Materializer and Renderizer

Various informations and discussions about DAZ Studio
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Lakys
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Post by Lakys » Fri Dec 12, 2008 6:08 pm

The worst thing is that such plugins may hardly become a standard as they are hardly compatible with the existing base. So we can imagine that a few products propose material settings for it.

I say that, just because the product is probably technically good (note that I have not tested it). But from my impression in the DAZ's thread, the owner lacks some serious marketing skills.
Though I appreciate his honesty when he explains that the best to use is Pixar Renderman, and that there is that kind of issue (I don't confirm) for AO in Pixie, that one in another renderer... And of course leaving us with 3Delight 8. If you have just a dual core processor, it might be worth, expect that you won't be able to use any of the other shaders available (pwSurface, AhEnvironment, IBL, etc).

Globally the thread gives the impression of some lack of documentation, easiness to install new renderers, possible issues with some renderers. And this is normal as no render engine work in the exact same way than anything but itself.

So even if I have no doubt that those products may be useful, it may lack some support of the community for now.

This is without counting with the competition, some people may just distribute a similar plugin. And more than all DAZ may introduce someday their own extension of the surfaces/renderer.

All that said, I may buy Renderizer out of curiosity, as this talented developer just made something I planned to study, or even to develop :)

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Bison Ravi
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First tests with the add-on.

Post by Bison Ravi » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:40 pm

I took some time to download 3Delight 8.0.1 and Pixie 2.4 and install them on my computer.

I've created a very simple scene but with a fairly complex object. There is a single distant light (white 100%) with a ray-traced shadow slightly blurred (10%).

The process of changing the renderer is very easy: no need to export a RIB file and manually execute the rendering. Everything is really integrated inside DAZ. There is a small error message with Pixie for some 'trace' calls that are not implemented but this is not significant.

The major difference between the renderings is the non-blurred shadow with the external renderers (3Delight and Pixie). I can't say whether this is a bug of the interface or a bad use of the add-on.
Attachments
PixieDL.png
External Pixie rendering.
PixieDL.png (109.49 KiB) Viewed 895 times
3D8_DL.png
External 3Delight 8 rendering.
3D8_DL.png (159.94 KiB) Viewed 897 times
3D6_DL.png
Internal DAZ 3Delight 6 rendering.
3D6_DL.png (208.98 KiB) Viewed 893 times

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Bison Ravi
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Second test with Pixie.

Post by Bison Ravi » Fri Dec 12, 2008 10:48 pm

I kept on working only with Pixie (I stopped accidentally the 3Delight licencing process !) and tried using the additional lighting options.

The ambient lighting removes the specularity (it's OK). The AO is very poor (dirty) with the default parameters and the HDRI lighting shows some polygons. Well, not very encouraging results.

I'll try someting different later...
Attachments
PixieDLHDRI.png
Pixie + HDRI.
PixieDLHDRI.png (117.31 KiB) Viewed 873 times
PixieDLAO.png
Pixie + ambient occlusion.
PixieDLAO.png (106.24 KiB) Viewed 873 times
PixieDLAm.png
Pixie + ambient lighting.
PixieDLAm.png (121.75 KiB) Viewed 868 times

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Lakys
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Post by Lakys » Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:01 am

Bison Ravi,

good work you did here.

The renders look good to me.

I think that actually Renderizer or DAZ Studio have troubles to transfer some parameters, resulting the lack of blur on the shadows, or a shading rate way too high for the AO.

Can you see the source files of the shaders used and compiled (.sl files)? Please don't post any source code please, especially as it might not be the public domain. Just let me know if you could find them.

I think I shall buy it. This product has made me really curious.

Although your test confirms what I was afraid, the product might have been released without spending lot of extra-testing and validations. You should not encounter such issues otherwise.

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Post by Lakys » Sun Dec 14, 2008 8:55 pm

Well, there is no sl files. All is well hidden probably.

Running some quick test, I can get correct renders with Pixie.

Skin shader is good and can replace DAZ default one, once you have got rid of the sweat thing (sweat at 0). I like blinn specular, and it is cool to have put it in.

No better luck with AO and Pixie, just got a crash.
Attachments
renderizer-skin-pixie.jpg
renderizer-skin-pixie.jpg (138.45 KiB) Viewed 1017 times

Bob Morane
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Post by Bob Morane » Tue Dec 16, 2008 5:39 pm

Lakys, do you think this product can be a useful addition to work on a regular basis, or is it (currently) a nice and shiny, but not very useful one. I'm sure there is plenty of possibilities with it, but i'm not sure any of them can be useful to me as a normal user :?

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Bison Ravi
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Post by Bison Ravi » Tue Dec 16, 2008 7:01 pm

Lakys wrote:Well, there is no sl files. All is well hidden probably.
I think there are compiled on the fly with the parameters that tell where is the shader compiler for each renderer.
Lakys wrote:Running some quick test, I can get correct renders with Pixie.
Very nice rendering with Pixie. I like it.

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Post by Lakys » Tue Dec 16, 2008 10:08 pm

Bob Morane wrote:Lakys, do you think this product can be a useful addition to work on a regular basis, or is it (currently) a nice and shiny, but not very useful one. I'm sure there is plenty of possibilities with it, but i'm not sure any of them can be useful to me as a normal user :?
Actually, I imagine that for someone who owns Pixar Renderman, this is not a gadget at all but a must have tool. If you do not have it, but use Pixie, or 3Delight 7/8, well it can be interesting, especially as the shaders introduce many options, while being fast. The counterside, is that you will need to readjust the surface settings, as no default settings will probably give the same result that what was intended for the default product.
So without a tool such a custom Eisha (or a saved material preset), you will need to readjust the surface settings to get a correct render.

Even if the documentation is good (12 pages), you can hardly figure out why such a setting acts this way with this given value. I am still uneasy with the sweat settings. I understood some basics, but still needs to get the bigger pictures.

It seems like the skin model may use a multi-layer model, with fake sss (which looks good), as there is some blood, melamin, sweat... Melamin is cool, you just adjust it to get a tanned skin aspect, or even black skin. I know I read once the methods about that kind of shader in a well-known article.

But except its speed, few new options, it won't forcefully make a better job that some concurrent skin shaders. Its asset is definitely speed and an almost understandable model. The wrong thing is that even with a 1200 pixels of height screen, you will have two heights of advanced surface settings, which starts being too high to manage without some correct knowledge of the shader, examples or presets.

There is some lack, or something I haven't understood yet, there is no sss color settable. But see, that I have not yet explored 20% of the potential of this skin shader, and there is many other shaders.

An interesting that may make the difference, is how it works in environment, especially the color bleeding features. So far I have not ventured there. My only attempt with Pixie and AO was a failure (no idea yet why, might be my fault).

A last thing, with Pixie, I still get irritating render error message (trace) each time a render is completed. Something which should have not last more than during beta phase. :roll:

My deepest regret is to not be able to use the internal renderer with the new shaders. And also, that it doesn't expose any additional parameters for internal render. Well, I guess it is fair competition, as complementary with Omnifreaker's product, as you can control shader rate for external renderers but not on the internal render engine.

Bob, frankly I would not say it is a gadget. But you would find it useful, only if you are some needs (speed, surface features, AO/IBL/Color bleeding) which are not covered or fully satisfied by your current toolset.

Today, I would prefer fast skin shaders (such DAZ or Renderizer), as I render only on a single core computer, but in the future whenever I shall have acquired at least a quad core, I may prefer to use Lakeworks skin, pwSurface and Human Surface shaders.

And you can also say for other facts, some people may like Renderizer with a dual core with 3Delight 7/8 (first free license is 2 cores) but hates it with 8 cores then sticks with the internal render engine to use them well.
Now if you have the happy owner of Renderman, well well well... would you still use DAZ Studio? Good question.

Hope it helps a little to get the picture without confusing everyone. :roll:
Attachments
renderizer-skin--shaders-surface.jpg
A mostly folded list of surface settings for the Renderizer skin shader.
renderizer-skin--shaders-surface.jpg (68.68 KiB) Viewed 504 times

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Post by Lakys » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:00 am

Another render with Elite Maya. Don't look at the eyes, I have not tweaked the surface on them.
I added some freckles and moles. I can hardly say what is affected
Attachments
renderizer-skin-pixie2.jpg
renderizer-skin-pixie2.jpg (162.91 KiB) Viewed 941 times

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Displacement

Post by Lakys » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:36 am

Well my PC using the latest DAZ Studio doesn't like M4 Displacement using Renderizer and Pixie or 3Delight8.

Maybe, 16 bits TIF displacement map support has been not implemented, at least on the Pixie, which shows significant stairs. :roll:
In the defense of the product, DAZ Studio shaders may have recently been modified to support M4 displacement maps.

So Halloween season may last more than usual this year. :?
Attachments
renderizer-displacement-3Delight8.jpg
With 3Delight 8
renderizer-displacement-3Delight8.jpg (167.92 KiB) Viewed 925 times
renderizer-displacement-pixie.jpg
With Pixie
renderizer-displacement-pixie.jpg (183.28 KiB) Viewed 925 times

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Post by Lakys » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:52 am

Well, as I wanted to be sure, I just ran a render with the internal 3Delight renderer.

Displacement is correct, and veins are well defined. This makes me think for Renderizer that there might be an issue with min/max scale used, or the unit conversion concerning displacement.
Attachments
renderizer-displacement-int.jpg
With DAZ Studio internal render engine
renderizer-displacement-int.jpg (188.16 KiB) Viewed 916 times

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Post by Lakys » Wed Dec 17, 2008 3:25 am

Here is a last attempt with GW5.

I have worked with a simplier texture, GW5 for V4. Using two spotlights with deepshadows and Pixie has not been possible. No idea why. I keep getting black renders.
Still, I have tried to mess up with the Falloff. I ended with value 0.010, where the "realistic" value in the documentation should be 2. Even pushing the intensity of those light beyond 100%, I could not get anything with that 2.0 falloff.

No frankly, I paid for this product, I am not supposed to do beta-testing or to look into it for hours to figure out what could be wrong. With one of the two renderers I tested, I do not recommend this product for production.

I think this product is somehow too ambitious. As no other shader than delivered are allowed (unless you have sources), those should have been fully validated in each and every renderer proposed. This is far from being the case. Surface shaders may be good, such skin shader. However lighting shaders seem to be even worse, not able to handle correctly shadows, resulting at the end a black screen.
I did a last test with AO. No luck at all with point clould and Pixie (reminds me some warning from the author in a thread). Anyway, the interface should assist the user to not use mode not working for a given renderer. Still that not the case and the PDF document is certainly not detailed enough (despite of more than 10 pages) to give any assistance to troubleshoot issues.

And I have not mentioned again that standard surface settings brought with the figure might end to look awful on the render if they are not readjusted.

So I am sorry, for now I won't recommend this product that much. At least not until the code and the documentation have become more mature!

This plugin had some real potential on the paper, but it seems to have been wasted by an eager release preventing it all the chance to find its public. So it leaves it to some specialist which will appreciate it for what it does, and hates for what it does not.

Side notes:
1. please also consider that lot of time is taken for computing textures as it is not handled by background processes just like the ones working when you use the internal 3Delight/tdlmake.
It took me easily 5 minutes or much more before the first rendering starts.
2. with 3Delight8, please also see some seam on light transitions. It exists with the internal version, but it is far from being that visible.
Attachments
renderizer-GW5-pixie.jpg
renderizer-GW5-pixie.jpg (254.62 KiB) Viewed 910 times
renderizer-GW5-3delight.jpg
renderizer-GW5-3delight.jpg (238.47 KiB) Viewed 907 times

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