My journey back to rendering with LuxRender via Reality (a plugin made by Paolo Ciccone) from DAZ Studio has been a slow one. The last time I used Studio, it was under Windows. Now my life outside of work is all Mac. The navigation on the Mac for Studio is different is small, but not so subtle ways. Add to that the new version of Studio changed more items and one can see the road ahead.
Added to Studio now is a Content Manager. It will download your content and supposedly monitor for updates. The latter remains to be seen. I do like the smart content area under Studio, but it puts things in the oddest of places. Under DAZ Studio 2, the managing of content eventually drove me to blast it all away and start over. Try as I might, once enough was downloaded and installed, I couldn’t find crap.
Enter Smart Content.
Here meta data will show you content based on the current selection in the scene. When nothing is selected or the scene is blank, the user is at the top most level. Load a figure or clothing item or what have you and the content for that item is all that is shown. This includes materials, shaders, lights, etc made for that content. This is great when adding clothing to an actor and you want to change the pose or color or materials. No more scrolling through all the content and finding that. It is right there.
Alas though, not all content is smart. While DAZ is working diligently to update all the 3D content, it does take time. More recent and popular items are at the forefront. And what about all that free stuff you downloaded? Good luck. Well, perhaps that is harsh. The scuttlebutt is that one can create metadata for the content. That I’ve not tried yet, but am looking forward to trying.
After downloading V4, M4, D4, a bunch of props, the Multiplane Cyclorama and the Genesis starter, it was time to render something. Wanting to get started quickly and tired of trying to learn the interface changes for posing, the Dragon Slayer preset scene was selected and loaded. As this is going to be a learning experience with Reality, ACSELs and LuxRender, all was kept to defaults and a render has been started. Once complete, the image will be upload. I may make a video yet (looking for recommendations on video capture software for Mac-cheap/free, please).
The idea is quite simple. Load base scene, make a render. Make a change to the scene…say replace Genesis Michael with Vicki and add a skin ACSEL to her. Run a new render and share the results. Change out lights. Render again. Carry on till learning complete.
Yes, videos will be required.
Currently, the first scene is rendering. (Wait…am I repeating myself???) Three threads are going about beating on my iMac. Why not four? So I can still type. Two other computers are in on the rendering. What is that? Network rendering?? Yes, LuxRender supports network and GPU rendering right out of the box. How’s that for awesome?? So an HP DC 7800p with a Core 2 vPro is lending two threads to the mix. It is running 64bit Linux as well (needs a memory upgrade though). It is keeping pace quite well with the Q660 quad running in the firewall/router/server machine. Fully 4 GB of RAM in that puppy, which is all it can take on that old motherboard.
Here’s another plea. Are you local and have old machines that can run 64bit and want to get rid of them? Let me know. I’ll Frankenstein what I can and donate the rest to Crayons to Computers or the like. Yeah, I’m such a nice guy.
As for LuxRender, there is much more to learn. It does caustics and atmospherics and whole bunch more. The weeks ahead are going to be a great learning time. Ahead are tutorials my Callad, revisits to old tutorials by maclean and the hope of resurrecting and recreating old scenes. There will be bumps, but there will be GREAT fun.
Buckle in. Let’s ride.