Sunday, September 15, 2019

Sunlight, moonlight -- and a pirate, in Iray

Natural sunlight ... and pretty darned convincing ... I even remembered to have the character squint a little, which he would in these lighting conditions. I'm very impressed with the Michael 8 skinmap -- I rarely if ever use the M8 face of body morph, but the skinmap itself is wonderful. This face and body you see here --

-- is a dial-up / dial-down of so many different features to create a new face and form. I'm glad I got the G8 head and body morphs; they make it so easy to create new characters. There's only one light on this scene, representing the sun; the rest of the scene was lit with IBL lighting to "fill in" the environment. It works well. The magic is in the details:

So, having got the hang of conjuring sunlight in Iray, let's test the theory with a completely different scene and see if it works every time! Try this -- a (very cute) pirate:

And this lighting trick -- the balance between a single distant light and a specially chosen IBL environment light -- does work every time. The character is interesting: mix and match. This is what happens when you apply the Kingston skinmap and Rex face morphs to the G8 base!

And you have to admit, that's extremely ... appealing. A bit of set, a couple of props ... a shader on the shirt; Varun hair styled differently from the previous project. Very nice indeed!

So, okay ... that's sunlight. How about starlight, or moonlight? I don't have it completely worked out yet, but early experiments are promising. I used Michael 4 for this, because I wanted quicker renders. The lower-poly figure renders in a quarter the time:

I think I'd buy that as starlight or moonlight, and this was done completely in Iray, rather than just rendering the scene as it comes, then creating starlight in Photoshop. Sure, you can also do it that way, but I'd love to know how to do it "properly" before I start to cut corners. Neat. I resurfaced Merlin's Katana with new shaders, and that's a backrop rather than a bit of set. This image rendered in about 45 minutes, as against six hours for the guy sitting in the field, and 150 minutes for the pirate. You might remember the figure and pose from a couple of other renders across the years ... the original 2010 picture, and the Lux Render version from something like 2015. Now, what about if we put a Genesis 8 figure into that project?? Hmmm!

One more image for today; just a bit of creative doodling:

Couldn't resist! "Then something happened that the ring did not intend..." It's based on a photo taken at Hindmarsh Falls a couple of years ago. The stream was running, deep in the chasm, and Dave and I did a couple of "ring" images as a chuckle. I promptly forgot about them, and only found them this morning while I was clearing flash cards, setting up for the Grampians trip we're about to take (leaving this time next week). Just had to do this...

Alas, computer problems again: I've lost my connectivity on the desktop, 100%. So I can't buy anything new from DAZ until I somehow (how???) get the computer back online. It might end up going back to the workshop. Until then, I'll just be working with the new things I've bought since May or so, and also working through the dragon's hoard of old 3D assets that I bought back in 2013 and couldn't install for want of harddrive space. The new shaders resurface the old models beautifully. Can't even think about tackling the computer till we get back from this trip, so I don't expect to be back online with my desktop till October. Rats. 😮
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