Friday, June 14, 2019

The cover model, the Thing ... and the Highlands

Just starting (and I stress that, starting!) to get Studio 4.10 under control ... still messing about with IRay, because still waiting for DAZ Tech Support to help me get get the installation problems squared away, and ... well, I don't know about you, but I can't quite bring myself to put my hand in my pocket for something like $400 for odds and sods, like skinmaps, costumes, hairdos, plus Reality, when I'm not even sure they're going to install properly! So ... here's a whole new Michael 4 character created this afternoon...

That render took about 35 minutes. I could have left it cooking for a lot longer, but this answered pretty much everything I wanted to know about IBL lighting within Studio 4.10. Uh huh. The last thing that's got me scratching my head with the IBL lighting is, how the heck do you get proper shadows?? And yes, I've set a spotlight as well, to try that. And yes, I've been into the tone mapping controls and said, "crush shadows, burn highlights." Hunh. More experiments tomorrow!

This is a quite useful character, and I used this physique in, uh, this:

I wanted to know just how far you might be able to drive Michael 4 in IRay, because I've been looking at book covers ... romance book covers ... and am thinking to myself, "I can do that." Some of those male models you see on the book covers, they are CG, not photos. Michael 4 is almost good enough. Not quite, I think. It's going to take Genesis 3 or 8, or both, to get juuust what we need. Hmmm. So, the best you can get with the old model and the new render engine is this:

...and the truth is, I'm actually quite impressed. With the head cut out of the shot, and the venous mapping worked out, and a looong render to get rid of fireflies and whatnot, you're hard pressed to decide if this is CG or a photo. (This is a crop from the book cover image, just as it rendered, no touch ups or Photoshop work.)

Anyway, that mockup book cover is a 150 minute IRay render of M4, Photoshopped in post, against a Bryce sky, with typography in Serif. It's not bad at all, actually. You'll notice, I got the venous map to show on the model! The trick is this: you overdrive the settings, to the point where, if you raytraced the image on those settings, it would look like this:

And that is just so ghastly, it looks rather like the character in the Marvel movie, what is it? Fantastic Four, is that right? The rock dude. The Thing? I think his name was Ben --

LOL, if you compare poor old Ben there with the overdriven bump map that's necessary to get IRay to show any venous detail at all on the Michael 4 ...! 😱

While messing about with raytraces, I'd already put the book cover model through that process too, for the sake of interest:

The raytrace has its own charm, doesn't it? But what really annoys me is the way the POSE changes when you send the Studio 3 file into Studio 4.10. Look at the angle of his head! Also, the boots and the gnarly trees dropped out in the file transfer ... but I've had a humongous headache today, and couldn't be bothered going through the process of adding them back in. Ack. I leave it to you to figure out which you like better, IRay or raytrace, and I won't blame you if you choose the raytrace!

Last item for today: "Here in the highlands, the Highlands if Scotland," to quote the opening song from Brigadoon --

Terragen ... with a gorgeous sky, lovely water, perfect atmospherics (see the way the distant hills go hazy), and the tree right where I wanted it, LOL! Actually, I blew off about a hour, trying to work out how to add populations of things like grass and small plants, but it's waaay too complex for a day when you're full of pills and occasionally the headache punches right through the fog and slugs you. So we'll call this one done, and will see if we can figure out populations another time! Fortunately, YouTube is full of videos, like this one, and if worst comes to worst, I can always admit defeat and watch the tutorials! ("Instructions? We don't need no steenkeeng instructions!" 😀😁)

More soon...

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