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Ken1171's Products at HiveWire3D

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
Not me, I never upgraded to Poser 11.
Well, don't worry - FF materials are in there too. :)


Probably it's me :)
But as @eclark1894 suggested to me in the other thread I probably will include sample scenes in my products in the future.
With simple HDRI rendered in Octane or Blender.
Hmm, I haven't considered creating my own HDRI. My camera doesn't support RAW images required to create multi-exposure HDRI shots. I have Octane in Poser, but how can we use that to create HDRI images?
 

phdubrov

Noteworthy
Contributing Artist
Don't remember about the plugin, but in standalone you can switch the camera from thin lens to panoramic.
 

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
Thanks for the info! I wonder if there is a tutorial on that? Everything is easy after we learn it. :)
 

eclark1894

Distinguished
Some of my upcoming products are now coming with PBR materials for Superfly (Cycles shaders), and I have noticed not even my beta-testers are being able to make the best out of them because, until recently, PBR was not part of the Poser pipeline. Without proper scene setup, photo-realistic PBR materials simply look flat and ugly - actually worse than Firefly materials, and that worries me.

But the most concerning issue is that Poser has no HDRI automatically added to the scene when we render with PBR, like it is with DS. As a result, all metals and glass will render as flat colors, which defeat their purpose in the first place. This makes me wonder how many who buy the outfit will know how to properly set HDRI in Poser when rendering with SF?

When it comes to PBR shaders, HDRI serves a triple purpose - it can be used to add a backdrop to the scene, to light it, and also to give something for shaders to reflect in renders. This might be one reason why some people came to believe I-ray renders look better than those from Superfly - because DS creates a proper HDRI environment automatically, even if the users don't know it's there. In Poser we have to do it manually, to include matching the camera focus distance to match whatever HDRI map is loaded, and controlling the emissive light intensity. One or more additional lights might be needed to add contrast and highlights - this is not a trivial process. Here again, DS automatically adds an extra light if there is none in the scene, even if the users don't know it's there (though attaching it to the camera was not the brightest idea).

The bottom line is that lighting a scene for FF is a different process than doing the same for SF. Poser won't hold your hand in the process like DS does, and I personally prefer it that way, but it took me years to learn the lighting process. It's not an exact science, and it's certainly an art on its own right.

Why am I saying all this? Because I want my upcoming PBR-ready products to look great in customer's renders. I am considering making a PBR lighting tutorial for Poser, but keep in mind Cycles is only available in Poser 11.

Now comes the question - how many of you who have read this far believe you KNOW how to light and render PBR materials in Poser 11?
I don't know, Ken, I have mixed feelings. I do consider DS to be more of a "paint by numbers" program, and Poser to be more creative and versatile, but like PHD said, I am starting to feel that Poser vendors will need to start holding the user's hands a little more and include preset scenes, or at the very least mini-tutorials on how to properly use their products. That may include setting up the proper lighting for them. Most people want to be able to re-create the scene they saw which made them buy the product.

If it helps any, I've started beefing up the tutorial section of my directory with more Poser webinars and Renderosity tutorials. Hopefully people will take advantage of the resource.
 

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
I have indeed included PDF and video tutorials on my recent products, teaching people some new skills they can use with mine and other products. That's the thing - Poser doesn't hold hands. Powerful resources are in there for those who know how to use them. As opposed to DS, Poser documentation helps a lot on getting people started on each area. It's surprisingly helpful for a manual. But when it comes to lighting, it took me years of practice to learn what works and what doesn't.

On one hand, DS offers a canned good-for-all solution off the bat, and the result is always the same. However, in all my years of 3D lighting, there was rarely a set that worked decently in different scenes. Each scene is unique, especially if the materials are different. When it comes to lighting for my own products, I know the materials, and I can make lighting that works with it, but I would have to create my own HDRI that I could distribute. This is essential to PBR rendering. I don't think it's difficult - it's just a matter of finding a method I can use for that.
 

eclark1894

Distinguished
I have indeed included PDF and video tutorials on my recent products, teaching people some new skills they can use with mine and other products. That's the thing - Poser doesn't hold hands. Powerful resources are in there for those who know how to use them. As opposed to DS, Poser documentation helps a lot on getting people started on each area. It's surprisingly helpful for a manual. But when it comes to lighting, it took me years of practice to learn what works and what doesn't.

On one hand, DS offers a canned good-for-all solution off the bat, and the result is always the same. However, in all my years of 3D lighting, there was rarely a set that worked decently in different scenes. Each scene is unique, especially if the materials are different. When it comes to lighting for my own products, I know the materials, and I can make lighting that works with it, but I would have to create my own HDRI that I could distribute. This is essential to PBR rendering. I don't think it's difficult - it's just a matter of finding a method I can use for that.
What HDRI are you using? You could always provide a link where people could download it themselves. Most HDRIs are free so far anyway, so it's not like it will cost them anything extra, and sending them on this little "errand" might get them used to the idea of using HDRI for lighting. And yes, my directory has links to HDRI sites in the Lighting and Cameras Category.
 

Miss B

Drawing Life 1 Pixel at a Time
CV-BEE
I'm not sure either, though I do like using HDRIs with EZDome. Earl's right, there are several sites that have very nice free HDRIs for download.
 

Hornet3d

Distinguished
Well, don't worry - FF materials are in there too. :)
Thanks for that, you never know what the future will bring so I might get to the more advanced stuff later. I love it when venders try cover off as many potential customers as possible as everyone's a winner. Some of the products at Daz has both poser and DS materials that includes iRay so having both Firefly and Superfly materials is great.
 

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
I am indeed using HDRI from a variety of FREE sources, but one thing is to download it for free, and another is to distribute it with a commercial product. I did some research and looks like it is possible for me to create my own HDRI, which would be safe to include with my PBR products. HDRI can be used as a backdrop, but in this case I just need it to render reflections on PBR materials, so it doesn't have to be pixel perfect. My camera is 6MP, so it maxes up at 2K pictures. This should be enough for that purpose.

There are many ways to shoot photos for HDRI, but the 2 most popular (that don't require more expensive cameras and lenses) is stitched panoramas and light probes. The problem with the first is that it takes too long to shoot each exposure for stitching (3 sequences of 13 photos each per exposure), for natural light changes over time as we do it. So my best solution would be light probes. There are ways to unwrap a light probe into a HDRI flat map.
 

Hornet3d

Distinguished
I am indeed using HDRI from a variety of FREE sources, but one thing is to download it for free, and another is to distribute it with a commercial product. I did some research and looks like it is possible for me to create my own HDRI, which would be safe to include with my PBR products. HDRI can be used as a backdrop, but in this case I just need it to render reflections on PBR materials, so it doesn't have to be pixel perfect. My camera is 6MP, so it maxes up at 2K pictures. This should be enough for that purpose.

There are many ways to shoot photos for HDRI, but the 2 most popular (that don't require more expensive cameras and lenses) is stitched panoramas and light probes. The problem with the first is that it takes too long to shoot each exposure for stitching (3 sequences of 13 photos each per exposure), for natural light changes over time as we do it. So my best solution would be light probes. There are ways to unwrap a light probe into a HDRI flat map.

I have played with light probes in the past so I understand what you are referring to. Clearly you have to walk a tighter line when dealing with commercial products as opposed to free ones.
 

phdubrov

Noteworthy
Contributing Artist
By the way, in the recent PS (don't know how many versions down) you can simply draw HDRI.
And as I found just now, in Blender too by painting in real-time on an env sphere.
 

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
Yes, it looks like we can manually paint HDRI, but I think those would be more suitable for studio shots, while I am aiming for outdoor renders. Light probes can be used for both, so they sound like the best approach for this purpose. Today I have spent the afternoon building my own socket to hold a 10" chrome ball on a tripod. This is not a trivial task, and it took me several attempts, but I think I've finally got a working solution involving a wooden block nailed to a section of PVC pipe. LOL

Believe me or not, the wooden block fits perfectly on the tripod's screw mount, and the chrome ball fits firmly on the PVC socket. ^___^

ProbeSocket.jpg


Funny thing I had this old Canon Powershot IS3 camera, but never knew it had a built-in HDRI light probe shooting preset. Who would guess? All I have to do is set the EV (exposure value) range, and then set the timer to 10 seconds, so I can get out of the way before it starts shooting. In this mode, the camera will shoot 3 times, each on a different exposure value within the given interval. The default is from -1 to +1 EV, but I wanted to push the range a bit wider, so I set it to -2 to +2 EV. This way, the shots will be in EV -2, 0, and +2.

Once the chrome ball has been shot, we combine the 3 exposures in Photoshop, and then unwrap the probe into a regular HDRI map. The resulting map is twice as wide as it is tall, so I loose resolution by half, which is a sad side-effect. This means the original 2K light probes get reduced down to 1K HDRI maps with 2K widths.

It took me so long to come up with usable chrome ball socket for the tripod that it was already dusk when I started shooting indoors, so the light probes came out noisy. I did some test renders with them, and looks like they are quite usable nonetheless. On the Superfly renders below, the left side is with just a spotlight, and the right side I have added my home-brewed HDRI map (from my kitchen!) in Poser. Dawn is the only thing on the scene.

The differences can be seen on the PBR glass and metals that now have something to reflect. Without that the metals turn black even in Superfly.

Comparison1.jpg
Comparison2.jpg
 
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RobZhena

Adventurous
Not me. I avoid SF like the plague because it’s too complicated and does nothing I need to do better than FF.
 

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
Well, it's not such a matter of SF being better. One is PBR and the other is not. It's hard to compare them beyond that. :)
 

eclark1894

Distinguished
Not me. I avoid SF like the plague because it’s too complicated and does nothing I need to do better than FF.
I disagree soooo much with that statement. I use Superfly because it's the render engine. But I just use Cycles nodes because, hell if it was any easier, the nodes would be plugging themselves in. my ONLY "complaint" is render times. I left my computer running a render this morning with glass bottles and caustics turned on. I'm hoping it will be finished when I get home from work this afternoon.
 

Ken1171

Renowned
Contributing Artist
I disagree soooo much with that statement. I use Superfly because it's the render engine. But I just use Cycles nodes because, hell if it was any easier, the nodes would be plugging themselves in. my ONLY "complaint" is render times. I left my computer running a render this morning with glass bottles and caustics turned on. I'm hoping it will be finished when I get home from work this afternoon.
Well, caustics are the weak point in all rendering engines, even the ultra-fast Octane. However, the current Cycles implementation used in Poser has difficulties clearing out noise, which increases render times considerably. There are 2 new updates on the Blender community that fix that, and also (finally) add support for micro-poly displacement and a shadow catcher. I think those now ship with Blender 2.79, but Poser might only get the updates in the next version.
 

eclark1894

Distinguished
Well, the render was finished. According to the log it took 30065.36 seconds, which if my math works out it took a little over 8 hours.

lab glass.png
 
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