Sunday, June 28, 2015

Lux, Bryce, DAZ and Photoshop shake hands and come out rendering!

LuxRender: Li -- a character you've seen before...
Bryce 7 Pro: shrine at dawn
DAZ Studio foreground, Bryce background:
The Barbarian Queen, The Forgotten Temple
LuxRender: ornaments on a shelf by candlelight 

Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple at
Sellicks Beach, SA
Photo by Dave
Today I'm in a mood for Oriental subjects, perhaps because Dave and I just visited the Nan Hai Pu Tuo Temple, which is about twenty minutes down the road, south of us (Cactus Canyon Road, at Sellicks Beach, in fact. Google it!). Here at left, I'm borrowing Dave's phone pic, which he uploaded to his facebook yesterday. Yes, I took oodles of high-rez images at the same time, and they'll be on our travel blog in a few days, but in the meantime ... Dave's little phone does nice work! The statue is about 40 feet high (!), and is not Buddha. It's the Chinese goddess of mercy, Guanyin, or Quan Yin. The temple is already amazing, and still under construction with four or five years to go before the whole thing is finished. So --

Yes, I'm in a mood for the Oriental, and when I was choosing the art for today's post, how could I go past the selection above?

You've actually see Li before -- a couple of times -- here, and here. (Does The Dragon and His Boy ring any bells??) But you've never seen Li in LuxRender before, and ... well, what a difference --

The photorealism of LuxRender is just amazing ... and I'm still running Reality 2, while version 4.2 has just come out. You guessed, I still need to get the computer upgrade, so I can't install one more thing at this time. But I recently had an newsletter from the Spanish company behind Reality, which is the bridge between DAZ Studio and Lux, and have decided to hold off on getting the new versions, because they're promising us a version of Reality, soon, that'll be seven times faster than what we're using now. Ye gods! A seven-hour render would be done in an hour, or a day-long render would be done in three-and-a-bit. Wow. Now, what's worth waiting for...

The integrity of a Lux image is tickling the point where you're asking yourself, "Is that a photo? Dang, it can't be art, can it? Still --

Lux or no Lux, there's a heck of a lot of painting goes into these images, to make them sing. Three of the four you see above are majorly painted ... the fourth is the "ornaments on a shelf," which is in fact just about the raw render. That one is actually lit by that candle flame! In Reality, you can choose an object and transform it into a light. I selected the candle flame, obviously, and used it to light the whole scene. It's so realistic as a photo, you could almost refuse to believe it's a render, so --

 -- check it out, guys. There's the same Buddha prop, with a stone material set on it rather than a metal. The foreground in this picture was rendered in DAZ Studio 3, using a Bryce image of a forest, mountains and sky as the backdrop; and as is often the case, the magic is in the details:

You would not believe how much painting goes on at this level! Or then again, maybe you would. If you've had a go at this stuff yourself, you'll know exactly what I mean. It can be a bit a annoying, actually, when people assume that just because you use 3D stuff, the computer does everything. Aarrghh! Half the time, I even create the textures and materials before I apply them to the OBJ objects that're going to be rendered. Come back tomorrow to get the best version the PC can give you -- and then the work begins!

More soon. Haven't even scratched the surface of the work that's been done since I was posting regularly. Speaking of which ... I need to post regularly, don't I?!

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