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How to Compare FF and SF in the Material Room? (oh, and Normal Maps)

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
So I'm working on some cloth materials, and I want to be able to compare what the Superfly and Firefly versions look like so I can get them similar. I'm assuming the best way to do this is to make a root node for each, and have the 'eye' open so I can see what they look like.

So first off, I there a way not to get a head there, and just a flat surface? I feel like I mysteriously got this once, but can't get it back.

Also shouldI worry about the strange shadows that show up when I attach a Normal map? Happens in both renders but here's an example (Firefly on the Left Superfly on the Right)
No normal map:


With Normal map:


Oh, and one more question on Normal Maps, should I be using anything other than a regular 2D Image Map node to attach them?
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
Hey GG, first of all, why not try doing one root node for both FireFly and SuperFly, just check both boxes on the one root node. That way you can see how close you can get your settings to work for both. I don't know how well that would work with character skins, but I'd try that first before trying to build two separate nodes to look the same.

As far as your Normal Maps question, I just read a response by Bagginsbill on the Poser Forums that might be just as good a response here:

"Some sort of bump mapping is good. Normals are one way but since they come in two flavors (green up, vs. green down) and FireFly uses one while SuperFly uses the other, they are kind of a PITA. Also, there are few tricks I can do with them. I can do LOTS of tricks with bump maps that I cannot do with Normal maps.

There are a ton of people who don't know WHY you use a normal map instead of a bump map. The reason is real-time game graphics. Are you doing real-time game content? If so, do the normals. If not, use a bump map."

Hope that helps.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
Hey GG, first of all, why not try doing one root node for both FireFly and SuperFly, just check both boxes on the one root node. That way you can see how close you can get your settings to work for both. I don't know how well that would work with character skins, but I'd try that first before trying to build two separate nodes to look the same.
I agree it would be easier to build this way, and maybe I'm missing something, but how do I know how it looks in Firefly vs. Superfly if I'm using the same root node?

I'll have to go check out the new Poser forum, and see more of what Bagginsbill has to say. I was partly using normal maps, because I've heard several people on this forum say they actually work better, and to some degree I like the Normal Map results better. I think actually I may have partly figured out the shadow thing. It seems to have something to do with whether or not there is something to reflect. So for instance if I've hidden the ground plane (which I often do) I get strange shadows. When I put the ground plane back in, they go away.

I found some good tutorials on Renderosity that I'm going through, and evidently the one that talks about plants will get to normal maps, so I may understand more then.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
I agree it would be easier to build this way, and maybe I'm missing something, but how do I know how it looks in Firefly vs. Superfly if I'm using the same root node?
You would render with each render engine. That's the only way to see if they look the same or not, even if you were using the separate root nodes. SuperFly may need adjustments, but if they're minor that's better than duplicating a lot of nodes that will work in both render engines.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
You would render with each render engine. That's the only way to see if they look the same or not, even if you were using the separate root nodes. SuperFly may need adjustments, but if they're minor that's better than duplicating a lot of nodes that will work in both render engines.
So if I have two different root nodes one with Superfly selected and one with Firefly, I can see in the little preview what each looks like. That's what I posted at the top of the thread. Each of those is a screen grab of my material room, with the root nodes next to each other. I'm not sure it's the best way to work, but I'm trying to get the materials to be close to each other (as well as just making them look good) and that's the best way I've found so far.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
Ahhh, I don't go for those tiny previews. I need up close and personal renders to see details. ;) I guess these old eyes just don't do well with anything that small.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
Well, I still have to render stuff anyway. It's interesting, because I found recently that Poser 11 came with 'Developer lights'. They certainly are very even, but I'm not sure if they are any good for Superfly. Here's the same material using those lights first in FF then in SF



You can see how washed out the SF version becomes. Of course, if I remember my theatre lighting correctly, that is pretty natural and realistic, it's why the one thin you don't do in the theatre is just use straight on white light, you usually have an amber on one side and a pale blue on the other.

That same material, but using the Sun from TerraDome 2 looks like this in FF and SF.


So here SF looks better (although I'm on the default low render settings).

That's one of the reasons I was sort of using those little previews, because lighting can change so much, I'm figured that was showing me a 'pure' version of the texture. . . whatever that means.
 

Glitterati3D

Dances with Bees
You have a consideration with P11 that did NOT exist in previous versions - namely, SF does NOT do micro displacement, so bump maps and displacment maps are simply ignored in Superfly. If you want displacement/bump on a Superfly render you MUST use a normal map.

I posted instructions on how to connect a normal map here: Using the advanced materials tab in Poser
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
Ah Ha!:applause: I knew there was a reason to use Normal Maps. I'd figured out where to connect them, but I re read that thread and realized there were several other little tips in there I didn't know. :thankyou:
 

Glitterati3D

Dances with Bees
Ah Ha!:applause: I knew there was a reason to use Normal Maps. I'd figured out where to connect them, but I re read that thread and realized there were several other little tips in there I didn't know. :thankyou:
You're welcome.

You might want to start yourself a couple of folders where you can save tips and tricks on rigging and the material room. I can never find the posts when I need them!

I looked for days for the one on transparency in Superfly and never did find it until someone posted a link to it again.

Oh and Netherworks posted on how to change that head in P11's material room and supplied a ball to replace it with. It was on RDNA. No clue what might still be over there as I haven't been there in some time.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
Well, I have lots of things bookmarked, I just forget to go see if I've already book marked something. And I'll see if I can find that post at RDNA. I know it's got to be a setting somewhere, because everynow and then it's not a head.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
Oh, and I found that post, so much better than the head. I can already see things that were causing me problems with the material, but were getting 'hidden' by the eyes and the nose. Now I can tell what is actual texture on the material, and not the geometry of that head.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
Well I think I got the basic raw silk look I was going for. At this point I think I need to set it aside, and come back tomorrow and see if I still like it, and then see what happens when I add an image map.
 

phdubrov

Noteworthy
Contributing Artist
You have a consideration with P11 that did NOT exist in previous versions - namely, SF does NOT do micro displacement, so bump maps and displacment maps are simply ignored in Superfly. If you want displacement/bump on a Superfly render you MUST use a normal map.
I posted instructions on how to connect a normal map here: Using the advanced materials tab in Poser
???
Can you explain what you mean?
bump.png


Displacement maps can make undesirable results on sparse meshes, but ignored???
disp.png
 

Glitterati3D

Dances with Bees
I'll be happy to explain.

I was answering the question ASKED.

I was helping an artist with what WE do - create medium to low polygon clothing items for models.

In a fantasy world populated ONLY by high end users, high end computers, and high end models of hundreds of thousands of polygons, your answer applies.

In OUR world - creating clothing items for Poser and DS - none of that applies.

Yeah, I would like you to take any shirt in your Poser/DS library, up the render options/subD to where it needs to be to use those settings you advocate and render it in Firefly or 3Delight on a low end computer like OUR users have.

And, "sparse mesh" now that's hysterical!

We are dealing with low/medium resolution meshes that have to render in a decent amount of time on low end computers on 4 different render engines - at a minimum. Add in Octane and Reality and you're asking clothing/character creators to deal with SIX different render engines.

So, please, don't make the situation harder to understand by dealing with what WE are trying to accomplish and not some ideal mesh on an ideal computer.

For the OP - sure, up that bump map setting to 20 as in this example and render your clothing in Firefly or 3Delight. It will be a fun experiment. Time waster, but fun.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
I will say, as I'm working on an outfit for Luna who is so tiny, the mesh is rather small, because I have a hard enough time getting to the vertices as it is, without out adding more. And with cloth I'm trying for a more subtle effect. The tricky thing is not having the map too strong.

I may have also figured out some of the shadow issues I'm having. Over the weekend I started playing with some of Ken's birds I got recently, and I was reading through the manual, he mentions that in Poser, you can have issues with shadows looking very blocky and square when you only have tiny things in your scene (like birds. . . or baby clothes). He recommends either scaling the items up, or adding a large prop to the scene, which for some reason resolves it. I think that's why when I would unhide the ground plane/construct, the shadows would behave themselves.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
Just getting back to this thread and see you've made some progress GG. I'm curious, though, what "Developer Lights" come with Poser 11? The only Developer Lights I use are from Fabiana's Mild Boreal Lights set, which you have to purchase separately.
 

Gadget Girl

Extraordinary
Contributing Artist
I have those as well (mostly because so many people here recommended them, that I went out at bought them) but I was looking through the content that comes with Poser 11 recently. If you go to the Poser 11 runtime, Lights/Basic Light Sets/Poser 11 Lights/ you'll find a set called Developer Work Lights. They are basically bright white light from all directions.
 
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