Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al



  • So; I am using Poser Pro 11.0.0.31047 (not sure if the specific version will make a difference with my situation, but there you are).

    I am trying to place my character in an environment using HDRI lighting. I researched many methods / recommendations that have been made in here and tried each of them in turn, but so far I am having zero luck.

    For example; when I use the EnvironmentTexture node method, my texture shows up (good) it renders (good) but it is massive; a door in the image is probably about 350 times larger than the character (bad) and it doesn't add any light to the scene (bad).

    When I use the ezDome method, I delete the ground and the lighting already in the scene, I create a preset using a JPG for the inner and an HDRI for the outer, set my sun position, save the preset and apply. .

    The preview in ezDome looks good, but in the preview window, all I have is a solid white background.

    When I check the materials on the inner and outer objects, there are no materials applied. So I am not getting a background and it appears to have zero effect on lighting, because my character is completely black.

    Next I tried simply creating my own environment dome. I created a sphere, smoothed it and flipped the normals so that they would be facing inside. I exported it as an OBJ and imported it into Poser. I have tried several different methods to apply textures to it... 2d image, EnvironmentTexture, etc.... but the texture won't show up in the preview window or render. Although, when I use the HDR in EnvironmentTextre, I do get the lighting.. there is a very visible change in the quality of light and reflections in the scene.

    I guess I just don't know what I'm doing wrong, particularly with ezDome, but also with my own dome environment.

    I appreciate any recommendations.


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    you do know that EZdome comes with a full Manual PDF. Everything you need to know is in that.



  • Also, I don't know that you can use just any .JPG as a HDRi image. I usually download some from online, which come with the appropriate files needed to setup and render them with EZDome.

    Here's a link to one site with a lot of free HDRi images for you to choose from. I've used a few of them successfully.

    HDRLabs sIBL Archive


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    @rpsdev said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    So; I am using Poser Pro 11.0.0.31047 (not sure if the specific version will make a difference with my situation, but there you are).

    Original P11 - no updates for you? We could be dealing with a bug that was fixed ages ago. Or that could have nothing to do with anything. But I certainly can't go back that far and confirm behaviors with you.

    For example; when I use the EnvironmentTexture node method, my texture shows up (good) it renders (good) but it is massive; a door in the image is probably about 350 times larger than the character (bad) and it doesn't add any light to the scene (bad).

    Some folks unfamiliar with the geometry of being inside a giant sphere are surprised by the phenomenon that no matter how you scale the sphere, it looks exactly the same size. As well, it looks about the same no matter where you stand in it, as long as you're closer to the center than the sphere itself. Are you using an environment where the camera was close to a door? Then it will appear huge. Show or point us to the image you're using and we can judge better.

    When I use the ezDome method, I delete the ground and the lighting already in the scene, I create a preset using a JPG for the inner and an HDRI for the outer, set my sun position, save the preset and apply. .

    I note you said a JPG for the inner and an HDRI for the outer - sounds good. But what image? Matching equirectangular images or some random background unrelated to the HDRI spehre? (I ask because you said the door is huge. A possible explanation is you used a picture of a door, not a 360-degree environment image.)

    The preview in ezDome looks good, but in the preview window, all I have is a solid white background.

    Possible explanation - you're using a preview mode or preview driver that can't preview the shader.

    Possible explanation - you have the camera "yon" value too small. You didn't mention yon, so it's possible you don't even know what it is or that you changed it. Everything further than the "yon" value is not drawn.

    Possible explanation - you removed the shaders.

    When I check the materials on the inner and outer objects, there are no materials applied. So I am not getting a background and it appears to have zero effect on lighting, because my character is completely black.

    This sound like serious operator error.

    Next I tried simply creating my own environment dome. I created a sphere, smoothed it and flipped the normals so that they would be facing inside. I exported it as an OBJ and imported it into Poser. I have tried several different methods to apply textures to it... 2d image, EnvironmentTexture, etc.... but the texture won't show up in the preview window or render. Although, when I use the HDR in EnvironmentTextre, I do get the lighting.. there is a very visible change in the quality of light and reflections in the scene.

    No need to make your own. My EnvSphere is widely recognized as the best and it's simple and free. Also, EZDome geometry is actually two copies of mine, nested in each other.

    On my site, you can download the simple EnvSphere as well as a complete ready-to-use demo scene. It was built in the age of FireFly though - I don't even remember what, if anything, I should change for SuperFly. Most people have no trouble with it.

    https://sites.google.com/site/bagginsbill/free-stuff/environment-sphere


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    0_1532968918340_c7119d76-7bde-4634-adae-b34dab9302f4-image.png

    Is this the giant door? Yes that door is huge - because the camera was close to the door. The other doors and windows are not huge because they were far away from the camera.

    The environment is captured but ONLY from that one position. If you're not thinking of the door filling your view from that position then you are shocked at how big it is. It's supposed to work that way.



  • @Ghostman said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    you do know that EZdome comes with a full Manual PDF. Everything you need to know is in that.

    Thank you, Ghostman. I appreciate it, but I did read the PDF manual and everything was very straightforward except for the results. Once the inner and outer sphere was instantiated, the background of the scene turns white.:

    @Miss-B said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    Also, I don't know that you can use just any .JPG as a HDRi image. I usually download some from online, which come with the appropriate files needed to setup and render them with EZDome.

    Here's a link to one site with a lot of free HDRi images for you to choose from. I've used a few of them successfully.

    HDRLabs sIBL Archive

    Thank you, Miss B, but I was only using the JPG for the inner image; I was using an HDRI for the outer to provide light. In the end, it didn't appear to make any difference... even when I used the HDRI for inner and outer, it still came out as white.

    @bagginsbill said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    Original P11 - no updates for you? We could be dealing with a bug that was fixed ages ago. Or that could have nothing to do with anything. But I certainly can't go back that far and confirm behaviors with you.

    Certainly, and that is understandable. I just provided the information as a frame of reference in the event that this issue was encountered before and has since been patched.

    Some folks unfamiliar with the geometry of being inside a giant sphere are surprised by the phenomenon that no matter how you scale the sphere, it looks exactly the same size. As well, it looks about the same no matter where you stand in it, as long as you're closer to the center than the sphere itself. Are you using an environment where the camera was close to a door? Then it will appear huge. Show or point us to the image you're using and we can judge better.

    I am pretty familiar with 3d geometry... most of my work is primarily in 3d Studio Max. The Poser work is a fairly new development.

    However, I used the AUX camera to see how large my sphere was in comparison to the figure and to ensure the camera and the lights I started the scene with were inside the sphere.

    The door itself was part of the image, which you can view here. It wasn't an object in the scene. Remember that this was using just Background with the EnvironmentTexture node (not using ezDome or an environment sphere object), so there was no explicit mapping used.

    I note you said a JPG for the inner and an HDRI for the outer - sounds good. But what image? Matching equirectangular images or some random background unrelated to the HDRI spehre? (I ask because you said the door is huge. A possible explanation is you used a picture of a door, not a 360-degree environment image.)

    The image I used was the one I linked to above. I took the HDRI into Photoshop CC and exported out a 2K JPG. So they are the same image, inside and out, except the inner was a JPG and the outer was an HDRI.

    Possible explanation - you're using a preview mode or preview driver that can't preview the shader.

    That is entirely possible, as I often have issues displaying textures in the preview window without "refreshing" the window by going to the diffuse texture and pretend-loading the image again. At that point, the texture shows up again.

    Possible explanation - you have the camera "yon" value too small. You didn't mention yon, so it's possible you don't even know what it is or that you changed it. Everything further than the "yon" value is not drawn.

    That is entirely possible. I am using the default camera, literally the camera loaded with the Andy starter scene. All I did was replace Andy with James and re-texture him. However, if it is possible to change the "yon" value by hitting a shortcut key, I may have done it.

    Possible explanation - you removed the shaders.

    Well, I checked the image files loaded into the preset I created in ezDome to ensure they were still present, and they were. I deleted the inner and outer dome and then re-applied it, but without positive results.

    No need to make your own. My EnvSphere is widely recognized as the best and it's simple and free. Also, EZDome geometry is actually two copies of mine, nested in each other.

    Perhaps I should have started there instead. My problem there is that the system I am doing the work on is a closed network system, so getting permissions to get something added (even something as simple as using a Python script) can be laborious.

    I appreciate the feedback very much. I think I will take a look at the yon



  • @rpsdev at the point where you have loaded an environment sphere into the scene, to confirm that it is visible to the camera and not clipped by the camera's yon setting, you can select the sphere and change it's Element Display Style to Wireframe, Hidden Line or Lit Wireframe and confirm that you can see the mesh. If not, (assuming that you've not zoomed in so far that you're looking between the edges of a single facet) try resetting the yon parameter. [Though I do see your mention of turning white following instantiation of the sphere, on second glance]

    I can't find any mention of which render engine you've selected (probably my eyesight), but if you engage the FireFly or SuperFly engines in the Render Settings palette, and open the RayTrace preview, you may be able to see the rendered environment sphere which the Preview renderer can't display correctly (defaulting to white).


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    That's a nice HDR for lighting, but a very tough image to use for a background. The camera was placed between a table and a wall and is only about 3 feet above the floor (just under a meter if you're not American). The perspective is nearly impossible to use with a figure as you have to basically set up a matching camera scenario like this. If you don't, the figure will appear to be tiny - your brain compares everything and deduces that it is the figure that is weird, not the scene perspective.

    By the way, there is no need to convert HDR images for use as background into a jpg. Poser does it on the fly. The purpose of the double sphere (inner and outer) is not JPG, but rather high resolution for background. The high resolution image usually comes as a JPG to save space. The equivalent resolution HDRI is often in the gigabyte range.

    0_1533032637697_pic.png

    If you only have the HDRI to start with, deriving a JPG from it doesn't do anything useful. It doesn't even save space - instead forcing Poser to manage two copies of the same data in memory, one using high dynamic range, the other using low dynamic range. So if all you have is an HDRI, just use it directly on a single-layer sphere, i.e. my original EnvSphere.

    I still prefer to use my sphere instead of the Cycles environment shader system because with the sphere I can grab and rotate it interactively.


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    The large outdoor exposure through these door and windows here does provide wonderful lighting to a subject, but the position is very unhelpful. The perspective just isn't useful at all.

    0_1533032867979_pic2.png

    Note that I had to use a focal length under 15 degrees even to get a reasonably large view of the window. Being that close to the wall makes the window and door subtend a huge angle.


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    This is what I get when my "yon" value is too small.

    0_1533033044141_pic3.jpg


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    @rpsdev said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    I am pretty familiar with 3d geometry.

    And yet you found the door unexpecedly huge, which tells me your understanding of the perspective here was incomplete. The huge door is how this image is supposed to work. Is this useful? No - and I would just throw this image in the recycle bin. At best I'd use it for lighting and not for looking at.


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    It's not bad if you want to do a tiny andy picture.
    0_1533035295975_tinyandy.jpg


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    @bagginsbill said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    focal length under 15 degrees

    Can't correct mistakes with the stupid timer set so low.

    I meant to say 15 mm.



  • @bagginsbill welcome to the Circle of Confusion ;-) (commonly 0.03 mm)



  • @anomalaus said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    @rpsdev at the point where you have loaded an environment sphere into the scene, to confirm that it is visible to the camera and not clipped by the camera's yon setting, you can select the sphere and change it's Element Display Style to Wireframe, Hidden Line or Lit Wireframe and confirm that you can see the mesh. If not, (assuming that you've not zoomed in so far that you're looking between the edges of a single facet) try resetting the yon parameter. [Though I do see your mention of turning white following instantiation of the sphere, on second glance]

    I can't find any mention of which render engine you've selected (probably my eyesight), but if you engage the FireFly or SuperFly engines in the Render Settings palette, and open the RayTrace preview, you may be able to see the rendered environment sphere which the Preview renderer can't display correctly (defaulting to white).

    Thank you, anomalous... bagginsbill had mentioned the yon setting to me in an earlier post and I did try adjusting it. Initially, it was set at 856, I believe... I tried 1500 and 3500, but didn't get any results from those changes.

    I am using the SuperFly render engine.

    By the way, there is no need to convert HDR images for use as background into a jpg. Poser does it on the fly. The purpose of the double sphere (inner and outer) is not JPG, but rather high resolution for background. The high resolution image usually comes as a JPG to save space. The equivalent resolution HDRI is often in the gigabyte range.

    If you only have the HDRI to start with, deriving a JPG from it doesn't do anything useful. It doesn't even save space - instead forcing Poser to manage two copies of the same data in memory, one using high dynamic range, the other using low dynamic range. So if all you have is an HDRI, just use it directly on a single-layer sphere, i.e. my original EnvSphere.

    Thank you for the information. Space-saving was the primary reason I elected to use a lower resolution JPG for the inner, but if as you say it doesn't make a difference, that is excellent information to have!

    I still prefer to use my sphere instead of the Cycles environment shader system because with the sphere I can grab and rotate it interactively.

    I also prefer to use a sphere, for the exact same reason. I just haven't had any success at getting it to work so far.

    @bagginsbill said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    The large outdoor exposure through these door and windows here does provide wonderful lighting to a subject, but the position is very unhelpful. The perspective just isn't useful at all.

    That was primarily what I wanted it for... the lighting. The contrast between the light from the windows and the darker interior.

    @bagginsbill said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    @rpsdev said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    I am pretty familiar with 3d geometry.

    And yet you found the door unexpecedly huge, which tells me your understanding of the perspective here was incomplete. The huge door is how this image is supposed to work. Is this useful? No - and I would just throw this image in the recycle bin. At best I'd use it for lighting and not for looking at.

    I think I've discovered a minor miscommunication here.

    The only time the door was unexpectedly huge (ridiculously huge... I wish I could share a render to illustrate how large it was) was when I was using Background connected straight out to the EnvironmentTexture node. NOT with a spherical environment. I noticed I didn't mention that in my initial post.

    My only issue with the sphere (both my own and ezDome) was that the texture simply wasn't showing up.

    When I said I am pretty familiar with 3d geometry, I was referring to the size of the sphere I was working with in relation to the size of my model and accurately observing their sizes relative to each other, not to the texture in relation to the model. Whether I used my own sphere or ezDome, the texture has never rendered a single time.

    From your example renders, I feel like it definitely has something to do with the yon setting, but as I mentioned earlier, I adjusted it from its initial setting twice and rendered, and still didn't get positive results.

    I would love to try your EnvSphere, but getting it onto my work system is problematic. The system I use for the internet at work has some pretty byzantine and bizarre restrictions on what sites I can download files from, and it wouldn't let me download it from your Google site.

    I really appreciate all of the input and assistance. I will definitely continue cracking away at it until I get a solution.


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    Whenever you make a claim to a distance setting in your Poser for us, simply saying "35" is no info at all. Is that 35 mm or 35 miles? What "35" means is very dependent on your chosen Poser Display Unit. You have to say 856 inches or 856 meters, not just 856.

    Anyway - in the yon field type a bajillion 999999999s and then hit enter. The maximum allowed value will appear. (Which is 1000 PNU, or about 8600 feet) Try that.


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    Question for extra credit:

    How did I get the table (which is not real) to reflect my Poser objects?

    0_1533045834414_6bb3aa2d-6501-4396-933f-fd2b8613506f-image.png



  • @bagginsbill and if one sets yon that large, in most probabilities, the environment sphere would be clipped and invisible.


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    @anomalaus said in Environment; EZDome, EnvironmentTexture, et al:

    @bagginsbill and if one sets yon that large, in most probabilities, the environment sphere would be clipped and invisible.

    I use the max yon at all times so it DOES NOT clip. Clipping happens when the yon is close, not far.


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