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Poser - OFFICIAL F.A.Q (Last Updated: 2021 Sep 23 9:32 pm)


Subject: Weird Checkerboarding on Rendered Hair


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 8:08 PM

Does anyone have any tips on what's going wrong with the shinier parts of this character's hair? It's a real bummer, 'cause I otherwise really like this render, but it took the better part of a day (decently realistic trans-mapped hair seems to inevitably be a real processing hog). I suspect it's a transparency issue, but I'm not sure if I should tinker with sampling, bounces, or the shader itself. Thanks in advance for any help!

HairWoes.jpg


Rhia474 ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 8:15 PM

Which renderer, which Poser version and what are your render settings? Do you have IDL? Is there an environment sphere? How many lights? Without those variables determined, I don't think there is any way to pin this down.


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 8:36 PM · edited Sun, 27 June 2021 at 8:37 PM

Thanks for the prompt response! I'm using SuperFly in Poser 12 with IDL, an environment sphere (along with several solid parts of scenery that form an indoor room within the outdoor scene projected on the sphere), one infinite light, and two area lights.

Render Settings.jpg


Rhia474 ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 8:48 PM

Thank you ! I would start with one infinite light only first since you have the envirosphere that also casts light. With one light only, render, then with same one light try increasing pixel samples, then bounces. Change only one variable at a time. I suspect it is shadows cast by transmapped hair strands calculated from multiple light sources.


RedPhantom ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 8:53 PM
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Poser 12 was doing that with anistropic nodes. You had to plug the a tangent into the tangent plug of the node. I thought that had been fixed several versions ago. Maybe it still does it occationally.


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hborre ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 9:14 PM

Isn't IDL not supported by Superfly?


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 9:22 PM · edited Sun, 27 June 2021 at 9:27 PM

hborre posted at 9:20PM Sun, 27 June 2021 - #4422132

Isn't IDL not supported by Superfly?

RedPhantom posted at 9:20PM Sun, 27 June 2021 - #4422131

Poser 12 was doing that with anistropic nodes. You had to plug the a tangent into the tangent plug of the node. I thought that had been fixed several versions ago. Maybe it still does it occationally.

Hmm, even though I've only just started really using Poser 12, I actually installed the upgrade from 11 quite a while ago, much closer to its original release date, and I've been getting notification of an update upon startup in the past couple of days. Maybe an update download is in order.

Thanks for the tips, Rhia! I'll see what I can figure out using your suggestion. The older method of IDL, probably not. But I interpreted IDL as a generic term for any implementation of indirect/global/ambient lighting, and I'm quite sure SuperFly has that.


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Sun, 27 June 2021 at 9:34 PM · edited Sun, 27 June 2021 at 9:34 PM

Sorry if my above comment seems a bit scatterbrained. I tried to follow each individual quote with the relevant part of my post, but apparently, the editor just automatically re-blocks all the quotes together.


Afrodite-Ohki ( ) posted Mon, 28 June 2021 at 6:52 AM · edited Mon, 28 June 2021 at 6:53 AM
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This is not the lights' fault - even though this effect seems less visible with some lights. This problem is the reason why I had to issue updates to all my hairstyles as freebies, and also P11 and P12 materials for the latest ones separately. P12 wasn't understanding anisotropic highlights the way P11 does. Latest versions seem to have corrected this.

Try updating your P12 to the latest version. If that doesn't solve the issue, then I'm afraid you'll have to tamper with the materials. Ghostship2's hair materials work wonders in P12.

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Rhia474 ( ) posted Mon, 28 June 2021 at 7:38 AM

Hm, interesting. I thought it was fixed. If that's the case, the new edition of EZSkin also has a hair shader that works well in P12.


TwiztidKidd ( ) posted Mon, 28 June 2021 at 10:49 AM · edited Mon, 28 June 2021 at 10:56 AM

I fixed her hair lol and the render is now twice the size in resolution... she's beautiful!!!

file_f22._photos_v2_faces_x2.JPG



primorge ( ) posted Mon, 28 June 2021 at 4:33 PM

Morph reminds me a bit of Paz de la Heurta...

paz.png


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Tue, 29 June 2021 at 12:12 AM · edited Tue, 29 June 2021 at 12:19 AM

The update did the trick! I would've posted this sooner, but I got sidetracked trying to improve the eyebrow shader, which seemed to create way too much shine in the newer version of Poser. It worked out well, though, since I think her new brows are even better than the ones she had originally, though I welcome your opinions too, since those will be helpful as I continue to refine this texture/shader set, hopefully for eventual sale.

If her skin looks lighter too, that's because I put the raw render through a tone-mapping procedure that I developed to emulate a more dynamic and realistic color space (i.e. what the Blender folks call "filmic").

PulcherrimaTM3.jpg


Rhia474 ( ) posted Tue, 29 June 2021 at 7:47 AM

Hair looks great now, glad the update worked.


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Thu, 01 July 2021 at 4:10 AM

Would any of you be interested in beta-testing this character when she's ready?


primorge ( ) posted Thu, 01 July 2021 at 6:04 PM · edited Thu, 01 July 2021 at 6:08 PM

There's realistically very little to beta test to be honest. The character is probably dial spun from an existing morph set, with existing expression morphs or derived from the existing facial rig. If it were custom sculpts and expressions then it would require testing if you felt your personal tests weren't enough. I can see perhaps where you'd want a fresh set of eyes in regards to render and material tests but also those materials are probably derived from the included, basically, EZSkin based materials that ship with La Femme. Testing for the texture qualities, probably based on a combo of merchant resources right?

All in all I can see if you're just seeking a new set of eyes to give the character the once over and provide critical analysis. As far as concrete beta testing goes probably the submission for marketplace testing team or individual will actually give you the necessary information you need after submission.

I like the character actually but am not willing to provide public critique of where I can see problems just from the images I've seen so far here and elsewhere. You're better off shooting yourself in the foot. I'm not overly impressed by dial spinners to tell you the truth but this one is sufficiently different than most of the La Femme character morphs I've seen that my interest is actually piqued. Plus she's kinda cute in a not typical Poser way.

Maybe a little intro; I have a fair bit of experience with texture painting and morphing/sculpting/modeling but tend not to get too bogged down with all the photoreal rendering intricacies as I prefer NPR style rendering and basic Firefly IDL as the summit of "realism" as an aesthetic and time constraint choice. I like the file internal and cr2 and modeling aspects of poser mostly, my background is in fine art; sculpture... I have a degree in fine art sculpture (which is absolutely useless in any pragmatic sense other than art speak conversations and long abandoned gallery contracts lol). I have about 15 years experience using Poser, zbrush, mudbox, and now primarily blender being my obsession. I've won some contests here and rdna before under one identity or another... eldritchcellar, primorge, deathmetaldesk yada yada. I'm probably considered a troll also and am banned in one of those identities. The people who dislike me are completely beneath my contempt lol.

I also own a shit ton of La Femme content and have released some mildly popular custom morph sets for her in the past under a different identity... none of which you'll find now because I just removed all of my content from the web. Too many thieves and phonies overrunning the rapidly deteriorating Poser freebie scene for my tastes. Worse than pirates really, at least GFX'ers admit they're thieves. Word of advice just sell your work. Forget freebies.

If you'd like I'd take a look at it and tell you where it could use some work, you'd be surprised how perceptive I am. And you'd needn't worry about me stealing your dial spinner. That would be grotesque to me. In any case I'll probably shell out the 5 bucks for it when it goes on sale anyway, depending on the texture qualities, just because I collect this crap

but... I think rendo's QA team will really give you the most objective and final input.

Or you can just ignore me lol, I have enough content of my own to faff about with. And apologies for the mini rant ;)

Take care.


Iuvenis_Scriptor ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 4:18 AM · edited Sun, 04 July 2021 at 4:26 AM

No worries! I actually appreciate the in-depth response, and there may be a bit more to test than you might think. I'm glad you like the morph, which is indeed a surprisingly quick dial-spin. The textures are indeed based on a combo of merchant resources, though I barely know what EZSkin even is and rely mostly on at least somewhat principled shaders culled and adapted from a mix of experience/trial-and-error and Internet research. For example, my triple-layer SSS shader is an adaptation of some impressive tutorials I found for Blender. I do aim for photo-realism, so that's always a focus of mine when I ask for critiques, which I do my best to take well and learn from.

Crucially, though, the morph is probably the least important part of the pack I'm putting together. In fact, I include one only by convention. The main selling point is the fact that I've rigged the shaders so that various material parameters can be controlled with dials in the same way that morphs typically are. It's an adaptation of an approach I first applied to G8F with Calista. The package is not principally intended as a single character but rather as a base for easy and convenient creation of diverse characters. There'll be dials for skin color, eye color, hair (i.e. eyebrow and pubic) color, freckles, and more! I'm a bit mystified as to why this isn't a more popular approach than fixed material presets, considering how relatively easy it is to set up. It is tedious at times, but not particularly difficult and, at least in my experience, well worth the convenience,

Anyway, PM me if you're still willing to test her (and him, since male options for L'Homme will be included), and we can proceed from there. I estimate that she'll be ready for beta in about a week or less. At least, that's what I'm hoping for.


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 8:47 AM

Sounds great, and looking forward.

The parameter dial materials dependencies you speak of were in fact implemented in the past by the mat room wizard Bagginsbill. He called it Parmatic. IIRC he never went too far with the implementation, or rather it was probably too complex for casual users maybe. He had a few different Pre Superfly mat room formulas that were pretty complex; one was VSS and he also had a mat room automation called Matmatic which would later be refined and supplanted by Snarlygribbly's Eskin python utility.

It became much easier to set up such dependencies when Poser 8 introduced the editor, prior to that the code had to be hacked in via text editing. You can find BB's Parmatic here...

https://sites.google.com/site/bagginsbill/free-stuff/parmatic

And Snarly's latest EZskin here...

https://cobrablade.net/snarlygribbly/poser.html

I'll PM you soon but will really only be useful for commentaries on texture and morph qualities for suggestions I'd imagine. I'll have to take a look.


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 9:00 AM · edited Sun, 04 July 2021 at 9:04 AM

Also You might consider baking down that head morph to a single head dial for injection. It's easy enough to do and I could do it for you if you wish. Simply have only those dials that comprise the head morph active and spawn morph. The downside to this is the generation of empty morph dials spanning all actors in the figure, which are tedious to remove. My method would be to spawn a morph, delete the extraneous morph dials in the unaffected actors, spawn an empty in the head and use that as the controller for the dial in the body and then generate the inject. I'm saying all this on the fly and not in front of Poser, method might change in actual practice. I could create a working inject set up for you in such a way if you wish. Makes things more tidy for the end user. That's simply how I would do it. I use Morph Manager, Colorcurvature's PML, Dimension3D's Binary Morph Editor, Netherwork's Spawn, and Poser's built in automations for such operations.


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 10:43 AM

Also, now that I think of it, I have a few customized eyebrow textures that I created from photos and resources that you might find useful. They were intended for a couple of custom character morph/texture sets that I was working on for La Femme but I got sidetracked by other things... namely JCMs and morphs for another figure and the creation of my own figure, things I've been jumping back and forth between lately. I don't foresee resuming work on La Femme anytime soon so it would be no problem for me to share these eyebrow textures with you, if you wish, isolated on psd layers for easy use. I'll take look see at what I have and we'll talk about it perhaps.

In any case here's one of the character custom sculpts. The textures aren't merged and blended as these are just test images, Firefly...

DemSmi.pngDemPuck.png


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 11:54 AM · edited Sun, 04 July 2021 at 12:01 PM

Eyebrows don't have strong specular either, and shouldn't be included in subsurface calculations. There's an easy fix for this in Firefly involving a Component node. I'm sure there's something similar in Superfly. Additionally I think your procedural bump (at least it looks procedural) is scaled a little large in all of your character sets, more orange peel than the fine grain you'd see in a womans skin... just my opinion though.


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 12:03 PM · edited Sun, 04 July 2021 at 12:08 PM

Also. Nobody wants to buy characters with jaundiced looking eyes, or maybe that's "realistic" what do I know. Dial back the yellowing in your textures or shaders for the sclera materials.


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 12:23 PM

Final word I promise... I might redact my procedural bump comment but in any case I feel the bump is still too strong regardless of it's source. Keep in mind that my comments are from a potential customer, we'll just pretend that I'm an oblivious load and render type. Maybe they don't care or notice. But as a potential customer in a thread query about a character product those are my views. Also redacting the "rather shoot myself in the foot" comment lol.

Take care.

Screenshot_20210704-131712_Chrome.jpg


randym77 ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 8:22 PM

primorge posted at 8:12PM Sun, 04 July 2021 - #4422485

Also, now that I think of it, I have a few customized eyebrow textures that I created from photos and resources that you might find useful. They were intended for a couple of custom character morph/texture sets that I was working on for La Femme but I got sidetracked by other things... namely JCMs and morphs for another figure and the creation of my own figure, things I've been jumping back and forth between lately. I don't foresee resuming work on La Femme anytime soon so it would be no problem for me to share these eyebrow textures with you, if you wish, isolated on psd layers for easy use. I'll take look see at what I have and we'll talk about it perhaps.

In any case here's one of the character custom sculpts. The textures aren't merged and blended as these are just test images, Firefly...

DemSmi.pngDemPuck.png

Those are nice brows. IMO, brows make or break the texture. I like brows that are not too thick, and not too overly plucked, either.

TBH, I don't care for the brows of this proposed product. They don't look natural at all. The idea of the product sounds really promising; I would love to be able to create different skin tones in the Material Room. But looking at Calista...the results aren't that great. The hand on the dark-skinned character in particular doesn't look right. (Though I admit...getting the palms and soles to look right on dark-skinned characters is very difficult, and the main reason I don't just darken textures in Photoshop.)


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 10:06 PM · edited Sun, 04 July 2021 at 10:08 PM

The brows are from a photoshop brush that I trimmed a little with the eraser and reshaped a bit with the liquify tool. They're not baked into the underlying texture in this test. The final bake will have a slight burn and barely perceptible blur at the thinnest edges to integrate them more into the underlying skin. Same with the lip textures. I just merged all the layers without baking them into the skin for the tests because I like to maintain all elements on a seperate layer until the final texture version. I'll go back to working on her eventually. She has a couple of sisters too lol.

Thanks for the compliment Randym77. But yeah, brows are tricky. Some of those Genesis textures I see are unbelievably nice... but they're made by really seasoned professionals who have this stuff down to a science. I didn't want to bash OP's textures too much but rather hint at it. The brows really need work on several levels, I would be put off by them immediately as a consumer. Also I think his "just an afterthought" on the morphs and textures comment is a red flag, but it's his products. Seems to be endemic. I'm not seeing a 20 dollar product but I'm a particular type of Poser user and content consumer. A 20 dollar product to me is custom morphs with lots of custom options like expressions and fantasy makeups etc. Like something Fabiana would sell. Just being forthright with my thoughts.


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 10:25 PM

I think the problem with the photorealism thing is that sometimes it's just over done. Skin is too oily, eyes are too bloodshot, pores are too big, lips look all cracked and weird chapped. I much prefer the sort of pretty fantasy look. I think there should be elements of beauty in art even if it depicts something horrific, even if it's only beauty in it's design elements. I wonder if it occurs to the Poser Photorealism folks that photos aren't real lol. But I don't want to get run out of here by villagers with pitchforks and torches lol... so I'll just leave it at that even though I could go on and on ;)


primorge ( ) posted Sun, 04 July 2021 at 10:40 PM

I'm going to set a timer for how long it takes Ghostship to pop in here with one of his girls lol. His stuff is very pretty though.


randym77 ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 7:44 AM

I also prefer the "pretty fantasy look." I haven't bought a whole lot of La Femme or La Homme characters, because they're somewhat lacking in that "pretty fantasy look."

We're well into the uncanny valley with Poser as it is. I'm not that interested in more realistic skin. I think what we really need is better hair shaders (and better dynamic hair). Hair is what looks the most fake these days in Poser renders, not skin or eyes.

That said...I would be interested in the ability to change the tone of skin, like the above product does. I remember there used to be products that did that in the Poser 4 days. I think DAZ included it for...V2? V3? There were MAT files that changed the color of all skin materials. Including the palms and soles, which wasn't too realistic, but given the state of the art at the time, it wasn't that noticeable.

They don't work any more with today's skin shaders.


VedaDalsette ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 11:28 AM

Can you plug in hsv2 nodes in the Material room and write Python scripts to change values to change the tone? Scripts can ask the user to plug in a value within a range. Also, preset mc6 files can be made for different tones. Or is that not enough?



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primorge ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 4:47 PM · edited Mon, 05 July 2021 at 4:50 PM

VedaDalsette posted at 4:46PM Mon, 05 July 2021 - #4422531

Can you plug in hsv2 nodes in the Material room and write Python scripts to change values to change the tone? Scripts can ask the user to plug in a value within a range. Also, preset mc6 files can be made for different tones. Or is that not enough?

Photoshop and a 3d painting app is enough for me... although by preference it might be purple with pink polka dots lol. But I could see the usefulness for such an automation for others. It would take away the "fun" part for me.


primorge ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 4:53 PM · edited Mon, 05 July 2021 at 4:55 PM

Reposting VedaDalsette's question to OP so as not to be missed...

"Can you plug in hsv2 nodes in the Material room and write Python scripts to change values to change the tone? Scripts can ask the user to plug in a value within a range. Also, preset mc6 files can be made for different tones. Or is that not enough?"

...at least I think that was directed at OP, maybe it was a response to Randym77's comment?


primorge ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 5:01 PM · edited Mon, 05 July 2021 at 5:03 PM

Also, transmapped hairs made nowadays just take too long to render. If anything were to make me go completely postwork it would be hair render times. The hair in the images above are very light and only use diffuse textures and the baked in specular. And it's obvious. I felt it was at least better than nothing for the test renders... ala yet another bald chick lol. I kind of like sculpted toon hair really.


randym77 ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 6:50 PM

I think that's a big reason I'm still sticking with Firefly. Hair. Rendering transmapped hair takes an insane amount of time in Superfly, and I have yet to see dynamic hair shaders for Superfly that look decent.


Afrodite-Ohki ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 7:59 PM
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Transmapped hair needs you to know what to set up in your render options in superfly - doesn't take long if you only set those numbers as high as you need and no more :D

And if you're on P12 and your computer can do Optix, it eats those up like a breeze, super fast.

- - - - - - 

Feel free to call me Ohki!

Poser Pro 11 and Poser 12, Windows 10, Superfly junkie. My units are milimeters.

Persephone (the computer): AMD Ryzen 9 5900x, RTX 3070 GPU, 64gb ram.


primorge ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 9:51 PM

I wonder how many versions before Firefly goes the way of the Poser 4 renderer?


randym77 ( ) posted Mon, 05 July 2021 at 10:58 PM

I have no idea what Optix is.

And TBH, the results from Superfly don't particularly make me anxious to learn. I remember when Firefly came out. Holy heck, it looked SO much better than the P4 renderer. It was worth learning how use, because the results were so much better.

I just don't see that with Superfly. Still looks unpleasantly grainy to me. With ugly hair.

And as others have noted...with Firefly, once you learned a few basics, you could use the same settings for most scenes. You didn't have to adjust everything all the time.


primorge ( ) posted Tue, 06 July 2021 at 6:14 AM

I don't see anything being done with Superfly that would make me want to stop using Firefly either. I will concede that shadows looks better in Superfly though. And for environment rendering it's much better. PBR materials seem easier to set up. The grain doesn't really bother me because I generally post work a slight bit of film grain into most of my finished Firefly renders, and I've seen quite a few Blender and Poser renders using Cycles which have very little grain. I'm not really into making things look photorealistic in art though. I started using Poser because I got sick of painting shadows lol. As far as photorealism goes I came from a sculpture background and would hang out with meticulous Photorealist painters in the painting department, not a single one of them ever said to me "well your work doesn't look real" lol. For illustrative art I never wanted my work to be any more realistic than, say, the work of illustrator Richard Corben. I guess we will all have to either embrace PBR or find a suitable NPR alternative, which is totally doable. Or maybe a middle ground if that's possible... maybe further preview render options will come with future Poser versions that can make that another option. Poser developers shouldn't narrow options but expand them.


Afrodite-Ohki ( ) posted Tue, 06 July 2021 at 6:41 AM
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I can only say that, if you don't see a difference in quality comparing Superfly to Firefly, then... stay in Firefly, I guess. For me the difference is glaring, but hey, to each their own :)

- - - - - - 

Feel free to call me Ohki!

Poser Pro 11 and Poser 12, Windows 10, Superfly junkie. My units are milimeters.

Persephone (the computer): AMD Ryzen 9 5900x, RTX 3070 GPU, 64gb ram.


randym77 ( ) posted Tue, 06 July 2021 at 6:56 AM

I wanted to be Don Maitz when I grew up. ?

These days, I'm leaning toward an even more illustrative/toon look. I'd like to see those options expanded. (I've been poking around a little in Clip Studio, previously known as Smith Micro's Manga Studio. It now allows the import of FBX files.)

Also, if someone made a Poser cat model like in the Secret Cat Forest game, I would totally buy it.


VedaDalsette ( ) posted Tue, 06 July 2021 at 1:28 PM

primorge posted at 1:24PM Tue, 06 July 2021 - #4422541

Reposting VedaDalsette's question to OP so as not to be missed...

"Can you plug in hsv2 nodes in the Material room and write Python scripts to change values to change the tone? Scripts can ask the user to plug in a value within a range. Also, preset mc6 files can be made for different tones. Or is that not enough?"

...at least I think that was directed at OP, maybe it was a response to Randym77's comment?

Thanks. It was to randym77's comment. I'm always changing colors with hsv2. Of course, I've been too lazy to play with Python3. One of these days...



W10,Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8600K CPU @ 3.60GHz, 32.0 GB RAM, 64-bit, video GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB.
Old lady hobbyist.
All art and all fiction is "playing with dolls."


randym77 ( ) posted Wed, 07 July 2021 at 5:29 AM

I wouldn't have the first clue how write a Python script.

I think one of the reasons you don't see those MAT files to apply color changes to all skin materials is that the palms and soles never look right. It's okay for slight changes in tone, but not for really dark skin. Because the palms and soles are typically part of the same material zone as the rest of the hand/foot, if not the entire limb.

The OP looks like he's addressed this somehow, though the results don't look natural to me, at least with Genesis.


VedaDalsette ( ) posted Wed, 07 July 2021 at 7:30 AM

I see. Palms and soles. Yes, that would make a difference. Maybe use P12 layers and transmaps? I'm just curious to see how it's all done.



W10,Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8600K CPU @ 3.60GHz, 32.0 GB RAM, 64-bit, video GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 4GB.
Old lady hobbyist.
All art and all fiction is "playing with dolls."


primorge ( ) posted Wed, 07 July 2021 at 2:15 PM

Probably easiest with a mask set up.


Vortall ( ) posted Sun, 11 July 2021 at 7:20 PM

Rhia474 posted at 7:18PM Sun, 11 July 2021 - #4422130

Thank you ! I would start with one infinite light only first since you have the envirosphere that also casts light. With one light only, render, then with same one light try increasing pixel samples, then bounces. Change only one variable at a time. I suspect it is shadows cast by transmapped hair strands calculated from multiple light sources.

I was having a similar issue but the hair just had white sparkles everywhere, unchecking 'indirect light' fixed it.


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