Thursday, June 20, 2019

Big decisions -- and tech support

Time for the big decisions: do I start chucking wads of cash at IRay shaders? Or do I buy Reality and run with Reality's built-in materials? So -- an experiment. I've been re-rendering old Reality/Lux renders in IRay to see which I prefer. And I actually like both. Reality/Lux is better for some things, IRay is better for others. I'm seriously yoyoing from one choice to the other, genuinely unable to figure out which to run with...

The only thing I can say for sure is ... I do love the way IRay renders eyes, and I hate the way it ignores any attempt on my behalf to add bump and displacement maps (textures) to, say, fabrics. This render, above -- a double portrait, Leon and Roald against a Terragen background -- was abandoned at the 50% mark ... it could be a lot smoother, if I wanted to wait another hour or so for it to cook, but it already told me everything I needed to know --

Yes, my textures have dropped out on the fabrics (again!) which leaves them looking very flat. No, the old Neftis Hair Salon wigs don't look so good when you see them in extreme closeup in the IRay renders. Yes, Michael 4 renders up very nicely -- but those fabrics are too flat to be worth the extra hour of render time!

Sooo -- this was rendering in Terragen while we watched Thor on dvd:

Yep, the Millennium Falcon, by J. Hoagland, a freebie from Vanishing Point -- very nice! I enjoyed working with this a lot, though it was a toughie to find the model in Studio 4.10, which is so thoroughly stuffed up, it can't even find its own so-called "smart content." In fact --

DAZ tech support just recommended that I uninstall it and reinstall it, and then go in and do some other very specific things with hidden files ... all rather hair-raising. Dave will give me a hand with this tomorrow; we'll see if it makes Studio 4.10 work any better ... or if it simply is as it is! Right now, 4.10 is not really functional: there's no content in it to work with, and I can't see, to get any content into it! Everything I do, I do in Studio 3 and then open the file in 4.10 and fiddle with the renders. But you can't do that forever. Can you? Very strange. And if the reinstall doesn't bring it up to spec, well, this is the only thing tech support was able to come up with!

Ack. So -- wish me luck for tomorrow's "brain surgery" on the system! Just a short post today, but -- more soon, if/when I can get the difficulties sorted! I'm still drooling over the image quality other people can get, and I think I'm in striking range of those results, just not there yet. I did manage to get the Genesis 8 base figure to load, and it renders up fine, with one exception: its eyes are either flat black or flat white. I'm going to guess that this is because I haven't (yet) dropped fifty bucks on skinmaps (characters) which all boil down to (yes) shaders. No proper shaders = no proper results, right? Right. *sigh*

And so to bed. It's midnight, and I'm propping my eyes with my fingers.
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