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Poser F.A.Q (Updated: 2019 Jan 31 1:28 pm)


 Subject: VSS Skin Test - Opinions

bagginsbill opened this issue on Apr 23, 2008 · 2832 posts

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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 12:42PM Wed, 23 April 2008 · edited on 12:42PM Wed, 23 April 2008


Hey people. I'm very close to finalizing my upcoming freebie Versatile Shader System (VSS). I'm not really ready to discuss that. I'm here to get opinions.

I'm putting together some sample scenes and shaders to go with it. One of the hardest problems is realistic outdoor composition. Here is a sample.

Also, I have a brand new 24" Samsung SyncMaster monitor with a freaking 10,000 to 1 contrast ratio. I'm a little concerned that what looks great to me (now) doesn't look so great to you.

So, how does it look?

(Click for full size)


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  Gareee    ( ) ( posted at 12:58PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219818

Is it lcd or crt, BB? I just recently switched to a lcd from crt, and you DO see a big difference, but since crts are being phased out, and crts are almost impossible to find/buy anymore, I'd just go with lcd stuff now, because odds are, that's all we'll ALL be using in a year or two.

From that image, it looks like the poser figure had much more lighting then the guys to her left.. not how dark "overall" they are then she is.

Way too many people take way too many things way too seriously.

  JenX    ( ) ( posted at 1:16PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219831

I agree w/ Gareee, she looks slightly lighter than the guys on her left. 

For comparison purposes, I'm using a ViewSonic, 22-inch, with a 700:1 contrast ratio.

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  cedarwolf    ( ) ( posted at 1:26PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219842

Looks pretty realistic to me, but my monitor probably needs degausing and adustment.  I'm looking forward to the new goodie you are developing.


  Gareee    ( ) ( posted at 1:49PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219861

Oh.. forgot.. hann-g 28" lcd with a 800:1 contrast ratio with it turned WAY down to closer emulate it's older crt brothers.

Way too many people take way too many things way too seriously.

  YngPhoenix    ( ) ( posted at 1:56PM Wed, 23 April 2008 · edited on 2:03PM Wed, 23 April 2008 · @3219870

To me it's not the fact that she's lighter than everyone else(maybe she just started going to the beach), it's hard to see much detail due to the distance she's been posed from the camera. Also another thing that makes her look out of place is the fact that she too sharp when compared to not only the guys close to her but also the sand and the shell,rock or peice of paper that in the image is closer than she is seems to be blurred more than her.

Had to edit when I reread that it wasn't a skin shader but shaders used for scenes. Please disregard the part about not seeing enough detail of her skin.


  Tashar59    ( ) ( posted at 2:08PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219878

She is lighter but I think it's the highlights on the face, waist, shoulder and top of foot that has a bit of a vinyl look. The rest look pretty natural.

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  dlfurman    ( ) ( posted at 3:05PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219917

She looks fine to me, but I'm using a 20" CRT.
I think what may also throw off the image a bit is she's on the very tall side. :)
I know she's closer to the camera, but scaling is a bit off. (Minor nit)

The shader looks good to me though.

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  adp001    ( ) ( posted at 3:18PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219929

Skin-color is individual for each person. Same for "light response" in a specific range (highlights, reflection, roughness (bump)). Beach or not.

For me the image shown is allmost perfect, bagginsbill. Checked on (calibrated) CRT-monitors and LCD's. I checked also against some other photographs.

By the way: Poser-images usually have to mutch black. One more reason why a poser figure put into a photograph seldom looks good without color-correction.


  pjz99    ( ) ( posted at 3:21PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219930

I think the skin shading looks great, very convincing.  I'm okay with the skin tone being lighter (those lads are very, very sunburned).

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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 3:44PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219949


Thanks for the tips guys.

My monitor is LCD, and the contrast ratio is so high nothing looks the same as it used to.

For reference here's another crop of the original photo (I took it in Hawaii) - check out theuntanned  dude on the right.

I made here somewhere in between. I'm looking for normal skin right now, not beach bum skin :)

Although that will be an option.


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  Gareee    ( ) ( posted at 3:57PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219961

BB: I read a few tips abotu the high contrast ratio on lcds...

First they say to turn it down to about 10%

Then they also recommend seeing if the monitor also has a gamme setting for r/g/b, and then turning THOSE also down to about 50%  as well. Rhis will get th emonitor down to a more traditional level, it will extend the life of the monitor, and also it'll reduce eye fatigue as well.

I find my lcd MUCH easier to see them my old crt next to it, bu tif I leave it at it's default settings, I need sunglasses.. LOL!

Here's the quote from the tech about it:

"Another thing I look for in a monitor is capability of low brightness. For a programmer, too-high brightness is a big problem. Many LCD monitor's are ridiculously bright and cannot go down to 100cd/m2 (at 100cd/m2, also called "print-level" a white screen is about as bright as holding a paper page in a well-lit room). Anything more than that is quite straining for the eyes, especially at night. Turning the brightness to 0, and the contrast to about 25, I get the "paper effect" with this monitor, although blacks are not as deep as I would like. It does better than most monitors, but not nearly as good as my older Sony 19" SDM-HX93 LCD which had an amazing backlight adjustment.

UPDATE: I discovered a way to lower the brightness in addition to the brightness/contrast controls. Go to "Color setting" in the menu, and turn down all 3 RGB colors; I set Red to 70, Green to 70 and Blue to 62. This lowers the brightness considerably, so I do not have to reduce the contrast too much to achieve the low brightness setting I am after for easy-on-the-eyes late night coding sessions.
You can take the RGB colors all the way to 0 resulting in a black screen; it's an awesome brightness adjustability!
This trick may work on other monitors too, please comment if you have the chance to try it on Samsung, LG, Viewsonic, or other monitors. "

Way too many people take way too many things way too seriously.

  replicand    ( ) ( posted at 4:27PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219983

 Viewing on a 17" iMac 5, dual core Intel 2.16 gHz running ATI Radion x1600:

Great light integration with the scene, though she appears much sharper / crisper / "more in focus"  than the guys on the left. Her skin has the same characteristic waxiness as the mental ray Non-Physical SSS skin shader, which is to say that the specularity is exceptionally smooth and the skin tone perhaps too little orange or red.


  Tashar59    ( ) ( posted at 4:56PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3219999

My light reference was to the highlighting, wax looking not color of skin. I can't even get that shade of a tan. I'm a natural Fish belly white so all get is a sunburned fish belly white. LOL. 


  bopperthijs    ( ) ( posted at 5:59PM Wed, 23 April 2008 · edited on 6:01PM Wed, 23 April 2008 · @3220037

To me the skin just looks great, people can have lighter skins than others, so the difference in tint doesn't bother. The only thing that shows me she isn't real, is her hair. But you asked for her skin and that's just perfect. Even on my low-budget 1000:1 Belinea 22 inch TFT monitor.

Bopper.

 PS. Glad to hear you're still working on your skin shader program, it has been a little bit silent about it, but I know you're very busy with your new job.

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  Miss Nancy    ( ) ( posted at 7:22PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3220095

excellent composition IMVHO.  were the GI variables activated for said render?
angle of illumination in render is greater than sun angle in bg photo IMVHO.



  jerr3d    ( ) ( posted at 7:41PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3220105

i think the girl in the first picture looks pretty good her highlights are not blown out the midtones look very rich and the dark point is not so dark as to obscure detail


  Jestertjuuh    ( ) ( posted at 8:15PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3220125

The skin gloss looks very good and natural to me.
Same as the guy's on the left.

I understood thats whats it about.

And I use a hmmmm...a monitor.
You know, one of those old cast iron, coal fueled monsters.....same as my comp btw.

:biggrin:

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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:34PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3220132


Thanks everyone. Here's another test.

I appreciate the insights about the hair, unmatched blur and imperfect shadow angle, but I'm not really trying to fool you with this comp. If I were, I'd be doing some blurring in photoshop, or start with a higher res background photo. Rather, I just threw in the beach photo as a backdrop to give a sense of what I'm trying to create. I threw the hair on because she is hard to look at bald.

As to the super tan those guys have, I can do that no problem. The issue I'm solving is what if your figure is NOT super tanned? Everybody has seen great "real skin shader" style renders with heavily speckled and darkened skin. But how many light-skinned realistic renders have you seen? Take a look at the super un-tanned guy sitting behind her. He has no skin detail, and he's whiter than she is. Why does he look real? Why do renders look fake unless you go towards the supertan look? That's what I'm trying to get to here.

My goal is that a user can take my lights and my shader, and they know what they're going to get, without having to do a bazillion test renders.

By the way, I used no GI here, but there is AO on the skin. This is just two lights, one infinite, and the other is a procedural IBL I made with nodes, not a picture.


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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 8:40PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3220135


Just for grins, here's one where she's part of the supertan group.


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  Unicornst    ( ) ( posted at 11:10PM Wed, 23 April 2008  · @3220221

**I'm going to throw in my 2cents. On the first pic, I have to agree that the only thing that didn't "blend" in with the rest of the photo was her hair. But I also understand there's not much that can be done with hair models. Hence why I avoid them when I can. grin

On the close up of her, her skin looks lightly tanned and the lighting blends just as well as the first image. Even the hair blends better.

May I say I am highly impressed? Because I am. And this is looking at the images on an old Compaq 17".
**


  vincebagna    ( ) ( posted at 1:06AM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220273

I find it very convincing for my part. I know you are always looking for the little beettle under the rock, but i think you have obtained very great results here ^^

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  YngPhoenix    ( ) ( posted at 1:59AM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220288

Nice job! The closeup really helps and I like the last image.


  Tashar59    ( ) ( posted at 5:24AM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220340

The closeup looks better to mee too.

I don't think the actual tone of the tan has been an issue has it? I agree all the real skin shaders out there have a lot of that spotting. I try to use as little as I can. So I see what your trying to achieve and think it is quite good.


  adp001    ( ) ( posted at 11:12AM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220471

Quote - Take a look at the super un-tanned guy sitting behind her. He has no skin detail, and he's whiter than she is. Why does he look real? Why do renders look fake unless you go towards the supertan look? That's what I'm trying to get to here.

It's because the shadows at the Poser figure is to "flat", not dark enough on the "deeper" parts. The shadow does not "model" the character. 


  bopperthijs    ( ) ( posted at 11:42AM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220492

Speaking freely, there are two things that are bothering me: Like Adp001 said, the shadows. The shadows on a sunlight day are much darker. The sharp edges of the shadows are allright , that's what you expect from sunlight. I think the AO could be stronger to make the shadows in the deeper parts darker.
That's one.
Second: I really think the skin of the body looks perfect, but the skin of her face, looks rather flat to me, just like she used to much powdercoat-makeup, perhaps you can give it a more oily appearance, which won't look strange on a beach.
I hope I didn't sound too hard, I have great appreciation for your work, it's always a pleasure to read your threads in the node-cult.

Bopper.

-How can you improve things when you don't make mistakes?


  slinger    ( ) ( posted at 11:45AM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220496

To go off at a slight tangent from everyone else (nothing new there then) ...her calves, what we can see of them, knees, and lower thighs look absolutely great, but above that it goes a little "flat" for me.  One thing I'd like to see especially is more detail on the hands, maybe by ramping up the bump map a little?

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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 12:06PM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220509

Quote -
It's because the shadows at the Poser figure is to "flat", not dark enough on the "deeper" parts. The shadow does not "model" the character. 

Interesting. That is entirely controlled by the IBL, because the shadow parts are no longer lit by my infinite (the sun).

So I need some more variation and contrast in the IBL.


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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 12:24PM Thu, 24 April 2008 · edited on 12:24PM Thu, 24 April 2008 · @3220523


Have a look at this image.

I was wondering exactly how much light the "sun" contributes versus the environment.

I zoomed in on this person's back. We have shadows from the bikini string.

The ratio of the shadow to the lit is 82%, i.e. the shadow is 82% as bright as the lit part.

In my render, I had a shadow brightness of about 70%. So I made TOO MUCH shadow, at least for the parts that are open to the sky and sand.

I agree I need to get the AO working on the "deeper" shadows. I'm beginning to suspect Poser is having problems with the AO node, not really producing anything.


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  bagginsbill    ( ) ( posted at 1:06PM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220538


OK I adjusted my IBL for more contrast, and I adjust the AO to be stronger in the deep places.

Here is side-by-side, with AO and without AO, so you know what is caused by AO.

The high-contrast IBL has left the face looking strange to me. Is it wrong?

Slinger, I agree about the face - I think I need to use a specular map. Human faces are oily.


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  adp001    ( ) ( posted at 1:52PM Thu, 24 April 2008  · @3220584

Try to use a seperate specular map on any parts. Human skin has zones reflecting light different. This is also the case for bumpmaps (inner arm, outer arm, for example). Ask a makeup-artist working in a photo studio to get an idea on which parts powder is a must ;)

With AO, the bottom part is nearly perfect.

By the way: Make sure no intersection occurs. In reality the tissue on the legs will be compressed/deformed, building a deep, sharp fold (with dark shadow). You can't get the same effect without deforming the mesh or fixing this parts via postwork.


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