This month the demo will not focus on Marvelous Designer but on Marmoset Toolbag!
However the workflow remains the same, I always use the chain Daz -> Marvelous -> Blender -> Substance Painter -> Toolbag.
I confess that I was not at all satisfied by the rendering of previous pinups, so I had to spend more time on Toolbag to improve my understanding of this wonderful tool.
That’s why this month I offer you a description of the methodology I used. To do this I drew heavily on the following two articles from the site of Marmoset, the first is that of Emmanuel Lecouturier and the second is that of Vadim Sorici.
First of all, as mentioned above, the beginning of the work is exactly like the October pinup, I made a night outfit with Marvelous Textured Designer with Substance Painter.
Now let’s get down to business with the Marmoset Toolbag part explained step by step.
This disables the Post process and camera calculations on the screen display without canceling them on the rendered render.
1. Import your character
Your character can be in Obj or FBX format, whatever. The most important thing is that it is finalized, UV and materials need to be adjusted.
At this moment you can already enjoy the template with the default settings of Toolbag. Consider that it is now necessary to check that each textures are correctly adjusted (skin, hair, eyes).
2. Setting the SkyBox
It’s about starting to create the scene environment, so choosing the image is crucial. Here I chose a night view of Shangai from hdri haven.com.
It is already possible to steer the skybox to create the effects will highlight the body of the pinup.
3. Scene construction
Here I add the outfit and some simple elements to create a light staging.
4. Front Light
The first light source, front light allows to highlight the subject, here I chose a directional light so that it also illuminates the rest of the scene.
5. Side lights
When you want to highlight a character it is common to use one or more side lights. They will help to accentuate the contours of the subject, especially if we play with colors. Here I added a pink spot and spot blue to stay in agreement with the environment map. Be careful to adjust your spots so that the outline of the shadows is not frank but rather progressive. For that you have to play with the parameter « width » which makes it possible to modify the concentration of light by the size of the cone.
The addition of a fog is not mandatory and can provide a specific effect. This is why it is used here with lightness.
7.1. Render Settings
This is where your frame rate will fall! « Global Illumination » will bring a lot of consistency to your scene. Also test the « secondary bounce » to see the impact of your decor on the subject’s lighting. Adjust the Ambient Occlusion to find a good compromise between shadow and darkness.
It is possible that the global illumination is source of luminous artifact like those that I surrounded on the screenshot.
7.2 Voxel settings
To eliminate light flaws, you must play on the Resolution voxel by changing it to HIGH or by decreasing the Voxel Scene Fit. Be aware that going into High risk of dropping the performance of your PC. In my case I went in HIGH because it offered better results.
If there is one thing that is easily forgotten, it is the camera setting. When I started with ToolBag I did not care about the camera, and it was a mistake!
Even virtual shooting is still a shot, the choice of the lens is one of the basic elements gives character to the scene, even if this simple setting seems harmless. Without going into big debates, usually in photography to make portraits, we use lenses from 50 to 85 or even 100mm. Try different depths and keep the one that gives you the most sensation. Here I chose 85mm. The change is clearly noticeable.
9. Depth of field
As for fog, playing on the depth of field will affect the mood of your scene. Here I want to slightly blur the environment, this setting is relatively simple, just click on the subject with the mouse wheel for Toolbag focuses itself. Then it remains only to accentuate the blur as needed with the « Far Blur » or « Near Blur » and voila.
10. Post process
The post process is a bit like the icing on the cake, it must be just enough to make fun without putting too much to avoid indigestion.
Different presets are present to guide you towards specific atmospheres.
Here I made my own preset with Sharpen to accentuate the features of the pinup that the Fog had blurred. The Bloom brings a small aura that gives charm to the scene, just like the Vignette that slightly obscures the edges of the image. Here the Grain had no interest and I opted for a Tone Mapping in ACES for more authenticity.
The result is rather convincing!
Here I hope this article will have been useful, I invite you to browse the gallery of this pinup, you will find other atmospheres that will make you realize the importance of setting the stage.
See you !