direct light makes things look fake



  • Ok, it's ALL fake 3d, I know but I want stuff to at least look decent with direct lighting. Here are two examples with one infinite light and BB's Envirosphere. One is rendered with the figures back to the "sun" and the other with the figure facing the full on light. The indirect light looks so much better. I can't seem to get an infinite light to render like it was real sunlight. Am I missing something or is the Cycles render engine incapable of rendering real looking sunlight.0_1468385627297_Indirect light.jpg 0_1468385638727_direct light.jpg


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @ghostship - full frontal lighting will usually look rubbish as it produces flat looking images. Move the primary light around - you want form shadows at least to give more depth & shape to your subject. I'd recommend the book Light by Richard Yot.



  • Not to mention in the second image the sun is in her face while the background suggests the sun is behind her. Cognitive dissonance. If you want the lights to emulate the environment you have to understand the environment you are emulating. The second example does not.
    Also in the second image you have virtually eliminated the contrast between subject and background, so no wonder it looks flat.
    The superfly engine is capable of realistic lighting if you set it up that way...



  • @piersyf said in direct light makes things look fake:

    Not to mention in the second image the sun is in her face while the background suggests the sun is behind her. Cognitive dissonance. If you want the lights to emulate the environment you have to understand the environment you are emulating. The second example does not.
    Also in the second image you have virtually eliminated the contrast between subject and background, so no wonder it looks flat.
    The superfly engine is capable of realistic lighting if you set it up that way...

    No, the figure was rotated, not the background. The bright area you see is sunlight falling on a wall. I would also say that she needs to be lighted up brighter than she is for the sunlight to look right to me but then everything goes nuts.



  • I've seen stuff done with things like Luxrender that use one infinite light to light up an entire scene/building/structure and they look fantastic.

    @caisson I'll take a look into that book you mentioned.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    @ghostship - I've been getting good results with a jpg sky on the Ground prop which acts as a massive fill light & a single infinite light @ 100%. Works well but I just look for good data ie max dynamic range but minimal clipping - Superfly delivers this. Then I process, similar to the way I approach digital photos.
    Yot's book is one I personally like a lot, simple on the surface but lots of examples & loads to think about. It's also not specific to any medium, so doesn't have anything on 3d techniques but has helped me think about general lighting & surfaces a lot.



  • @caisson said in direct light makes things look fake:

    @ghostship - I've been getting good results with a jpg sky on the Ground prop which acts as a massive fill light & a single infinite light @ 100%. Works well but I just look for good data ie max dynamic range but minimal clipping - Superfly delivers this. Then I process, similar to the way I approach digital photos.
    Yot's book is one I personally like a lot, simple on the surface but lots of examples & loads to think about. It's also not specific to any medium, so doesn't have anything on 3d techniques but has helped me think about general lighting & surfaces a lot.

    Can you post up some of what you've been doing with this? I'd like to see it.


  • Poser Ambassadors

    I will but on holiday & away from PC til Sunday. Thinking about putting a freebie material set for the new Ground prop up on Gumroad, could do a few video demos too. Will let you know if I do :)
    There are one or two images in the Superfly renders thread I've posted too.



  • I have found some valuable informations in this PDF file, from piersyf (cgbytes.com) : Lighting relationships in Poser



  • @caisson said in direct light makes things look fake:

    I will but on holiday & away from PC til Sunday. Thinking about putting a freebie material set for the new Ground prop up on Gumroad, could do a few video demos too. Will let you know if I do :)
    There are one or two images in the Superfly renders thread I've posted too.

    Cool, thanks dude!

    @Y-Phil I had downloaded his PDF and read some of it a couple of weeks ago but math makes me sleepy. This is my my problem, not his because he did a fine job on that info :).

    I've been at it today and am discovering at least for me that some of my problems are textures and not the lighting (which still could be better.)

    I had to modify my textures on this model to get a wider dynamic range on the strands using a HSV chip to darken way down the main defuse color and the highlights are cranked up to a value of 4 I think on these. 0_1468473042932_light 5.jpg Still the highlights are a bit funky on the front lit version and should cover the side of her head but they don't.



  • @ghostship

    I like very much the result on her face.
    On her hair: I like very much the central part, but the sides appear to be in the shadow.



  • @Y-Phil said in direct light makes things look fake:

    @ghostship

    I like very much the result on her face.
    On her hair: I like very much the central part, but the sides appear to be in the shadow.

    Yeah that's what I was getting at was that the side should be lit up from the infinite light but is not. I'll have to play with it a bit more.



  • @ghostship
    And what do you think of use an area light?



  • Here is a sunset example. Her skin on the direct version looks flat and unrealistic although I like the shadows (probably because they are lit by the sphere). Her hair needs bigger highlights in the front lit one as well. Next I want to see what the area lights look like compared to equal sized and shaped mesh lights.0_1468510827647_sunset.jpg



  • @Y-Phil said in direct light makes things look fake:

    @ghostship
    And what do you think of use an area light?

    so far have not had great results with them. we will see. And I do believe that some of the problems are in fact coming from the texture maps or shaders on the skin. There is almost no shininess on her face in that last one. I used a spec map when I set up her skin in EZSkin3.



  • @ghostship

    I may be wrong but I rely on EZSkin's proc. specular most of the time.
    The example below is rather dark because the scene is in a dark street, lit by two area lights, one of which above the head (almost 4x the woman's height)
    The settings I'm using serve me as a start, as it depends on each hair prop's bitmap. I play with "Hair specular value", "Color intensity" and "Transluscence"

    EZSkin's Hair settings



  • @Y-Phil said in direct light makes things look fake:

    @ghostship

    I may be wrong but I rely on EZSkin's proc. specular most of the time.
    The example below is rather dark because the scene is in a dark street, lit by two area lights, one of which above the head (almost 4x the woman's height)
    The settings I'm using serve me as a start, as it depends on each hair prop's bitmap. I play with "Hair specular value", "Color intensity" and "Transluscence"

    EZSkin's Hair settings

    I've use ezskin in the past for SSS on hair, worked pretty good for light blonde hair but not well for dark hair. This is what I'm doing with hair in these renders. I use a texture map that has minimal highlights burned in because that just ruins my day. I take the map into Photoshop and lighten it up for use as a spec color map and then plug the spec amount into the transmap so the invisible stuff doesn't shine.It's real simple but it works. 0_1468530247069_hair mat.jpg



  • area vs. mesh lights: Here I set up some lights in a clamshell config like Piersyf suggests in his tute. I substituted flatened cubes for the lights and placed them the same for the mesh example.0_1468530474531_area mesh.jpg



  • Not really super happy with either the area or mesh lights. They just look flat and lifeless.



  • @ghostship
    Flat and lifeless?