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About Varied / Artist Core Member linvanoakMale/Switzerland Recent Activity
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linvanoak

Artist | Varied
Switzerland
I enjoy creating images with various tools and software.

Equipment used:

Sony NEX and ILCE cameras
Sony Alpha and E-mount lenses

Software used:

Adobe Creative Cloud Applications
DAZ Studio Pro
E-on Vue Infinite
Otoy Octane Render
Pixologic Zbrush
Sony Vegas Pro
Video Copilot Elements 3D


You can find the latest updates on:
Light Path Expressions can be used to split the rendered information based on their light path into specific sub images.
The individual images can be exported as .exr files that allow for advanced compositing techniques in photoshop.
That way the look of the final image can be changed without the need to rerender.

This video released by Nvidia in October 2017 provides an overview:



The idea of this post is to give just one example how Iray "Light Path Expressions" can be used together with "Iray Handles" in DAZ Studio.

It is recommended that you first have a look at the official Iray dev blog entry:

blog.irayrender.com/post/76948…

- - -
- - -

Iray Handles & Light Path Expressions used to "Compositing per light"

​In DAZ Studio you use the "Iray handles" under the "Advanced Iray Node Properties" to set up Light Path Expressions.
In this example the idea is to separate the interaction of each light with objects in the scene into its own image.
In photoshop you can then adjust the strenght of each image in postproduction.

Step 01​

Set up a test scene with three lights:


01 Test scene layout by linvanoak


You can find version 1004 of the test scene in its basic state as .zip file with size 83.2KB here:

LPE Light v1004


This version of the scene has the materials set up but the Light Path Expressions are not yet set so you can follow along.

- - -

Step 02

Before any work with canvases and Light Path Expressions open the Iray Render settings and make sure the tone mapping parameters are adjusted to be "linear"

Burn Highlights: 1.0
Crush Blacks: 0.0
White point: 1.0, 1.0, 1.0
Vignetting: 0.0
Saturation: 1.0
Gamma: 1.0

02 Tone mapping linear by linvanoak



- - -

Step 03

Select your first emissive light object in the scene and apply the script to

Create Advanced Iray Node Properties


03 Create Advanced Iray Node properties by linvanoak



- - -

Step 04

Now open the Parameters tab - Rendering - Iray and give your light a name in the box "Iray Handle"

light_front

04A light front by linvanoak



light_left

04B light left by linvanoak



light_right

04C light right by linvanoak



- - -

Step 05


Now that you have set up the handles you can set up the Light Path Expressions LPE in the Iray Render Settings - Advanced - Canvases

<L'light_front'>.*E
<L'light_left'>.*E
<L'light_right'>.*E


To get a basic idea how those expressions are put together

L = light emitted that bounces from any type of surface any number of times
E = then hits the eye (E)
. = the dot character matches any interaction
* = the star operator means “repeat any number of times"

You just add the Iray handle after "L" into the brackets to indicate which light should be considered

<L'lightname'>

05 LPE Canvases for each light by linvanoak



Create a canvas with a Light Path Expression for each light in the scene.

- - -

The .zip file of Version 1005 of the test scene has everything set up and is ready to render:

LPE Light v1005


- - -

Step 06
​​When your goal is to export to .exr files then you do not need to worry which canvas is active.
You can just render out any canvas as .png

06A render a canvas and save as png by linvanoak



In this example something "odd" happened. The png for the LPE <L'light_front'>.*E just seemed to render blank.
But as it turned out in the .exr all information was available.​



When you save the .png all the other canvases are automatically written to a folder as .exr.

06B canvases are automatically saved as exr by linvanoak


06C exr files in folder by linvanoak




- - -

Now it is time to put the rendered out .exr together in photoshop.

Step 7

Create a new 32 bit image with the same dimensions as your rendered images.


07A create 32 bit image in photoshop by linvanoak



If there is no black solid background create one and leave its blending mode at normal.
This background layer should remain the lowest layer.


- Use File - Place Embedded to import your first .exr.

07B embed first exr file by linvanoak




In this example the first image placed was light_front

Do not worry that your image may look either very bright or very dark.



- Change the blending mode to Linear Dodge (Add)


07C set blend mode to linear dodge add by linvanoak



- place an Exposure adjustment layer
Adjustment layers by default affect all layers below them.
While setting this up the idea is to have the same exposure values affect all the images in the different layers.


07D place an exposure adjustment layer by linvanoak



Now you can change the exposure to a level in which the image of the front light looks about right to you.

- embed the .exr of your next light and also set it to blend mode "Linear Dodge - Add"
Place this layer below the already set adjustment layer but above the black solid background.

07E light front and light left combined by linvanoak


Those two layers combined show the result of light_front and light_left​.

- Now add the .exr of your third light and also set it to blend mode "Linear Dodge - Add"


07F all three lights combined again by linvanoak



At this stage you have added all the indiviudal light layers that combine to the original image.
The photoshop document should now look excactly the same as if you would have rendered out a single .png without any canvases from DAZ Studio.

The benefit of this workflow is that you can adjust the strenght of each light in postproduction without having to rerender the whole image.

You can fine tune the lights by adjusting each individual layer.
Instead of one adjustment layer affecting all images you may want to work with individual adjustment layers that just affect one layer and not the others.

In this example another Exposure Adjustment Layer was applied to just the "right_light" layer.

07G Change light strenght in postproduction by linvanoak



By changing the offset value the right red light is now stronger.

If after rendering you deceide that you actually do not want to use one of the lights at all you do not have to rerender the whole image.
You could just hide the photoshop layer of the corresponding image.
You could just tint one light by applying further adjustment layers.
You could also apply masks to specific areas of individual layers...

Try experimenting further with Iray Light Path Expressions to get some ideas of your own how you could use them in your workflow.

- - -
This entry will first cover how to add and remove products to the existing default "New" group in DAZ Studio.
In the second part of this entry you will find an example how to create your own "Favorites" group.


- - -

Part one: add and remove assets and products from the "New" group



When you add new products to DAZ Studio they show up in the Smart Content pane as New" with a blue frame.
When you click on presets (assets) the "New" tag with the blue frame disappears.

- - -

What may confuse some is that even when all assets are not anymore marked as "New" the product itself may still show the "New" tag.


Frame On Assets Gone - Still Shown On Product by linvanoak


-> The reason for that is that the product is actually "Grouped as" New.

- - -

To remove just the product from the "New" group:
- in the Smart Content Tab Product View right click on the product and select Group Product as None



Group Product as None by linvanoak



Using this option will just clear the "product" from the "New" group. But the assets will still be in the "New" group.

- - -

To remove the assets from the "New" group:
- select "All files" to show all files included in a product
- hit "Ctrl & A" to mark all assets orange
- right click the selection and choose Group Assets as None



Group Assets as None by linvanoak


- - -

If you want to remove a Product and all its Assets from the "New" group:
- right click the product and choose Group Products & Assets as None



Products Assets as None by linvanoak


- - -

If you just installed a whole bunch of products and want to remove them all from the "New" group:
- In the Smart Content Pane make sure to activate the "Install State" "Installed"
- Select the category "All Products"
- hit "Ctrl & A" to mark all products orange
- right click the selection and choose Group Products & Assets as None


Ctrl A - Products Assets by linvanoak


In this example 647 products were selected.
It took about a minute to toggle the group from "New to "none" for all products and their assets.
During the process DAZ Studio will not be responsive to any other inputs.
​If you do this process for just one product and its assets it will just take seconds.


Group as New cleared by linvanoak


Now the "New" tag and the blue frames are gone for all products.

- - -

-> If you do not want new products to show as "New" make it a habit to remove them from the group just after installation.
-> If  you do want a product to show up as "New" again just group it as "New".

- - -
- - -

Part two: Create your own groups

To show how to create your own groups in this example a "Favorites" group is created.
To keep the group label short I named it just "Fav".
You could name the label any way you want like Favourites, Favs etc.

- - -

To create your own groups:

1) create a group image in your prefered image editing software.

You could add a logo, overlay text and a border.

While creating the image feel free to use a larger size so it is more comfortable to work with.

I used 180x254 pixel in my first try because that is the same size as the metadata preview images.


2) Resize the final image to 90x127 pixel

If you use a significantly larger or smaller size the image border will either be larger or smaller than the products or assets preview images.

If you are just using a logo or font be aware that it will be scaled from the lower right corner if you use different sizes than 90x127.



Export at 90x127 by linvanoak


 90x127 is half the size of the metadata preview images located in data\cloud\meta​ of your connect library

I ended up at this size by trial and error.


3) save your group image as a .png file consisting of a number (id) and the group name (label) id.label.png

Example: 1.Fav.png

1.Fav by linvanoak


For "group as" options to show up the group images need to consist of a positive number and a name:

Id.label.png

The Id is a postive number like 1 that indicates the position of the group in the right click "group as" pull down menu

The label will be the name of the group in the right click "group as" pull down menu.

​Example:

1.Favs.png



4) Browse to your DAZ Studio installation folder and locate the resources\images folder

In this example the path leads to the DAZ Studio Pro Beta (called Public Build):

C:\Program Files\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio4 Public Build\resources\images\

If you use the General Release version of DAZ Studio make sure to place them in the proper path based on your own installation:

C:\Program Files\DAZ 3D\DAZStudio4\resources\images\


5) create a folder called groups




Resources Images Groups by linvanoak




6) in the groups folder create two subfolders called assets and products




Groups Assets Products by linvanoak




7) Place the .png file in both subfolders assets and products

Example: 1.Fav.png

- - -

Done.

The next time you open up DAZ Studio it will automatically create a group based on the "label" of the .png file you placed.

Now you can add products or assets to your new group in the smart content tab.

You can filter your search results by using the term group::label



- - -


Some examples:


Example group "fav"

I stored a .zip file called groups in the Sta.sh:

Groups


Extract it to resources\images\ to create a group called "Fav" and experiment with it.

- - -

Example: Product view - Products placed in the group "fav"

- in product view select your favorite products and add them to the group "fav"

- in product view enter the filter term

group::fav



All products fav by linvanoak




- - -

Example Favorite Iray Shaders

- In product view browse to the category "Shaders"

- Add the Iray Uber Base located in the Default Resources to the group "fav"




Uber Base Group as by linvanoak


-> In files view when you now use the filter command

group::fav

and select the category "Shaders"

your favorited Iray Uber Base shader shows up




Files Shaders fav by linvanoak





- - -

Example: Favorite HD morphs

You can use any search terms to find assets or products that you want to add to a group

​- Use the filter term "hd"

- add HD characters of choice to the group "fav"




Figures HD group as by linvanoak



If you wanted you could also create a separate group with a different color, logo or label called


"2.hd.png"

- use the filter term

group::hd


- - -

Example: Fav Figures

​In files view enter the search term group::fav

Select the category "Figures"




Files Figures fav by linvanoak



-> Now you can see all figure presets that you added to the group "fav"

- - -

You can add anything to the favorites group that you want.

poses, skins, props, light setups,  frequently used HDR backgrounds, etc.

- - -

The difference between groups and categories:


​One asset or product can be in multiple categories.

​but an asset or product can only be assigned to one group.


-> If you uninstall a product all group data is cleared. When you reinstall the product all its assets will be assigned to the group "new" by default.


To summarize:

The benefit of using groups is that you can use them in combination with categories to quickly find your favorite assets and products.

-> Basically groups let you place an additional "filter" to items already placed in a category to further customize the search results based on a criteria that matters to you.

The obvious choice is to create a group for Favorites but maybe you can think of other types of groups that would be helpful to the way you work with DAZ Studio.

- - - 


Groups

Comments


Add a Comment:
 
:iconjohnfitzsquirrel:
JohnFitzSquirrel Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2017
Thank you for the watch :)
Reply
:iconv3digitimes:
V3Digitimes Featured By Owner Nov 8, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
... And thanks for the watch!
Reply
:iconv3digitimes:
V3Digitimes Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I like your way compositing!
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:icongabrielmatari:
GabrielMatari Featured By Owner Mar 5, 2015
Tank you very much for the watch !! :)
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:iconhubby72:
Hubby72 Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi Lin :) Thanks for adding me to your watchlist
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:icontishaartwork:
tishaartwork Featured By Owner Aug 13, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thaaanks for the watch hihi =) 
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:iconeuskelo:
Euskelo Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2014   Digital Artist
Thank you for the watch, my friend. I look forward to seeing more of your work!
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:iconflamingodancer123:
flamingodancer123 Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2014
Thanks for joining :iconlotr-hobbit-club: and a very warm welcome!!!:)
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:icongwasanee:
Gwasanee Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist

MistletoeThank you for your pleasant comments and your kind support this year! I am very happy to be a part of such a great community. I wish you and your family with all my heart a peaceful and merry christmas and a happy new year!

Take care and be always creative,
Gwas 

Reply
:iconchaotickizmit:
ChaoticKizmit Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the :+devwatch:
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