How To Do A Quality Female Pinup In 3Delight

5 min read

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SickleYield's avatar
I'm not going to give a "bad" example, because a lot of people who do terrible pinups are enthusiastic hobbyists, and there's no reason to hurt their feelings when they're really not trying to do this professionally.  Still, one can always do better.  The reason I'm going to talk about this is that pinups are a perennial visual topic in our medium, and one that is very often done very badly. 

I'm not saying this because I'm a heterosexual female, and not especially girly or fem myself; the human female body as an artistic subject is not offensive to me, nor is the fact that men like to look at pictures of sexy women.  I like to look at sexy men, so as far as I'm concerned, all's fair.  Here's me doing a male pinup and here's how I did it.

Instead of being negative about any one person's work, I'm going to give a very good counter-example, and I'm going to talk about Valzheimer's EM3D: Keira.  This appeared in a flood of many not-dissimilar pinups on Valzheimer's dA pages recently, so it was probably missed by a lot of people, but it really is a beautiful example of its kind.  Valzheimer is really one to watch if you want to learn to do female pinups in 3Delight, just as Laticis is one to watch if you want to do beautiful basically anything in Octane.

This is all my own subjective opinion, and I completely own up to that.  I don't do female pinups normally (I just do a LOT of rendering in 3Delight), so if I get a lot of comments telling me to put my money where my mouth is, I guess I'll have to attempt it.  But for now, here's what is done right with this pinup. 

1. Good lighting. This is a no-post 3Delight render.  I can tell by looking at it that UberEnvironment or the Advanced Ambient lights were used, giving the figure good solid occlusion, but also key and rims to give the scene more definite shadows.  I can tell this second one because of the gentle shadow cast from right to left, and the brighter rim of light on the girl's left side (the viewer's right).  Valzheimer hasn't depended on Uber for shadowcasting or specularity, because it doesn't do those well on its own; but also hasn't left those other lights all the way up to 100%, which would've made their shadows too harsh and dark for the scene.

2. The pose is lifelike, if likely to be uncomfortable to hold for long, and the scene is composed so it works with that pose.  I know some people don't like figures at the center of a rectangular frame, but the way she's huddled here works really well - even without using a Dutch camera angle to make it more dynamic, it doesn't look static and dull.  It's been adjusted so her body doesn't clip with itself.  Even the problem area in the confluence of calf and thigh isn't bad, and can be taken for the natural way these press each other in that position.

3. Attention to detail.  Look at how well that pearl prop lies on the figure and doesn't clip.  Look at how perfectly the shoes sit flat on the floor, giving an impression of solid weight.  That had to take some tweaking to get just right.  Getting too eager to upload something leads to things being missed.  I've done it, we've all done it; but what a great reminder to put in the time this is.

4. Clothing and hair are used that can handle the chosen pose without defying gravity in an unrealistic manner.  The skirt hangs juuuust enough in the back.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I've seen a certain bikini with ties used and no attempt to pose the ties with gravity.

5.  The character has a lifelike facial expression, looking into the camera, not into space.  She looks a little nervous, as if she really wants to seduce the viewer but isn't sure what the consequences will be - it's a very human expression.  (If you're newer to DAZ Studio, especially if you came from Poser, you may not realize you can select each eyeball and choose Point At... and the camera.)  This makes her more of a person to us, which is sexier than the default "seductive siren isn't really looking at anything with her mouth half-open" thing I see very often.  You can work with a character deliberately looking at something off-screen, but it needs to be just that, deliberate.

6.  The backdrop is simple and elegant, but looks made of real materials.  The character is not lounging seductively in unconstructed space, and the prop behind her anchors her to something like reality.  Don't get me wrong, artists like Laticis and CalladsReality make unconstructed space work well for them; but they also know when to add selected props to anchor a scene.  Having a character on cloth or stone is always better than papery fuzziness.

I hope all of that makes sense, and that those of you who are fans of the female form visually but are new to DAZ Studio might be able to learn something from it.  I'm always available to help you if you have questions about rendering.  I may not be the best, but I'm here, and I can at least help you get started.
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PsiDeschain's avatar
This says 3Delight, but I assume most (all?) of this would be true for Iray (and males, for that matter). I know this post is older, and I'm new to 3-D rendering, but I get the impression Iray is 'new.' Still, it seems like a lot of the techniques in scene construction would be the same. True/false/somewhere in-between?