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IClone and Iray vs DAZ for rendering photo realistic still images

Posted By mrl Last Year
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IClone and Iray vs DAZ for rendering photo realistic still images

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mrl
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Hi everyone,

I'm an iClone animator and work primarily creating animated videos, but for some of my projects, I'm looking to create very high quality still images (of characters, environments, etc.).
I currently use lots of DAZ store assets, but import them all into the Reallusion ecosystem to pose, animate, etc.

I've seen many amazing quality still image renders coming out of DAZ and my question is: Can I make still images with the same high quality using iClone (and, I assume, the iray plugin) or would I be better off using iClone for animation and sticking with DAZ for rendering photorealistic stills?

Thanks!


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TonyDPrime
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I'm just one voice but I will say that I have never seen a still image that tops what Daz can do.  That being said, it takes your own skill set to maximize, and if you're a complete noob with rendering, iClone will do just as well as Daz, if not better.  I would give yourself a trial by fire, render the same image in both and then ask your colleagues which they like better, because that is all that will matter.
I have tried to go for realism and at times I think I did a good job, but then later look back and be like, "That looks terrible...".  But then again I have gotten recognition for stuff that I thought looked like garbage.   
A public eye can be a good guide too, keeps you from straying too far into the "not good enough" oblivion.  

animagic
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Personally, I think that the new SkinGen combined with HeadShot allows you create more interesting character faces with all their imperfections in CC, which in the end would give you more interesting stills. I think too perfect is less appealing. 

To render those with Iray, you need to make a few adjustments. This has been discussed recently.

If you are happy with the DAZ characters as they are then it would make more sense to stay in DAZ.

EDIT: There are some enhancements in Iray 1.41 that fixed previous issues.


https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/1f3bed13-1788-45e1-9ace-4fd0.jpg


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Last Year by animagic
nelm2010
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@MRL,
I'm reading your post as you use Daz assets but don't work in Daz--this is all based on that. If I'm wrong, feel free to ignore all this. :-)

I came to Reallusion products after years of using Daz, and I still use it for still images although I'm beginning to move more and more to CC3 and iClone, even for stills. The biggest difference between rendering in Daz and in either CC3 or iClone (besides render time) is lighting. It takes time to learn how to light in Daz, and even Iray works differently in the two programs. 

Daz sells all those lovely presets for sets and lighting and characters, but they aren't going to give you the results you see in the promos without a lot of time learning how to do it. They look "one-click" but they aren't really.

If you are comfortable working with Reallusion products, I'd stay in Reallusion, and just maximize your skills here. I've spent a year learning how to use CC3 and iClone with the goal of getting as close to Iray results as possible without using Iray--it took me six years to learn enough lighting and texture and render tweaks in Daz to get results I was happy with, in either render engine. You'd have a boost by being familiar with this software, but it could still take a comparable year to learn to get truly "photoreal" renders in Daz--at least for characters. Sets and props without characters are easier, but it's still a definite learning curve.

It depends on what you want to render--if you want still images of photoreal sets, it's easier to leave the super high poly stuff in Daz and render it there. If you want characters, you're in for some time figuring out how to get the results you see in those promos. And you've got to be willing to lock up your computer for HOURS to get a high-res render. 

Don't get me wrong: I love Daz. I wouldn't have my second job if it weren't for Daz, and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Daz. But it's not nearly as easy to use as it looks.

Ok, my 20 cents. :-)
Nicole
PS: An example of something I did in iClone 7 using the native render, not Iray...It would have taken like 12 hours to render in Daz with Iray. It took maybe 45 seconds in iClone.
PPS: Edited to add a character image--again, native iClone native render, not Iray. The face one is a little blurry because it's a screenshot not an image render. 

https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/01d703e3-7bfa-466a-a522-c614.jpg


https://forum.reallusion.com/uploads/images/897834b1-3af4-40de-8cc0-0796.png




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Last Year by nelm2010
rotaercz
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Those are some awesome renders. Do you have any tips for better looking characters and lighting for CC3 and Daz?
magnoliaPower
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Vey interesting. I've just post a question in this forum about native vs iray. While reading your post, i see you are not using the iray but the native renderer.
My question is all about that: why using iray then if you can get good render with the native renderer?
And if iray can get better rendering, how to reach the best?



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I'm doing my renders using iRay and the results are staring to look better than with the real time renderer. The thing is the real time one does some tricks to make things look nicer, but change the lighting and things start to go off. And there's no way you could match the realistic shadows coming from a path tracer such as iRay. Too bad Reallusion hasn't updated their Auto MDL files for digital human hair which now has translucensy to make those nice effects with a backlight. I had to do my own MDL in Substance Designer to fix that.

Like others have said you can do a lot with a proper lighting. For an instantly realistic results try playing around with the sun lighting settings in iRay plugin.
mayunakoki
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I desperately want to get photorealistic result from iclone. I imported daz hair into iclone, and it looks cartoonish not realistic. I imported Iray material for hair so it looks better in Iray but it takes hours to render animation. So I want to learn how I can make it realistic (especially DAz hair) . I admire your efforts to learn lighting tricks for many years. Can you share tip?



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