material sampler for the P11 construct


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    Thank you, Boni and Miss B.alt text

    I think I have my HyperVue RenderCows back; I logged in to my e-on account and renewed activations, then opened Vue on Urania and re-added the cow packs and it shows a total of fifteen cows again. But I have chores to do before I can get servers fired up to test it.

    Meantime, here's what I had before the debacle; a 200m diameter clearing,
    camera at -50':
    alt text

    camera at +70' (dig that crazy walnut tree!):
    alt text

    Note that the treeline is either in shadow or has light directly entering, in agreement with the sun position of the atmosphere and (half strength) Poser infinite light.

    The 200m diameter pano render is 8192x384 (reduced version to fit forum shown):
    alt text
    It's a seamless panorama, so it's OK to have the UV seam in a shot because you won't see a seam.

    The 400m clearing version will be for scenes where you need to scale the construct up for more elbow room.

    I may try rendering the treeline pano again with an olive green sky to see if I can eliminate -or at least reduce- that alpha fringe. If anyone has suggestions, please jump in!alt text



  • @seachnasaigh I think this is wonderful, but is there anything that can be done about the really bright white outline on the trees?


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    "really bright white outline on the trees" is what I referred to as "alpha fringe".

    I certainly see the defect, and I will experiment to try to find a solution. I don't know if the effort will be successful.


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    If you are using Photoshop for your alpha ... in editing the alpha image, use levels to darken and sharpen the edges, but be careful not to lose details. This might rid you of the alpha fringe. I over-did a little on mine and lost some detail, but then I was just getting things done quickly to test it and don't have a render farm. I just have my little laptop.


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    @seachnasaigh - do you have any options to treat the sky as transparent or a separate layer?

    Ah, hang on - this is what you want - no idea how you'd do the setup as I don't have Vue.

    PS. have you considered rendering skies in full HDR? That's incredibly difficult to do in conventional photography ...


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    @Boni said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    If you are using Photoshop for your alpha ... in editing the alpha image, use levels to darken and sharpen the edges, but be careful not to lose details. This might rid you of the alpha fringe.

    @Boni - I use ye olde PhotoImpact X3. Vue produces the alpha. It had occurred to me to try a soft shadow around the alpha, but that would sort of eat into fine tree branches, etc. I'll hold onto this is a fall back method if getting Vue to directly produce what we want fails. This is the one method that I already know would work, albeit at a cost of some detail lost.
    .
    .

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    @seachnasaigh - do you have any options to treat the sky as transparent or a separate layer?

    Ah, hang on - this is what you want - no idea how you'd do the setup as I don't have Vue.

    PS. have you considered rendering skies in full HDR? That's incredibly difficult to do in conventional photography ...
    @Caisson - I don't yet know if I can make the sky color independent of the scene lighting; I had just set up an olive green/brown sky with normal colored lighting and started an experimental render when the license debacle happened. I haven't gotten everything powered back up yet.

    I already had Vue set to produce the color image, the alpha mask, and I could also do a depth map.

    The potential of your HDR idea had not occurred to me. I'll see if I can figure out how to set that up. But then, if we can get that set up for a treeline, why not also do HDR complete spherical panoramas for the entire skydome?alt text
    Welp, that would be another pack.alt text

    Thank you, Boni and Caisson; good ideas - and that helps.


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    Hot dog! Got my RenderCow licensing working again!alt text
    alt text
    Fifteen machines, each with dual H/T hex Xeons; that's 360 total render threads!alt text

    If this works, it will generate the treeline, alpha mask, and Z-depth map all in HDR.


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    P.S. I will try to get the treeline as a separate object on a transparent background.


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    sigh... PhotoImpact X3 won't open the HDRs.

    Suggestions for a 64bit permanent license program which open/edit/save HDR, PSD, maybe even EXR?


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    sigh... apparently when the Vue license fail occurred, it also lost the addressing of my Vue library, so each category will now need to be reloaded.alt text


  • Poser Ambassadors

    We all appreciate the hard work and frustration you are going through to accomplish this project. This is amazing and we are thankful for your patience.



  • @seachnasaigh First, I can't believe the number of render nodes you have going! Just WOW! I thought I was doing pretty good with 3 desktops running I5's. Lol!

    Second, wouldn't GIMP be able to handle all of those image formats?


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    @seachnasaigh - yep, I was thinking HDR for the entire sky; trying to capture a sky when the sun is fully visible is very very hard in photography due to the EV range required to avoid clipping highlights (something like 20 stops, maybe more). So would be interesting to see how a CG rendered sky could compare.

    For a sky on an overcast day when the sun is hidden the EV range will be vastly reduced - the results you can get from a LDR 8 bit image as a sky + single infinite direct light can be excellent.

    What kind of editing do you need to do with 32 bit images? If it's a case of tone mapping the file down to 16 or 8 bit, Photomatix Pro is excellent (it's geared towards producing HDR's from multiple photos though).


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    @seachnasaigh - when you render in Vue, do you need to tell it in advance what output format you want? What I mean is, do you need to specify that you want a 32 bit HDR image before you render, or can you choose the format you want to export after the render is complete?


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    Thank you, @Boni; I'm just having a bad computer day (or two) - we all have them occasionally. I got an Acronis backup done today in case this blip was a forewarning of impending OS hard drive failure. And I'll be making a bootable rescue disk this evening. I already have 3-month old versions, but I'll want to account for any recent changes. Armed with an Acronis backup and a bootable rescue DVD, I can install a new hard drive, boot from the rescue DVD, and then dump the Acronis OS disk image to the new hard drive.

    @mr_phoenyxx - I hadn't thought of GIMP. I'll have to check what it can do. You are doing well with three i5s; most people never bother to make use of that other computer or two they have sitting around. With Poser Pro, it's great to be able to send test/promo renders off to the remotes; you can have three renders going simultaneously! Sure speeds things up.

    @caisson -agreed; HDRs for the entire sky seems worthwhile; not important for the treeline.

    For the entire sky spherical panos, I will need to be able to load/open an HDR, then crop it to eliminate the unneeded bottom half (ground), then re-save it. Does Poser accept HDRs?

    To fix the "alpha fringe" issue with the treeline, I may need to be able to load several PSD layers and be able to composite them with color math (mostly just adding them). I don't see any way to output just the treeline and the ground in one image, but I think I can assemble a clean treeline if I can add render pass layers.

    Yes, I think I need to tell Vue what output formats I want before starting the render, although you can do some tweaking before exporting. I had it set for 32bit HDR. I'll look to see if it can export out 32bit, 16bit, and 8bit in one shot.
    And that may only apply when I have it set to save to disk. Now that you bring this up, I need to check to see what's available if I manually export after the render finishes; perhaps I could export as a 32bit HDR, then export again as a 16bit HDR. I don't know - yet.

    You guys are going to cause me to actually learn something here. :D


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    @seachnasaigh - Poser will accept HDR's in OpenEXR and (I think) RadianceHDR formats. OpenEXR seems to be the most commonly used format for a 32 bit image. This is a great explanation of bit depth. A 16 bit image has a higher dynamic range than an 8 bit image as more information can be stored per pixel but is not an HDR or High Dynamic Range image - the amount of information a 32 bit image can contain is huge (more than can be displayed or printed).

    A spherical panorama in equirectangular format is in the ratio of 2 to 1; twice as wide as it is high. To get the sky only would be a 4 to 1 ratio; I wonder if it is possible to set the render dimensions in Vue to just get the sky out rather than editing the 32 bit file? I've made a few panoramic skies for the Construct from my own photos (still trying to finish it off as a commercial project) and used resolutions of 8192 x 2018 & 16384 x 4096 (the higher resolutions are essential once I start doing any processing on the renders).

    There is bound to be some alternative to Photoshop for cropping a 32 bit image but I don't know of any ATM. GIMP is worth a look, but I think it only got 16 bit editing fairly recently. If you are stuck I can offer to do that bit for you as I run Photoshop CC & that crop + save would only take seconds to do.

    On the treeline, if you can set it up as a render pass layer to include a layer mask you should be able to use that as a mask in Poser; either directly or possibly converting it to a straight black and white mask. The Vue docs do say that the masking is fully anti-aliased which should defeat that white fringe effect. I wonder if the alpha that Vue was generating which you used in the renders you posted earlier was anti-aliased?


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    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    @seachnasaigh - Poser will accept HDR's in OpenEXR and (I think) RadianceHDR formats.

    OK, noted.

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    A spherical panorama in equirectangular format is in the ratio of 2 to 1; twice as wide as it is high. To get the sky only would be a 4 to 1 ratio; I wonder if it is possible to set the render dimensions in Vue to just get the sky out rather than editing the 32 bit file?

    I haven't found a way. I'll try a 90' zenith instead of 180'. That might do it.

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    There is bound to be some alternative to Photoshop...
    If you are stuck I can offer to do that bit for you as I run Photoshop CC & that crop + save would only take seconds to do.

    I appreciate the offer and indeed may need it. I may yet need to go the PhotoShop route.

    @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    On the treeline, if you can set it up as a render pass layer to include a layer mask you should be able to use that as a mask in Poser; either directly or possibly converting it to a straight black and white mask. The Vue docs do say that the masking is fully anti-aliased which should defeat that white fringe effect. I wonder if the alpha that Vue was generating which you used in the renders you posted earlier was anti-aliased?

    Aha! I distinctly recall seeing tick boxes for anti-aliasing! - I need to check for that; it may solve the "alpha fringe" problem in one fell stroke.


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    @seachnasaigh - looking forward to seeing what you come up with, this is cool stuff you're doing!

    PS. Check out XnView - from the website it looks like its free, supports import & export of OpenEXR + can crop images ...



  • @caisson said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    @seachnasaigh - looking forward to seeing what you come up with, this is cool stuff you're doing!

    PS. Check out XnView - from the website it looks like its free, supports import & export of OpenEXR + can crop images ...

    xnview is great, multi-platform.
    Furthermore, I've encountered some jpg's online that photoshop cc couldn't open, because of a problem with the color profil.
    open & save with xnview solved the problem.


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    @Y-Phil - thanks for the recommendation, think I may install it myself - looks like a useful tool for when I need quick operations without the memory overhead that Photoshop demands!