Low poly Hi Res Tutorial Series by SciFi Funk

Low poly Hi Res Tutorial Series. For non speaking Closeup use (by Sci Fi Funk)

Part 1 – Introduction

Part 2 – Organisation

Part 3 – Octane Materials

Part 4 – Fast Cr2 Character Generation

Part 5a – Editing Clothes to fit example 1

Part 5b – example 2

Part 6 – Make them 90 percent less polygons


LuxusCore for Carrara plugin – Unofficial manual 2015-03-01

LuxusCore for Carrara plugin – Unofficial manual 2015-03-01

An unofficial manual for the upcoming LuxusCore plugin for Carrara, that brings GPU accelerated rendering and realtime render preview into Carrara.

Table of Contents
1. What is LuxusCore?
2. Beta installation for Windows x64 only, free (Updated 2015-03-01):
3. First project and rendering
4. Shaders
5. Lights
6. FAQ (Updated 2015-03-01)
7. Example LuxusCore renders
8. Animation
9. Benchmarks
10. Other

1. What is LuxusCore?
LuxusCore is based in the LuxCore engine of the upcoming Luxrender 2.0 (not released at the time of writing).
LuxCore supports GPU accelerated rendering and realtime render preview into Carrara.
It works on both AMD and NVIDIA graphics using the OpenCL language, so you need to have updated graphics drivers.
More about supported graphics cards can be found in the LuxCore wiki here.
Also runs on CPU, useful for laptops. Reported to be faster on CPU than the older LuxRender versions.

2. Beta installation for Windows x64 only (free):
Download from http://sphericlabs.com/preview/win64/LuxusCore.zip
It works until the end of the month*, at which point it must be updated or deleted, otherwise Carrara will not start the next month. *Updated 2015-03-01 to work until 31/3.

Unzip to C:\Program Files\DAZ 3D\Carrara8.5\Extensions

Note 1: Path may be different if you installed Carrara elsewhere.
Note 2: LuxRender is not needed this time, unlike Luxus for Carrara. LuxusCore works both with a clean installation of Carrara and also if you already have the older Luxus plugin installed.

3. First project and rendering
Start Carrara and load a default scene to quickly check that LuxusCore is working:
File -> Open Preset -> Global Illumination -> Skylight
Edit -> LuxCore IPR
Now the IPR render window should open and the realtime GPU preview rendering should be running.









The very first time you may get the same configuration dialog as when choosing Edit -> LuxCore Config
where you choose GPU or CPU rendering and the method for rendering. The screenshot shows the recommended settings for GPU acceleration, all graphics cards are selected, the CPU is not:











Now delete the default scene light and add a LuxusCore light: Insert -> LuxCore Sun-Sky. Uncheck “Do Sun” and to run the same type of scene as the preset, but using LuxCore setting instead.







In the Render Room, you can choose Rendering -> Renderer -> Photorealistic -> Luxcore via Luxus to get the full render options.





4. Shaders
As you can see from the Render Room above, the native Carrara render on the left has a Glossy material. In the current version of LuxusCore this is not automatically translated.
A workaround is to build the shader as a new LuxusCore shader.
Glossy and Glass shaders for LuxusCore are available in SphericLabs simple test scene, get it here: http://sphericlabs.com/scratch/LuxusScene.zip








4.1 Transparency shader
Transparency with LuxusCore materials for example eye-lashes:

LuxCore Surface
> LuxCore Mix
>> LuxCore Null
>> LuxCore Matte or whatever material you desire
>> Amount is 0.0 for Null, 1.0 for Matte, or put a carrara texture map in there for something like eyelashes.
(You can swap the order of Null and Matte if you want 1.0 for fully transparent.)

4.2 Emission shader
Should be as simple as turning up the power on the emissive channel, but here is a matte material that is emissive.
Its not very powerful, so if you have a sun in the scene, you might not be able to even see it emit light.

5. Lights
Lights are available in the Insert menu, grouped with the other lights, currently available are LuxCore Infinite and LuxCore Sun-Sky.
LuxCore Infinite supports EXR’s, so you need to browse for them.

ss (1)






Carrara’s own spot, bulb, and distant lights are currently translated into LuxCore.  Although it looks like it is not responding to changes during an IPR render.  You will have to stop and start the render to reflect changes.
Mesh lights have to be done via the luxcore materials and work great.  Make anything a LuxCore Matte material and turn up the power on the Emission channel.  Here is a screenshot. As a heads up if you make a plane and make it emit, it will emit out of one side of the plane, not both.







6. FAQ

Q: What rendering engine is LuxusCore for Carrara running?
A: LuxusCore is using PATHOCL that can run on GPU or CPU. The Feb 2015 version also has: Light and Bidirectional for CPU rendering.
The available render engines in the full LuxCore:

Q: Does replicated replications work?
A: Yes, check the test render by SphericLabs below:






Q: What does the “bias” options do?
A: Check this Luxrender forum post for more details and renders.

Q: What Carrara shaders are translated into LuxCore shaders?
A: Translation of Carrara shaders is certainly limited. Right now it simply looks at the values of the standard multichanel shader and does a guess. It can certainly be improved. Also, internally saved textures will not work at all at this time.

Q: What are the known problems with LuxusCore?
A: Can’t use Carrara hair objects, plants objects or terrain shaders.

Q: What happens if I use a graphics card with 2GB RAM and another with 4GB RAM?
A: Each graphics card needs its own copy of data to render. So if you have a 2GB card and a 4GB card, then you are limited to 2GB if you want to render with both.
Tip: Use only the 4GB for complex scenes with lots of textures. You can check memory consumption with GPU-Z from here.

Q: How do you set the camera? As in Exposure, White Balance, Depth of Field and Tone Mapping. 
A: It can be done via the config settings, DOF would be via the scene settings.  It will be exposed in a nice UI later.

Q: There is a graphics glitch, what can I try to change that may help?
A1: Try the CPU renderer that is supposed to be more stable first. In the Edit/LuxusCore Config, select CPU/Path, if that still fails, try CPU/Bidir for complex scenes (interiors). More info about the settings is available in the LuxRender wiki here.
A2: LuxCore uses accelerators, these speed up ray casting and figuring out what rays hit and where.  The default is for LuxCore to choose the accelerator:
accelerator.type = AUTO
Try these in the config settings:
accelerator.type = BVH
accelerator.type = MBVH
accelerator.type = QBVH
accelerator.type = MQBVH
More about accelerators in the Luxrender FAQ.

Q: How do I render caustics?
A: You must change Strategy from Path to Bidirectional (CPU only) in the Edit->LuxCore Config, to get good looking caustics. Tutorial from Luxrender/Blender with helpful settings.

Q: What can I do if I run out of GPU memory?
A: You can try to consolidate shaders. For example a 2600MB scene can be cut down to 1800MB just by doing this.

7. Example LuxusCore renders








Day at the beach scene that is included with DAZ Studio, changed lights to LuxCore SunSky. By 3drendero.

In The Shadows by Joe Pingleton

In The Shadows by Joe Pingleton







The Opening of Eyes - by Joe Pingleton

The Opening of Eyes – by Joe Pingleton








More details and other examples at Joe’s DeviantArt site.


8. Animation

One of the major benefits of LuxusCore and LuxCore, is the possiblity to render high quality animation quickly on a desktop with a fast graphics card or four.
Right now, the good news is that animation rendering works, the bad news is that you need to manually write the settings (while an UI is being developed).

In the Render Room, enter this data in the Config Settings box, to get an animation of 25 seconds or rendertime per frame and using the SOBOL sampler for faster rendering:
batch.halttime = 25
sampler.type = SOBOL
If you are running a simple scene on a powerful desktop (or want higher quality), like SpericLabs scene with a translation of the box on multiple graphics cards, try these settings for 256 samples per pixel and the better Metropolis sampler:
batch.haltspp = 256
sampler.type = METROPOLIS









The first frame does show some more details, like the number of samples, which is useful the guess the render time, at least 100 samples is a good starting point.
Both rendering to AVI with uncompressed frames and Sequenced PNG files works. Rendering progress is visible, both the rendered frame is seen and the frame counter is visible.

8.1 About Samplers

-Sobol is better than Metropolis when it comes to rather simple lighting, like outdoor sunlight.
-Sobol is “dumber and faster” than Metropolis.
-Metropolis is better in more complex lighting situations (caustics through glass, light through a small window etc.). It is the default sampler for LuxCore.
-More about samplers at the Luxrender wiki.

Example animations:
LuxusCore Carrara Animation Test 04 by Joe Pingleton:


9. Benchmarks

Benchmarks are useful to check if your rig is setup to run properly.

Test scene: 1. SphericLabs simple test scene, get it here: http://sphericlabs.com/scratch/LuxusScene.zip. Default resolution 640×480 in Render Room.
Settings: OpenCL/path/unbiased
CPU Core-17-2700k@4,7GHz (overclocked):       2,0 Ms/s
GPU AMD Radeon 7970 (stock):                          8,35Ms/s
GPU AMD Radeon 7970 (stock)x3:                      25,0Ms/s (perfect scaling, exactly 3x faster)

Same results in with Crossfire mode on or off.

10. Other
If you have anything to add, please post in the Carrara ForumsDAZ3D forums or comment here and we will add it to the manual.

DAZ3D forum, mostly SphericLabs posts: http://www.daz3d.com/forums/viewthread/50130/
LuxCore wiki: http://www.luxrender.net/wiki/LuxCore 



Hair Tutorial Series 2 by Jonstark

Carrara Hair Tutorials Series 2 In Seven Parts by Jonstark

Part 1 – Other Tools (“Creating and animating a slightly more complex hairstyle with Carrara dynamic hair.”)

Part 2 – Shader Room (“Creating and animating a slightly more complex hairstyle with Carrara dynamic hair – A discussion of some of the effects possible in the hair shaders.”)

Part 3 – Shaping (“Creating and animating a slightly more complex hairstyle with Carrara dynamic hair.”)

Part 4 – Additional Tool Notes (“Creating and animating a slightly more complex hairstyle with Carrara dynamic hair.”)

Part 5 – Hair Groups (“Creating and animating a slightly more complex hairstyle with Carrara dynamic hair.”)

Part 6 – Styling (“Creating and animating a more complex dynamic Carrara hairstyle.”)

Part 7 – Animation & Final Notes (“A second tutorial to create and animate a more complex hairstyle using Carrara dynamic hair.”)


Hair Tutorials Series by Jonstark

Carrara Hair Tutorials Series In Seven Parts by Jonstark

Part 1 – Overview (“Carrara Hair Tutorial. This first part is just an overview.”)

Part 2 – Low Poly Proxy (“Setting up the low poly proxy and why I use it.”)

Part 3 – Grow Region Tool (“Adding hair to the figure and determining where the hair will grow.”)

Part 4 – Guide Hair Tools (“The importance of guide hairs and how they work.”)

Part 5 – Brush and Push tools and Dynamic Draping (“The Brush and Push tools s well as dynamic draping simulation and suggested settings.”)

Part 6 – Cut and Length tools, Auto Grouping (“Further syling the hair and the importance of auto grouping to keep ‘loose’ strands from falling through the mode.”)

Part 7 – Hair Simulation and Animation (“Animation of the hair and some notes on various simulation settings to try to achieve the most realistic movement possible.”)


Hair Segments Tutorial

“A quick tutorial about Carrara hair and the number of segments that should be used for natural human hair dynamic sims” by Jonstark.


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