Thursday, September 19, 2019

One door opens, another closes ... G8 and M4 gladiators

Did you hear the sound of screaming from somewhere approximately due south of wherever you are, at about four o'clock this afternoon? That would have been me. Boy, did I learn a few things today ... and I'm not very happy with what I learned! For six months now, I've been chafing about not being able to load the old third party content into Studio 4, so that it can be rendered with Iray -- if you've been following this blog, you've heard me groaning! So --

I finally, finally figured it out. I got the old third party content to load into Studio 4.11!!! And then I discovered the other side to this situation. Sure, you can load the old content, but it's "mutually exclusive." The moment I loaded the old stuff, I lost all the new content! All the Genesis figures, sets, costumes, shaders, became inaccessible. Studio 4.11 behaved like it had a bunch of screws loose, telling me the "files do not exist." Well, from it's perspective at the time, they didn't ... because I'd changed the file path along which it accessed content: so now it was getting hold of the old and third party stuff, and here's the rub. It couldn't get a grip on two parallel file paths to use at one time. Just one. So --

You can either have the old and third party content or the new Genesis stuff. Well, while I had access to the old stuff I ran the experiment:

That's a Xurge costume, with Michael 4 wearing it, and SAV's Spartacus hair, loaded into Studio 4.11 and rendered in Iray. The problem is that (as Xurge warns!) their stuff is "not tested in DAZ Studio," so they don't guarantee how it'll render, especially in Iray. What you see here, above, is 30% painting. The metal parts all rendered as flat, ugly gray plastic -- pretty awful. Ack.

So I thought, "Why not apply a nice metallic shader, as you did when you rendered this costume in Iray before," like this --

-- yes, that was done with shaders, and Iray loved it. BUT that figure-n-costume was imported into Studio 4.11 as an OBJ, so Studio was delighted to work with shaders. After you've change the file path so it can actually load your old third party stuff, Studio is stuck on a different rail and can't find your shaders; you see the "file does not exist" dialog. As I said, mutually exclusive. You can either have the brilliant shaders in Iray and not the third party content, or you can load the third party content and Iray will render a lot of it looking like flat gray plastic! Ooooh, botheration. Or words to that effect,

Is there a work-around? I don't know. All I can tell you is, I sure as heck didn't find one today. After three hours of fiddling with it, I changed the file path back to the usual one, to get my Genesis gear and shaders back, so as to get some sense out of Iray; then I set the gladiator to render, and went for dinner. Harrumph. Four hours later, and it was still not fully rendered, but I have no more time, so we'll have to call it done at this level of integrity.

To speed it up, I did all the plants in the foreground separately, as a deep shadow map render in Studio 3 (less than a minute), with the gladiator Iray render stripped in as a backdrop, LOL. That probably took two hours off the render time, and I still ended up painting a lot, especially on the hair. The Landis hair looks rather plastic, don't you think? I need to experiment with this some more -- not yet getting the results I would have expected from it: it's an expensive prop.

We still can't get the desktop online, so am settling down to work with what I have for the time being. There's loads to work with, we're not short of models, costumes, wigs and whatnot. And if I'm really going to get busy with the old sets, shipped out to OBJ, to make it possible to whack shaders onto them and bring them up like new -- well, fair enough. Time to get busy!

Also, I'll continue to search for a work-around to the problem. You never know.
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