Hey peeps, I thought I might try something here. With Project E coming up hopefully soon, it might be wise for me to drop some tuts on how to actually effectively use her, like with simple small tuts like this. You might be shocked to see how simple my (Poser 10 / Pro 2014) setups are... or maybe I'm just crazy lol. Its not the best render, but its a nice start, right?
Superfly is not very different from this, with exception of the specular / glossy / reflection settings.
This tut is simple, how to render this:
Its a very simple scene. Ingredients are:- Girl
- Pants (optional)
- Ground (or flat plane)
- Skydome (sphere with normals flipped)
- Sunlight / directional light / infinite light
This is what the scene looks like overall:
Nothing abnormal with the girl, just a regular mesh with conforming stuff to her. You can load up your V4 or whatever. As you can see below there is just one light (infinite) that represents the sunlight.
These are the settings of the sunlight, and the properties: (edit: Ambient Occlusion can be left unchecked actually. IDL will now sort that out.)
And here are the Firefly render settings:(edit: Bucket Size can be something like 64, 128 or 512... whatever doesn't kill your PC )
This is what the skydome's material looks like:
This is just a Jpeg image its linked to.The jpeg is a 360 image panorama or whatever you call it. Its an image that goes all the way round. I'm just using it for the color information its giving the IDL. You can add an HDR image or an EXR. It adds just a bit more definition to the actual lighting, but at the end of the day you definitely need that extra lighting from either infinite lights or spotlights to make sure you get realistic shadows.
Note That the images are only connected to the diffuse and ambient and that the diffuse value is at zero. So the diffuse connection is just to give the preview something to show. For the rest its doing nothing. The ambient is doing all the work here, and that basically means its giving light and ignoring shadows.
And one important thing I forgot, the Skydome sphere does not cast shadows
. You can uncheck this in its properties in the parameter panel.
Place the sun here:
A simple trick is to take a camera and place 'sun' in the Skydome in the middle of the preview, and then place the sunlight's gizmo directly on the opposite side of the tracking ball so that its coming from the exact same direction as the light in the Skydome. If your image is a proper 360 image, the shadows should match the position of the sun.
The real magic happens here with the girl's materials:
- Top right: main color of the girl's face. The diffuse color, basically. That 'input' node is just there so that I don't have to link everything up again if I change the image node.
- Gets pulled into two Sub surface scatter nodes (lower two purple links) to give the girl the effect of skin that absorbs light.
- The two nodes are not entirely necessary, that was just something I came up with to give that extra 3D effect. You can just have the one scatter node with "Skin 1" selected.
- The two SSS nodes combine into an Edge Blend node (you can entirely skip this node like mentioned before and direct the link straight to the blender node)
- Dark purple link connects to a blender node that does real magic. It basically blacks out all the parts of the face that aren't the skin (like eyebrows) and the White-on-Black mask does that.
- That same mask is directly connected to the value of the Diffuse_Value and kills off the diffuse influence on that which is supposed to be skin.
- This effect gives the eyebrow hair a more matte and less jelly look than the rest.
- The bump and skin nodes should speak for themselves. Ask me in the comments if you need clarification there. (edit: Nodes are explained in a little more detail at the bottom)
If you think this was bad, check Sen's mats out:
The rest should be fairly simple. Here's her hair:
I combined my own mats with this one, not sure why I've combined the rough one with the spec, maybe it was to break up the linear effect of the other maps. You can add a SSS node instead of connecting it to the diffuse. The SSS will let light shine through the hair. Be sure to check normals forward to ensure that the other side of the hair polygons behave normally (more of that in next section).
Cloth is dead, so connect it directly to the diffuse at the top. You can add a scatter node if you want to give he cloth some translucency, or you can also add diffuse node to the translucence channel. You definitely need to check the "normals forward" then. 'Normals forward' basically flips a polygon that is facing away from the camera back towards the camera, and it thus behaves like the mesh should be in its original position. Great for stuff like paper, or like here, cloth. The edge blend of the blinn node is probably connected to the reflectivity, giving it that velvety look. You could probably leave that out though.
Camera settings are simple:
fstop is at 6, usually I have it a 11 but the lower the number the higher the blur of the Depth of Field. This is relatively similar to how real cameras work. Study that, in fact stufy a lot of photography to make good poser renders. Trust me there.
When you dial the 'focus_Distance' you'll see this:
That's where the focus is going to be. Make it intersect her chin or some part of her. That will be in focus. If its too blurry, set the fStop to a higher number like 11 or 16 or 22.
You might notice that I am no 'expert' here and a lot of my knowledge and understanding of Firefly has come through experience, experimenting, trial and error mostly. Its good to know the tech and theory behind all these things if you can, but sometimes its hard to keep up with what's going on in the vast and expanding field of CGI, and the fastest way to actually learn is to play round with it and see for yourself what the effects are. Always keep playing!
PS: avoid IBL.
Addendum:Very basic Node structure in Poser:
The power of Poser's node-base material room is that you can connect anything to anything just about. This is brilliant for masks and isolating certain effects on a surface from others. The node structure is the most efficient way to oversee a very complex material like what I showed you before. Don't be intimidated by nodes, all they do is change something, and whatever they change, they pass on to the next link. Its up to you to connect it in the way that works for you. Now all that's left to understand is what all the channels in the primary root node does. More on that some other time.
Here is a simple overview of how a node works. What goes in, like color information, gets changed by the node, and ends up in the 'PoserSurface' root node.
Nodes can affect other nodes yet again, but still it goes the same way.
Blender nodes are super powerful. With the use of a mask, you can determine whatever effect / color will be transferred to the mesh. The example below shows that the white parts of he mask will become red, and the black parts blue. You can switch those around easily of course.