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Jack D
06-26-2009, 06:29 PM
So, I' m new to lightwave and 3D animation. Ive been trying to composite some CG elements into live action footage .After getting help with my first few road blocks now I would like to get a realistic look for the materials. What I have right now looks a lot like it's from a Scooby Doo Cartoon....not really the look I'm going for.
I have got all the basic setting so it look good in Lightwave. I have not got a handle of the node editor, it doesn't seem to make much difference. Maybe that is where I'm missing it.
I thought I would be able to tweak each pass in Aftereffect and make it look better, No such luck. While I have had a lot of success in making it look worse I have not been able to loose that Cartoon look to everything.
If the are any good tutorials or threads that address this PLEASE send them this way.
What would really be great is a list of setting and node setups for common material. Things like wood, stone, skin, metal and so on. I'll take any pointers you might have.

Matt
06-26-2009, 08:44 PM
All you need is here:

www.presetcentral.com

Jack D
06-27-2009, 11:53 AM
Hey Matt,
This site is great!! You where right everything I need is here...well accept for skill....and time....oh, and money, but those are optional right?
I did have one problem and I'm sure the answer is right in front of me but I'm not seeing it. I see there is more that is needed for the IFW2 they all say "This plugin is from the IFW2 Plugin collection. See detail for more information." Where are the "details" found.
Again, this site is very helpful, thanks for all your hard work and your help.

Jack

Kuzey
06-27-2009, 12:54 PM
It's a commercial plugin:

http://www.shaders.co.uk/ifw2_nodal/

Kuzey

virtualcomposer
06-27-2009, 02:11 PM
You can also try F8 for the presets and adjust of course to the real world equivalent.

Jack D
06-27-2009, 03:34 PM
Sorry guys, I am still learnig this stuff.
The IFW2 is a plug-in that you have to buy?
As far as switching to the real world equivalent for the presets, I would love that. I can't find the option to switch it.
F8 brings up the preset shelf and then I'm lost.

Matt
06-27-2009, 04:47 PM
IFW2 is a commerical plugin, you would need to buy it if you wanted to use a preset that had it.

There is no 'real world' switch for the preset shelf, what virtualcomposer was saying is that you could use the stock presets as a starting point and then make them more real by editing them to suit.

To use a preset from the preset shelf (F8) make sure your Surface Editor is up, and you've selected the surface you want to change from the list, then double click on the preset thumbnail you want to use from the Preset Shelf. It will then be loaded on the surface you chose in the Surface Editor.

A realistic looking surface has just as much to do with the lighting in your scene also, as that affects how surface properties behave. But as a starting point, try and light scenes as they would appear in the real world, and if you use any Area Lights, turn their Falloff setting to Inverse2, as that mimics more closely how real world lights behave.

Jack D
06-27-2009, 05:10 PM
Thanks again Guys.
Hey Matt I hope you are going to do some more video tutorials . I know the ones on your site are are just to cover the basics, but they very good.
Please keep the tips and tricks coming. I'm going to give all this a shot I'm sure I'll be asking some more questions later.

Matt
06-27-2009, 05:38 PM
Thanks!

paulhart
06-27-2009, 05:49 PM
If you can "pop" for it, IFW2 has been running a "special" lately, but even without, it is the best overall plugin for texture presets, well worth it. I am not "affiliated" in any way, just have used it forever. I understand they are going to bring it along to the HC release series, and current owners will either get it free??? or minor upgrade, still worthwhile. Check out the site for more info.
Paul

Exception
06-30-2009, 01:27 AM
I think you'll find that materials are only part of the issue. Lighting and scene setup are as important as materials.

You don't need IFW2 to make real materials.
Try to sue the Materials Nodes first (conductor, Dielectric, Delta, ...). I'd suggest to start with Delta. That's a physically accurate solid material. If that doesn't look good, you have to work on your lighting and scene setup.

biliousfrog
06-30-2009, 02:43 AM
I think you'll find that materials are only part of the issue. Lighting and scene setup are as important as materials.

You don't need IFW2 to make real materials.
Try to sue the Materials Nodes first (conductor, Dielectric, Delta, ...). I'd suggest to start with Delta. That's a physically accurate solid material. If that doesn't look good, you have to work on your lighting and scene setup.

Absolutely, even set everything to white or 50% grey first and work on the lighting...if you can't get the scene to look realistic (ie. like everything's painted white or grey) then the materials won't look real either.

From your initial post, I'd also check that you're using raytracing, especially shadows and possibly reflections.

Otterman
06-30-2009, 03:48 AM
Dont forget to chuck in some radiosity, that along with a decent hdr probe image to light the scene often yields some eye candy results.

Iain
06-30-2009, 03:51 AM
Realism used to be something of a holy grail in cgi but nowadays it's relatively easy, and LW has all the tools you need.

On top of what has been said above, using area lights and/or turning on radiosity makes things suddenly look very real :hey:

Thomas M.
06-30-2009, 09:22 AM
Most important is that you stick your nose into gamma and how it works. Without proper gamma correction it'll always look strange or your settings will be off to achieve a realistic look.

Jack D
07-01-2009, 02:29 PM
Thanks guys, I am trying to follow you and figure this out. I have worked harder on light set up, added radiosity I have already seen some nice results. I tried setting up the delta node but, but didn't get to far. I think that is going to take some more practice and study. There are a few things I could use some more detail on.

1) "set everything to white or 50% grey first and work on the lighting" I understand the idea but I don't know the best way set it up.
2) "along with a decent hdr probe image to light the scene" I can't find the controls for this
3) "Most important is that you stick your nose into gamma and how it works" I would love more info on Gama. Again, I can't find the controls for it, but I would like to know more about it works.

Here is what I have so far.

Thomas M.
07-01-2009, 02:40 PM
Search for Gamma, color calibration, etc. There's plenty of info on this forum. You need to use a "color correction node" to change the gamma of the color (Gamma set to .4545). If you render out hdrs photoshop will apply a gamma so everything will be correct. If you save out 8bit images the FP Gamma image filter needs to be applied.

Don't expect to understand all these things in a few days. It's a long way to get to know all this stuff.

Waves of light
07-05-2009, 02:49 PM
Well, I can help you out with 2).

Inside Layout press CTRL+F5 (or go Windows | Backdrop Options). Click on the Add Environment button and select Image World from the menu. Right Click on the 'image world' that appears in your list and Load in your hdr image, by clicking on the Light Probe image button.

biliousfrog
07-07-2009, 09:45 AM
Thanks guys, I am trying to follow you and figure this out. I have worked harder on light set up, added radiosity I have already seen some nice results. I tried setting up the delta node but, but didn't get to far. I think that is going to take some more practice and study. There are a few things I could use some more detail on.

1) "set everything to white or 50% grey first and work on the lighting" I understand the idea but I don't know the best way set it up.
2) "along with a decent hdr probe image to light the scene" I can't find the controls for this
3) "Most important is that you stick your nose into gamma and how it works" I would love more info on Gama. Again, I can't find the controls for it, but I would like to know more about it works.

Here is what I have so far.

#1 - Here's how I match lighting: http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=90535

You can create a simple preset object or just use the one from preset central. I start with a flat, diffused surface to get the lighting close to the scene lighting...try to match the lights position by using highlights and shadows and then concentrate on the light colours. Then you can use a more reflective surface to see how it holds up and test background reflections.

DrStrik9
07-07-2009, 12:01 PM
I'll second that regarding IFW2. It's great bang for the buck, extremely useful in all sorts of ways, from just grabbing 2D and 3D procedurals LW doesn't have, to using some of its newer nodal stuff too. At last count it is comprised of 38 plugins. You could almost make a career out of using IFW2, there's so much there. (And no, I am not affiliated with them either, I just often use their product.)

Jack D
07-09-2009, 11:49 AM
Thanks, This has been SO much help. I still have a lot to learn and I'm looking forward to being able to really dial these things in. As it stands now the first showing of this project is in less then three weeks. So I need to finish up all the other elements, but all your direction has made a huge difference in the quality. I'll be able to do some more tweaking after the showing and before the film fest. Thanks again.

Jack D
07-13-2009, 12:07 PM
So, here is the latest. I tried to follow as much as I could from all the you guys had. I also added some motion blur and film grain. I like the results, but what do you think?