I have recently posted several alpha-test images in this thread and was asked to post a breakdown of the steps required to achieve similar renders in Z4R2.
Thanks to the enhancements to BPR, LightCap™ and BPR Filters in Z4R2, you are now able to achieve higher quality renders quite easily (and faster than previously possible). Furthermore, in Z4R2 the rendering engine has been updated to a full 32 bits per channel pipeline; this includes all the shaders and MatCaps. The new MatCaps are now able to process the 96 bits per pixel maps that are generated by LightCap. These maps (diffuse and specular) are composed of 32 bits per channel and are therefore far superior to any 8 bits per channel imported images.
Here are a few quick Z4R2 test renders of imported car mesh…
As can be seen in the movie below, the ‘studio lights’ setup for these renders is quite simple…
<IFRAME height=616 src=“http://www.pixologic.com/zbrush/zbrush4r2/tut-13-1024.html” frameBorder=0 width=1034></IFRAME>
To learn how to quickly assign polygroups to a muti-parts imported mesh, see the MERGE SIMILAR movie in here.
00:02 Import model.
00:05 Select MatCap™ Red Wax.
00:07 Set ‘Cavity Transition’ to zero.
00:08 Set ‘Cavity Detection’ to zero.
00:09 Press ‘CopySH’.
00:10 Select material ‘DoubleShade1’.
00:11 Select ‘S2’.
00:12 Press ‘PasteSH’.
00:13 Adjust basic values of Shader 0.
00:18 Selecting Shader 1, the MatCap shader which we are about to create with LightCap.
00:25 Set ‘Render/RenderProperties/Details’ to 3.The above step is important when creating fine LightCap maps, especially when using detailed alpha-based lights. When using simple LightCap lights, a lower value will suffice.
This value represents the size of the maps that ZBrush creates: 1=512x512, 2=1024x1024, 3=2048x2048
00:28 Adding lights to LightCap. Each is assigned a square alpha and with H and V tiling.
00:30 Selecting the “Specular” mode to view the reflections generated by the added lights.You may adjust the MatCap ‘Cavity Transition’ value to allow for more or less specularity.
-1=Diffuse only, 1=Specular Only, other values will produce a blend of the Diffuse and Specular maps (orbs).
01:07 Adjusting Shader 1 Mixer. Pressing ‘Black’.
01:21 Setting ‘Fresnel’ to 95 and “F Exp” to 1.2.
01:23 Setting blend mode to ‘Overlay’.You may want to also experiment with other blend modes.
01:28 Activating ‘Render/Render Properties/Smooth Normals’ and ‘Render/Render Properties/Transparent’. Adjusting “BPR Transparency” values.You need to press the ‘Tool/Display Properties/BPR Transparent’ button for each subtool which you want to be rendered as transparent.
02:00 Adjusting ‘Light/Distance’. This sets the relative distance of the lights which in turn controls the reflections.
02:17 A test BPR render.
02:25 Adjust Matcap shader ‘Depth’ value which controls the reflections.
Even though it only takes a few minutes to produce high quality renders, be warned that you may find yourself (as I did) enjoying the accessibility and flexibility of BPR and spending more time tweaking the renders until you achieve the perfect beauty shot.
Please feel free to share with us your shiny hard-surface Z4R2 beauty renders, and of course any tip or trick that you discover will be appreciated by all:)