NVIDIA Iray Archives

Using an Opacity / Transparency Map in DAZ Studio (Iray)

Transparency is handled differently across render engines and file formats. While a PNG, TIF or GIF file can contain transparency data, a JPG image cannot. DAZ Studio’s Iray render engine can’t handle transparency data embedded in such images and requires the use of a special Opacity or Transparency Map. This might sound a little confusing, …

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DAZ Studio Render Speeds – The Results are in!

A while ago I’ve asked you all to download a test scene and see how fast it renders. Everyone’s got a different graphics card/RAM/CPU setup, and I was interested to see how DAZ Studio would perform with those varying configurations. After all, most “review” websites only put hardware under scrutiny using video games, and for many of us, that’s just not how we use our systems.

I must admit that I’ve been trying to write out a nice looking and well formatted table many a time, but it just never got done. It had always been my intention to share the results with everyone, so rather than keep you waiting and go through all the graphical pain of making a lovely looking spreadsheet, I’ll just share the raw data with you. I’ll also let you know how I interpret it in simple words, with the intention of finding the most cost effective configuration for working with DAZ Studio. Here it is – the Google Sheet we’ve all been waiting for:

This is a view-only link (I think), and additional submissions will be added from the form on my other article at the bottom.

What does this data mean?

From the looks of it, using DAZ Studio 4.11 in 2019, the fastest render results for the lowest amount of money can be achieved using any variation of the NVIDIA RTX 2080 card.

The only one faster is the RTX 2080 Ti, which aside from more RAM (11GB vs 8GB for the 2080) is also clocked slightly faster, resulting in faster render speeds. However, the price jump is remarkable for the Ti (almost double when compared to the non-Ti version), and in my opinion for DAZ Studio it’s just not worth it.

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About that Denoiser in DAZ Studio 4.11

There’s an article by Phil Miller that explains NVIDIA’s philosophy about the new interactive Iray Denoiser.

Thanks to deep learning, NVIDIA’s own DGX-1 AI Super Computer and a lot of trial and error, this machine developed an algorithm that can predict how accurate the final result will look like when only a limited amount of ray bounces are available.

In a nutshell, their Artificial Neural Network went ahead and compared a partially finished render with a finished one, and each time it made a prediction that was not looking handsome, it learnt from it. Eventually they came up with what’s currently integrated in the latest release of Iray, which has made it into DAZ Studio 4.11, and that in turn is available for us to beta test right now.

I’ve run some tests with this new toy, and I’m excited to share those with you today.

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How to create dramatic lights in DAZ Studio (Iray)

In this episode I’ll show you how to create a string side light in DAZ Studio 4.9. The default light looks very soft and does not create a dramatic effect, so we’ll see how to remove those first, and then apply our own parametric spotlight. In addition, we’ll add and tweak the default IBL to …

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How to hide lights in DAZ Studio with NVIDIA Iray

As with real life objects, lights in the Iray Render Engine are by default not invisible. They’re like a lamp in a film studio: if it wasn’t there, it wouldn’t emit light. But now that it’s there,  it can sometimes get in the way, even though we want it to emit light. Turns out there’s …

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How to use Spotlights with NVIDIA Iray in DAZ Studio

The NVIDIA Iray render engine can be a bit of a mysterious box sometimes. Especially when it comes to lighting. But it doesn’t have to be. Let’s see how we can add a standard spotlight to our scene and set it up so we can use it properly with Iray.

Let’s take this simple scene as as demo and a staring point. It’s a there and a plane, both of which have Iray shaders applied (it’s Walnut on the floor, and orange car paint on the sphere).

Iray Default Light (IBL)

1-iray-default-lights

The default lighting for a new DAZ Studio Iray scene comes with a small HDRI image applied by default, and when we render our scene, we can see the effects of that light source.

Notice that there’s a small specular highlight on the sphere, on the left hand side (a small shots spot). This is the sun’s hotspot from the HDRI image map. As you turn the camera around, the hotspot moves. Alternatively you can move the Iray Dome to move that hotspot (under Render Settings – Environment – Dome – Dome Rotation).

Not every HDRI image has a sun though, and depending on which map you use, you may not even see such a hotspot in your renders.

Adding a Spotlight

The left hand side of our sphere is a little darker, and if this was a character’s face, we may want to brighten it up a bit. In 3Delight we’d just add a standard spotlight, tweak the intensity and shadows until we’re happy, and then we’re done with it. With Iray we’ll do the same thing – but the settings are just a little different.

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How to apply a Shader in DAZ Studio

Shaders are an important component in many 3D applications, but I never knew that DAZ Studio understood that concept too. I was under the impression that the relatively simple Surfaces Tab would be how to tweak what an object looks like. Turns out, DAZ Studio has Shaders! And here’s how to apply them. Pay attention …

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Comparison: 3Delight vs NVIDIA Iray for Animations

For this animation I’ve rendered the same scene twice in DAZ Studio 4.8: once with 3Delight and once with the new NVIDIA Iray engine. It’s interesting to compare the results in an animation rather than a still image due to the different challenges involved.

One thing is that the subject is illuminated differently depending on how far away it is from the camera. Another is that it’s difficult to get matching end results when mixing faster and slower hardware: Iray can take a long time to finish a render if no GPU acceleration is around.

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How to render Iray with transparency in DAZ Studio

DAZ Studio Splash

DAZ Studio 4.8 comes with a new render engine called NVIDIA Iray. From what I understand it’s similar to the Mental Ray engine and – from what I hear – is supposed to become the new default render engine in DAZ Studio. It’s not a replacement for 3Delight, just an addition – selectable on the Render Tab (under Engine).

Unlike 3Delight, Iray renders images without transparency (or alpha channel) by default, which isn’t desirable. There is of course a way to change this, and here’s how to do it.

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