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Thread: Supermachination

  1. #16
    For background characters or at least those who won't get close up shots, a simple export fbx from Daz3D -> import fbx in Lightwave -> select all materials -> convert to Principled -> Raytrace Only (both diffuse & specular), is all what you may need to do (transparent materials must be tweaked though) in order to get "plausible characters" in your shots:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is a Micheal 4 + Hardcore outfits (a bit customized) fit to a Genesis figure. What's cool with Daz3D now is that you can transfert almost anything from pre-genesis figures to the latest genesis 8 one. But first the transfert must be done to Genesis as this is the only one that get UV for pre-genesis figure and presets for the transfert tool. The catch though is that once you have done this, the Genesis figure will have the pe-genesis UV map applied and the skin texture of the pre-genesis figure. So in order to upgrade the quality of the final figure the UV must be reset to the Genesis version and use high quality textures from genesis x.

    The next thing I want to have a look at - regarding character design - is getting custom faces to genesis figures from photos. One has to admit the default Daz3D faces are a bit boring if not cliche or too perfect. There is a tool for this called "FaceGen Artist", lets see what this can do..
    Last edited by grabiller; 01-18-2018 at 04:43 PM.
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  2. #17
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    Now that I have consistent Lightwave materials settings for Daz3D Genesis 8 figures I can quickly apply those to any G8 character, here is Michael 8 HD:

    Attachment 139514Attachment 139515
    Yours look quite good, but compared to Jones' Ed, it's easy to spot lots of areas for potential improvement as well:

    The skin in yours looks a bit more like "finely textured plastic" than human skin. There's a certain "wetness" in the look of Ed's skin that just isn't quite present in yours. It's a bit difficult to explain, but yours looks kind of "dry" in comparison giving that sense of almost "textured plastic" -- but in a fairly subtle manner, if that makes sense.

    I think it's something to do with the extremely fine pores in yours (if any, hard to tell if there's supposed to be pores/follicles or not), combined with the "uniform density noise" way the specular reflects, and the general uniformity of the skin coloration and texture variation. Look at Jones' in comparison -- the pores/follicles are much more distinct (and deeper), the skin coloration is much more varied, and the "sheen" his skin has is quite different in specular character than yours. Compare your Michael 8 to his image, specifically around the bridge of the nose, the sunken areas under the eyes on either side of the nose bridge, and between to slightly above the eyebrows.

    Oh, and there's something going on right at the transition between skin and lip material on the lips in most of yours. In yours, the color changes but the skin texture (in "surface" sense, not 3D image sense) and specular behavior remain largely the same, while in "Ed" the transition involves both color and skin texture (IIRC, Jones uses a differently-set SSS material altogether for lips).

    All that said, and aside from being a bit overly "uniform" in coloration, the tone and diffuse coloration of your skin in the most recent pics look really nice, with the reduced redness, etc. I suspect if the texture (bump/normal/displace) were more varied, and there were more visible pores/follicles, that would substantially bump up your pics' realism. I'll try to find a more objective way to explain the difference in appearance of "wetness".
    Last edited by jwiede; 01-18-2018 at 07:14 PM.
    John W.
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  3. #18
    @jwiede
    Thanks a lot for your input, I totally agree with you and you are right on all mentioned points. The textures indeed are not mine and there is certainly room for improvement to bump the overall result quality and realism and ultimately this will certainly be done at some point. For instance the subscattering map I'm using is just a darker and more saturated version of the albedo map. As I'm not a texture artist, this certainly could be better with a little help at some point.

    Understand what I'm trying to achieve here though. I'm trying to devise an alternative production workflow and pipeline that will hopefully allow the production of full 3d TV Shows (and perhaps movies) at high speed and relatively low cost while delivering a "good enough" quality for the audience to "buy it" and be moved by the quality of the narrations and the acting performances rather than the skin pores configuration or coloration perfection.

    In that context, I'm not after the perfect/real result, like Chris has been able to achieve. Don't take it as laziness of something, I'm just confronted to the reality of 3d production and for a TV Show you can't spent months at designing and perfecting one character until it is indiscernible from a real human.

    This then poses the question: Up to which level of quality you can go while maintaining low cost and short production time but still provides a "sufficient" level of quality ? Where is that "threshold" ?

    This is exactly what I am trying to find with the experiments I am posting in this thread, because that "threshold" will directly set the production time and costs. And the opposite is true, hence the challenge to find the sweet spot that will allow all this possible.

    What you said: "../.. the tone and diffuse coloration of your skin in the most recent pics look really nice ../.." is really encouraging, but now the question is: Is it nice enough ?

    This is hard to answer so early because as @prometheus explained it nicely, it will also depend on the quality "threshold" of the animations (locomotion, lipsync and facial performances).
    Last edited by grabiller; 01-18-2018 at 07:49 PM.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  4. #19
    I saw an interview with a forger once, where the person doing the story was pointing out all the things wrong with his forged money. The forger came back with the comment that all he was trying to do was to make the bills as fast and inexpensively as he could to have the person at a store take them. 'good enough' is always a funny target. South Park is apparently 'good enough' for what they are trying to do. I've mostly done product demos, and my target has been to make them a little better then the video games that are out at that moment.

  5. #20
    Electron wrangler jwiede's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    @jwiede
    Thanks a lot for your input, I totally agree with you and you are right on all mentioned points. The textures indeed are not mine and there is certainly room for improvement to bump the overall result quality and realism and ultimately this will certainly be done at some point. For instance the subscattering map I'm using is just a darker and more saturated version of the albedo map. As I'm not a texture artist, this certainly could be better with a little help at some point.

    Understand what I'm trying to achieve here though. I'm trying to devise an alternative production workflow and pipeline that will hopefully allow the production of full 3d TV Shows (and perhaps movies) at high speed and relatively low cost while delivering a "good enough" quality for the audience to "buy it" and be moved by the quality of the narrations and the acting performances rather than the skin pores configuration or coloration perfection.

    In that context, I'm not after the perfect/real result, like Chris has been able to achieve. Don't take it as laziness of something, I'm just confronted to the reality of 3d production and for a TV Show you can't spent months at designing and perfecting one character until it is indiscernible from a real human.

    This then poses the question: Up to which level of quality you can go while maintaining low cost and short production time but still provides a "sufficient" level of quality ? Where is that "threshold" ?
    I understand what you're getting at about finding an efficient solution that avoids the "uncanny valley" while remaining fast and animatable enough to be used in production. I certainly wouldn't think not aiming for photorealistic perfection is "laziness" in any case.

    I do think you may not be realizing how much certain aspects pull attention away from where you'd prefer the viewer be looking. For example, with Ed, (all IMO, ofc) the eyes become the central visual focus because the viewer doesn't get caught up in figuring out what's "off" about the skin. Likewise, the viewer takes a broader view of what the lips and mouth are doing w.r.t. expressions, because they don't get pulled into figuring out what's "off" about the lip-skin transition.

    I mentioned the issues I did because they're where my eyes kept getting pulled, and the things which I found most broke my ability to see the face as human. That's kind of what I was getting at about the issues being somewhat "subtle", that's actually a downside because the eye gets pulled there and you can't even immediately say "oh that's it", you have to cogitate for a bit to figure out why it's drawing your attention. That need to figure out "what's wrong" is part of what makes the uncanny valley so frustrating to avoid even when highly realistic, IMO, because the closer you get (outside that "threshold" you mention), the more distracting the differences actually become to the viewer. The viewer senses the wrongness, but can't just discard it, so has to try and figure out why it's bothering them.

    In terms of prioritizing changes, I do think there are some things like making the lips a distinct material, making the skin appear a bit "wetter" (as well as eyes), and making the pores/follicles a bit more prominent (and following a typical "facial distribution" w.r.t. scaling/depth) would go a long way towards mitigating whatever is pulling the eyes away from the eyes/mouth and expressions (micro- and "gross"). By figuring out those shader/material aspects, I also think they'd be easily migratable to other characters, and wind up saving time overall (while helping keep your chars out of "the valley").

    Still, just my $0.02, use or ignore as you see fit. I find the topic interesting because I have done a bit of attempting to get highly realistic skin before and encountered similar problems. At the time, I was able to find much more realistic skin examples for another render engine I have (Vray), and so kinda stopped worrying about trying with Lightwave. However, given the new render engine (and as I have a time-limited trial of it), I'm a bit interested whether the skin situation on LW has significantly improved or not.

    Alas, at the moment, I'm less than convinced the new engine is substantially better than 2015.3's engine w.r.t. skin photorealism.
    Last edited by jwiede; 01-19-2018 at 05:41 PM.
    John W.
    LW2015.3UB on MacPro(12C/24T/10.13.2),32GB RAM, NV 980ti

  6. #21
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    With a 50% bleach bypass, just for comparison:

    Attachment 139506

    Note how this enhance the perception of the bump details.
    I like this one ..
    though it is two things here, adding to the overall..does look plastic, the eyebrows, if you can pull off some fibers on that and remove the painted ones.
    And the reflection in the cornea..or reflection smoothing material, lips need more bump than skin.
    daz figures can be a mess with the eyes, and setting them right.

    I wonder, what material did you use for the skin, was it skin or sigma or principled?

  7. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede
    ../..I mentiozed the issues I did because they're where my eyes kept getting pulled, and the things which I found most broke my ability to see the face as human. That's kind of what I was getting at about the issues being somewhat "subtle", that's actually a downside because the eye gets pulled there and you can't even immediately say "oh that's it", you have to cogitate for a bit to figure out why it's drawing your attention. That need to figure out "what's wrong" is part of what makes the uncanny valley so frustrating to avoid even when highly realistic, IMO, because the closer you get (outside that "threshold" you mention), the more distracting the differences actually become to the viewer. The viewer senses the wrongness, but can't just discard it, so has to try and figure out why it's bothering them../..
    So if, for instance, I put painting on his face, then - granted the paint material is correctly adjusted and rendered - you would be more inclined to accept the figure as a "believable character", as you would take the "paint material" for granted more easily than perhaps the more subtle skin material, am I understanding you correctly ? For instance something like that (which is a real photography):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    @prometheus
    The Principled BSDF. In fact I'm trying to do everything with the pBSDF, that's the idea. I find it to work wonderfully well with the new Environment Light combined with Multi-Importance Sampling (MIS) and, if needed, the DeNoiser. The samples distribution is so smooth and homogeneous across the different ray types.
    Last edited by grabiller; 01-21-2018 at 01:10 AM.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    My wip attempt at importing Daz3D characters into Lightwave 2018 pBSDF.

    Materials had to be completely reworked and some textures needed "translation". For instance, Daz3D bump maps don't work "as-is" in Lightwave as they are based on grey level (like displacement maps), so values under 0.5 (128) create cavities while those above create bumps. But this does not work this way in Lightwave. So I had to convert the bump maps into normal maps for instance.

    Here I'm dealing with the latest Genesis 8 Female, here rendered "as-is" with IRay/Daz3D:
    Attachment 139424

    And here is the wip result (hairs are yet to be done) in Lightwave 2018 pBSDF (7m18s):
    Attachment 139425

    My intent is not to search for the ultimate realistic character but for what I call "believable characters", characters who make you think "there is someone in there" : ) (obviously this will work in conjunction with "believable animations").

    ps: "Supermachination" is something I'll talk more in details later on here in this thread. It is an attempt to create a new production method and pipeline in order to be able to produce full 3d "not for kids" TV Shows - and perhaps movies (think "The Walking Dead" or "Galactica" in full 3D) at low cost with interactive means and "believable characters". A market that does not really exist yet.
    Looks nice, but the bump on the skin is upwards.. not downwards. If you look at the bump from the nose ridge towards the edge of the mouth (right hand side, where this is noticed most obviously) you can see that there is a rim *towards* the light. Both the rim & the shadow should trade places. So you might have to put in a negative value for the bump rather than a positive one. Or maybe the lighting is playing tricks? In any case.. that part looks kind of strange.
    Last edited by MichaelT; 01-21-2018 at 01:18 AM.

  9. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelT View Post
    Looks nice, but the bump on the skin is upwards.. not downwards. If you look at the bump from the nose ridge towards the edge of the mouth (right hand side, where this is noticed most obviously) you can see that there is a rim *towards* the light. Both the rim & the shadow should trade places. So you might have to put in a negative value for the bump rather than a positive one. Or maybe the lighting is playing tricks? In any case.. that part looks kind of strange.
    Nope, the bump is technically correctly oriented, checked with the original Genesis 8 Female in Daz3D/Iray. If you think there is something wrong here then you will have to complain to the original author(s) of the Genesis 8 Female textures
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  10. #25
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    Hmm, I have DAZ myself but haven't tested it with 2018. I'll give it a look a bit later today perhaps.

  11. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by jwiede View Post
    Yours look quite good, but compared to Jones' Ed, it's easy to spot lots of areas for potential improvement as well../..
    Also, to be fair, Chris demo was animated, and as he is a very talented animator (and we should also not forget the great rigging job he did) it instantly gave life to the character.

    On a still image you can stare at it during hours and hours and there will always be something wrong/cbb.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  12. #27
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    So if, for instance, I put painting on his face, then - granted the paint material is correctly adjusted and rendered - you would be more inclined to accept the figure as a "believable character", as you would take the "paint material" for granted more easily than perhaps the more subtle skin material, am I understanding you correctly ? For instance something like that (which is a real photography):
    Click image for larger version. 

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    @prometheus
    The Principled BSDF. In fact I'm trying to do everything with the pBSDF, that's the idea. I find it to work wonderfully well with the new Environment Light combined with Multi-Importance Sampling (MIS) and, if needed, the DeNoiser. The samples distribution is so smooth and homogeneous across the different ray types.
    Ok ..thanks for the info, I just started to take a look at it yesterday...with daz figures, and this sample isnīt best character either, just throwed a figure in, think it was a genesis 2 figure, so the basic shape isnīt good enough either,
    initially I tried sigma, then on to principledBSDF, but I thought it was hard to get subsurface in their, may need to revisit it...so I tried the new Skin mode, that is after all enhancent specificly for skin, the old skin had a scattering weight which could boost a few things to get those red thin ears etc, this new skin is a bit different..and I have yet to learn it, Rebill hill has a wonderful image of that, also included in the lightwave docs for the skin material.

    three area lights (which they could have kept falloff settings choosable in drop down list, itīs all in the nodes now and not connected either..typical case of how workflow in lightwave 2018 in some parts have taken a beating)
    the skin isnīt anywhere near yours, and the eye cornea etc is not good enough, I need to verify a few things here, itīs a bit messy on how it works with the various eye layers, so I need to map it all and see in which order they are etc and what kind of material it should use, maybe even redo eyes and replace daz eyes completly.

    render just a test render and with too low AA settings as well, the point is to look at the ears, had to treat the ears dermis with a longer mm setting in order to get it be more transparent.
    the eyes are quite off..as seen in cornea, matt and dull..have to fix that, and theres a black corner which I noticed late yesterday how to fix, a small setting in dielectric material for refraction and transmittens I think.
    Been having full time testing openvdb and blender sims as well, and turbulenceFD, so much to test, so little time.

    I must say though, initiallly I have thought the renders is taking long time, especially in vpr, so I went back to 2015 and tried the old skin material in there, but in fact..not only does it render slower than in 2018, itīs not as realistic either.
    So I think I must give a plus up for the skin material in 2018 and render time/quality, I just need to find the best approach to get that nice blood subsurface showing up as I want, that was quite easy in the old skin..since I knew how to, but I have to relearn this now.
    As mentioned, rebel hills sample of the skin material for 2018 in the docs is great.

    Image...no GI ..only three area lights, and a very strong one to get the ear illuminated with penetrating light, too low AA settings, and dull eyes, havenīt fixed them yet..maps of eyes arenīt the best either, refraction is a bit off causing a dark corner artifact on especially the right eye.




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  13. #28
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    grabiller, Have you figured out a way to add clothes and to animate your characters? I'm having alot of problem trying to figure this out. I can bring the clothes over but they won't follow the characters bones I must have been doing something wrong. any ideas?

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