Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Glorious skin tones? We wanted glorious skin tones? Done! Thank you, Lux!

click to see all images at large size...

If you've been following this blog for any length of time, you'll know I've been hot on the trail of glorious, realistic, luminous human skin tones for ... well some time now. And if you would care to click on the above, you'll see that I think we can stamp this project "done and dusted" ... and thank you, Lux! He's a face/body morph designed by me (the skinmap is Mario, by Tosca; the hair is Spartacos by SAV; and costume, or what there is of it, is the SickleYield Loin Cloth), but if I'd rendered this guy last week, the best I could have done, and uploaded, and shown you would have been this:

There you go -- same guy, same scene, same everything, and raytraced in 3DLight, which is native to DAZ Studio. It's a very nice render, but there's a dimension missing, if you're wanting the skin tones I've been rabbiting on about for so long. But --

Now we're cooking. The penny is really starting to drop for me, with Lux. This current render is something like the 8th Lux project I've done since getting the engine, and I'm juuuuust beginning to drive it, rather than letting it take me for a ride.

If you're into this sort of stuff as an artist, with a view to squeezing the utmost out of DAZ Studio by way of the Reality "bridge" to Lux (ie, the Reality plugin that gives you access to, and control over, Lux) have a look at this, below, full-sized, because having the two pieces juxtaposed is the absolute best way to make the comparison:

... and if you're not into the artwork with the object of doing it yourself, then just enjoy the pinup guy for his own sake -- in which case, here he is at full-size:

...and watch out for more Lux renders. Now I'm beginning to get it figured out, I can start reaching a bit further, to see what I can do. The next project is a garden, which I was never able to raytrace in DAZ. The raytrace was going to take something like 30 hours, because I had about 18 lights set up on a whole lot of trees and plants; and at the end of the project it was still "only" going to be a raytrace, which has such limitations, you have to ask yourself if the final result is worth beating the hell out of your computer for a day and a half! But with Lux, I'll set ONE light. The sun. And then buzz off and leave it ... and even if it takes a day and a half, the final result ought to be well worth it. 

Yee haw! Starting to make some real progress! 

Also learned something about my new computer, and why it's so screamingly fast. 

It has a solid state boot drive. Now, this is something I never even heard of before the other day, when I had a bit of a 'scare' with it. 22GB of free space on the drive vanished. My available space dropped from 41.5 to 18.5, and I couldn't find anything to account for it, after an inventory of everything on the drive. Thought to self, hmmm, does it need defragging? So I went ahead and defragged it, and sure, got the space back. But the next day I was talking to one of the specialists at IT Warehouse, and was told in concrete terms, never, never, never defrag a solid state drive. With three exclamation points. The reason is that there's a maximum number of times you can write to any sector on the drive, and when you exceed this, the disk will start to die by chunks, and your storage space will dwindle and dwindle ... and these drives are only small (111GB) to start with. So I won't be defragging my hard drive again. Ever.

But my question is this: the next time I mysteriously lose 22GB of disk space, after installing nothing extra to it, how do I get the space back??? Because I'm elbowing for drive space even now. You can always install a bigger sold state boot drive: $500 for 250GB. Ouch. Not for a while! But given what just happened ... how do you lose 22GB of drive space for no reason?? And if you can't defrag to get the space back, what do you do?? And let's say you only had 22GB of space available to start with, on account of these drives are so small, does this mean your boot drive is suddenly 100% full? Drives don't function when they're 100% full! So, given what just happened, I'm pretty sure the bigger drive is hovering out there on the horizon as a necessity, accompanied by its hefty pricetag.  

Ain't technology grand? Hopefully, I can baby the existing boot drive along till mid-2013 or so, and with a bit of luck the price will have come down a lot, as usually happens with gadgets. Speaking of which, did you see the press release about Intel's new 3rd Generation processor? It's going to be up to double the speed of the Generation 2s. I have the fastest of the Generation 2s, thanks to Dave and the big box that was under the Christmas tree last December, so I'm trying to even imagine something twice as fast! 

Jade, April 26

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