Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Project My Fiery 01

DAZ has a tutorial called Fiery Genesis.  It uses Genesis and clothing that came with Studio 4.5 starter set.  You can find it in the free 3D models section


There is also a YouTube video

The main effort is the tutorial is to give users an easy success. There are a couple of ready-to-render scenes as well.

I think these scenes are a good starting point for projects to take the scenes that are OK and use them as a base to make a better image.  As I have said before, better is a personal taste and you make feel I have made the scenes worse or blah.  If so use these projects as a place to go your own direction.

These ready-to-render scenes also contain a hidden treasure that we can use again and again.

For the first project let's work on the first scene that uses aldora hair.  Let's make a better version of this scene with the challenge of using mostly the same content.

Here are opportunities to make a better image:

1) Backdrop is busy and distracting.
2) The expression is the one aptly named "Zero".
3) The lace on the collar is elegant, but the effect is lost because the casual pose shows the clunky under collar support structure.
4) The aldora hair must be meant to be a child's hair or vintage, it looks dirty and scraggily in this context.
5) The skin is stiff and plastic.  I think this may be caused by the lighting.

Let's improve these issues one by one.


In the edit menu change the backdrop to none.  Build a warm gray panel and put it behind the figure (see Modeling Monday 01).


In the scene tab expand Genesis all the way to Head the select Head.

In the parameters under Pose Controls-Head you will find Expressions.  There a number of sliders for expressions ranging from Afraid, Anger, to Surprise.  These run from 0.00 to 1.00 with 0 being absence of the expression and 1.00 being an extreme.  Some of these extremes look as if they would be useful in extreme comic book like circumstances.  I prefer to .10 through .25 range mostly.  You can even combine low range expressions, but be careful some of these can add up to pretty bad results.  If you get bad results and can't find a way out, just zero all expressions and begin again.

At this stage the eyes won't be right.  Don't spend much time on the eyes now, we will just have to do the eyes again after we have the final pose and framing.


Do not move the figure.  If you move the figure you will lose your lights.  Make small adjustments to the camera until you get what you want.

You can create new cameras copying your current camera as a way to back track and compare options.  If you name the new camera something like collarAdj3 collarAdj4 ...  You can easily return to any earlier stage.  Undo doesn't always get there for me because not all operations/moves go on the undo stack.

The video tutorial shows how to get the eyes to stare at the camera.  I find this less than optimal -- so here is how I get around it.  Make another copy of your final camera (it won't be the one the eyes point at) Swith to the camera the eyes are tracking (probably camera1)  move that camera a little for a better eye position.  Now switch back to your final camera and you will have your final framing with the eyes a little away from dead on.


I had a hard time with the aldora hair.  I think this must have been meant for a little girl or a depression vintage hair style.  By pulling every setting back to 0 and then making it longer I got something I like a little better.  The real answer here is to just change hair.  The challenge limits I set for us here are not productive  I will try to loosen up on the next project.


As I said I think it was the lights, so I removed all four of the side lights (left and right) leaving only the UberEnvironment2.  I like this result the skin looks human and there are gentle modulations in the face surface that were lost before.  Unfortunately, this is quite flat and the major forms of the head have kind of lost definition.  I added a distant light and set it at Y rotation 45.  It was way too bright, so I turned it down to 50%  other settings shadow - ray trace, and shadow softness 8%.  Still too bright, so I turned down the Uber to 40%.  I think this is close to right.

2EZ light set

The Uberenvironment2 light here is the hidden treasure.  This light is quite hard to use.  My own efforts with it and its help file suggestions were very disappointing.  (dark and blotchy).  But this works very well.  There are almost twenty things to adjust on this light so a good looking set is very useful.  Let's make a light set for future use.Save your scene and then remove everything except the distant light and the uberenvironment light.  Now Save As light preset and name it 2EZ.  In new scenes you can find these in the content library at Presets-Light Presets and you will see 2EZ  double click that icon to add our lights to the scene.

This light set demonstrates how I hope to move forward in my 3D Art Journey.  They are definitely a beginner's light set.  I am sure other available sets are better -- but I don't know how to use those sets.  At this point I can't make the best scenes, I certainly can't make perfect scenes.  What I can do is make each one better.  I can't learn all of the features at once, so having a simple, reliable answer for part of the scene will let me move forward in small steps.