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.
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 soften up shadows a little bit.
When DAZ Studio is finished rendering an image into a new window, we have the option to save it. But if we don’t do that, and there happens to be a power cut (and your computer is accidentally not connected to a UPS), where does that render go? Is it lost forever? Or is it saved somewhere secret?
Lucky for us, the render is indeed saved in a temporary location. By default, on Windows systems, the full path to temporary renders is
The Library can be reached when holding down CMD and selecting Go from the Finder menu.
Each temporary render is saved as a random letter or number. Note that as soon as you restart DAZ Studio, this folder is cleared! So the procedure upon DAZ Studio crashes or power cuts is to rescue those renders first, then restart DAZ Studio.
You can change the location of this folder under Preferences – General.
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 an easy way to make those physical objects invisible, so that we’re able to film/shoot/render/see right through them. Turning them invisible isn’t going to work, because once they’re gone, they won’t emit light anymore.
So head over to Light – Render Emitter and switch it off.
On means your light will be rendered as visible object, while off means it will still emit light, but the actual light object is no longer rendered.
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)
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. Continue reading How to use Spotlights with NVIDIA Iray in DAZ Studio→