pretty confusing..

    As for the Uber Area Light Neon Preset (not UE) what exactly did you do. Take a deep breathe, chill and take me through the process.
    I loaded an object, then loaded the neon light. That's literally all I did. The light glows, but any object in the scene is black.

    The neon light is subtle by default, it will not light up the entire scene. It only lights up things a little bit that are very close to it. You can increase the neon light intensity so that it lights up a lot more or add additional lights to the scene. You also will probably want to increase the neon light samples to reduce noise.

  • SzarkSzark Posts: 10,633
    edited December 1969

    Well the info I provide is complete so it will be down to what you did. As Swawa3D said above it all depends on where you placed the object and where you placed the Neon Light.

  • TotteTotte Posts: 11,548
    edited December 1969

    Szark - the issues with phantom lights showing in mirrors, that you solved by setting opacity to zero is maybe something to add here too.

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