material sampler for the P11 construct


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    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!



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

    @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!

    I'm using the 64 bits portable version many times each day...


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    If I set the spherical render slider to 90', I don't get a hemisphere; instead, I get a band centered at the horizon, from -45' (below the horizon) to +45' above the horizon.

    I'm running a full spherical HDR now. Interesting... once I select HDR as the save format, I don't have any further options (no choice among 32bit, 16bit, 8bit). So I don't know what I'm going to get.

    "Life is like a box of chocolates..." ~ Forrest Gump

    With full spherical output, our options would be
    [1] crop off the bottom half and re-save in some editor
    or
    [2] leave the renders as full spherical and set the image map node to only read the top half

    Option 1 would obviously have smaller file size.
    Option 2 would allow for also using the full spherical renders with BB's Envirosphere.

    I can't get onto the PhotoBucket site (I think they began maintenance yesterday), so I'll try uploading a screengrab of the render settings (which gave me the useless -45 to +45 result).
    0_1476439223765_render setup for HDR hemispherical.PNG


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    0_1476440317515_Col Kilgore - whistling server blades.jpg




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    I think my old 64bit Vista laptop Pixie has a full version of PhotoShop; I'll have to fire her up and see.

    Here is a full spherical HDR, 8192x4096, weighing in at a whopping 102MB: bad weather HDR spherical
    Somebody let me know what bit depth it is. Does this do the trick? Will it be worthwhile for me to run a series of these renders?

    This is how you would modify the construct shader to use a spherical sky render: Set V_scale to 2, and set V_offset to -1.
    0_1476445214282_material setup for spherical map on construct.PNG





  • @seachnasaigh This is really exciting! And you aren't the only one learning a few things. :D

    In a perfect world, we would have both options:

    A smaller file sized image that only covers a hemisphere, and then an image with a larger file size that can be used on a full sphere. This would give us the option of using whichever was appropriate to the scene we were building.

    That is probably a lot of extra work, but I just wanted to give you that feedback. :)


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    @mr_phoenyxx said in material sampler for the P11 construct:

    @seachnasaigh
    In a perfect world, we would have both options:

    A smaller file sized image that only covers a hemisphere, and then an image with a larger file size that can be used on a full sphere. This would give us the option of using whichever was appropriate to the scene we were building.

    That is probably a lot of extra work, but I just wanted to give you that feedback. :)

    If I can crop and re-save, retaining HDR quality, I will do exactly that; full sphericals for the Envirosphere, and hemispherical panos for the construct. It wouldn't be much extra work. The only question is whether I can.


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    @seachnasaigh - There are several file formats that a 32 bit image can be saved as, the common ones being OpenEXR (suffix = .exr) and RadianceHDR (.hdr). You can also save a 32 bit TIFF, & I'm sure there are some others. So from your render options screenshot that image should certainly be 32 bit.

    Also on that render options dialog, I would suggest leaving the Panoramic View at 360 for H angle and 180 for V angle but try using the Render Area option - it might be possible to tell Vue to render the top half of the panorama by changing the Y position.


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    The network is busy right now, but I'll experiment with the render area variables and see if I can get the elusive hemispherical render. That does seem promising.

    If you can tolerate the 102MB download, you could play with the full spherical HDR (hotlink copied from above).