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Sunday, 19 October 2014

Notes On My Poser 'Enlightenment'...

Some time back in June (I think?) everything suddenly seemed to come together for the first time, and the pictures I was creating with Poser and DAZ Studio took a huge leap upward in quality. Since then I've been mainly using Poser 9 (even though I have DAZ Studio 4 Pro, and recently bought Poser Pro 2014) and rendering in Poser's native Firefly (even though I also bought Reality for Poser and DAZ Studio).

Lighting: using just two lights (a Diffuse IBL for global/environmental light, and an Infinite for the sun) was the starting point - my worldball freebie uses this lighting setting with a corresponding environment backdrop

Shadows: As important (and possibly moreso) than lighting! I usually turn shadows on for the Infinite (to get the shadows cast by the sun) - sometimes I use depth-mapped, sometimes ray-traced, and I play with the values for each individual picture.

But for me Ambient Occlusion (AO) was the key. I always use it for my Diffuse IBL now (and often for the Infinite as well). I use rather different settings from the default as my starting point:

Ambient Occlusion strength for each light = 1.0

Scene AO options:
- Max distance = 1.0 (I use poser units, so this is 8 feet)
- Min bias = 0.0002
- Samples = 3 (default value)
- Calculate in light (I leave this unchecked)

If I get odd black marks along the mesh lines when I render this is an indication that the min bias is set too low, so I increase it as necessary till they disappear.

Focus Blur: Although it's possible (and quite easy) to set up focus blur in Poser it really increases the render time, I'm not keen on the results, and if the results aren't right I have to re-render. I managed to find the GIMP 'Focus Blur' plugin, and in conjunction with a depth-map render of the scene this allows me to play as much as I want with focus blur in postwork.

Atmosphere: I've only really just started playing with this. Till now I've used postwork...


{Edit 19th October 2014: regarding Atmosphere - Connatic's notes in the "Visible Glowing Lights" thread here http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/showthread.php?thread_id=2884387 were the key I needed. I've now got those settings saved as an MT5 for the Atmosphere.}

OBJ Morph Targets, INJ/REM Poses, And Snarling Tigers

I've recently discovered a few rather nice Victoria face morphs in OBJ format. I know how to load an OBJ as a Morph Target in Poser 6+, and I know about PMD and INJ/REM poses. So I did a bit of searching today a came up with a couple of  quick guides to the twiddly bit that goes between them - how to convert OBJ MTs to PMDs or INJ/REM poses:

" Poser 6 PMD Injection" - http://www.nerd3d.com/modules.php?name=Content&pa=showpage&pid=13

"How to Make INJ & REM Poses for Poser Custom Character Face Morphs" - http://www.acrionx.com/3d_modelling_poser_tutorials/?pg=how_to_make_INJ_REM_Pose_files_for_Poser_custom_character_face_morphs

I've only tried the INJ/REM version - the instructions are very clear and straightforward. The only thing it doesn't really explain is why it uses 'PBMCC_01'...

(I've also been playing with the DAZ Milllennium Big Cat's head in Blender trying to create a "Proper Tiger Snarl" morph. I've been getting some promising results. And now I know how I'll get that back into the Mil Big Cat when I've finished it)

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My First Website Update For Over A Year

If you've been looking at the galleries at Renderosity, ShareCG, DeviantArt, Hivewire3D or DAZ3D then you might have seen that I now have quite a large number of pictures uploaded (less at DAZ and Hivewire as they have a PG-13 policy and many (most?) of my pictures include nudity and/or violence). This has inspired me to do something about the 'Gallery' on my website - so here's a link to the gallery page of my website and here's a screenshot...


As anybody who's ever looked at my website knows I don't like the common, normal, popular, or whatever you like to call it way that websites look...

Have you ever watched "Life Of Brian" - you know, the Monty Python film? Remember the scene where the huge crowd are gathered outside his window and he's telling them "You're all individuals." and they all reply in unison, "Yes, we're all individuals." - except for one guy who pipes up with "I'm not."

He's one of my heroes!