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.
You get a new set or figure and you are all excited to try it out. You load everything in and immediately there are problems. Parts all load in the centre of the screen with no indication of how they interact even though they require being put in specific positions. You start moving them around to where they should be and then you find out that the scale of everything is different too. You start rescaling items and soon you run across some that do not fit where they are supposed to fit no matter how you dial the X, Y, and Z scales. What are you left to do to fix it? Well there's really only one option, and it's nothing but a nightmare kludge that will require more postproduction work than just slotting in five or six wedges from that many renders with each showing one section/part corrected.
What you also have to do is smooth over all of the connective bits between slices added in on top of the new image you are merging together. This smoothing is of course complicated by detailed textures that do not repeat or at least not well when trying to grab the slice that you want to correct the ill-fitting piece of figure. Their scale looks different as well. In the example above (click it for a large version) not all of the curtains can be made to surround the posts they belong on at the same time. Furthermore the ties holding them to the posts require even more fitting than the curtains themselves and will still look inaccurate size-wise. Never mind that they do not look gravity accurate either. I still do not know what to do about the two parts in the front where the railings run straight through the curtains. It would seem a shame that this figure only works when heavily redone in post and only from the inside, not from outside as I have in my render.
I mentioned previously about issues that I have had with lighting lately. Beyond the obvious too dark or too bright issue there is another one that involves shadows. DazStudio creates some shadow-like features when you turn on lights in the scene. These tend to be limited to the figures and are due to where light hits, where it does not hit, and the levels in between. Some of these are very nice looking and much desired. I have been dealing with issues where they are not wanted because they look unrealistic or just unappealing. One of those issues I have been fighting in postproduction is bearded women. If you put in an overhead light so that the floor or ground in your scene is not pitch black you almost automatically get this beard effect or shadows on the lower face, but they are not where you expect they should be. Sometimes they ride very high on the cheek as in the picture below.
I find it very difficult to blend out these beards and notice them in so many recent renders. There must have been some kind of change in the way that DazStudio renders the scenes. In addition I have found this problem to be onerously more apparent when I turn the Shadow settings on for the overhead light. I have come up with a fix within the render engine, but it may present its own problems. I have started changing the angle of this ground light to more than 90 degrees down from the horizon. An X-Rotate of the light of -110 degrees is a good place to start. It does make the light less bright on the ground so you may need to adjust the Brightness to compensate. Depending on your scene and the brightness, it may affect how your figures' are lit from behind. When I use a two light set up it hasn't been an issue and the fact that it lights the very back of everything means less impact on the scene if the Y-Rotate is parallel to the angle of your camera, otherwise it may light some items in a way that you do not want.
If you haven't clicked through on the image above to the full size image please do. That scene has the -90 X-Rotate and a light pointing horizontally straight at the figure so that it is not dark. Where then do those light patches appearing on her midriff and under her breasts come from? Neither light should hit those spots like that, with or without shadows turned on, but there they are.