Thank you Statistx I'm very new to Daz Studio but I finding it to be a pretty capable program. Blackhearted did do a great job on Anastasia. I'd like to see him work a similar body type with V5 for use in both Daz and Poser.
Great pics ! Like you I'm a bit disappointed with lights in poser...making tests under vRay... After all i love your works and each of your pic is a pleasure and a full illustration about glamour, finest results we can have with some tools and, like you, a great sense of class for the mood and lighting. Bravo! (hope my english doesn't hurt you)...
Thank you very much, that's nice of you. But what I mean is, maybe I'm creating some nice pictures with my programs. But you can draw awesome. You give your pictures real life. That's why I'm feeling more like a technican than like an artist sometimes.
Nice render! I especially like how her ankles and feet came out. Every time I render a Blackhearted character that isn't Irina, she comes out looking freakishly thin. I stopped getting them because I'm just not good at using things that only look good from certain perspectives.
What don't you like about Poser's SSS? I ask because what little I know of the implementation's math is pretty standard for SSS, but you sound like you know of other methods. Or do you mean implementation in terms of effects?
Bounces have diminishing returns, or they should. After a certain number of bounces, you won't see much difference at all in terms of ambient lighting. That said, make sure you use gamma correction. Without it, IDL is wildly off. Well, all calculations are.
I really like the misty blue atmosphere. The colors contrast well with the skin tones.
Thank you Kobaltkween Blackhearted did a wonderful job on this character given what he had to work with. This particular morph is all Anastasia. The character has a few shortcomings but overall it's quite nice.
I've used GND4 a lot and also been turned off by the excessively trim frame, but I've created my own morphs on top of GND4 that made her quite a bit healthier I feel.
Oh! I can't really answer this question as if I were a mathematician, but through the lips of a dyslexic artist I can tell you this...
Poser's renderer and lighting is based on old technology. It would seem they added GI and SSS to the old renderer. Physically based and unbiased rendering like what you may see in Lux and Maxwell is a much more robust system offering real GI with glowing lights. Having atmospheric lighting effects like caustics and god rays that actually light the scene rather than looking like someone painted translucent streaks to simulate it. I don't believe Vray and Mentalray are the same type of renderer but they can still render those effects extremely well but are a lot faster. Having real atmospheric effects like this really makes GI awesome and more realistic. I remember doing a 3d portrait in Maya and in the last minute I decided to move a light to create a rim effect. So I plugged in a SSS material node into my shader and without changing the basic look of the shader, I now had SSS effects showing my rim light warming the ear with translucency. Poser will completely change the look of my shader and ultimately flatten the color depth of my image. GC doesn't help me with this problem.
I know Reality 3 will be offered soon to connect with Lux from Poser. This is nice, but to wait 10 hours plus for a single render is a about 9 hours too much for me. I hope to see Poser team up with Vray or Mentalray in the future or at least base a new renderer on the same idea.
Having said that, I continue to enjoy using Poser and post working atmospheric effects as I have more control over the final result. I do look forward to seeing Poser's renderer and lighting mature to the point where it can stand next to the competition, confidently.
Oh! I think I see. No, that's not a renderer issue so much as a material and lighting issue. That is to say, Firefly has a lot of shortcomings, but you're conflating them with a lot of different things. Firefly's issue isn't that it's biased so much that it's a REYES or Renderman based renderer, and older. Raytraced renderers are more accurate, but slower. But the issue you're describing is really much more about the philosophy of shading than the renderer.
I've seen a lot of Lux renders that had more blow out and plastic shading problems than I've pretty much ever had with Poser. I've seen skin in Vray renders that looked blown out and plastic, and Maya renders with skin that looks like wax. Thing is, I've seen less of the latter and more of the former. That's because Lux isn't made to hold your hand, while Vray and Maxwell are made to make people's jobs easier. Even REALITY is only going to help so much. I've seen stellar Lux skin shading recipes, but they're not simple and they're made with Blender's material node system.
Poser doesn't give you out of the box shading. It gives you building blocks. So yeah, you're probably not going to be able to just add SSS to an existing material and have it just work, unless you're really comfortable making accurate materials. Mathematically speaking, it shouldn't work that way. Conservation of light says that anything going to SSS shading shouldn't be contributing to diffuse shading and vice versa. Nor should light contributing to either diffuse or SSS shading go into reflections or highlights. And they should all have accurate Fresnel controls. If you just use the regular scatter node, you can use it without a diffuse shading component. If you use Custom_Scatter, you should use it with a diffuse node. I prefer Custom_Scatter because you can control the scattering color, but it seems to have Fresnel built into it (a few other nodes, like Blinn, do as well). It's most accurate to use reflection on everything, too.
Basically, you have to construct materials deliberately for them to be accurate in a system like Poser's, regardless of the renderer its hooked up to. But you can also push them way past accuracy and into a more stylized look. It's the same with Blender's materials, actually, even with it's more accurate Cycles renderer. Cycles is _way_ better than Firefly, but making materials for Cycle's still requires that kind of deliberate structuring of elements.
You can actually do glowing lights in Poser, like you can any GI type system. You just need to push up ambient values pretty high _and_ boost the quality if you don't have other directional lighting. I have a lot less of an issue with the strength of mesh lights in Poser than with the blotching. Then again, I'm really beginning to dislike specular nodes for faked light reflections, too. They just aren't optimal. So I'm not at all upset about IDL not affecting specular. That said, unbiased systems don't have faked highlights, either.
Then there's the lights. The lights need to have the right falloff for the lights you're emulating.
Without looking at your materials and lights, it would be hard for me to say why you're losing color depth. But that's not at all my own experience with SSS. It _is_ my experience with darker skin textures and EZSkin1 and EZSkin2. But I have my own material set, with different materials I can use for skin. I used to use my Marble, and now I've started using Pearl. I'll make my own, more robust and specific skin shader at some point. That said, I'll probably optimize it for my own textures. Which means that it might require SSS color and SSS strength maps, which most texture sets don't have. It will probably even have two different types of SSS, but that's getting deeper into skin shaders than I'm guessing you're interested in.
I'm aware of the issues and methods that you brought up, but the biggest issue for me remains Poser's lighting. The material room to me is not unlike Maya's or any other software. Of course there will be tweaks and formulas for achieving optimal results no matter which renderer you'll use.
The point I was trying to make is that Poser's lighting needs to mature to the point where a point light will render as a scalable visible globe and glow without faking it, having sunlight behave like sunlight, changing the physical size of a light should effect light direction and of course shadowing, Shader glow, light saber anyone? Lets not forget corona and so on. These lighting features I describe affect GI and SSS dramatically. I would also appreciate real atmospheric effects made possible by enhanced lighting and particle systems. I wasn't really talking about the philosophies of shading, I was talking about features that simply do not exist in Poser. I realize that Poser offers some basic atmospheric effects but to me they are extremely limiting and are generally inaccurate and unusable to me. At some point I'll render some instances since I'm better at illustrating my point than I am at verbalizing it.
Oh! And you can do atmospherics in Poser. They're not at all robust, but they're OK. For instance, the fog you've got here would be no problem. And there's stuff you can do with nodes to make a more cloudy effect. But I've never seen anyone do actual clouds. Personally, I use backdrops and environments for rendered clouds, then touch them up in post. But I'm not nearly a purist when it comes to things like that.