Saturday, October 5, 2019

Michael 4 fantasy, in and out of Iray ... and feeling optimistic --

As promised yesterday, we'll step back a couple of paces, go back to simpler things and work back toward what's doable in Iray (for me, with my hardware). So -- for a start, we'll do a raytrace! And here's where it gets interesting. I've never really delved into the 3Delight engine in Studio 4 -- why would you? You to to Studio 4 to get access to Iray, right.? But I did "go backwards" for a while, and wound up noticing that 3Delight is a lot more fully featured than it used to be --

The version built into Studio is the freebie. The full-on pro version of 3Delight is about A$2000, which is dumb, when you realize NVIDIA Iray is free, like LuxRender, and you can even get Maya, from Autudesk, for about a grand, Aussie. The major thing Poser users always held against DAZ Studio 3 wasn't the interface, which is fine, but the very rudimentary render engine built into it. The truth is, by comparison with Poser's Firefly engine, 3Delight is extremely limited. Disappointing. Soooo ... I was intrigued to dig around in 3Delight, as built into Studio 4.11, and discover a lot more ways to configure it... Hmm.

You can now squeeze a lot more out of raytracing than you used to get out of it. There is a downside: as you crank up the sampling and so forth, render times blow out massively. Duh. You have to look for the sweet spot, because you could wind up with a raytrace that took longer to render than an Iray image! Anyway, this raytrace, above, was done at much higher settings, taking about an hour. I can tell the difference.

Curious to see what Iray could make of the same material (all of which is low-poly: two Michael 4 figures, a couple of props, a set), I gave the picture one hour in Iray, at half size:

Very different, isn't it? The same render time as the raytrace, albeit at half the size. Seeing the result here made me wonder how our avenging angel might render in closeup, so --

That's an hour in Iray, too -- and the beauty of this is, there renders are finished, whereas the Genesis 8 work I've been tackling in the last week or so chokes my system after about five or six hours and can never be finished on my current hardware! I do like Michael 4 a lot, actually. With this character here, the only thing that's missing is the vascular mapping: the venous, or vein, mapping. Soooo...

I'm 99.75% sure I have the manual installation thing worked out now. Seriously. I've got the old content working tolerably well in Studio 4 (even though I still can't actually save a file in Studio 4!), and I was feeling optimistic enough to shop a sale DAZ is having right now. One of the things I just got was this:

Catalog image. See this.
This is a very, very nice displacement map for the Michael 4 figure. It was on sale at about 70% off, so how could I not get it? (I also got some Genesis stuff, including a new wig). I just have to slog through the process and get this installed and working ... tomorrow. Then we'll mix and match skin maps, hairdos, costumes, and we'll see what we shall see! This is going to be fun ... stay tuned!
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