Learning Dark Arts

Come learn the art of 3D computer generated art and animation. This blog deals with the lessons learned and the art created by Robert G. Male using DazStudio from Daz3D. Also covered are the ancillary software, tools, techniques, and processes needed both before and after rendering in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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February 28, 2007

Regroup and Rethink

Following further advice I took my light set ups and rendered the scene. I still achieved no shadows so I must be missing something. I tried both Deep Shadow Map and Ray Tracing and rendered. Nothing. I was using the lost city as my backdrop and something to cast the shadow on, namely inside the tunnel. There is a mottling in the tunnel that almost looked like a shadow, which was kind of annoying, but by removing the model the pattern remained on the wall. I decided to start over. I created a cube and set my model in front of it and ran through different lighting configurations and still nothing.

Needless to say, I'm at a bit of a loss. All of the lights have shadows turned on, and the figure has cast shadows turned on. It appears to me that shadows appear on the figure, Aiko in this case, so the lights are causing shadows based on where they do not light her up. However I have no indication that Aiko herself is casting any kind of shadow, even upon herself. I put a light between her arm-posed in front of her body-and moving the light around, and the camera around, and rendering I do not see the arm putting a shadow on any part of her or on the object behind her. It's quite perplexing.

February 27, 2007

Shades of Feedback

Before I continue on from yesterday, I want to address a couple of great comments received. AlmightyQUEST pointed out something I neglected to mention. I made sure that the lights I used to try to create the shadows were set to actually create shadows. I used the "deep map" setting. It occurs to me now that I did not try rendering the scene to see if it made the shadows appeared. I know I made sure everything said it would create shadows but that doesn't mean I would see them in the setting up window. I'll have to go back and render and see what happens. I should also note at this point I was doing this testing on a static scene, not my animation yet. Also, besides the deep map there is the ray tracing setting which really said to me, you'll need to render, so I ignored it.

One a slightly less related front, but something I think was a great idea, bobatt suggested that I should try to output videos in a loss-less format like a series of tiff files. This method would be great for doing postproduction work that you would otherwise be left without when outputting it straight to, for example, avi files like I have been doing. As to his suggestion about working in Daz3D with an alpha channel kind of deal, I don't know if that is an option. I think I know what bobatt is trying to say though. More things to look into.

February 26, 2007

Denied at the Shadow Realm Port Authority

On Saturday I opened up Daz3D and I set out to make shadows on a wall. The results were not good. I tried each kind of light and fiddled with them. I tried all of them at once. Needless to say I failed completely. I tried to find a tutorial at the Daz site but none of them seemed to be for use in Daz. They wanted me to use Cararra (don't have it) or Bryce (not a clue how to use it yet). I downloaded and opened up the Daz3D manual. There is some nice info in there about how to affectively use lights, which will be tremendously helpful, but just not for this project.

There was one tutorial which I can make use of I believe, for still pictures. The problem is I want a method that will work in animations. Yeah I know, aiming for the stars when I've hardly learned to walk yet. This tutorial shows how to turn a figure into a 2-D shadow, a silhouette. What I would then do is make my figure, set it up, pose it, then save it and load it in a second time. This second figure could then be turned into a shadow, scaled, and put in the appropriate place. This is of course assuming the lighting for it doesn't somehow conflict with the original figure and the rest of the scene. I'll see how it goes. One last thing, I want to thank Julie Parsley for inspiring me to go on this knowledge quest.

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Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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