May 2021 - Daz 3D New User Challenge - Using Props and Push Modifiers/Deformers

New User's Challenge - May 2021

Sponsored by DAZ 3D

Are you new to the 3D World? Are you at the beginning stages of learning 3D rendering? Have you been around for a little bit but feel you could benefit from some feedback or instruction? Have you been around awhile and would like to help other members start their creative journey? Well then come and join the fun as we host our newest render challenge!

New this year, we are breaking down each month into 2 different challenges. A Beginner Challenge and then also an Intermediate Challenge.

So which "Challenge" should you choose?

Follow the Beginner Challenge if you are:

  • New to the New User Challenges
  • New to Daz Studio
  • Newer to 3D Rendering in General
  • Or if you have not participated in the January Composition Challenge

Follow the Intermediate Challenge if you have:

  • Participated in the New User Challenge for awhile
  • Know the basics of Daz Studioand would like to learn more in depth topics
  • Been using 3D Rendering Applications for awhile and feel comfortable with learning Intermediate Topics
  • Or if you have all ready participated in the January Composition Challenge

*Please be sure to list in your post which Challenge you are participating in*


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Comments

  • DAZ_ann0314DAZ_ann0314 Posts: 2,520
    edited April 29

    Beginner Challenge:
    "Action / Using Props"

    This month's focus will be action with an emphasis on interaction with props. Your characters' actions, or the props they are using or interacting with, should be a major aspect of your image. As always, posing techniques, composition, and lighting will be important considerations as well.

     


    Some Inspiration:
    Digital Art Action Scenes
    Human Action Poses
    Action Photography
    The Fundamentals of Action Photography
    The Best Sports Photos of 2016
     



    While we encourage you to create your own poses from scratch for this contest, many of the pose sets available in the store can offer some great inspiration on how to use props in active situations!

     


     

    To fit the theme of "Action & Props," your render could depict anything from a melee to a barbecue, or from a pop concert to a masquerade ball, or even a bar room brawl. The key points are that it must include some sort of dynamic movement or activity, and that it must involve interaction between figures and props (tools, weapons, or any sort of objects being manipulated).

     


     

    Prior  Action / Using Props Challenges:

    May, 2020

    May, 2019

    May, 2018

    May, 2017

    May, 2016

     


     

    Daz Tutorials

    The Daz Studio Timeline Explained
    How to Make Your Own Props in Daz Studio
    How To Create A Smart Prop in Daz Studio
    Importing Props Into Daz Studio
    Daz 101: Posing
    Pinning, Posing and the Active Pose Tool

     



    I will be checking in as will the rest of the Community Volunteers to try and help with anything you all may need.


    For a list of the current challenge rules, please see this thread : Challenge Rules
     


    Closing Date: May 31st 2021

    Post edited by DAZ_ann0314 on
  • DAZ_ann0314DAZ_ann0314 Posts: 2,520
    edited April 29

    Intermediate Challenge:
    "Using Modifiers and Deformers"

    This is a general render challenge with the focus on using Modifiers and/or Deformers within your action scene. We are providing you with some links on the topics from a variety of sources. Utilizinging modifiers and deformers well can add that extra touch of realism to help create a dynamic looking and fluid scene. It is a fundamental skill for those wishing to show movement, customize items to better suit the use within a scene, or to fix issues such as pokethrough.

    *If participating in the Intermediate Challenge, please be sure to list what item(s) within your scene you have modified/deformed*



    General Information:

    Push Modifier / Push Modifier Weight Node

    Smoothing Modifier (Also covers deformers)

    Deformers


    Generally, push modifiers, smoothing modifiers, and deformers can all be used to manipulate existing geometry to change it's shaping. You could use a Push Modifier to make Genesis 8 pregnant or to make a dent in an object. You could use the smoothing modifier to show a face smooshing up from a punch (like a freeze frame of the hit) or to show pressure on a matress or couch. You can use a deformer to change the shape of a character, to change the shape or damage a prop, or to fix pokethrough or issues between items. There is an unlimited amount of things that can be done with the 3 and a lot of advanced topics to using the 3 as well but hopefully this will give you a better basic understanding of how to add them and how they can be used.

     


    Handy Products to Use to help with using the Push Modifier or Deformers :

    Mesh Grabber Bundle by ManFriday - Individual Bundle Items also Sold Separately. 
    InstaEdit by Callidus Simia

     


    Prior  Action / Using Props Challenges:

    May, 2020

    May, 2019

    May, 2018

    May, 2017

    May, 2016



    I will be checking in as will the rest of the Community Volunteers to try and help with anything you all may need.


    For a list of the current challenge rules, please see this thread : Challenge Rules
     


    Closing Date: May 31st 2021

    Post edited by DAZ_ann0314 on
  • Shinji Ikari 9thShinji Ikari 9th Posts: 1,062

    Here's my start for working with props.

    may2021a.png
    1280 x 896 - 2M
  • aprilshowers2065aprilshowers2065 Posts: 230
    edited May 4

    First shot at working with props. Feedback appreciated!

    Masks

    Beginner

    Masks.png
    1428 x 1714 - 3M
    Post edited by aprilshowers2065 on
  • davidjones8418davidjones8418 Posts: 166
    edited May 5

    A nice set up aprilshowers.

    Since you asked for feedback, I think the lighting could do with a tweak. I want to see those props in the foreground and the background looks kind of interesting too! I would consider moving the key light around to illuminate her face more from (our) right, then a fill light to soften the shadows from the other side. Say, a gentle downlight to lighten things up generally. Consider dialling up the lumens on the candle so it throws out more light.

    Posing is difficult. I am forever picking things up and looking at my hands, standing, sitting.. realism is difficult. I suspect the right hand would in reality need to be more in the centre of the mask, with the thumb the other side of the nose. Maybe you would hold a wig by the hairnet (under the fringe, the scalp etc) than in the hair body? Bit of phoke through on the blouse where it meets the skirt.

    Post edited by davidjones8418 on
  • OriginalSamhainOriginalSamhain Posts: 33
    edited May 5

    This isn't really an entry because I think it's definitely too subtle, but I've never worked with deformers before so I wanted to quickly try something and get some feedback. I tried to create indents where his fingers are pressing into his shoulder. I think it looks ok, but they still look a bit like they're next to the skin, rather than resting on it, if that makes sense? Any advice for making it look really real? 

    Deform test 1.png
    2560 x 2560 - 6M
    Post edited by OriginalSamhain on
  • isis4444merlinisis4444merlin Posts: 36

    @OriginalSamhain I like this. I have never worked with deformers so I won't try to suggest any specifics with that. I think that the hand pose looks very natural and to me only the index finger looks lifted away, which looks natural. One way to push the deformer aspect might be to change the intent of the pose. Instead of a gentle touch, perhaps he has a painful shoulder and needs to press deeply into the muscle,or something along those lines :- )

  • Shinji Ikari 9thShinji Ikari 9th Posts: 1,062

    Version B here, with some texture work, and some more props to help tell what is going on here somewhat better.

    may2021b.png
    1280 x 896 - 2M
  • davidjones8418davidjones8418 Posts: 166

    OriginalSamhain, I am struggling myself to work out what to do here. I spend so much of my time trying to work around tricky stuff like this!

    You could use a dformer to pull down the skin under the fingers. Apply the d-former to the body part, manouver the field into the right spot, fiddle with the x/y/z scale of the field and then use the d-former control to push/pull the skin. It's time consuming and I was doing this for everything nefore I discovered clothing helper etc. What was I thinking!? 

    Not sure how much it should dig in anyway. Real shoulders just aren't very fleshy. Compared to other squishier body parts. Maybe move the arm up so the wrist is bending higher?

  • davidjones8418 said:

    OriginalSamhain, I am struggling myself to work out what to do here. I spend so much of my time trying to work around tricky stuff like this!

    You could use a dformer to pull down the skin under the fingers. Apply the d-former to the body part, manouver the field into the right spot, fiddle with the x/y/z scale of the field and then use the d-former control to push/pull the skin. It's time consuming and I was doing this for everything nefore I discovered clothing helper etc. What was I thinking!? 

    Not sure how much it should dig in anyway. Real shoulders just aren't very fleshy. Compared to other squishier body parts. Maybe move the arm up so the wrist is bending higher?

    That's basically what I did, I think. I essentially just followed the video tutorial in the first post and it was just a matter of setting the brush to a very narrow size, then looking at where his finger was clipping, bending that finger back and painting in the dip - super tedious and probably completely the wrong way of doing it! 

  • perlkperlk Posts: 286
    edited May 7

    Beginner challenge: 

    A quiet evening in

    I need help. Like, seriously. I've been struggling with this render for about 5 hours. I was very thrilled with the deformer I ended up doing (thank you for the tutorial, it was amazing!!!!) on the chaise. It actually looks like she's making a dent in the sofa. But two things I need a little help with:  

    1. Hand holding a glass. I can't get this right. I don't know why but it looks deformed. I've tried like four different poses and tried dial spinning and staring at my own hand with a (full) wine glass in it and it STILL looks weird. I've turned off limits for the thumb parameters and it just makes her hand look messed up.
    2. Can someone recommend a good tutorial on environmental lighting options? I have tried about 5 different environment settings, spinning all sorts of environment lighting, turning it off and turning on just distant lights, turning on spotlight only, and it STILL looks ugly. In particular, I dislike the glare on the woodwork behind her. I know it's not an Iray texture, but the carpet and the wallpaper don't look bad, so what gives? 

    TIA!

    deformermay.png
    1200 x 1200 - 2M
    Post edited by perlk on
  • aprilshowers2065aprilshowers2065 Posts: 230
    edited May 8

    Thanks for the suggestions davidjones8418. I changed her grip on the mask and wig and adjusted the bottom of her blouse slightly to fix the poke through. I also tweaked the lighting slightly to make the foreground a little clearer.

    Masks2.png
    1428 x 1714 - 3M
    Post edited by aprilshowers2065 on
  • Alias52Alias52 Posts: 194
    edited May 8

    perlk said:

    Beginner challenge: 

    A quiet evening in

    I need help. Like, seriously. I've been struggling with this render for about 5 hours. I was very thrilled with the deformer I ended up doing (thank you for the tutorial, it was amazing!!!!) on the chaise. It actually looks like she's making a dent in the sofa. But two things I need a little help with:  

    1. Hand holding a glass. I can't get this right. I don't know why but it looks deformed. I've tried like four different poses and tried dial spinning and staring at my own hand with a (full) wine glass in it and it STILL looks weird. I've turned off limits for the thumb parameters and it just makes her hand look messed up.
    2. Can someone recommend a good tutorial on environmental lighting options? I have tried about 5 different environment settings, spinning all sorts of environment lighting, turning it off and turning on just distant lights, turning on spotlight only, and it STILL looks ugly. In particular, I dislike the glare on the woodwork behind her. I know it's not an Iray texture, but the carpet and the wallpaper don't look bad, so what gives? 

    TIA!

    The deformer does look great so far. I also stuggle with subtleties of hand placements, but it looks like you maybe need a little more curl on the joints of the fingers to look natural. As for lighting, there are many tips. The reflective on the wood is causing some of that, so could be tweaked, or the colour tone and intensity of the light. As for tutorials, I have used this link quite a bit, as it also links to some others: How I Light My Daz Studio Iray Scenes (thinkdrawart.com)

    Post edited by Alias52 on
  • perlkperlk Posts: 286

    Alias52 said:

    perlk said:

    Beginner challenge: 

    A quiet evening in

    I need help. Like, seriously. I've been struggling with this render for about 5 hours. I was very thrilled with the deformer I ended up doing (thank you for the tutorial, it was amazing!!!!) on the chaise. It actually looks like she's making a dent in the sofa. But two things I need a little help with:  

    1. Hand holding a glass. I can't get this right. I don't know why but it looks deformed. I've tried like four different poses and tried dial spinning and staring at my own hand with a (full) wine glass in it and it STILL looks weird. I've turned off limits for the thumb parameters and it just makes her hand look messed up.
    2. Can someone recommend a good tutorial on environmental lighting options? I have tried about 5 different environment settings, spinning all sorts of environment lighting, turning it off and turning on just distant lights, turning on spotlight only, and it STILL looks ugly. In particular, I dislike the glare on the woodwork behind her. I know it's not an Iray texture, but the carpet and the wallpaper don't look bad, so what gives? 

    TIA!

    The deformer does look great so far. I also stuggle with subtleties of hand placements, but it looks like you maybe need a little more curl on the joints of the fingers to look natural. As for lighting, there are many tips. The reflective on the wood is causing some of that, so could be tweaked, or the colour tone and intensity of the light. As for tutorials, I have used this link quite a bit, as it also links to some others: How I Light My Daz Studio Iray Scenes (thinkdrawart.com)

    Wonderful - thank you! I'll check that one out!

  • isis4444merlinisis4444merlin Posts: 36

    Good morning everyone! 

    I am stuck.

    I spent the first part of the month creating a scene to submit and I can't seem to render it. It is fairly large, 12 characters, 1 dog, a fountain with concrete ground and railings, oh and a bunchof lights. Daz is pretty much the only thing I have on my new computer so I thought I would give a scene this large a whirl. When I try to render, Daz craps out before I even see anything. Basically I am looking for pointers/tutorials on how I might accomplish rendering such a large scene (is it large?)  I have tried hiding objects while rendering but same result. 

    Hope you can help and as always...Thanks!

  • vamokvamok Posts: 217
    edited May 9

    isis4444merlin said:

    Good morning everyone! 

    I am stuck.

    I spent the first part of the month creating a scene to submit and I can't seem to render it. It is fairly large, 12 characters, 1 dog, a fountain with concrete ground and railings, oh and a bunchof lights. Daz is pretty much the only thing I have on my new computer so I thought I would give a scene this large a whirl. When I try to render, Daz craps out before I even see anything. Basically I am looking for pointers/tutorials on how I might accomplish rendering such a large scene (is it large?)  I have tried hiding objects while rendering but same result. 

    Hope you can help and as always...Thanks!

    From my experience, this is a RAM issue. When I was running on only 6 gigs of Ram I could only get two characters before things exploded. Now my old beast is running with its max allowable of 16 gigs of RAM and I have been able to do 7 in one shot with no problem. I have not tried for more yet...

    My coping mechanisms were:

    • Manually run several renders as "layers" and composite them all back together in a post-process program.
    • Turn off all bones of clothed characters. There is no point in rendering a leg inside the pants! Make sure all simulations are done first or bad things happen.
    • Try to get a preview with Iray in DAZ before actually hitting the render button.

    Hopefully, this will help you avoid the invisible out-of-memory error that is causing your DAZ to crash (at least I assume that is what is happening).

    Post edited by vamok on
  • isis4444merlinisis4444merlin Posts: 36

    @vamok thanks for the tips, it is so disheartning to work on something and then not be able to render. I will try your suggestions. I have 8 gigs ram and was hoping this would be enough until I can afford something better. Thanks again!

  • Alias52Alias52 Posts: 194

    isis4444merlin said:

    @vamok thanks for the tips, it is so disheartning to work on something and then not be able to render. I will try your suggestions. I have 8 gigs ram and was hoping this would be enough until I can afford something better. Thanks again!

    There certainly are a few tools that can help with this. If you have Camera Optimiser or Scene optimisier, they do some of the legwork for you in removing items that are not seen. The former hides items not needed and the latter can tweak the items to make them less painful to render (I use this when using Ultra Scenery sometimes!) Lots of things depend on your scene. If any of the figures can be instances, that reduces the load. Also, turning down the mesh resolution on further away characters and some DOF can reduce the pain. Is your 8GB of RAM on the GPU or is that Sytem Memory? If system memory, then you can get an upgrade relatively cheaply (budgets depending) as that will help down the line. 

  • Alewis478Alewis478 Posts: 49
    edited May 11

    Edit: not an entry. Reworked version posted further down

    First draft

    To do: Better grass, maybe a tree prop to emphasize the scale of the squirels, lighting.

    My oringal idea was a PoV shot from one of the riders but I couldn;t quite make that work.

    Tips welcome and if you know a better product for grass please let me know.

    Edit: I don't think that grass was made for close-ups. Looks worse the more I look at it

    BeginnerContestMay.jpg
    2560 x 1440 - 2M
    Post edited by Alewis478 on
  • perlkperlk Posts: 286

    Alewis478 said:

    Beginner contest

    First draft

    To do: Better grass, maybe a tree prop to emphasize the scale of the squirels, lighting.

    My oringal idea was a PoV shot from one of the riders but I couldn;t quite make that work.

    Tips welcome and if you know a better product for grass please let me know.

    Edit: I don't think that grass was made for close-ups. Looks worse the more I look at it

    I just downloaded some free grass over at https://erock3d.com/download/erock3d-free-grass-system/ - I don't know if it's good or not yet because I haven't tried it, but if you're looking for some, this might be helpful. 

  • Shinji Ikari 9thShinji Ikari 9th Posts: 1,062

    Alewis478 said:

    Beginner contest

    First draft

    To do: Better grass, maybe a tree prop to emphasize the scale of the squirels, lighting.

    My oringal idea was a PoV shot from one of the riders but I couldn;t quite make that work.

    Tips welcome and if you know a better product for grass please let me know.

    Edit: I don't think that grass was made for close-ups. Looks worse the more I look at it

     When it comes to PoV renders, what I do is focus on the characters eyes before I do anything else like posing or moving them to a differant location. Once I am focused on the eyes, I orbit the veiw to the back of the eyes and pull fowards untill I am just infront of the face. I then create a camera if I'm using perspective veiw coping the active veiwpoint and parent it in place to the characters head.

     

    Even if I don't actualy use the resulting PoV for my final render, If I want them to be looking in the general direction of something, using this idea helps to see what's in the area their facing, just change the veiwpoint to the camera parented to your character's head as I said before.

     

    Hope you can understand what I tried to discribe, and it's of use to you.

  • perlkperlk Posts: 286
    edited May 10

    I think this is slightly better...

    deformermay.png
    1200 x 1200 - 2M
    Post edited by perlk on
  • Alewis478Alewis478 Posts: 49

    Beginner contest entry

    Re-imagined version of my original above

    BeginnerContest.jpg
    1750 x 984 - 2M
  • perlkperlk Posts: 286

    Alewis478 said:

    Beginner contest entry

    Re-imagined version of my original above

    The grass looks 100% better, nice job!

  • davidjones8418davidjones8418 Posts: 166

    No worries aprilshowers, I think the pose looks better now for sure. Much more natural.

     

  • davidjones8418davidjones8418 Posts: 166

    <I am stuck. I spent the first part of the month creating a scene to submit and I can't seem to render it. It is fairly large, 12 characters, 1 dog, a fountain with concrete ground and railings, oh and a bunchof lights. Daz is pretty much the only thing I have on my new computer so I thought I would give a scene this large a whirl. When I try to render, Daz craps out before I even see anything. Basically I am looking for pointers/tutorials on how I might accomplish rendering such a large scene (is it large?)  I have tried hiding objects while rendering but same result. 

    Hope you can help and as always...Thanks!>

    Hi Isis444Merlin. Have you had any luck with your scene?

    12 figures is a lot but their memory consumption depends on the textures etc and how much of that is visible. Alias52 mentioned hiding items and this is really important. Make sure you hide all the body parts you can't see. You don't need to load textures etc into memory that light is not getting to.

    My experience of Daz3d memory issues is this.

    1. Daz freezes or crashes. This means you are way out of memory. Completely out of the ballpark.

    2. Daz renders but the render is slow. This means the scene does not fit into your memory.

    If you read the little render window that pops up it will report the size of the scene memory categories as it loads the scene... Geometry, Textures, Lights, Materials.. if it skips one that is bad news in my experience. It means the scene doesn't fit.

    3. Daz renders and is nice and quick. This means the scene fits and everything is hunky dory.

    It is really helpful to become more familiar with the log file. You can then see where the scene is bugging out. Click Help/Troubleshooting/View log file. It saves every render and render attempt.

    There are all sorts of tricks to get the scene memory consumption down but it will help if you know what you are dealing with and how far off you are. This also helps with knowing *what* to do. No point scene optimizing tons of stuff if you are only a few mb out from squeezing it on.

    You didn't say what system you are using. The number one thing that will help is a good gpu (nVidia for iRay). You can render without a good gpu (and people do!) but it is going to be slow and painful and you will be more limited in what you can do.

  • davidjones8418davidjones8418 Posts: 166

    Perlk, I am not a Daz expert but glasses and cups drive me mad too.

    One thing I find that helps is to bend out the first bone on the fingers (give them a positive bend value). If you start with the zero pose and bend the fingers in from there you will struggle to make enough room. Bend all those fingers out and then bring them in on the 2nd and 3rd bones to make a curve. Then you should have more room for the thumb. Still usually tight though!

  • Alewis478Alewis478 Posts: 49

    perlk said:

    I think this is slightly better...

     

    yeah, nice job on the hands, that's not easy. 

  • @Alias52, thank you so much for your response and the suggestions. I am very grateful for all of the helpful info.I went ahead and bought the Camera Optimizer but could not locate the Scene Optimizer. My 8GB of RAM are for my GPU, my CPU is 16 GB's. So far I have set out learning about Canvasas and I am hoping to render everything separately. I have watched a couple of good tutorials and will put it to the test today. After that I will start applying some of the other techniques suggested and hopefully have an entry?

     

  • perlkperlk Posts: 286

    davidjones8418 said:

    Perlk, I am not a Daz expert but glasses and cups drive me mad too.

    One thing I find that helps is to bend out the first bone on the fingers (give them a positive bend value). If you start with the zero pose and bend the fingers in from there you will struggle to make enough room. Bend all those fingers out and then bring them in on the 2nd and 3rd bones to make a curve. Then you should have more room for the thumb. Still usually tight though!

    This is a really great tip, thank you! I'm going to start a new render just to test this out :-)

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