Friday, July 19, 2019

Lace, leather and glass ... anyone for fantasy?

Lots of experiments going on in this one. The lace shader looks very good on the whole shirt rather than just the collar and cuffs ... the Elan hair has alternative transparency maps to make it thicker and shinier (nice!) ... the soft black leather looks great on the pants ... the simplest glass shader in the world turned an ancient prop into something quite interesting ... but try as I might, I couldn't get Iray to give me what looks like an "Iray render" of the skintones:

This has been into Photoshop for digital grading, and it's still far more like a raytrace than an Iray render. My challenge now is to figure out what happened to the fantastic skin tones I've come to expect from Iray. This is the Rex skinmap; you know for a fact the tones are in there. Why did they render blurry or muddy?? Good one. I'll look into it!

One of the give-aways with the basic DAZ Studio is a set of very basic shaders, just enough to get you started and whet your appetite for more. When I set up this scene, the only prop Studio 4.11 could find that would be interesting in context was this one, from Anton's Treasures of Egypt ... released circa 2010, maybe 2008! The surface textures on it render well in 3Delight, the raytrace engine, but Iray makes a mess of them. Now, the original texture was gold, but I haven't yet shelled out the bucks for a metals shader pack. So I had a rummage around through the shaders packed with Studio 4.11, and --

This would have to be the simplest glass shader imaginable, but it saved the prop. I wouldn't call this picture anything remotely like a high-rez render -- then again, nothing about the whole picture looks high-rez to me, even though it rendered for about two hours. I could have let it cook longer, but the fact is, I went over it closely, looking for unresolved pixels (ie, grain in the image). There aren't any. It just looks ... like a raytrace. So --

One of the things on my shopping list ... glass shaders. Like this:

Catalog image. See this...
Catalog image: see this...
Now, those are shaders! First, find out what happened to the skin tones on this picture ... why the whole render looks like a raytrace, even though it's an IBL-lit Iray render. Next, get one of these glass shaders and play! See what happens. I guess I have my assignment for the immediate future! Tomorrow we'll go back to basics, take nothing for granted and see what we can figure out.
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