Thursday, September 15, 2016

Take Two, in LuxRender -- really blurring the line between art and photo

As promised ... here's the LuxRender version of yesterday's Michael 4. And boy, did I have to jog my memory! I started up the Reality bridge and went utterly blank. Blanker than blank. Floundered around for about ten minutes, made some false starts, and then sort of halfway remembered where some of the controls are and what they do!

The two things I did forget: when you set up your lights for LuxRender, you use ONE distant light only, and name it "sun," so Lux knows what to do with it ... and if you want to turn on depth of field, so the background is realistically out of focus, you must select what you want in focus, in DAZ Studio, before invoking Reality. Then Lux automatically pulls focus on that object. In this case, it's focused on Michael 4's face so tightly that you notice the hand closest to the camera is fuzzy. Neat!

For objective comparison purposes, here's a resized crop chopped out of yesterday's raytrace:

Compare yesterday's raytrace...
But which is better? Raytrace or LuxRender? In fact, a case could be made for either one. I'll leave it to you to decide, because each has its merits. For example, the hands definitely look better in Lux, but which face you prefer is down to the individual.

And there's one more thing I often do these days: have a look at the render in good old b&w. You can often get a clear idea of the photographic values of a piece of digital art when you drop out the color:

I feel a visual fantasy coming on. Something good is percolating in the back of my mind, and if it wasn't 10:21 at night I'd be starting up a new project. But I'm propping the eyelids open here, so -- tomorrow. Yawn. I'm off to bed now...
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