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Genesis with orbs - LuxRender via luxus

Reality 2 might be the king of LuxRender plugins for DAZ Studio, and with Reality 3 on the horizon, that is not likely to change, but for those of us looking for something a little more flexible in the way it interfaces with LuxRender, the recently released Luxus is very a very attractive option. A number of LuxRender's features are not supported by Reality, but Luxus opens the options all the way out, and even has fields for entering newly released code to incorporate the latest LuxRender features.

The problem here is that configuring LuxRender's render engine and materials are complex tasks, and can be daunting to DS users that are used to the relative safety of the neat and simple interface for 3Delight. This matter is certainly not helped with Luxus's hidden controls and anaemic manual (not that I want to diss on Spheric Labs - love the work!). The wiki is a fantastic resource for inquisitive users, but even then it can be hard to find one's way around.

Now, I don't claim to be a Lux master, but after spending a good deal of time with my head in the Wiki and experimenting with the engine I've discovered a number of things to simplify the problem of getting started. To this end I've put together a shortish guide to give new users a boost on the way. The guide is not intended to go into great detail about configuring specific materials or getting good renders.

Pt.1 - Luxus's hiden interface and the basics of setting up and understanding LuxRender materials, and lights.
Pt.2 - Render settings (with brief coverage of different methods such as sampler, hybrid and SPPM), the LuxRender GUI, and there is also some information on setting up DOF

The first part of the guide is mostly only relevant to Luxus users, but the second does contain information relevant to new LuxRender users, and has some useful information for more experienced users that have not delved into the Wiki or LuxRender related forums. As I learn more about Lux it is likely I will update the guide and add new sections, or perhaps entirely new instalments.
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:icontukaram108:
tukaram108 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013
Thank you for sharing your Tutorial. I started with Luxus a few days before and your tutorial(s) were very helpful. :-)
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:iconiantp:
IanTP Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
cheers for the help! :)
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
No problem. Hope it does help ;)
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:iconmustakettu85:
mustakettu85 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2013
Small nitpick irrelevant for the unbiased renderer community: the 3Delight/DS interface is only 'neat and simple' when you're only using the default DS functionality i.e. a handful of premade shaders - which doesn't really come close to harnessing 3Delight's full capabilities. ShaderMixer has had its stability improved for DS4, and it does have a little documentation, thanks to Zigraphix mostly, but when one starts looking into ShaderBuilder or scripted rendering... this is like opening a can of worms that doesn't even say 'Warning! Live worms' on the tin =) It's like the devs going, "Hey techies! You were asking for advanced features, we made something like that, now go and see if you can make heads or tails out of this because we certainly cannot!" LOL

Other than that, your tutorials are very well-written and illustrated! You might also consider preparing a print-friendly PDF version for those people who prefer having documentation in their hands rather than in a browser window.
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Glad the guide/tutorial works for you. I'll be working on getting it into a PDF format soon - bit of extra work to get it looking nice though. Might look into a html - PDF converter.

Not sure I get what you mean about the 3Delight stuff though. I mean I get what you mean, but not why you mention it here. The guide doesn't cover any of that, and won't work in any way in LuxRender. I've yet to even touch the ShaderMixer, but it looks scary as hell.
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:iconmustakettu85:
mustakettu85 Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013
LibreOffice does import HTML and export PDF, and it's free.

I only mentioned "it" here because this blog post of yours uses the "neat and simple" phrase to describe the 3Delight&Studio interface. Which, to me, creates a somewhat skewed impression in the minds of new users. Do you know they tend to believe that 3Delight is some sort of an inferior and simplistic "stand-in" sort of engine? And LuxRender is, like, the "proper" engine to use? It makes me sad because I'm very, very fond of 3Delight.
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ah, I see what you mean now. Yes, getting to shader mixer and builder is beyond the basics and is quite hidden. I have no experience with these things, though I too am very fond of 3Delight and would very much like to get in to them. There is indeed a lot more to 3Delight that many new DS users and other hobbyists realise.

LuxRender at this stage is more like a technical curiosity, well at least the GPU side of things. Development on the CPU rendering methods is pretty solid.
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:iconmustakettu85:
mustakettu85 Featured By Owner Jun 18, 2013
ShaderMixer becomes much more clear once you get the hang of what each of the blocks can do. Zigraphix wrote a great handy PDF for that: [link]

As I understand, GPU-assisted calculations have not yet become "industry standard" in Hollywood FX studios, but I guess once the big names with the big money catch on, every developer will rush to support it... and then Lux and other renderers that have it in the pipeline already might get better professional exposure.
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 19, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the link. I'll have to check it out. I think the big hold-up with GPU based rendering is that till recently GPU RAM has been at a premium, but you're not wrong - it will take off soon. I don't think it'll be Hollywood that pushes it though. Most of the GPU rendering technologies are thanks to developments in the games industry, and in terms of revenue it has overtaken the movies industry.
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:iconmustakettu85:
mustakettu85 Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013
You know, if the game industry has truly overtaken the movies financially, it kinda explains to me why most new games fail to impress me...
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Depends. There are always good games regardless. The Walking Dead episodic adventure game is a good recent one. Deus Ex HR was good too. I'm sure there are many others but I don't play much.
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(1 Reply)
:icontman300:
tman300 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
I'll be checking it out soon, after I finish Paolo's MYOR vids. Reality/Lux and Luxus/Lux just doesn't seem to be working for me at all. :(
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The Make Your Own Reality vids are very good. You can learn a lot from them indeed - lots about materials and lighting there. LuxRender is a complex and temperamental engine as it is still in development, so it certainly isn't for everyone. Persevere and you will get there though.
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:iconnixtigris:
NixTigris Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013   Digital Artist
Very good. Thank you
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
;) Hope it helps :)
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:iconnixtigris:
NixTigris Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013   Digital Artist
Sure yes.
Thanks.
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:iconsandwaster:
Sandwaster Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
I bought Luxus and havn't used it, but once... Takes to long for me to render.... But thanks for this
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yep, LuxRender can be slow. To an extent it is dependent on the sort of scene you want to render - anywhere from hours to days if you're using a lot of glass and complex lighting situations. You can get quite fast results using GPU methods, but they are somewhat limited at the present. Hope you find some use for the guide if/when you get back to it.
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:iconsandwaster:
Sandwaster Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2013
Oh, I find it very helpful. Thanks. My problem is, I do everything on a laptop... only 1 gig nvidia card but still isnt a power house to do much on 3d.
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Depending on the sort of RAM and some other technical stuff I don't know much about it 1 gig can get you a lot of work done. It certainly does help to have a fast meaty processor and a pile of RAM too. What are they like on your laptop? I can't imagine rendering on a laptop - I imagine heat is a big issue for big scenes using any render engine.
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:iconsandwaster:
Sandwaster Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013
Not that bad, I have 8 gigs ram, with a I5 cpu. Rendering a 2500 x 2500 pixel render in daz render, takes like 5-10 minutes. I do everything on it, plays Skyrim smoothly.
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm, my processsor is a first gen i7 - still pretty meaty in terms of processing power - but I would rarely get a 3Delight render in 5-10 mins at 2500. Not that it isn't possible. It just suggests that you are only using simple light rigs and low render settings. But yeah, if you compare that to lux it is a huge difference. But take for example this insane 3Delight render I'm running now 6 and a half hours and done to 25 percent - a little over the top for a 1200X1000 image but it is utilising some of DS's fewer used tools with some... less than optimal settings.
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:iconsandwaster:
Sandwaster Featured By Owner Jun 14, 2013
Yeah, I dont use much lighting, little uberenviroment and two or three spotlights. And i might be off on the timing... i just hit render and go off somewhere.
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:icon0snow-white0:
0Snow-White0 Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Same here.
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:icontoadz:
toadz Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013
Awesome! I've been fumbling round with Luxus on and off since I got it, but still not produced anything to amazing just yet. Hopefully this will clue me up on a few things and also provide the motivation to use it a bit more. Thanks for your hard work!
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hope the guide helps you along. LuxRender is a tough render engine to get going with. Luxus does try to simplify using the program, but it is also made to give the user as much control as possible too, so Luxus is also tricky :D
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:iconbubblecloud:
BubbleCloud Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for this, I'd love to give it a try! :hug:
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:iconjim-zombie:
Jim-Zombie Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hope you get something out of it. You'll have to watch that memory usage with LuxRender ;)
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