6 Weeks with Daz Studio: Week 4, Rendering in Iray

Oct 30, 2018 at 02:07 pm by -gToon

6 Weeks with Daz Studio is a weekly account of my personal adventures with this interesting and powerful 3D program. I'll share my observations, projects and ideas about the program along with any tutorials, websites and artists I come across. Be sure to visit Renderosity's Daz Studio Pro forum and, of course, the Daz 3D website where you can download the program free of charge for Mac and PC.

Last week (week 3) I tried to puzzle out problems I was having with rendering in Daz Studio's Iray. I tried using a different skin material that came with the free Daz Studio install, but I just couldn't get past the clay-like look of my model. I was also finishing up the skillshare.com tutorial “Create a Realistic Portrait in Daz Studio” by Manu de Mey. He's a great instructor and I urge you to check out any tutorial he's created.

Figuring Out Iray Rendering
Rendering in any application is always a bit of trial and error. Daz Studio's Iray render set up is very deep, but since it takes me 10 minutes to render my scene, the process is slow. I read through Daz3D's excellent documentation, but it all comes back to changing a render setting and then seeing what it looks like.

Fortunately, the community of Daz Studio users is very large. Eventually, after searching I came across two great threads in the Daz3D forums, “Approaching Realism in DAZ Studio and Gamma Correction Demystified” by Parris and “How do I improve this Iray rendering?” by 3dGordon. Both threads give specific notes on Iray render settings that enable better shadows, extend the render time, adjust gamma correction and make your models look much more realistic (especially skin).

Adjusting Iray Render Settings
Although the instructions by Parris in the Gamma Correction thread are somewhat technical, I did try out his suggested settings and they made a difference (see image below). Essentially, when rendering a model you have to take into account a render-based gamma correction and a shader-based gamma correction. Daz Studio defaults are good, but you really have to adjust these settings for your specific scene/model.

I also tried out jd_mortal's suggested render settings (from the 3dGordon thread) which are:

Without doing anything… (Assume that is the image you want, and just want it “better”…) You need to render it longer. Things that will slow-down a render, to provide more detail are… (In your Render settings)

  • [Filtering] -> (Pixel Filter Radius) Set that to 1.10 {Default is 1.50, which makes the whole image blurry. It is blending pixels to make one} You want some blur, or your edges will be hard-line pixels, instead of soft-edge alpha-blends. It will look horribly pixelated. They have it way too high, for most uses though. 1.10-1.20 is as far as I would push it.

  • [Environment] -> (Environment Lighting Resolution) Set it to 2048 {Default is 512, which limits shade-values in light from HDRI.}

  • [Environment] -> (Environment Lighting Blur) Set to ON {Default is OFF, it will slightly soften the values between harsh pixel-shades of HDRI light.}

  • [Progressive Rendering] -> UNLOCK the limit for MIN SAMPLES, set that to 3000 or more… Stops a render from finishing WAY before it is actually ready.

  • [Progressive Rendering] -> MAX SAMPLES, push it to 50,000 (Don't expect to hit it…) Remove it from stopping renders early at 5000

  • [Progressive Rendering] -> MAX TIME, push it to 75,000 (Don't expect it to be hit…) Again, it stops it from cutting your render times short

  • [Progressive Rendering] -> RENDERING QUALITY, I woudl set it to at-least 4.00, {Default is 1.0} More is obviously better. It will wait for more “corrective hits”, per pixel, before counting a pixel as “resolved”.

  • [Progressive Rendering] -> RENDERING CONVERGED RATIO, Set it to 100% {Default is 95%, that last 5% may take about as long as the whole time it took to hit 95%}

I was very pleased with the result after I made all of the changes suggested above. Here is the render:

Moving On
Although I like how the final render turned out, I still think the skin is too clay-like for my tastes. I tried adjust the translucency, but it didn't see to make much difference. Here's an brilliant example of the kind of skin render I was looking for. It's from Renderosity artist bu_es and it's called “Ivonne for V8 Portrait”. He said this about the lighting in the scene: “This portait is rendered in HDR Dome only whit a Backgound Mirror. Postworked in PS.”

Rendering in Daz Studio can be as complex as you want it to be. The depth of options are amazing. It just takes time, patience and experimentation to come up with the look you want. And even better you don't have to only do realistic rendering, Daz Studio has the capability to do all kinds of stylized rendering. Unfortunately, since I only have 6 weeks for this project, I can't explore other render styles. However, I urge you to visit the Renderosity galleries and discover the many ways Daz Studio can be used to render beautiful scenes and characters.

Next: Starting my own project from scratch



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