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Thread: Hidden huge improvement?

  1. #1
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Hidden huge improvement?

    This started out just to post some progress I've recently had on several levels with surfacing, due largely to rewatching RH's LSR series I suspect, & just getting used to the new PBR system do in general.

    What I really wanted to mention though is that the recent 19.02 update might have really contributed to this in an unexpectesd way and wondering if anyone else has noticed. You might not be able to tell unless you've a scene open with lots (several screen scrolls worth) of objects.

    I can't find any config option for it, I can't find any mention of it in the change.log, but Layout's Object list and Scene editor now have a more logical sort order. It's not 100% alphabetical & not quite sure how to describe it. It's much easier to find things now is the point.

    At first I just thought it was a new scene I'd converted & imported, but later I opened an older, very cluttered 2018 scene that was always awkward to work with. It's now quite easy to find what I need w/o having to just memorize where things were in the list, as I'd been doing.

    Yay, thanks & Kudos. Of course it would still be nice to have full sorting options in all lists, but for now this will work.

    So back to my original post...

    After some months of experiments, software updates & a myriad other changes (both software wise & personal), I finally hit upon a pretty comfortable, albeit not entirely direct, workflow for bringing DAZ (or any really) assets into LW and getting surfaces converted into PBR. In fact I think the results are superior to Daz's Iray, but I might not have that fully tweeked. The surface conversion part is largely due to OD Tools. I'm also thinking Octane might be in the semi near future.

    For those who've DAZ Dabbled, you know that you'll only get a basic texture for the resulting exported objects. Bring those into Layout & they're pretty much all bright & SHINY & smooth all over. You can convert those surfaces to Principled easily enough, & that looks considerably better, but it's still not PBR. Fortunately, the Daz folder structure is easy enough to navigate & find ALL of the maps if the asset has them to begin with, so you don't have to make any converstions. But in order to use that effectively, most models & scenes exported from DAZ often need some TLC.

    I suppose there are several ways of dealing with this, & in some circles I "cheated", but I'd rather just cut to the chase these days. So I picked up a license of PolyTrans64. I can now easily deal with tempermental Daz exports (not to mention a myriad of other CAD formats), but the the key thing is that I can import with options to sort geometry & texturing such that the exports give me proper objects & corresponding surfaces. Wish PolyTrans had a preset save feature, but at least I've screen captures for notes. Sounds simple & once set up it is, but that took a LOT of experimentation to get the recipe right.

    Once all of that came together, the rest is pretty easy. In VPR, you can Shift-click to select a surface of course. I then use the OD Tool, Select Object by Surface. Now both the item is selected as well as the surf in Surface Editor. Having the surface selected isn't required but nice to have the reference if you have a lot of similar named items & materials & aging eyes. I then use the OD Tool, PBR Importer.

    When VPR updates with the new surface, it can be quite impressive.

    A couple examples:

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    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

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  2. #2
    ack ack Markc's Avatar
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    Very nice renders.
    One thing that does bug me with Daz, is the number of surfaces it applies, e.g. a character's hair can have 8-10 surfaces.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Oldcode's Avatar
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    Sounds interesting Ma3rk,

    I don't have 2019 installed yet, but I can't wait to try it!

  4. #4
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    Those look great. Was getting and licensing Polytrans a painless process ?

  5. #5
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    Those look great. Was getting and licensing Polytrans a painless process ?
    Not exactly. You almost have to go through an interview process with Robert first before they'll sell it to you, but other than that, no. Very intersting guy in any case.
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

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  6. #6
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Markc View Post
    Very nice renders.
    One thing that does bug me with Daz, is the number of surfaces it applies, e.g. a character's hair can have 8-10 surfaces.
    Tell me about it.

    Still trying to figure out their multi layered structure for a terrrain. Best I can tell is that it has at least five layers and haven't found anything yet that can translate & convert.
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

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  7. #7
    Registered User rdolishny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLexx View Post
    Those look great. Was getting and licensing Polytrans a painless process ?
    I have an old copy of Modo for this purpose. It does a great job of geometry conversion.

  8. #8
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rdolishny View Post
    I have an old copy of Modo for this purpose. It does a great job of geometry conversion.
    These days, it's pretty much a necessity to have a digital "Babel Fish" of some sort.
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  9. #9
    Super Member tburbage's Avatar
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    Fun model, and nicely textured. Looks great.

  10. #10
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tburbage View Post
    Fun model, and nicely textured. Looks great.
    Thanks. Came across it by accident but fits perfectly for an idea I had back in the 80's. That started as a silk screen project. Found my original lithos & first ink passes a couple months ago and went "Hmmm". Pretty sure the idea will adapt nicely to 3D.
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

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  11. #11
    Looking great! I can't help but think the baloon should have some translucency, Select thin mode and increase translucency.

  12. #12
    Curmudgeon in Training Ma3rk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tobian View Post
    Looking great! I can't help but think the baloon should have some translucency, Select thin mode and increase translucency.
    It does actually. You can see that on the sail with the rope shadows being cast. Added it to the balloon too but doubt you'd see that going through two layers of canvas in most situations.

    Even so, this is still mostly a first stab. I'd like to get some cloth effects & rig some sway into the rope rigging too.

    Been working on a B-17 only to find I really need an AVRO Lancaster instead. Trying to stay true to a storyboard idea from some really old comic panels.
    "Never be a cat in a cartoon. Never." Chief Wiggum

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