The Biggest DAZ Studio Iray Secret To Fabulous Lighting (Yours To Copy Now)

The Biggest DAZ Studio Iray Secret To Fabulous Lighting (Yours To Copy Now)

CarRender

There’s a lot positive to be said about the new DAZ Studio 4.8 (Public Beta), and the new integration with Nvidia’s magnificent Iray render engine. But let me be perfectly honest with you; Forget most you know about lighting using 3Delight, DAZ Studio’s native render engine.

See, Iray differs in a very critical aspect. It’s for real. All your lights WILL bounce and scatter just like they do in real life. And they will either create beautiful effects, or they will DAMAGE your render. Most new to Iray will experience that everything suddenly bounces around. It’s going to be either too dark or too bright. You will notice that light angles, where you put lights and how you aim them will have CRITICAL importance. Unless you know a few tricks, and have experience with real world lights,  it’s very difficult to get Iray lighting right without hours of tedious trial and error. Well, let me give you one super important trick right away.

For a second, forget about the built in environment and the new photometric lights. First of all, if you have a camera in your scene, select it in the Scene Tab, then head over to the Parameters Tab and turn off the Camera Head Lamp (OFF). Next, go to Render Options -> Iray Tab -> Environment and switch to Scene Only mode:

RenderSettingsIray

This option will only use scene lights when you render and you don’t need to worry about anything else. Next, add a Plane Primitive to your scene; Create -> New Primitive -> Plane (Size: 1 m x Division: 1). Have it selected in the Scene Tab, then head over to the Surfaces Tab, and make sure you’re in the Editor Sub Tab.  Select the Surface of the Plane Primitive. Now, select the Presets Sub Tab in the Surface Editor. Choose Shaders -> Iray -> Emissive and double click on the emissive icon:

EmissiveSelection

Get back to Editor Sub Tab in Surfaces Tab, Set Color Temperature to 6500 K (which makes it white when White Point is set to 1,1,1 in the Environment Tab), and if needed adjust the Emission Color to suit your scene or taste. Adjust Luminace to set the intensity and set Two Sided Light ON to make it easy to cast lighting without having to turn the light around (you can leave it single sided for more local effects):

PlanePrimitiveIray

You’ve now created one of the most effective and cool ways of using Iray, which is using emissive surfaces or light emitting surfaces. You can move, rotate and rescale these plane primitives around, and treat them as area lights, or as any type of object, since you can frankly make ANY surface (of any object) glow. Now for the magical trick… See, these plane primitives will fade over distance, like all Iray lights do. This can be a little awkward at first. But when you put a plane primitive close to an object, you can then naturally bring down the intensity of that light source. Because of its weaker intensity, it will mostly illuminate the object right in front of it. You’ve just created a “local” or targeted way of using these plane primitives:

LightExample1

In a similar fashion, if you put some distance between your light source and the subject and increase its intensity–you will illuminate the entire scenery at once. Like in this example:

LightExample2

I’ve been using Iray extensively for a long time now, and I’ve been rendering for hours, days and weeks while creating several video tutorials–and I have to tell you; this way of using Iray is FABULOUS. It’s easy, quick and gives you maximum control. As a side note, all renders on this page are done using this very technique. That’s how powerful it is.

V6IrayRender

The best advice I can give you is “less is more”. Use these powerful lights sparisngly. Don’t overlight. Let them do the heavy work for you. But with power comes responsibility, and Iray is no exception.

FolksInHallway

There’s obviously a lot more tricks than I can cover here… If you’re interested in mastering DAZ Studio Iray rendering and create gorgeous renders quickly and easily, then I’ve designed several special DAZ Studio Iray mastery programs, that go deep into Iray, and makes it sweat. Check them out HERE and save big during the next few days.

Keep lighting!

– Val Cameron

CEO and founder of Dreamlight

The Place To Be When You Want To Love Your DAZ Studio Art And Income

Val Cameron has been coaching and mentoring over 50,000 DAZ Studio artists during the last decade, is a bestselling DAZ 3D vendor since 2005 with over 200 light sets, props and video tutorials and aniMate DAZ 3D contest winner with his DAZ Studio music video “Love”.

P.S. If you’re interested in mastering DAZ Studio Iray rendering and create gorgeous renders quickly and easily, then I’ve designed several special DAZ Studio Iray mastery programs, that go deep into Iray, and makes it sweat. Check them out HERE and save big during the next few days.

Happily sharing how to create great 3D & 2D art in DAZ Studio, Lightwave and Photoshop, Val Cameron, CEO and founder of Dreamlight, has been coaching and mentoring hundreds of thousands of artists since 2005. Bestselling DAZ 3D vendor with over 230+ video tutorials, plug ins and light sets.

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32 Responses to “The Biggest DAZ Studio Iray Secret To Fabulous Lighting (Yours To Copy Now)”

  1. Michael Stewart May 19, 2015 at 8:10 pm #

    Sounds interesting! Cant wait to try it!

    • Val Cameron May 19, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

      Awesome Michael!

  2. Kirchell May 19, 2015 at 11:07 pm #

    I’m loving iray and it’s various tricks. Am currently learning to do a night scene with iray but am love working with the environment settings from Render Settings. Thank you for your shares and tutorials!

    • Val Cameron May 19, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

      Hey Kirchell, sounds great–yeah, it’s an AMAZING tool for sure! Glad to be of help! :)

      • Kirchell May 19, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

        I meant to say that due to one of your tutorials, in my night scene I’ve created my first emissive and it’s looking good :)

        • Val Cameron May 20, 2015 at 9:48 am #

          Awesome! :)

  3. Derry Sexton May 23, 2015 at 6:26 pm #

    So, I’ve tried this technique and I love it. I’ve also bought most of your Iray tutorials, great stuff. Here’s my question…how do you make the primitive not show up in the render, just the lighting from it, or is that just a down side to this technique?

    • Val Cameron May 24, 2015 at 1:54 am #

      Thanks for your positive feedback, glad you like it! As of now, and as far as I’m aware, there is no way of making them not show up in the render. I’m sure there will be updates to this, since it’s just a beta release so far…

  4. Russ May 30, 2015 at 10:12 pm #

    The whole idea of an unbiased renderer like Iray or Luxrender is that it emulates the real world. You have to do things the way a photographer does in the real world. So what does a photographer do with a light source? Either place it outside the field of vision of the lens, or hide it behind something else. Think “Real World” and you will get along with Iray much better.

    • Val Cameron June 5, 2015 at 12:14 am #

      Great stuff Russ!

  5. Jack July 15, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    Thank you very much for this tutorial ! you’ve saved my bacon.

    Jack

    • Val Cameron July 15, 2015 at 7:08 pm #

      You’re welcome Jack!

  6. Scott February 27, 2016 at 10:09 am #

    When I select the plane, go to surfaces, presets, shaders, there is no iray option. What do I need to buy/download to have this?

  7. Greg Long March 10, 2016 at 1:15 pm #

    Thanks so much! This was really helpful to me and I even posted a link from my blog to it. Using your tutorial I was able to create the lighting in image at the Instagram address below. Brilliant. :)

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BCv27_0nys1/?taken-by=greole

  8. Tracy May 3, 2016 at 6:18 am #

    This was very helpful! I tried using the sphere primitive and like that better than using a plane -but basically the same concept! Thank you for the great tutorial! 😀

  9. flap18 May 27, 2016 at 8:16 pm #

    hi val
    i am having a problem when i render genesis 3 female
    it uses a lot of memory
    can you tell me how i can render without using so much memory ty

    • Val Cameron May 30, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      Hey there… One thing you can try is to select G3 female in the scene tab, then in the parameters tab (general sub-tab), lower the character resolution + sub-division (both render / display).

    • Val Cameron May 30, 2016 at 1:38 pm #

      Hey there… One thing you can try is to select G3 female in the scene tab, then in the parameters tab (general sub-tab), lower the character resolution + sub-division (both render / display). /Val

  10. Shawn June 11, 2016 at 4:34 pm #

    I followed the instructions exactly and I’m still getting nothing but total darkness… I’m not sure if something is wrong with my default settings or what.

    • Val Cameron July 10, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

      Shawn, try removing any skydomes in your scene. (Scene tab)

  11. Franz July 21, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    Tried it in Daz Studio 4.9 and it doesn’t seem to work here… I have no skydome on the scene tab, and other standard lights like spot light work fine. What am I doing wrong?

    • Val Cameron July 28, 2016 at 4:32 pm #

      Difficult to say without seeing your scene and settings… If you can post a screenshot or do a video?

  12. Franz July 21, 2016 at 8:51 pm #

    Oh, nevermind, it doesn’t work in interactive rendering as it seems

    • Val Cameron July 28, 2016 at 4:33 pm #

      Ahhh, there you go!

  13. Mark July 28, 2016 at 7:05 pm #

    Iray is really good, but I still find that Luxrender is superior, especially in way of light control and unbiased rendering. Only downside to Luxrender was the time it took to render, but a lot of that has been defeated by Pret-a-3D’s Reality plug-in which is a thing of beauty.

  14. Peter Armbrust October 16, 2016 at 5:49 pm #

    I don’t have Shaders -> Iray -> Emissive
    Thjere arn’t any shaders like this. Iray sucks

    • Val Cameron October 31, 2016 at 9:14 am #

      You don’t need the shaders, you can manually increase the emissive value in parameters tab when the light is selected.

  15. Eclipze November 19, 2016 at 6:31 am #

    For anyone having issues with the lighting “not working” and everything thus being black: Try to keep increasing the Emission value and adjusting the distance between the light and the figure/scene. This helped me with that problem.

    Also, you can in fact hide the lights without cutting off the actual light source! Just find Cutout Opacity and set it to 0.0000000001. This hides the plane, but doesn’t affect the lighting at all.

    (Thanks for this tutorial by the way!)

    • Eclipze November 19, 2016 at 6:38 am #

      *Correction, Luminance, not Emission. Sorry about that!

    • Tony November 28, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

      Thanks Eclipse for another tip on hiding the emissive plane. So far there are two ways of doing them.

      Duplicate the plane to make it visible and set “Not to Render” and parent it to the invisible emissive plane so that you can see it while making adjustable. heh?

      One thing I noticed is that emitter plane doesn’t like the Sun and Skydome. It made the subject inside the room extremely grainy. I pulled the sun far closer to the window. The grainy is much less. I don’t understand why. Care to comment on this Val?

  16. Tony November 21, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    Thanks for the tutorial! There was no mention on how to “hide” the emissive plane. I asked Daz technical support, they couldn’t assist me. So I figured it out how to hide it without losing the light! I added the black mask jpeg to the cutout in surface property to the plane….that’s it!

    Why would you want to use emissive plane instead of photometric plane anyway? Speed or quality?

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