Monday, July 29, 2019

A fantasy swordsman ... adventures in Iray shaders

The assignment was to switch out all the textures on a costume for new shaders -- and this turned out to be the easy part, though I have to admit, I haven't yet figured out how to get the metal shaders to behave themselves reliably, predictably. I'm getting there. Leather, lace, silk, glass -- no problem; but metals are tougher to squeeze good, predictable results out of ... which is why it was 'Photoshop to the rescue' again on this sword. After four hours rendering, I still had flocks of 'fireflies' in the gold ... unresolved pixels. Ack. This processor and video card are too slow! Before I can render metals properly, I'll need to upgrade ... uh, end of 2020 sounds doable. About a year and a half. 😭

Having said that, Photoshop rescued the metals and a bunch of apparently unrenderable pixels in the hair, so the net result is a rather good image: the Dae face, body slightly tweaked, wearing Michael 8's skinmap, a G3 hairdo that doesn't actually like G8 as well as it's supposed to (Shavonne hair), and the Dark Prince costume with every texture changed, right down to the rivets.

The sword is an old prop -- one of hundreds that can't be saved into a file by DAZ Studio 4.11, though it can be loaded. Go figure. Tech Support doesn't know why either. [Rolls eyes] But with new shaders, the old props look pretty neat. Now --

If I render the metals in an image that's 600 x 900 pixels, in two hours, it's finished. This one, above, is the proof of it! But if I put metal shaders into a 1200 x 1800 image, well ... I'll be in Photoshop rescuing the picture! Sticklebacks, to quote Uncle Bilbo.

Anyway, we're playing happily...

... and there's only a few shaders I still need to track down. Wood, bone, ground, satin, organics, so forth. I just wish Studio 4.11 knew how to save the old props into its files. That would make life soooo much easier. Still, I was smart enough to keep Studio 3 on board, so we can run both back to back, to get access to the props and characters that Studio 4.11 can load, but not save. So strange ... 'tis a puzzlement.
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