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A video version is here.

I learned this method from jag11 on the DAZ3D forums, who is thanked for permission to use it in this tutorial!

In 3Delight there's no way to create atmosphere or godrays (the rays that are visible when light passes through dust or particles).  There are products to facilitate (one of them mine), but most are either not the easiest to use or ultimately just a faking of a feature the engine lacks.  Many artists use postwork instead.

DAZ Studio 4.8 Beta's new Iray engine also lacks a native mechanism for creating atmospheric volumes - but it can be easily convinced to produce them!  They will come from your lights and react to objects in your scene.  I did a test image of Jack Tomalin's Chapter House Iray scene (free to Plat Club members).

Iray Atmosphere Test 01 by SickleYield

The method is:


1. Load your scene into DAZ Studio 4.8 Beta.

2.  Set the Environment to Sun and Sky in your Render Settings.

3.  Jag11 says to set time of day to 12 noon. I set it to 3 p.m. in the above test.  I think what matters is that you set the SSS direction properly for the light direction (below).

4.  Make sure that your camera headlamp is set to OFF.  This is in the camera's parameter settings; you must render through a "real" camera and not the perspective, top, right, etc. views.

5.  Create --primitive--cube.  Other shapes will probably work.  The important thing is that you scale it up large enough that your camera cannot see past its outer edges, ideally as big as your room (or if outdoors, really, really huge).  The camera must be outside the primitive. 

6.  Select the cube in Scene Tab and look at its surface in Surfaces tab.  Select the surface.  Apply the Uber Iray Base shader.  Turn OFF all the glossy settings (glossiness, glossy layered weight, etc.)

7.  Scroll down to the Refraction.  Set the amount to maximum and the index number to 1.00 (I believe it's 1.5 by default). 

8.  Scroll down to the Thin Walled setting.  Set it to OFF.

9.  Scroll down to the SSS settings.  Jag11's recommended settings are

Scattering Measurement Distance: 50
SSS Amount: .03
SSS Direction: 0.5

For the huge room in Jack's Chapter House scene, I used:

Transmitted Measurement Distance: 100 (same as the Scattering, leaving it at 0.1 produces black renders)
Scattering Measurement Distance: 100 (I reasoned that the rays needed to go further into the room)
SSS Amount: .05
SSS Direction: -0.45 (which, as it turns out, was wrong; in the version shown I've corrected it to 0.5.)

Adding a higher SSS amount will make your atmosphere more dusty.  I used an incorrect value of SSS direction at first. According to DAZ's docs, "Negative numbers (-) backscatter to the direction of the light source. Positive numbers (+) forward scatter away from the direction of the light."

Here's a scene you can use to test this, and a copy of the most successful version of the shader I used.

Freebie Iray Godray Testing Scene by SickleYield

So really, you should always use a positive number of SSS direction for this.  This is probably why I didn't get very defined rays in my scene until the second try (the version you see for the Chapter House scene now).

In the second scene, the Park Side High Lobby, I used an HDR for fill and spotlights for lighting; there is no "Sun" light.  So that is definitely not mandatory as a lighting method to get these rays.

I look forward to your renders using this method!
  • Listening to: Redwing blackbird in the creek
  • Reading: Iray Blogs
  • Watching: Channel Awesome reviews
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: banana
  • Drinking: Constant Comment tea
Add a Comment:
 
:iconkatzengeist:
katzengeist Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2018
Thanks a lot for the guide which was very helpful!
I tried it with one of my very first picture .. I am a newbie with 3d.

www.renderosity.com/mod/galler…
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Oct 12, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Nice job!  Looks like it worked! :)
Reply
:icongrim-red:
Grim-Red Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018   Digital Artist
After fighting for some years with godrays and volumetrics, finally i have found the Grail!
Thank you, your video is also extremely helpful. :D
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
You're very welcome!

I tend to fake them with transmaps myself most of the time because it's faster, but if you want "real" in-engine volumetrics, it at least is possible!
Reply
:icongrim-red:
Grim-Red Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018   Digital Artist
I have tried pre made volumetric cameras as well, and aside for losing my sanity i haven't obtained the same result as i did following your tutorial.

I have also your easy Godrays, but my experiments with Iray ( my fault) haven't worked well yet...i may try to apply the same criteria ( of the video) on those surfaces though.
Since i am no expert on mapping, i am afraid, lol. ^^;

Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
With the transmapped godrays you don't use the volumetrics at all, you turn down the opacity a bit and add emission (if you're talking about the pre-Iray one; we did do an Iray version later).  In this image I used Expanded Godrays Iray out of the box (again, I may have turned down opacity even a little more).

Mature Content

Burning (TW: Man On Fire) by SickleYield

Reply
:icongrim-red:
Grim-Red Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018   Digital Artist
Hold me... I'm scared. by Sinister-Starfeesh
Terrific.
I have wishlisted it, for now i have to stick with the complicated rays, but the positive side is that i am learning something new. :aww:

Thank you once again for your super useful tips and tutorials, changing engine is offering quite a challenge, lol.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
I also have a free version for 3Delight, but it should be easy to use in Iray too:

Reply
:icongrim-red:
Grim-Red Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2018   Digital Artist
Yep, already used them and discovered that they works well even when not converted for Iray. :)
Reply
:icontkdrobert:
tkdrobert Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
After watching your video, I finally was able to produce God-rays.  I never could so it just folowing the text.  I had to do some post-work to get it to look the way I wanted, but I finally got it.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Great, I'm glad it helped. :)
Reply
:icontkdrobert:
tkdrobert Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I’m doing another render to see if I can get the effect from Terra Dome 3 atmosphere.  I’ll tag you when I upload the final results.  Thank you for the video.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
Terra Dome?  Ouch, that's gonna be a long render with that much SSS.  Good luck!
Reply
:icontkdrobert:
tkdrobert Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Most of my renders are long.
Reply
:icontkdrobert:
tkdrobert Featured By Owner Sep 8, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
TD3 did produce rays but it wasn’t the same.  Your method produced a lot of littles ones were as TD3 had more like 2 or 3 big one.  I’m going to try 1 ore render with your method.
Reply
:icon3dhealing:
3Dhealing Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really like this better than Atmocam for some reason - it just seems to clear up and interact with light better. I put it in one pre-made scene and the difference was outstanding; I tried another pre-made scene of mine which was also a simple portrait, and while it certainly added volumetrics/fog to the scene, I couldn't get the light-beam effect I was looking for. There was nothing 'narrow' to enclose the light through mind you, so I tried using point lights from IG's light set - any advice on getting Godrays? 
Reply
:iconzenosisuk:
ZenosisUK Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2018  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I thought I was the only one having issues with Atmocam, think I will have to try this and see how it turns out, thank you for the tip SickleYield
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Feb 7, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
It's harder without an aperture. I guess you could try setting a spotlight as that? It's not called aperture but there is an option in the spotlight settings to change to a door/window shaped thing.
Reply
:iconsomeoneelsehere:
SomeoneElseHere Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Student Digital Artist
Thanks! Just completed my first experiment with this technique (using a spotlight rather than sun/sky). 

Abandoned? by SomeoneElseHere  
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:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2018  Professional Digital Artist
You're very welcome!  It came out nice. :)
Reply
:iconsomeoneelsehere:
SomeoneElseHere Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2018  Student Digital Artist
And making SSS direction negative does indeed allow for backscattering....

Lights by SomeoneElseHere  
Reply
:iconalexhellmann:
AlexHellmann Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2017
Thank you very much for sharing.
Reply
:iconthereal9thdoctor:
thereal9thdoctor Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
Can this work for say, searchlights at night? I'm trying to do a test render for a scene for a Godzilla fancomic that is a night scene with searchlights on him, and have been fighting with trying to get a good result for over three days. I either get no searchlight beam on him at all or the scene looks like the sun is twenty feet away from Godzilla. The Iray Godrays props just won't work, and I've tried spotlights with iray settings applied, primitves with Iray Real Lighting shaders applied, and the IR skydome sun set up like a spotlight, and everything is either no light on Godzilla or sunblasted. The environment itself is not an issue, weirdly. It's just Godzilla. Always looks like a pitch black shape stuck in the center of the scene.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
It should.  At least it costs nothing to try it this way. ;)

Remember that the larger your volume, the higher the transmissive distance needs to be so you don't get murk.  If your fog looks too thick that's the issue (I say this because I assume if you're putting searchlights on Godzilla you're looking at an extremely large volume).  The settings I suggested here are way too short/low for a huge scene.  You might need to have transmissive distance 1000 or something even.

It's going to be slow to render.  High transmissivity in a huge volume always is.

If Godzilla keeps coming out black you may also need to double check his shaders' Iray settings (is glossy set to 0%?  Some things convert that way and it's never good for lighting things properly).
Reply
:iconthereal9thdoctor:
thereal9thdoctor Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2017  Hobbyist General Artist
I played with the settings for the skin, but I dunno if it'll work, as the models frankensteined together (Valandar's Kaiju and Scott Ayers GFW Godzy) are for 3dlight. I tried the human surface shader but it screwed everything up, so I tried just the Uber Iray surface. 

The slow render times might be an issue, as it's gonna be for a fancomic, and I will need to get at least a couple panels a day, preferably more. 

Right now I'm trying a cone with the Godrays and Real Lighting settings and shaders applied; maybe that will work. If not, I will try this technique. Also in a DAZ forum thread I started about this, people have given me other ideas to try. So at least there's SOME options at this point! Thank you!
Reply
:icondreamdesigner442:
dreamdesigner442 Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2017  Professional Interface Designer
You have a pure golden heart to help,and share,Thank you so much Hug Heart 
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
;) Very welcome
Reply
:iconalleycatcy:
AlleycatCY Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
And the weirdest thing now ... I can finally see all the options you listed.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Well, I'm glad they did show up in the end. :)
Reply
:iconalleycatcy:
AlleycatCY Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I did double check the engine is set to Iray. Once again, I have SSS options for a primitive Cube and refraction along with refraction index and thin wall option. And again ... no time of day option.
Reply
:iconalleycatcy:
AlleycatCY Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
3. No option under render options to sun and sky

8. Last night after I commented I had SSS options for a primitive Cube and refraction along with refraction index and thin wall option.  Not today tho, attempted on cube and plane.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Can you double-check that your render engine is still set to Iray and not 3Delight?
Reply
:iconalleycatcy:
AlleycatCY Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2017  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I cannot complete steps 3, 8 and 9.  They do not show up in my menus, using Daz 4.9 Pro.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
3.: You have no time of day option when you have set the Environment tab of your render options to Sun and Sky?

8. and 9.: You are able to access refraction, but not the thin-walled button?
Reply
:iconeblgraphics:
eblgraphics Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
Great tutorial it works great... What is the setting I need to adjust to accentuate the rays a bit more and if anyone replies thank you so much...
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Shorten the transmission distance and turn up the light maybe?
Reply
:iconmartinatera:
martinatera Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Many thanks for the tutorial - I used it here martinatera.deviantart.com/art…
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You are very welcome. :)
Reply
:icongolamartinez:
GolaMartinez Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yay! This works like a charm and produces amazin effects :D
Tahnk you soo much.
Reply
:iconlykantos:
Lykantos Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2016
Mhh, I am stupid?
Can't find  the Thin Walled and the SSS settings in the surface tab. :(
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Are you 100% sure you have the Iray base shader applied?
Reply
:iconlykantos:
Lykantos Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016
Ohh no, I always had chosen the cube in the scene tab. :oops:
Now that i have corrected this, the scene is rendered, but no rays are visible in the picture. Don't know, what i do wrong.:cries:
Reply
:iconphilip-howe:
Philip-Howe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
This works very well!! Thank you so much for posting this. I have been trying to get this effect for my animations for some time and now can save a set box so that I can tweak it for each background. Using all defaults, I set the time of day to 1pm and got some very good atmosphere fog that increases in the distance. This is a much better overall effect than all the products I've purchased to try to get it to be consistent, without any banding or overlap of 'sheets' of fog on flat or curved planes. Thanks again.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You are very welcome. :)
Reply
:iconchrisryder123:
chrisryder123 Featured By Owner May 30, 2016
Amazing tutorial, can I add one tiny amendment? Don't bother playing with the hour settings in the environment tab. Just make a spotlight aimed wherever you want the godrays to appear, make the light with 100x height and width and in the environment tab select "Sun Node" - point this to your spotlight.
Iray Angel by chrisryder123
Reply
:iconraxatech:
Raxatech Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My second time coming back to your video to create this effect. Great thanks to both you and Jag11 for sharing this technique.
Reply
:icondesignerinc:
designerinc Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
amazing tutorial....wowzy....but for some reason my render wouldnt progress from 0%....its driving me craciiiii.....what should I do....i am so confused as for IRAY it shows you a glimpse of how its going to be, and its really impressive, its just freezes at the all grainy part, nothing happens to smoothen out the render...am running it at default.... aaaaaaa... hehe....can you help me out
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Rendering with volume on is heavy on system resources.  For render to progress is going to take longer, especially if your system is CPU-only or your cards don't have a lot of CUDA cores.
Reply
:icondesignerinc:
designerinc Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
have a nvidia gtx570 but even after 15 mins on it the damn thing remains at 0.... love the affect it was producing....if somehow can get it to complete rendering, even have reality , dont know how to get the sun and sky to work there.... i dont suppose it would as it showed black results....thanks thgh for getting back..cheers
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
GTX570 has only 480 CUDA cores.  That's actually not a lot for Iray rendering.  You're going to get major lag with any transmissive object in the scene (and especially if you try to render with multiple figures with 3072x textures, etc.).
Reply
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