Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Xurge 3D costume in Iray ... wow! But -- how?!

Doing a small dance around the desk, because -- I found where DAZ have hidden the diffuse map controls. You'd never guess it in a zillion years, but I stumbled over it while looking for something else entirely, LOL And it's not without its problems, because when you plunk a diffuse map onto an OBJ, it's glossy as a mirror -- every surface has to be configured ten ways to get it to render properly. It takes quite a long time to get a good result out of it, but if you can just sweat through the process, you get this result, above ...

Now, that's the Xurge 3D Adventuring Leathers on Michael 4 ... but Xurge 3D costumes will not, no way, no how, install into Studio 4.x, and of course, if you want to render them in Iray, they have to be shipped into Studio 4 somehow. Why are we so dead keen to render this in Iray? Well, now:

Take a squizz at that, at full size, and your question will be answered! I have enormous problems rendering the high-poly figures. Genesis 8 + hair +costume, and my video card is so far maxed out, put a fancy shader on a costume and it chokes ... I paint for half an hour in Photoshop to finish the picture. Meanwhile, the lower-poly figures render up very nicely, and FAST ... Michael 4 renders in Iray in one hour. Yes, one hour ... not five.

The thing is, to get a lot of the existing M4 content in Iray, the only way is to export M4 with the hair and costume out of Studio 3 as an OBJ, then import it into Studio 4, apply all the materials and textures ... takes a looong time to get to the point of being ready to render. So --

You could use shaders to re-skin the costume on the OBJ --?? I looked into this, and the result is not quite what you were hoping for:

Sure, you're done in one tenth of the time, but, but, but ... there just isn't any substitute for the original diffuse maps, is there?! So, OBJ export/import is the way to go.

Not that the system doesn't come complete with its own suite of problems. Basically, you can't export any of your own characters (the exporter ignores the Morphs++ adaptions), so you're stuck with stock, off the peg characters ... also off the peg expressions and poses! Yep, the OBJ exporter also ignores all your posing! So you can't just do anything with M4 and his fantastic cossies, and send them to Iray. You're limited in what you can do. But even so --

Mix and match head/body morphs and skinmaps helps to create some very nice characters. This one, here, was done by mixing the morphs from the Chase character with the skinmap from the Alexander character... and (sorry guys) that skinmap is no longer in the DAZ store.

This is Chase, with its original skinmap:

catalog image from DAZ. Search on: Chase for M4
I never had much use for this face morph, because it didn't render up so nicely in the simple old 3Delight render engine, which was all I had at the time. But when I added the Alexander skinmap to it, it came to life. And I can't show you a catalog image, or give you a link for Alexander, because it's gone. Too bad, that, because it was a fantastic skinmap. Ah, well.

Anyway -- this is the basic plan: custom design an M4 figure (alas using all off the peg poses, morphs and what have you). Export to OBJ, import to Studio 4 ... apply the original maps (for reasons which became apparent above!) and plunk it into Iray for just one hour. Low poly figures and sets, see? Zoom! Render complete, with vast improvements over the raytrace. This will keep me happy till I get my new computer (Christmas 2020), and can send my old favorites to Reality again!

One last thing for today --

Happy New Camera. Uh, phone. 
Uh, well, whatever it is --

Yep ... new phone with a 16MB  camera, plus a bokeh lens. It's the UmiDigi A5 Pro. You wouldn't believe these were taken with a phone, but they are. Am pleasantly astonished ... and will be using the phone as a camera when Dave and I head back to the Grampians in a month's time!

Speaking of Dave: Happy Birthday to my One and Only today!! 💕😀
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