D|S4 Render Settings...
Okay... for the first time I did a full sized render, 1600 pixels tall, that rendered in FIVE MINUTES!
Good grief, that has NEVER HAPPENED to me before. So I'm talking with a programmer friend and he's telling me about floating point operations (as opposed to Integer Operations) and that I need to figure out which that one setting, or two, were those that made this render go so fast...
Here's the image:
My render settings were as follows:
Bucket Size: 8
Ray Trace Depth: 4
Pixel Samples X: 4
Pixel Samples Y: 4
Shadow Samples: 16
Shading Rate: 0.5
Pixel Filter: sinc
Pixel Filter Width X: 6
Pixel Filter Width Y: 6
Why, oh why did this render not take the normal TWO HOURS? I dunno... not the first CLUE!
The Saga Continues... a brief history of my renders...
Yes, I started doing something I've been longing to do... couple of things, actually. I used DzFire's Warehouse, which I LOVE! The guy does amazing work. But I also created a comic book style sequence which kinda shows where my head is at with regard to the characters in my runtime.
Enjoyed it! Loved doing it! Took 30+ hours creating the four posts that made it up, and I hope to do more in the future... It also took my mind off the Oakland A's losing streaks... :(
Anway, the story goes thusly: Samantha, who has been my muse since Poser 3 and has had various incarnations since then poses for Stone Fields in his old studio... I made this version of her right after I got the newest version of DAZ's Victoria (5) for Genesis. The Studio was basically comprised of Cubes with a bs texture I whipped out of GIMP in about ten minutes... it seemed to work, so I used it for my skin materials render tests... Oh... NUDITY on a lot of these! Most, in fact... they are SKIN tests, after al :)
Well, then I got Generation X, which allows Victoria 4 Characters to be converted to Genesis... and I started going crazy buying up Characters on Renderosity... including the AMAZING Dublin by Danae (a must have, BTW)... and Autumn by Sabby and Seven... here's my first render test with them:
Again, I kept using the motif of the studio, always thinking there's some lecherous guy snapping the pictures... sort of another alter ego of mine which had yet to be named.
I also started making my own characters, but I didn't want to make insanely beautiful women, since that's what everyone does (God Bless Them!)... I started with Ellie and Nikki:
More render tests, of course. Ellie wore DAZ Studio's Jeremy Texture, which worked for her very well. I even tried to adapt it to the Victoria 5 UV, with no real success. I may try again. In the meantime, I picked up Xilia78's Riley, and used that texture to creat Ashima. Ashima was my first attempt to create a character based entirely on the DieTrying morphs converted to Genesis by AMR. She was to be from India, and Riley's textures seemed perfect for her.
Then I discovered Wsupatoi's Trish and Tre!
What a discovery that was! Wsupatoi buys Merchant Resources, creates Characters and gives them away! They don't have all the texture options of a purchased figure, but they're DAMN NICE! I have eight of them as of now. So they joined my growing harem of lovely ladies.
Alicia was on sale (I try never to spend more than $10 on a character). Now... the preview images were nice enough... but when I put the Summer Hair on her, Alicia took on an uncanny resemblance to a very beautiful Librarian I've had a crush on for four years... and have never developed the nerve to talk to... in any event, I'm used to living vicariously through my runtime... Interestingly enough... She Looks Like A Dancer is the only image that got me on Renderosity's Charts... Alicia's Creator, Vyktohria, has since become a friend, and has been extraordinary in her support!
A Lesson In Poise (should call it, a little Romance... I think it's pretty obvious what's going on there... Sammie's just in complete awe of Alicia)
Yeah... couldn't help it. I always thought it was my best image ever, but people still like the previous one. Doesn't matter.
I kept going, still tweaking Skin Material options. In my renders I kinda like continuity, as you may have noticed, and when I finally posted Stone Fields, it was in this one:
I got some nice feedback on that one... it led me to the conclusion that people liked my characters and my characterizations... The idea that this Lecherous guy, Stone Fields was getting it from his models felt real and so I thought, what would his wife look like? Well... he wouldn't marry a model, of course! He'd probably marry some successful, driven woman who had some self esteem issues but would support him just because... oh yeah! Nikki!
In the interim, I picked up more of Vyktohria's characters, the second being Nala. I have bought more of Vyktohria's girls than from any other source. Partly because Vyktohria has been so supportive but moreso because she makes some of the most beautiful characters I've seen!
Then I had my crash! Blog Post Detailing my Criminal Negligence
Oh, it was horrible. Lost all my work, and I still haven't brought my skin materials to where they were, because I can't remember my settings! DURNIT! (I think what I'm going to be doing over the next few days is trying to get those beautiful materials I had... figuring out what it was I built them upon...)
In any event, I almost immediately set to work recreating Samantha:
(by the way, I've since redone Sam's mom... I always had the notion that they'd look like sisters more than mother and daughter... I'll get a render up later)
And my love affair with Alicia continued... I created Alicia's Dance Studio (in Freestuff), to keep going with the idea that she is a dancer. Of course, I put mirrors on the walls, and my poor Laptop can't render them in anywhere under eight hours... so I'm saving to get a new nVidia equipped laptop and the Octane Render engine... But I did take the time to feature all Vyktorhia's characters I had:
Love naked dancing girls... don't you?
Right around that time, DAZ comes out with the Genesis Supersuit, which I was NOT going to buy! I really was NOT! I didn't want it! I had no use for it! What for? I render naked girls! I don't bother with superheroes, or scifi renders or whatever else... there are people out there doing amazing work on that level!
Damn it... I couldn't resist! I bought it anyway...
I also picked up Vyktohria's Rayvn, the Tattooed Siren, and I generally loath tattoos on a girl... but they kinda fit this one, so I got her!
And I posted this little thing:
I'd been wanting to do something with a comic book style for a while, and this was meant to be a one off... but then my friend Vyktohria posted a note begging me to do a nude of Rayvn... and that set me on a path to making a series...
So, there you have it... a brief history of my renders! Thanks to all my friends, Vyktohria, Alessimarco, Twelvemark21, Crunch01, Chevy77, Knightwolverine, and everyone else who's followed my work and given me such encouragement!
A Lesson in Poise REDUX and Lighting.
So I shelled out $48 for the course at DreamLight on lighting, which has touted the seven point light system. It was my excuse for re-doing A Lesson in Poise, which is my favourite image of those I've created with my two favourite characters (Alicia by Vyktohria and Samantha by me).
Basically, the course builds on the three point system used by photographers: Key, Fill and Back Lights, in that 3D space does not naturally have ambient light or bounced light. So 3D artists have to create it themselves.
Now, in my defense, I'm only halfway through the course, so I did not use the seven point system. I am, however, applying what I've learned so far, and this image is the second I've posted since starting the course.
I cannot yet recomend the course to anyone, since I have yet to complete it and yet to make a spectacular render that captures everyone's attention. Hopefully, I'll get there. For now, I'll be content with this image.
Samantha is wearing <a href=http://www.daz3d.com/i/shop/itemdetails/?item=13376 target=next>Hampton Hair</a>
Alicia is wearing <a href=http://www.daz3d.com/i/search/searchsub/?_m=d&sstring=summer+hair&x=0&y=0 target=next>Summer Hair</a>
Nala is wearing the shirt from <a href=http://www.daz3d.com/i/shop/itemdetails/?item=14097 target=next>Town and Country</a>, the shorts from <a href=http://www.daz3d.com/i/shop/itemdetails/?item=13422 target=next>Genesis Basic Wear for Women</a> and <a href=http://www.daz3d.com/i/shop/itemdetails/?item=13920 target=next>Genesis Sneakers</a>.
The Dance Barre I made, and the brick and floor textures I found on the internet.
My Character Creation Toolset
Okay, must make these known if only to myself for future reference, especially if my computer decides to make contact with a firewall at fifty miles an hour again.
First, I have all the Genesis Evolution Morphs from DAZ: http://www.daz3d.com/i/3d-models/-/genesis-evolution-morph?item=12989
From ShareCG I have the DieTrying morphs converted from V4 to Genesis: http://www.sharecg.com/v/58198/View/11/Poser/DieTryings-182-V4-Morphs-for-Genesis
Last, but definately not least: I have the AMR proportion morph set converted to Genesis: http://forumarchive.daz3d.com/viewtopic.php?t=170427
I do have a few other items, but these are my basic tools for character creation. The DieTrying Morphs are FREE FREE FREE and having nothing but the freeware D/S4 package and those will get you a very, very, VERY looong way!
Hello Again Samantha...
Samantha has always been my main muse... She's had a version of her as Posette in Poser 3, Poser 4, then as Victoria 1, 2, 3 and 4... and now Genesis... (she's actually on her second version in Genesis since my unfortunate insident with my last ill fated laptop)...
So, as part of my rebuilding process, I was going to hold off trying to dial her in again, but I could not... had to dive right in.
But I was turned onto the most amazing texture map set at Share CG produced by Wintervon and posted about four years ago! Now Samantha wears it. Before she was wearing a highly adapted Lana set from the freebie available with D/S4 Basic. I will be revisiting Nikki and Ellie and Estelle, who was a work in progress. What is different about this time is that for the very first time I decided to try and produce Samantha's mother. I'd love your comments on them, as I based Jessica entirely on Samantha to the point that they're wearing the same hair and skin texture and many of the same dial settings. I added and suptracted to get Jessica to have an older woman who might have been Samantha's older sister. I might continue to do this experiment and try to make the entire family, but for now, I'll stick with the two of them.
Let me know what you think...