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 rending in the 3D software.


Spell casting woman.

R.M.T.P. Co.


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December 3, 2012

Bringing Stability and Safer Rendering

The process described last time isn't the only way to make rendering scenes in DazStudio more stable and less likely to crash. These suggestions will help with the external rendering too as well and cut down on the RIB folder's size. Recent scenes and sets that I have purchased are more complex and have more built into their preloads. The preloads are important because they give a sense of how items fit together. They also offer a number of camera options and even come pre-lit or are easily so when you add provided light sets. Some of the cameras and lights come with special options preloaded as well. The following suggestions are helpful even when putting scenes together on your own, in new and different ways.

This seems like a simple idea, but it has a big impact on stability and time. Remove any items from a scene that are not visible, unless they are required to cast shadows. It can be a lot of work though. It often involves unparenting items before deleting so that the entire set or location doesn't disappear. Some parts cannot be deleted, but those can be made invisible, even if you have go into the Surfaces tab and dial the Opacity to 0%. While on the topic of Surfaces, if an item can't be seen because it is blocked by other items or it is needed for shadows (and can't be removed/deleted) then you can remove any Diffuse Colour map, Opacity map, and/or Reflection map that may be specified in that item's surfaces. Also delete unnecessary cameras from preloads. You can also take high-resolution Diffuse maps and compress them if you have the appropriate software.

Cast Shadows should be turned off for all items that do not have shadows that fall into your scene. This can be a problem to determine since you need to render sometimes to determine if the item casts desirable shadows. Careful but time consuming Spot Rendering can help with this beyond what you can determine by looking through the light with the Shadows settings turned on. Many lights appear in the camera list. Turning off Cast Shadows makes the items disappear from this view--sometimes the angle changes too on this view, but not the angle of the light itself. Now, sometimes shadows can be the problem with your rendering crashing. In one scene Deep Shadow Map can cause a crash, and in others Raytraced causes instability. I have no idea yet as why either condition occurs, or why one will frequently work when the other doesn't in the same scene.

Lastly, consider what lights are needed for your scene and remove any that aren't seen from your chosen angle. This is especially true of Spotlights and both kinds of Point Lights. The nice thing about Spot and Point lights is you can turn them on and off in batches and render multiple times to get all of them in the scene. Like the shadows, judicious Spot Renders can determine which lights overlap. Special light conditions may also be the root of your crash problem especially if there are more than one. The only suggestion I have for that is to replace those lights with the standard ones. I've had to do a lot of that swapping in testing out scenes for rendering in and out of Daz. I hope this helps.

Music: Don't Wear Those Shoes by Weird Al Yankovic.

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About Me

Robert G. Male

Name: Robert G. Male
Location: Ontario, Canada

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