Tako Yakida World - CG art using DAZ Studio, Hexagon, Carrara, LuxRender, Reality and Photoshop Elements 9



Simple photo-realistic scene tutorial

Posted on May 21, 2011 at 7:51 PM

Today I will show you how I made the below image.

This was done using the Elite Marie texture (which even includes morphs!) and the Streets of Asia product. I only used a Sun and one large diffuser without any special lighting. You can see the diffuser below.

Before I open Reality, I try to delete or hide all the parts of the scene that will not be visible and that I do not want to have cast shadows into the scene. (Sometimes you might want to have something off-screen just for the shadow effect it provides in your finished image.)

Once that is done, I select the object that I want to use to set the camera's depth of field (DOF). This time, I chose to click one of my subject's fingers for this.

After loading Reality, you can set the DOF at this point (or later if you feel like it). Sequence does not matter. But remember to click the "Focus on selected object" button or else the distance for DOF will not change and you will get the wrong part of the image in focus.

You can also set the exposure of the camera in the above window. This will change the amount of light entering your camera. This saves you time from having to set it again in Lux.

Next, I check the material settings. For the diffuser I lowered the opactiy to .91.

And I lowered the specularity/glossiness levels of all the Streets of Asia props to more reasonable levels. We're not making an ice-skating rink after all!

Despite lowering these levels, I was still getting a lot of noise during rendering with the concrete ground sections, so I simply set them to matte.

For your model's eyes, make sure that the Cornea and EyeSurface materials are set to glass and have no textures in any of the boxes. (If there is a texture it can turn their eyes black.)

Next, the results you can get with skin textures rendering properly in Lux is affected by a few things. One is the realisticness of the skin to begin with. Even before coming into DAZ Studio or Reality, if you are using a low-quality texture, your results in the end will be severely limited. So, if after trying every tweak imaginable in Reality, checking for optimum light intesntity and direction in Studio, fiddling with the camera exposure, sun and sky settings in Lux, your skin still looks unconvincing, you might want to try a better skin.

That being said, let's look at the skin settings I used. (By the way, to get even better results, you can try upping the intesity of the bump map bit by bit. This can make the lips looks especially great. But adding too much to your model might make them look like they just came from a B-movie convention, so be careful.) If the skin does not have any bump maps, you can create them easily with a program called CrazyBump. For me, it's been a nice program to make good maps when you're in a hurry.

Here are my basic settings for the skin:

Now, this is a little embarrasing, but when I made the image, I didn't realize Reality had turned my bump map strength down to 2% (they were at 80% in DAZ Studio) making it practically flat. Luckily, the image still looked good, but would have been even better had I spotted the problem beforehand. Nowadays, I always try to remember to check the strength levels of any bump/displacement maps in Reality before sending to Lux.

This can be quite frustrating, as there have been times when I kept upping the Positive and Negative bump levels (which are just to the right of Strength) and saw no change in the image Lux was presenting me. After a while, you look over and see your strength setting is something like 0%! So always keep that in mind if the program is not responding as you would expect. Just calmly look over all the settings being presented to you to see if something like that is happening.

Here are the hair settings I used. I like to keep my hair glossiness in the 7000s, but you can make it higher if you want it shinier and lower if you want it duller.

Here's another potential problem you may run into: If you find your model looking too pink (which can happen easily with lighter-skinned characters) you can change the Coat color to something a bit more beige and a little darker. That's what I did with the below image.

For our Marie Streets of Asia image, before calling Lux, I clicked the Alpha Channel box to render without a background, as I would be adding my own later.

After you call Lux by hitting the Render Frame button in Reality, lower the sun intensity so the shadow on her neck blends in more with the rest of her body. You may have to play around with the balance of the sky and sun to get what you want.

When your render is up to your standards, simply stop Lux, open your image in your favorite photo editing software to load your background into the bottom layer, with your render on the top layer.

Note: If there is a little noise or any strange artifacts left, (I had some in the back right behind my model) you can easily fix it using the Soften brush in Paint Shop Pro or the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop. If these tools don't quite work, you can also color it in by selecting a color next to the noise with the dropper tool and then setting your opacity for your brush to around 50 percent. This should blend nicely and make it look like no noise had ever been there.

And that's all their was too that image!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you. Good luck with your renders!

Categories: Reality Tutorials (English)