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Thread: Supermachination

  1. #1

    Supermachination

    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:
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_iray.png 
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ID:	139424

    And here is the wip result (hairs are yet to be done) in Lightwave 2018 pBSDF (7m18s):
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_face_test_02.png 
Views:	104 
Size:	2.18 MB 
ID:	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.
    Last edited by grabiller; 01-13-2018 at 11:18 PM.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  2. #2
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    quite decent render, though lack of "true eyebrow fibers and the hair plust even speckled make up, or a skin tone that simply is too even.
    Not critisizing your work here, I know you are trying with the first renders...just pointing out things how they look, but I think you are aware of it anyway.
    Suggestion though, skip any poly hair and make her bold or just thin haired, until you got some new lighwave hair in place, that way the overall look of the face doesnīt get distracted.

  3. #3
    Well, here she is without hairs

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_face_test_04.png 
Views:	64 
Size:	1.73 MB 
ID:	139436

    The Art itself is not my work, it is from the talented artists at Daz3D, and to me they produce high quality enough products to ask myself: Can we really use those premade figures in production, granted some customization, instead of reinventing the wheel each time ?

    In the Supermachination specs I'm working on, a figure - a 3d character - should support face camera close up in FullHD (1920x1080). It appears the latest (or what they call HD, or HD extensions) figures do support this easily as they now provide 4K maps.

    The next issue, in terms of 'technical quality' is indeed the hairs. Albeit this brings some rendering issues, this should be solved too. Then the rendering itself. Seems ok to me, so far, I mean "believable rendering" of "believable characters" shouldn't be much of an issue yet it can be quite fast, 7m/8m seems ok too to me but wait for the hairs

    The next step is animation. But so far, the real question is: In terms of 'quality' do we really need to go (much) further than what you see in the presented images in order to 'accept' those characters as believable enough to be part of a full 3d TV show, granted the animations deliver ?

    This is all what I am after for this first step, to find that 'threshold' where quality is 'enough' to be accepted by the audience.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  4. #4
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    If you into daz characters being animated look into Liberty 3d plug-in looks promising

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by grafxstudio View Post
    If you into daz characters being animated look into Liberty 3d plug-in looks promising
    A plugin for ? Lightwave ? Daz3D ? Any link you can provide ?

    Regarding animation, the Supermachination approach relies on mocap + facial animation. For the latest I'm currently experimenting FaceFX. Whether or not mocap will be used for facial animation as well (or in conjunction with facial animation softwares) has not been decided yet. One thing for sure is to go as far away as possible from the traditional 3d character animation pipelines. The all idea behind the Supermachination concept is to "shoot full 3d characters actions" as interactively as possible instead of laboriously "animating 3d characters actions".
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  6. #6

  7. #7
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    Well, here she is without hairs

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_face_test_04.png 
Views:	64 
Size:	1.73 MB 
ID:	139436


    The next step is animation. But so far, the real question is: In terms of 'quality' do we really need to go (much) further than what you see in the presented images in order to 'accept' those characters as believable enough to be part of a full 3d TV show, granted the animations deliver ?

    This is all what I am after for this first step, to find that 'threshold' where quality is 'enough' to be accepted by the audience.
    the bar of quality is always set around what kind of film and audience it is aimed for, not even starwars rouge met up to good enough realism it seemed, maybe rachel in blade runner did, those are extremes perhaps in terms of expectations of highest realism, and not acceptable believable characters.

    So itīs the project and what it is aimed for that initially determines what quality may be needed, if itīs a full 3d fantasy series, less realism is aquired, if you put in a fantasy figure trolls or a defiler in the hobbit, less realism is aquired, though some may argue the orchs and the alikes in the later movies lack the realism of the real ones in the first.

    AS for daz characters, you can set the lighting and shading, skin scattering to almost perfection, it most often comes down to the figure model itself and the motion of it, as per say I donīt think most of the daz figures are scanned real models, and it has too much of perfection non symmetry propagating through the face, which feels unnatural, in fact I feel some of the non symmetry faces in make human seem more natural even though the textures supplied sucks.

    Edit...
    taking a better look at what you wrote, about believable characters that are there, it is more a question on how they behave and move, not as much as wether the skin is perfect or the hair or the natural look of a face I guess, heck..I donīt think the figures in avatar was believable in terms of face look and the skin and the tail behavior I wonīt even go in to...but the motion was carried out quite well and that includes one of the hardest part to have their eyes resembling a living character, meaning they look at what they should look at in a natural way...thatīs where most animations break, the eyes not responding within the environment or what they actually do or responding not natural towards other characters eyes in the scene.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    ../.. taking a better look at what you wrote, about believable characters that are there, it is more a question on how they behave and move, not as much as wether the skin is perfect or the hair or the natural look of a face I guess, heck..I donīt think the figures in avatar was believable in terms of face look and the skin and the tail behavior I wonīt even go in to...but the motion was carried out quite well and that includes one of the hardest part to have their eyes resembling a living character, meaning they look at what they should look at in a natural way...thatīs where most animations break, the eyes not responding within the environment or what they actually do or responding not natural towards other characters eyes in the scene.
    Yes, this is exactly my thinking, it pretty much all goes down to the facial animation. This is the main challenge I believe, but I'm quite optimistic after having seen a few game cinematics that work pretty well on this matter. So, it is possible, the key is to find the right pipeline and combination of tools in order to address that part of the challenge efficiently and consistently.

    I like the idea of thinking about PBR as "Plausible Based Rendering" instead of "Physically Based Rendering" because ultimately the goal is to get something that looks real enough - or plausible enough - for the audience to buy it. It does not need to be actually fully physically accurate. In the same spirit, I'm looking after "PBC" or "Plausible Based Characters" design and "PBP" or "Plausible Based (acting) Performance".
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  9. #9
    RETROGRADER prometheus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grabiller View Post
    Yes, this is exactly my thinking, it pretty much all goes down to the facial animation. This is the main challenge I believe, but I'm quite optimistic after having seen a few game cinematics that work pretty well on this matter. So, it is possible, the key is to find the right pipeline and combination of tools in order to address that part of the challenge efficiently and consistently.

    I like the idea of thinking about PBR as "Plausible Based Rendering" instead of "Physically Based Rendering" because ultimately the goal is to get something that looks real enough - or plausible enough - for the audience to buy it. It does not need to be actually fully physically accurate. In the same spirit, I'm looking after "PBC" or "Plausible Based Characters" design and "PBP" or "Plausible Based (acting) Performance".
    The Big problem is the "soul in the eyes" which I have a hard time to adress as being the truth of us humans actually having a soul, but I can recognize all the subtle emotions that an eye can portray or can be seen in a face, itīs not good enough to have animated faces with eyes actually following another characters face and in fact following itīs eye, that is sort of crucial when we determine if something is sort of believable, not only that..but a true actor or person responds to all subtle body languages, it deals with the actual situation happening in the scene, such as hearing a tone in a voice and respoind subconcious to that, it could be about someone being cheated on, someone delivering happy news, then to put all those emotional options as possible response within face emotions, that is a daunting task, and even a special dedicated ai system that can deliver that as an output in eye and face expression would require real heavy science work, and it would probably not be able to handle all the facets of how we humans react and express that in face and eye movements.

    I may go to the extreme here, but there is a problem for both the top notch animated realistic cg characters, as well for merely believable cg characters, it is about the most Important aspect of a character...Regardless if it is aimed at top notch cg figures or lesser realistic figures..I think, thatīs my thoughts on it.
    It may be easier if you do special dedicated emotion scenes, so when that case shows up. you got a display of anger only, that is pretty much easier to display, but if itīs more subtle emotions and presence..and also mixed in one go, that would be harder.

    yep and I liked your rendering without the fake hair better, it just need a bit more of a touch in the skin, eyebrows and eyes, and perhaps the lighting, some asymmetry in eyes and perhaps the cheeks as well.

    The human project by chris jones and his lightwave work is inspiring...

  10. #10
    What Chris did is what I would qualify 100% perfection in head modeling, texturing, rigging, shading and rendering. If I could get 65% or 75% of that quality I would be very happy and it should be "enough". In terms of animation, eyes motion is a domain that is now, I believe, pretty well understood (saccade,microsaccades,..) and Chris got it right. Facial animation is a bit "over-acting" but that's in par with the video : )

    The "soul in the eyes" is indeed the key issue (and it does not need to be PRB, think about "Tom & Jerry", etc..). I believe any good animator can get it right but after how long work done ? The difficulty is to find a consistent way to do it right, each time, without taking 3 weeks to animate 2s. My main idea on this subject is to proceed exactly like for the design of the Principled PBR shader: to find a heuristic than can "shield" the animator of doing it wrong while allowing him to concentrate on the Art itself, that is expressing emotions.

    How ?

    My main idea on this subject is to introduce an intermediate layer of animation called "intentions". The animator would animate "intentions" instead of raw controllers, morphs or bones. These "intentions" are decomposed into 3 "channels": "What?", "Where?" and "How?". The placement of the keyframes in time would then be of course the "When?" part of the all "intention". The "heuristic" is the "AI" part, the intermediate between these intentions and the actual animation of the raw elements. This would be probably based on some fuzzy hierarchical state machine but I have to do some r&d on this.

    Ultimately I believe this approach can be also applied to facial animation and why not at some point, locomotion (there already are similar approaches and ideas in the game industry).

    I have yet to produce something that work, of course, but I believe the idea worth the effort. Unless someone propose a far better idea that is
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by prometheus View Post
    ../..it just need a bit more of a touch in the skin, eyebrows and eyes, and perhaps the lighting, some asymmetry in eyes and perhaps the cheeks as well../..
    I've reworked the materials a bit.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_face_test_05.png 
Views:	27 
Size:	1.75 MB 
ID:	139502
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  12. #12
    Two things bothered me regarding the eyes:
    - the washed out pupil color
    - the weakness of the cornea specularity.

    I've tweaked those two:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_face_test_06.png 
Views:	47 
Size:	1.75 MB 
ID:	139504

    --- ps ---
    The skin color is a bit less reddish in my renderings that what I can see here on this image in the forum in chrome. Not sure how you really see it on your side..
    Last edited by grabiller; 01-16-2018 at 09:25 PM.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  13. #13
    On a side note, it amazes me to see having this kind of results at 2K in only ~4m57s on a i7 x 980 3.3 GHz 6 cores.

    The combination of the new Environment Light + MIS + pBSDF is really a killer.
    Last edited by grabiller; 01-16-2018 at 10:03 PM.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  14. #14
    With a 50% bleach bypass, just for comparison:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_genesis8_female_face_test_06_bb50.png 
Views:	48 
Size:	2.13 MB 
ID:	139506

    Note how this enhance the perception of the bump details.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

  15. #15
    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:

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_michael8hd_face_test_01.png 
Views:	44 
Size:	2.04 MB 
ID:	139514Click image for larger version. 

Name:	daz3d_michael8hd_face_test_01_bb50.png 
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ID:	139515

    Same settings as for Genesis 8 Female with minor adjustments (M8HD provides TIFF normal maps for instance).
    Around 5m28s to render, a bit longer than for G8F probably due to the high-rez tiff 16bits normal maps.
    guy rabiller | radfac founder/ceo | raa.tel | French Lightwavers & Studios List

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