Thursday, August 29, 2019

Old sets and new models -- neat results!

A new skinmap for Genesis 8: 'Matias' was on sale the other day, and since I didn't have an Asian map or morph for Genesis yet ... a small shopping spree This one renders up very nicely indeed ... and, interestingly, this guy is wearing a Genesis 2 pair of jeans, which fit well, and Genesis 2 shoes, which didn't fit at all. I think I've mentioned before that Genesis "whatever" costumes are a bit of a crap shoot on Genesis 8 ... but you can get lucky with them. So --

The next thing is, once you have a nice, high-poly figure to feed into your eons-old PC which doesn't have enough brains to give itself a headache ... whatchya going to do with the figure to end up with an interesting scene, rather than just another character study, where the figure is standing in front of a big, blurry background! I've done a lot of those, because that's what my hardware will handle; and since I've been having such a hard time with the old, low-poly content which does render easier (I haven't been able to save it to a project file in Studio 4.11), I haven't worked as much as I should have with the old sets. BUT --

Recent experiments are showing very promising results:

That's Michael 4, wearing the Adventuring leathers from Xurge 3D and the midnight prince hair, the Chase face and body morph and the Alexander skinmap ... rendered in Iray. And I know, it's not supposed to be possible to do this, much less to get good result, like...

So ... how? It's complicated, but not difficult, and it gives me a way to get around the desperate need to access my low-poly models from eons ago, while Studio 4.11 won't play nice, so that I can still get quicker renders. For comparison --

The Matias G8 figure, sitting in a low-poly set, was still a five hour render -- I left it cooking when I went to bed. But this fantasy piece with M4 in the same set took one hour.

Also, you have the additional bonus that using this work-around you can also get 3D assets which can't be installed into Studio 4, into Studio 4, so they can be still rendered in Iray. The trick of it is that you do need to have Studio 3 on and running! Assemble and pose everything in Studio 3, then export it to an OBJ, and have Studio 3's exporter "collect textures." Import the OBJ into Studio 4 ... it arrives as a piece of shiny white plastic. Now, you'll need to spend half an hour putting all the textures back onto it ... even then, every surface must be configured with three or four tweaks on every "UV zone" on the prop, or costume or whatever. Without these tweaks, the object comes up shining like a mirror. The tools are all there in the Surfaces pane. It took me a long time time to stumble over them, but you see for yourself, they're there!

Having rendered M4 and the set -- DM's The Gate -- in Iray, and liking the results, I thought, "Hmm, I wonder if I can get Genesis 8 to render properly if he's sitting in a low-poly set??? The last time I tried to have a Genesis 8 figure actually doing something rather than standing there like a catalog model ... well, after about about ten hours of rendering I wound up with picture full of grain. I realized there's a strict, and rather meager limit to what I can render on this older PC. But -- a low-poly set, now? Okay, let's give it a shot.

Result ... rather nice. And it rendered!!! Yay. So this opens up various vistas of opportunity, enough to keep my busy for the next sixteen months before I can afford to shell out about $2500 for a system that'll give me the freedom to play with Genesis and sets and shaders.

(Incidentally, if anyone wants detailed instructions about how to get old stuff, or third party stuff, into Studio 4.11 and configured for Iray, drop me a line. I don't want to bore the general visitor with that stuff, but if you need it, I'd be glad to do a special post.)
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