I had a successful portrait studio for nearly 20 years. I started off buying tens of thousands of dollars worth of lights and backdrops only to learn in the long run, it is best to K.I.S.S. Keep It Simply, Seriously!
So, I want you to open DAZ Studio and in an empty scene, do the following...
- Create->New Primative
- Origin= World Center
- Primary Axis=Y Positive
- Size= 12 ft
- In the Scene tab select the Plane you just created
- In the Parameters tab, with the Plane selected, change the X Rotate to 90
- Change the Y Translate to about 180 (this should place most of the Plane above the X,Z plane. This is now your backdrop.
- Because I'm doing this using the Iray render engine, let's set the back drop up with an Iray shader...
- Select your Plane in the Scene tab if it isn't still selected
- In the Surfaces Tab, select Plane there too
- In your Smart Content, go to Shaders->Iray->Uber and open the DAZ Studio Default Resources and double-click Iray Uber Base
- Now, this might sound funny, but in that same product go to the Rubber Tab and double click Rubber-Matte. I like this surface because it is a nice, smooth, gray matte for the background. (Which is how I had my studio walls painted - flat gray.)
For this tutorial, we are not going to worry about the floor. We're only going to do a head shot, and we only need a backdrop. This will be it. You're looking at a white wall.
Let's continue by creating our light....
- Click on the Lights tab
- In the Editor tab, from the Select an Item... drop down, select Create New SpotLight
- Click [Accept]
- Select the [G] Light parameter and in the Light Geometry, change it from Point to Disc
- Set the Height (Diameter) to 80
- Luminous Flux (Lumen) to 300000
- Temperature (K) to 5600
- Select the [G] General tab
- Change X Translate to -160
- Z Translate to 80
- Y Translate to 180
- X Rotate to -160
- Y Rotate to -90
- and Z Rotate to 160
Finally, let set up the render environment...
- First, make sure your scene has a camera. I use the default scene which opens with Default Camera. If you don't have a default camera, create a camera by going to the Cameras tab, Select an Item... and Create new camera. I have my camera positioned about X=25, Y=290, Z=870, however, that's going to change in step 2.
- Select the Render Settings tab (or Render->Render Settings from the main menu)
- In the General settings, we're going to set things up for a decent size 8x10 (which was a popular size for prints of head shots)
- Turn Constrain Proportions (Global) to On
- Set the Aspect Ratio (Global) to W=8 and H=10
- Pixels Size (Global) to W=2000 (and this will set the H to 2500 automatically). This will render a file that will be equivalent to a 5MP camera, which is more than adequate.
- Set the Render Type to Still Image (Current Frame)
- Render Target New Window
- Give your image a name
- Select the path where you'd like the new image to be saved
- Turn Auto Headlamp to Never
- and Post Processing Script to None
- Skip down the the [G] Environment section...
- Environment Mode = Scene Only
- Environment Intensity = 1
- Environment lighting Resolution = 512
- Environment Lighting Blur Off
- Ground Position Mode Manual
- Draw Ground On
- Ground Shadow Intensity = 1
- Click on the Draw Style options and select the NVIDIA Iray option
You have just built your film noir studio set. I know it doesn't look like you've done much, but this would be a good time to do a File->Save As->Scene... and give your scene and name and save all this work.
This is how your screen will look at this point...
See you in the next page...