Experimenting with BB's Makeshift Filmic Tone Mapping



  • This is me toying around with BagginsBill's tone mapping procedure for a more "Filmic" look, which is supposed to be more realistic. Elvis was my guinea pig. I always welcome feedback, but I especially do now, as I might integrate this process into my usual workflow if it indeed results in greater photo-realism. I also welcome others sharing their tone-mapped SuperFly renders.

    Before Tone Mapping
    alt text

    After Tone Mapping
    alt text

    After Tone Mapping plus Slight Contrast Enhancement and Sharpening
    alt text


  • Poser Ambassadors

    The likeness and lighting look great to me. Regarding the realism, I'm more distracted by the geometry and textures.

    For example, the skin bears no indication whatsoever of pores or wrinkles, especially the lips and eyelids where the surface on real people has a lot of wrinkles. The eyebrows look painted on and then smudged, instead of like individual hairs. I can't see any eyelashes. The parallel whispy hairs in the hair clearly show the transparency-mapped strips of the hair geometry. There is a burned-in highlight in the hair that is completely distracting, or if it's not burned in, then the shader needs adjustment.

    Not sure if you want to limit the conversation to realism in general, or just the lighting.

    He does look like a realistic mannequin.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    Compare to this Poser render - note the details in the skin (wrinkles and pores), the iris, the lips, eyebrows and lashes.

    0_1521548319195_DigitalEmily.jpg

    Note - the eyebrows are not hers (Emily O'Brian) although the other features were scanned from her actual face to make the model.

    The eyebrows, just to show you how shader technique matters, come only from this, which I found on the web somewhere.

    0_1521548634778_eyebrow.jpg

    I applied it in the shader, twice, which is set up to scale and mix a "hair" shader with the skin shader. The blending factor for that mixture comes from this monochrome eyebrow texture. It is not merged into the skin texture image at all and thus is easily rendered correctly (which is to say, like hair, not skin).



  • Thanks for your in-depth feedback, BB! Yes, I'm always open to talking about photo-realism generally, so your comments were helpful! I agree about the hair, particularly the parallel whispy hairs. Unfortunately, I'm no hair texturer, so I have to make the most of what I can find. I do my best to edit out baked-in highlights, but success depends on the quality of the product. My usual technique is to use an Anisotropic node for the specularity, but if you have any better ideas, I'd love to hear them.

    The eyebrows are applied via trans-map/mask and shaded differently from the skin, just as you recommend. I do admit to creating them with layered strokes of a Photoshop brush set designed for drawing various types of hair/fur. Again, I did my best to make them look plausible. Using masks based on an actual person's eyebrows has never quite worked for me, for some reason. I think it's because they're very difficult to fully isolate from the underlying skin texture, and you don't always have as much control as you'd like.

    The Genesis 8 Male eyelashes are a bit odd too. They tend to be so short as to almost disappear in many renders. I've tried making them longer, but it didn't really make them stand out much more. The problem is probably more a matter of thickness, which will be harder to correct.

    Should you really be able to notice alot of pores at the distance from which Elvis was rendered? I ask because pores seem quite a bit more obvious in close-ups of the same textures/shaders. For example, here's a promo image for a character pack I'm selling at Renderosity. Do you see at least some of the bumps or creases now?

    0_1521567648886_Calista.jpg

    Honestly, if I may be so bold, your render actually looks a tiny bit hyper-detailed. Maybe it's the slight overall graininess, or maybe I'm just too used to staring at my own comparatively smooth-skinned characters. I don't know.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @bagginsbill said in Experimenting with BB's Makeshift Filmic Tone Mapping:

    Emily O'Brian

    This link is to the Wikihuman Project page where the obj & textures made from scan data of Emily O'Brian are available to download (note that the textures alone are over 900Mb though). It's then a case of setting up a scene in Poser - as @bagginsbill has done. The two areas on the render that don't look quite right to me are the eyes & nostrils, but from the page it appears that these are, like the eyebrows, not included in the model or textures.

    BB, I'd be interested in seeing more details of your setup if possible, especially the hair, those eyebrows are so convincing!

    Below is a Superfly render I did in a late beta pre-release version of P11 of a free scan from Ten24 (http://www.3dscanstore.com). I am of the opinion that rendering is data capture, same as when I take a photo, & that processing is essential so here is the straight render & the final image.

    0_1521574937332_p11 superfly 2015.jpg

    IIRC the lighting was a couple of spotlights, nothing fancy; render saved as 8 bit (either PNG or TIF). I'd also point out that the model is a single surface with a single material zone; the shader setup is below just to show how basic it is.

    0_1521575040017_shader screen.JPG

    I've been searching but can't find that particular model at the moment, but I have found another free scanned head with textures here which I shall have to try in Poser at some point!



  • Here's an example of a tone-mapped image with more dramatic lighting and some more post-tone-mapping sharpening. This time, I used my Christopher Reeve look-alike character.

    0_1521577227948_SupesTM.jpg

    By the way, BB, what do you use as the "billboard" on which you put the original SuperFly render? I'm using a square primitive, but for some reason, no matter what I do, it wants to crop a bit off all around the texture map, making the tone-mapped render look a bit more zoomed-in than the original.



  • @glossaphile I created a properly UV mapped billboard

    @amethystpendant said in sRGB ruining our renders?:

    Hi,

    If anyone wants to play along with @bagginsbill I've created a prop that is correctly UV mapped and has @bagginsbill's shader on it. The prop is just a plain square but has height and width properties, just set those to the value of your image and then scale to fit whilst keeping the correct dimensions, the origin is at 0,0 so it scales right and up. Just unzip to any runtime of your choice.

    BB Tone Mapping Prop



  • @bagginsbill care to share the shader for that?



  • I've done a bit more experimenting, especially after I realized I was applying FireFly's built-in tone mapping on top of that provided by the billboard shader, which I think BB advises against. I've also learned of Ghostship's method of tone mapping via an EXR in Photoshop 6. I could use some feedback on which of these looks best (i.e. most realistic and filmic).

    Original SuperFly Render as JPG
    alt text

    Tone Mapping of EXR via Billboard in FireFly
    alt text

    Tone Mapping of EXR via Photoshop CS6
    alt text

    As far as I can tell, billboard-based tone mapping actually seems to weaken contrast, while Photoshop tone mapping strengthens it (mainly by giving darker darks).



  • @bagginsbill said in Experimenting with BB's Makeshift Filmic Tone Mapping:

    Compare to this Poser render - note the details in the skin (wrinkles and pores), the iris, the lips, eyebrows and lashes.

    0_1521548319195_DigitalEmily.jpg

    Note - the eyebrows are not hers (Emily O'Brian) although the other features were scanned from her actual face to make the model.

    The eyebrows, just to show you how shader technique matters, come only from this, which I found on the web somewhere.

    0_1521548634778_eyebrow.jpg

    I applied it in the shader, twice, which is set up to scale and mix a "hair" shader with the skin shader. The blending factor for that mixture comes from this monochrome eyebrow texture. It is not merged into the skin texture image at all and thus is easily rendered correctly (which is to say, like hair, not skin).

    Hi, is there any chance of you sharing the mat you used to get those eyebrows so realistic?