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for Poser

Version 3.0

Contents List of Figures 1 2 Welcome INSTALLING REALITY 2.1 Requirements . . . . . . . . . . 2.2 Installation . . . . . . . . . . . 2.3 Installing LuxRender . . . . . . 2.4 Registering Reality . . . . . . . 2.5 Automatic Registration . . . . . 2.6 Manual registration . . . . . . . 2.7 Unregistering Reality . . . . . . 2.8 Conguring Reality to use Lux 2.9 Re-download Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . i iv 2 5 5 5 6 7 8 8 9 10 10 12 12 13 16 17 19 19 19 20 20 21 21 21 22 24 25 25 25 28 29

USING REALITY 3.1 Quick-start . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.2 Rendering workow . . . . . . . . . . . 3.3 The Rene Brush tool . . . . . . . . . 3.4 The Reality Add-ons . . . . . . . . . . 3.5 The render never stops . . . . . . . . . 3.6 When is the right time to stop Lux? . 3.7 The exported scene les . . . . . . . . 3.8 Best practices for exporting your scene 3.9 Saving your Reality settings . . . . . . 3.10 Tonemapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.11 AutoLinear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.12 Linear . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3.13 Converting from AutoLinear to Linear 3.14 Stopping and resuming renders . . . . THE 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 REALITY USER INTERFACE The material editor . . . . . . . . . . Material types . . . . . . . . . . . . . Reality materials are independent . . Material sections . . . . . . . . . . . i . . . .



4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8 4.9 4.10 5 6

Converting materials The Light Editor . . The Camera Editor . The Volumes Editor Advanced settings . . The dockable panel .

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30 31 31 31 32 33 35 35 36 36 36 37 39 39 39 40 41 41 41 41 41 42 42 51 52 52 54 55 57 58 60 63 64 64 64 64 65 66 67 68

POSER LIGHTING PRACTICES 5.1 Careful with those light sets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . KEY 6.1 6.2 6.3 CONCEPTS Unbiased vs. biased renderers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Creating soft shadows with Reality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Lights are visible . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

REALITYS MATERIALS 7.1 The Material Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.2 Editing materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.3 Changing multiple materials . . . . . . . . . . 7.4 Finding the right material . . . . . . . . . . . 7.5 Multi-edit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.6 Save your Scene . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7.7 Reality materials are simpler . . . . . . . . . . 7.8 See before you render: The Material Preview 7.9 Resetting materials to the original state . . . 7.10 Reality material reference . . . . . . . . . . . 7.11 Volumes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

RENDER OPTIONS 8.1 Render options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.2 Scene type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.3 Frame numbering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . LIGHT CONTROL 9.1 Light types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.2 Converting materials to lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9.3 IES lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . CAMERA CONTROL 10.1 Selecting the rendering 10.2 Shallow depth of eld . 10.3 Exposure controls . . . 10.4 Film Response . . . . . Realitys log les How to contact us Updating Lux camera . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


11 12 13



14 15 16 A B C

Known issues Acknowledgements More Reality resources Network rendering Fireies and render noise Reality plug-in software license

69 70 72 73 74 75

List of Figures
2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 3.10 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 9.1 9.2 9.3 Calling Reality . . . . . . . . . . The Registration window . . . . The Manual registration window Location of LuxRender . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 8 9 10 14 14 15 16 18 18 22 23 23 24 26 27 27 28 29 30 34 39 40 46 46 50 57 58 59

Sun Vertical in the scene . . . . . . . . Vertical Sun - Result . . . . . . . . . . Horizontal Sun in the scene . . . . . . Horizontal Sun - result . . . . . . . . . The Reality lights . . . . . . . . . . . . Mesh Light adjustments . . . . . . . . Conversion to Linear without exposure Reducing the shutter time . . . . . . . Closing the iris . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adjusting the lm sensitivity . . . . . The Material Editor . . . . . . . . The Texture Editor . . . . . . . . . Changing the type of texture . . . The Gear menu . . . . . . . . . . . Image map loaded . . . . . . . . . Rock texture applied to the sphere The Reality Dockable Panel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Material Editor . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . The Modiers tab . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A glass sphere without thin-lm coating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Glass sphere with thin lm coating. Thickness at 200nm, IOR at 1.5 Normal map ag . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Simple lighting with top mesh light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Adding reectors to bounce the light . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . More details visible without adding lights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Chapter 1



Thank you for purchasing Reality for Poser; we hope that you will have fun using it. Reality is a plug-in for Poser that connects Poser with LuxRender, the Open Source physicallybased, unbiased rendering engine. This makes it possible for Poser artists to use an incredible array of features from Lux that can bring very high levels of realism to your scenes. Reality is designed to not just export your Poser scene to Lux but to enhance and simplify the conversion in several ways. Reality has intelligent conversion of skin materials to provide a zero-click SubSurface Scattering (SSS) conguration even for Poser materials that dont include SSS. Realitys skin material gives you incredibly realistic skin without the washed-out side-eects of other converters. The Reality Material Editor is a fully-featured shader editor that provides all the power of a professional shader editor without using a node system. Its interface is based on a modern User Interface design that promotes productivity and artist-oriented workow. Reality 3 features at a glance: A wide selection of physically-based materials like: Skin, Water, Glass, Velvet, Glossy, Metal, Fog, Mirror, etc. These materials are adjustable within the Reality User Interface (UI) to create an innite variety of materials. Single-light, physically-based Sun light with indirect lighting, caustics, etc. Spotlights, mesh-based lights, and point lights that can be used to simulate any reallife lighting xture. Image Based Lighting that uses real HDR images. GPU Acceleration. Lighting can be changed while the image is rendering. Render status is saved automatically and can be stopped and resumed at a later time. Material preview right inside the Reality UI. For some materials, such as V4s Lips and Eyes, a special shape preview is provided that gives a more accurate version of the nal result. Automatic conversion of Posers materials to Reality/Lux. Volumetric fog. Network rendering. Render nodes can be running Mac OS, Windows or Linux, making it possible to create low-cost renderfarms. Rendering runs independently from Poser. You can continue working on your scene while the rendering runs. Multi-core support, 32 and 64 bit support for Mac OS and Windows.


Presets for dozens of materials from real-life measured data. For example, Reality includes all the Index Of Refraction presets from real glass, water at dierent temperatures, the human cornea, gemstones, gasses, and others. These presets can be used to create realistic eects of light passing through, for example, a ruby or a diamond.

Chapter 2

2.1 Requirements

To use Reality for Poser you must have Poser 9 or Poser Pro 2012 with the Service Release 3 (SR3) installed. If you have Poser 9/Pro 2012, but you dont have the SR3 update installed please go to the Smith Micros website and download that update. Without the SR3 update Reality cannot run. Reality does all the conversion and editing of materials and light parameters. When its time to render, that task is performed by LuxRender. Before using Reality for the rst time you need to download and install LuxRender. LuxRender is Open Source Software and it can be downloaded from the LuxRender website1 .



Reality runs on both Mac OS and Windows (32 and 64 bit versions). When you purchase Reality you will receive a ziple that contains the program, ready to be installed. You will also received a serial number to register and activate Reality. In the ziple you will also nd the Readme document. Installation of Reality is simple: Unzip the ziple for your OS. This is how to select the right one: is the Macintosh version. It has a universal app that runs either at 32 or 64 bits, depending on what version of Mac OS you have. is the version that works with Windows at 32 bits. is the version that works with Windows at 64 bits.


Once the archive is unzipped you will nd a folder called Reality in the folder where you unzipped the archive. Copy that folder into the addons folder of Poser. The location of the addons folder is: For Mac OS: [Folder where you have Poser installed]/Runtime/Python/addons For Windows: [Folder where you have Poser installed]\Runtime\Python\addons For example, on a Mac you should have, after the copy, /Applications/Poser Pro 2012/ Runtime/Python/addons/Reality, if Poser is installed in the /Applications/Poser Pro 2012 folder The following two videos show how to install Reality on your computer. For the Macintosh installations click here2 . For the Windows installation click here3 . After the installation of the main program is done you will need to install the Reality Lights and Props, also know as the Reality add-ons. The Reality add-ons are a series of lights and props made to help you get the most out of Reality and LuxRender. You can install the Reality add-ons like any other Poser Runtime addition, either by merging it with your existing Runtime or by saving it in a separate directory and then adding that directory to your Poser library.


Installing LuxRender

Reality is the connection between Poser and LuxRender, the renderer used to render photorealistic scenes. Therefore you need to install LuxRender before you can work with Reality. LuxRender is Open Source, which means that it doesnt cost you anything. You can download LuxRender from: []( There are versions for both Mac OS and Windows. The Macintosh version is delivered as a universal binary which runs on both 32 and 64 bit systems. If you use Windows you have the choice of selecting either the 32-bit or 64-bit version. In addition you can select either the OpenCL (please note that this is not OpenGL) or the non-OpenCL version. OpenCL is a technology that allows a program to use the GPU (Graphic Processing Unit) to execute instructions in parallel. This technology can dramatically speed up rendering. To know if you have an OpenCL-enabled GPU please contact the GPU manufacturer. The Macintosh has OpenCL support built into the Operating System.
2 3


Please note: the Windows installer of LuxRender might mention some installable scripts. Unless you use Blender 3D, a 3D modeling application, you must uncheck the installation of these scripts. These les are not related to Reality or Poser.


Registering Reality

Reality must be registered before using it. This process is simple, quick, and it will take just a minute of your time. Once its done the program will work without further requirements. You call Reality from inside Poser, using the Render menu. Click on the Render | Reality Render Editor menu to call the program.

Figure 2.1: Calling Reality We have done our best to make the registration system as easy as possible. Heres how it works. The rst time that you run Reality you will be prompted to register the program. The registration requires four elements to be entered: Your rst name Your last name Your order number Your serial number Some of our distributors might call the serial number a license code. Its the same thing. If you have purchased Reality via the Prt-3D website you will need to enter the same name as reported in the email that you have received after the purchase.



Automatic Registration

The easiest way to complete the registration is to use the Automatic mode, which sends the registration data via Internet. Please note that there is no requirement for Reality to have an Internet connection in order to work normally. The Internet connection is just for your convenience, to make the registration simple and quick. So, with your Internet-connected computer you can enter the four pieces of data described above plus your email address. You can decide to also receive notications from Prt-3D about updates for Reality or other relevant information. Please note that we dont spam our customers and we keep our mailing list strictly condential. This is the registration window:

Figure 2.2: The Registration window Please note that the name must appear exactly how it is in your invoice or the registration process will fail. Rest assured that the information given is kept strictly condential and is not shared with anybody.


Manual registration

If, for any reason, you cannot use a computer with Internet connection available then there is an alternative system for registering your copy of Reality. You need to ll out the form above as usual and then press the Manual button. Another page will show you the instructions on how to complete the registration manually. You will need to go to a web page using another computer, smartphone or tablet. The URL


for the page is shown on the screen. The page provides a form to enter exactly the same data that you have in the registration window of Reality. Once that is done you will receive an activation code via email. Enter the activation code in the window:

Figure 2.3: The Manual registration window After that you just need to press the Save button and you will get a conrmation message about the registration. If anything happens that prevents the registration to nish successfully please send an email to with a screenshot of your registration window. We take care of any issue generally in a few minutes after we read the email.


Unregistering Reality

If, for any reason, you need to remove the registration for your copy of Reality you can do that from the Help menu. This is how its done: Run Reality From the Help menu of the program select Unregister Reality You will be asked to conrm the operation If you conrm the unregistering of Reality the program will erase its registration information and then close




Conguring Reality to use Lux

Since Reality has to call LuxRender to do the actual rendering its important that the location for Lux is congured correctly. Lux is included in the installer for Reality but if you have it already installed on your system, or you installed it in a custom location, you need to tell Reality where the renderer is. First, check that LuxRender runs correctly on your system. To do this, locate in which directory it is installed and run the program called LuxRender (on Mac OS) or luxrender.exe (on Windows). If the program starts, close it and take note of the location. If there is a problem, check your installation and possibly re-install Lux. Important! Note that Reality requires LuxRender version 1.2 or higher. Older versions are not supported and will cause problems. From inside Poser use the menu Render|Reality Render Editor to call Reality. In the Render tab click on the Renderer option and set the location of LuxRender by clicking on the Change button and navigating to the directory where LuxRender is installed. The version of Lux is veried and displayed above the LuxRender path.

Figure 2.4: Location of LuxRender


Re-download Reality

You can download Reality at any time by using the Support menu of our website4



If you ever need to re-download the program you will need your serial number, so make sure to have that information handy.

Chapter 3

3.1 Quick-start

When using a new program we are always eager to see what it can do quickly, without spending time reading long documentation. Follow these simple steps to get a sample of how to use Reality and obtain your rst great render with Lux. Make sure that you have installed and registered Reality as explained in the instructions. Make sure that you have installed LuxRender and congured Reality to nd it. Here is a video that shows how to get started with Reality and Lux: Getting Started with Reality 31 You can follow this workow to create your rst scene with Reality: Create a simple scene in Poser with one character posed. Add the Reality Mesh Light to the scene. In the Lights tab of Reality disable all lights except for the Mesh Light. From the Poser menu select Render | Reality Render Editor. The Reality program will be launched. Reality is a stand-alone program which communicates with Poser. You can leave Reality running and switch back to Poser to continue editing your scene. At any time you can switch back to Reality using the OS task switcher or by clicking on the Render menu option again. If Reality is already running the menu action will bring the program in foreground. Make sure that you dont use GPU acceleration. Important: do not enter any value in the Max Samples eld. That is only for animation purpose. Leave at 0.




Click on the Render tab and click on the Render Frame button. Watch as your scene is rendered by Lux. Lux does not stop automatically; it continuously renes the image until you decide to stop it. When you decided that the quality of the image is satisfactory you simply close Lux. The image will be saved in the location specied in the Output options. By default the image is rendered to a le called reality_scene.png which is saved in your Documents folder. Now that you have done your rst render you can explore all the other great features oered by Reality.


Rendering workow

The workow for using Reality is simple. The basic steps are: Create the scene. First you create your scene in Poser as you would normally. Dont spend too much time setting the materials in Poser as you will be doing all the ne-tuning in Reality. Setting the basic textures for characters and props is generally all that you have to do. Add your lighting. While you become familiar with the Reality way of working, use one or more Mesh Lights. The Mesh Light is provided in the Reality Add-ons archive that you received with the program. It should have been installed as any Runtime addition. Once the add-ons are installed you should nd them in the Poser Library. Click on the Light selector and nd the Reality folder. In there is the Mesh Lights light. Double click to add it to your scene. A mesh light generally provides a very nice, diuse light that projects soft shadows. It produces a pleasant result with very little of work. Please note that Poser will not recognize the Reality mesh light as a light so you will not see the eect of it in the Poser preview. Simply orient the front of the Mesh light to point in the direction you want the light to shine. If you need sunlight simply add the Sun light provided with Reality. Run Reality. After youre done setting up the lights, launch Reality. You can launch Reality by clicking on the Reality Render Editor option in Posers Render menu. When invoked, Reality will recognize the lighting you added. For example if you added the Sun light, it will congure a lighting system for Lux that includes the Sun light and the sky. Keep in mind that the angle of the sunlight will determine its look. For example, if the sun is directly overhead (zero degrees), is down at a sharp angle (between 0 to 30 degrees), it will be interpreted as midday sun. On the other hand, if you make the sunlight almost horizontal (60 to 90 degrees), Lux will interpret it as the sun at sunrise or sunset, and therefore the light will have a distinctive orange shift. Figure 4.1 shows a scene with a temple and the sun, a Poser Innite Light, positioned almost vertically.



Figure 3.1: Sun Vertical in the scene

Figure 3.2: Vertical Sun - Result



And we can see the result in gure 4.2. Now, we can simply rotate the Sun light to be almost horizontal. See gure 4.3.

Figure 3.3: Horizontal Sun in the scene By doing that we not only get a dierent angle in the light, but also a dierent quality of the light, it shifts to orange, as you would expect to see at sunset or sunrise, when the sun is closer to the horizon. Figure 4.4 shows the result. Modify. The Reality UI provides full control over the nal result of the render. You can modify the type of materials used for each material zone dened in Poser and ne-tune all the parameters involved. Render. For your rst render simply click on the Render frame button. When you do that Reality exports the Poser scene to a series of les on disk using the LuxRender format and then calls Lux to render that scene (see the Render tab for setting the le names for the LuxRender scene and for the image le). In just a few seconds you will see the LuxRender window appear. Lux renders a scene in a dierent fashion than the Poser built-in renderer. Instead of starting from the rst line at the top and then progressing toward the bottom of the image, Lux renders the whole image in one pass, which usually takes a few seconds. This rst render is very coarse but it gives an overall idea of the result. In a few seconds Lux will rene the image and the cycle continues until you quit Lux. Lux saves your le automatically to disk, using the PNG format by default. You can change the location and name of the le



Figure 3.4: Horizontal Sun - result

in the Reality Render tab. Lux saves the le at intervals established in the Advanced tab of Reality. When you quit the program the latest version of the render is saved automatically.


The Rene Brush tool

Occasionally there can be scenes that have areas that take longer than others to be free of noise. This is usually happening in parts of the scene where there is low light or where the lights path can be obstructed. For those situations LuxRender has a handy tool: the rene brush. If you want to instruct LuxRender to focus on areas of the image that have higher levels of noise follow these simple steps: In LuxRender click on the Rene Brush tab The image is shown with the white overlay. You can increase the transparency of that overlay with the Overlay opacity slider. Paint with your cursor over the areas that have noise. Be conservative in your paint. Click on the Apply button Click back on the Imaging tab



This procedure will instruct LuxRender to spend more time rening the painted areas instead of equally sampling all pixels in the scene. Once those areas have caught up with the rest of the scene its a good idea to go back to the Rene Brush tab and click on the Reset button.


The Reality Add-ons

Reality comes with a set of lights and props to help you get the most out of your scenes.

Mesh Lights
Mesh lights are the most attering and exible lights that you can use with LuxRender. For this reason Reality includes a great Mesh Light prop that is designed to give you excellent control on the quality and position of the light. In the Lights section of the Poser Library you can nd the Reality lights. There are two Mesh Lights: one that is positioned by default in a position suitable for portraits. The other is automatically placed on top of the default location for gures. The Reality Mesh Light has controls to set its softness with ease. Simply select the light in the scene and look in the Parameters tab. You can turn the light sharp by setting the Sharp dial to 1. Or you can make the light very soft with the, aptly named, VerySoft dial. The light comes in the scene by default set as Soft. This gives you a very pleasant light that has visible soft shadows. The Pan, Tilt and Roll dials rotate the light along its axes and they help you in setting the direction of the light very easily. The Reality Mesh Lights work well with the Point at function of Poser.

Sun light
Reality also includes a Sun light. Unlike the mesh lights, when you add the Sun light it will replace all the Poser lights in the scene, if you double-click on the icon. The exceptions are the Reality mesh lights since they are actual props and not Poser lights. If you want to add the sun without removing previous lights drag and drop the light into your scene, instead of double-click on it. The Sun is a physically-accurate Sun light that also produces a sky. Reality exports the Sun and the sky as separate lights that can be adjusted in Lux while rendering the image.

Studio Cubed
Studio Cubed is a model that simulates a photographers studio. This model has been developed by John Hinton, aka Dumor3d at Dumor3D.com2 and kindly provided to Reality artists for free (Thank you John for letting us include this great prop in Reality!)



Figure 3.5: The Reality lights

Figure 3.6: Mesh Light adjustments



The advantage of using Studio Cubed is immediately having an enclosed environment that bounces light in a very attering and realistic way. The walls of Studio Cubed are UVmapped and identied by separate materials so you can apply any photo or image to create great backgrounds with ease. In the Materials category of the Poser Library you can nd a series of materials to hide or show sections of Studio Cubed.


The render never stops

If you are not familiar with Lux, the above heading might seem a bit odd. Lux works by collecting light samples in a endless cycle. The renderer doesnt make the decision for you about when to stop; you stop the renderer when you are satised with the image. Many dierent factors can determine the time required for a satisfactory render. When you close Lux, the rendered image is saved on disk, in the image le that you have specied in the Output tab of Reality. In addition, Lux automatically saves the image every three minutes while rendering.


When is the right time to stop Lux?

Given that Lux doesnt stop automatically at an arbitrary point, you might wonder when it is the right time to stop the render. The short answer is when its good enough for you. Until you gain more practice with Lux its impossible to give an answer to what is the acceptable level of quality, expressed in time. Each pass in the rendering process doesnt just rene the grain of the image but it adds quality to the light that is simulated. For example, glass reections will look more realistic, and subtle sheens in the materials will catch elements from the surrounding objects. The status bar of Lux provides some good metrics to judge the render. The section marked Statistics lists a series of numbers. Look at the one labeled S/px, as in 2422 S/px. That is the number of samples per pixel and its a good indicator of the overall quality of the image. Depending on the scene the image might be considered nished at 500 spx or at higher values, like around 2,0003,000 samples per pixel. Experience will show you the right value. Keep in mind that even when the image is free of noise the longer you let it render the better it becomes, because Lux adds subtle reections and light eects that add realism beyond the simple clarity of image.


The exported scene les

Reality performs its task by reading all the information about the Poser scene and then generating a scene le using the Lux language. After the scene le is created, Reality then



calls Lux and points the program to the scene le generated. Rendering starts as soon as the scene le is read, the rendering image will appear on screen, and this image will be automatically saved to disk. The location and name of the scene le, ending in extension .lxs, is specied in the Output tab. You can change the name and the location to anything you want. By default Reality will place the le in your Desktop folder and will call the generated scene le reality_scene.lxs. The image rendered by Lux is saved automatically to a PNG le, by default, and the name and location of that le is also specied in the Output tab, just below the name of the scene le. By default the image le is also placed in the Desktop folder and its called reality_scene.png. Please note that the extension is not specied in the name because it is dened by the le type. You can save a rendered image in PNG, OpenEXR (.exr) or Targa Format (.tga).


Best practices for exporting your scene

Hide what you dont see

LuxRender performs very demanding operations because it uses real-world mathematical models for calculating the eects of light and the behavior of materials. While often its a good idea to render o-camera objects, many times you will save a considerable amount of time and memory by not exporting part of your scene. For example, many scenes that use the DAZ human gures, like Victoria or Michael, pose the models with their mouths closed. In that situation hiding the teeth, tongue and gums saves you hundreds of polygons during the export, polygons that will not be rendered but that will require memory for the geometry, the materials, the UV maps, etc. Save yourself some render time by hiding them before rendering.

Keep it simple
After you use Reality and Lux for a while you will get a sense of how things work and what to expect. Until you get there, keep your scene simple. Load a simple scene, a few props, and a human gure. Add just one mesh light. Render the scene at a low resolution, something around 800x450. This will likely give you a very quick result and a way of checking that your system works with Reality and Lux. From there increase the complexity gradually. In a short amount of time you will develop the skills to recognize the dierent scenarios and how to optimize Reality for them.


Saving your Reality settings

Reality saves all your material congurations and other settings inside your Poser scene automatically. Once you save the Poser le your Reality conguration is saved. When you reload that scene in Poser all the Reality settings will be loaded automatically.





After you play with Lux a little bit you will notice some controls in the main render window. The topmost is called Tonemapping. Tonemapping is very important in making things work the way you want, and in achieving the look that you desire. Unlike Firey and many other renderers, Lux calculates the light values using full spectra. This means that when it calculates the light amount for a given pixel Lux has the real value and not some number that has been clamped down to stay in the RGB limits of what our monitors can show. Light in the real world has wavelengths that go beyond what the human eye can see. Photographic lm has a more limited ability to capture light values than what our eyes can see. Computer monitors have an even more limited range of light values that they can display. If Lux was going to render a light value that was based on what your monitor can see then the delity of the information would be seriously compromised. Instead, Lux uses the full spectrum of light, and the tonemapper uses an algorithm to convert those internal light values to what we can see on the computer. As it turns out there are a few dierent tonemapping possibilities, but for Reality we will focus on just two: AutoLinear and Linear.



Think of your scene as something that you can capture with a photographic camera. As you decide what camera you should use you have two choices: point-and-shoot all automatic, or state-of-the-art DSLR (Digital Single-Lens Reex) with full manual control. Point-and-shoot cameras nowadays are pretty good and deliver nice pictures. You point the camera at the scene, click the button, and you get a nice picture that is correctly exposed, in focus, and with good colors. However, if you tried to take a picture of somebody in front of a window you know that there are limitations to what those cameras can do. Nevertheless they get the job done in a very good way and without your involvement in things like shutter speed, lm ISO and aperture. AutoLinear is your point-and-shoot camera. It works well for many situations, including scenes that have sun and spotlights, but it averages the light intensity in the scene in order to nd a good balance, and consequently things are not always exposed correctly. If a light is visible in the scene Autolinear will seriously underexpose the scene and you might even end up with a pitch black image with a bright spot, the light, in it. If that happens then its time to switch to Linear.



Linear is the best tonemapper and it gives you full control over the nal aspect of the image. You can dynamically change the exposure to achieve overexposed/underexposed eects without re-rendering your scene, and the result is usually shown in a second or less. Linear works like a manual camera. The parameters to adjust are:



Film ISO. This is also known as lm speed. Higher values mean faster lm, faster lm means that the lm is more sensitive to light. If your scene looks dark then change this parameter rst and see if you gain some denition. Lux sets Sensitivity to 50 by default while Reality changes it to 200 when using mesh lights. Exposure. This is equivalent to the speed of the shutter of a camera, and is usually expressed in a fraction of a second. 1/60, 1/125 or 1/250 of a second are normal values. For a night scene with very faint light you might want to try an exposure of 1 full second. f-stop. This is the aperture of the iris in your camera. Lower numbers mean wider aperture and more light hitting the lm. Generally each f-stop number is half the light of the previous one. For example f4.0 gives you half the light of f2.8. [Expand][Provide more examples of how to set up the exposure ]


Converting from AutoLinear to Linear

When you change a tonemapper from AutoLinear to Linear, it can sometimes seem that you have done something wrong. Where did the image go?

Figure 3.7: Conversion to Linear without exposure adjustment If you look at the tonemapper parameters, in this example, youll see that we have a full exposure of 1 second and the iris wide open at f2.8. The scene that Im trying to render is a daylight scene and if you used that kind of aperture and exposure with a real camera you would end up with something overexposed like that as well. So, lets rst change the exposure to something more reasonable like 1/250 of a second. Even with the aperture at f2.8 we can immediately see the dierence. See g. 4.8. OK, we are on the right path. Next lets change the aperture (f/stop) to something a little more appropriate. See g. 4.9



Figure 3.8: Reducing the shutter time

Figure 3.9: Closing the iris



At f8.0 we have 1/8 of the light that we were getting before and now almost everything is exposed correctly. Just for the heck of it, lets see what happens when we increase the sensitivity to 80. See g. 4.10.

Figure 3.10: Adjusting the lm sensitivity That looks good. Even though a couple of spots might be a tad overexposed, I can adjust the textures to compensate for that.


Stopping and resuming renders

Lux allows you to stop and resume your renders at any time. This is an optional feature which is disabled by default in Lux but Reality enables it for all scenes that it generates. The feature is based on the creation of a lm le, a le that keeps track of the status of Lux at any point in the process. The le has the same name of your image le but with the extension .m. You can stop a Reality-created render at any time, and close Lux. To restart the render from where it stopped: Launch Lux directly, outside Reality.

Select the File/Resume FLM menu option.

Lux will rst ask you for the .lxs le. Select the scene le.

Lux then will ask you for the .m le, and again make your selection.

In a few seconds you will see the render resume from where it was stopped and continue the rening process.

Chapter 4


4.1 The material editor

The heart of Reality is its material editor. With it you can modify the type and denition of all materials recognized by Reality. This can be used to optimize the desired result or to create new materials from scratch. The Reality material editor has been designed to be exible, powerful and easy to use. It provides the same power that you can have from a node-based editor, but without the complexity of using nodes.


Material types

Every material in Reality has a specic type. The types available are: Skin Glossy Matte Glass Metal Velvet Cloth Null Mirror Water Right at this point we can see already how Reality makes things easier from the start. When materials are of a given type there is no confusion about what to expect. A Metal material 25



cannot have settings related to skin. A glass material will not have parameters that belong to metal or velvet. Materials with types make it much easier to work and nd the relevant parameters.

Each material is dened by channels and properties. A channel is where we attache textures. For example, the Glossy material has a Diuse channel which denes the surface of the material. If we attach an image (aka image map) to that channel then the surface of that material will show that image.

Figure 4.1: The Material Editor In the above image we can see the Diuse, Specular, Top Coat, and Translucency channels. Each channel has a texture of type Color. The groups of three numbers are the RGB values for the color selected in each texture. We can edit the value of the texture or we can change the type of the texture altogether. For example, if we want to have an image for the diuse channel, instead of a solid color, here is the simple procedure to do that: Click on the color swatch in the Diuse channel. The texture editor will show in the right side of the window. From the drop-down menu labelled Texture type select Image Map.



Figure 4.2: The Texture Editor

Figure 4.3: Changing the type of texture



The texture has been changed from Color to Image Map. Now we can select an image of our liking. Now Click on the gear menu to show a menu that gives us the choice to Select a new le.

Figure 4.4: The Gear menu Navigate to an image le of your choice and conrm the selection. Once you do that you will see the le in the preview eld, below the name. You can also see the dimension, in pixels, of the le just below its preview. If we run a render now we will see the the object attached to that material, in this case the standard Poser sphere primitive, renders with a rocky surface. Its not very credible but this is just to show the workow in modifying materials. In Reality you dont disconnect/reconnect nodes, you simply convert from one texture type to another and Reality will carry over the relevant information.


Reality materials are independent

One of the great advantages of Reality is that it creates its own copies of materials distinct from Posers. In this way you can change types of material, and you can completely change the properties of that material, without having to worry how that will aect your base materials in Poser. This level of freedom, coupled with the simpler material editor, is very conducive to creativity and experimentation. For example, lets say that you see some buttons on a garment and you are wondering if those would look good if they were turned to glass. You can convert the material to Realitys Glass and do a quick render. If the result is not satisfactory then you can simply right-click on the material and convert it back to the original. Like it never happened!



Figure 4.5: Image map loaded


Material sections

The Reality material editor groups properties of a material in a logical way to help you work faster and with ease. These groups are handled by four tabs: The Material tab handles all the main properties of a material. The Alpha Channel tab handles the data that denes the Alpha Channel, also known as the transparency. The Volumes tab is enabled for materials that can handle volumes. They are: Skin, Null, and Water. In that tab we can dene the inner and outer volume for the material. See the section on Volumes (section 7.11) for more information. The Modiers tab handles the use of Bump maps, Normals maps and Displacement maps. It also manages the denition of subdivision, which is strictly connected with displacement.



Figure 4.6: Rock texture applied to the sphere


Converting materials

Reality does its best to guess what material type to use for each Poser material, but the truth of the matter is that sometimes there is simply not enough information in the Poser shader to make a good guess. Thats why machines cannot make art; the human touch is still, fortunately, necessary. There are many situations where it is necessary to convert a material from one type to another. For example, a model might include windows and their material should be Glass. Since Poser doesnt have a glass material Reality cannot know that that would be the right selection and it will probably select Glossy as the type for that material. To convert a material from one type to another simply select the material, right-click with the mouse and select the new type from the menu.




The Light Editor

If we click on the Lights tab at the top of the Reality UI we enter the Light Editor. Lights in Lux have properties that cannot be found in Poser and so this is the place where you can dene all the properties of lights used in your scene. Lights are directly linked to their Poser equivalent. You cannot create or delete a light in Reality, you do that, as usual, in Poser. In the Light Editor you can enable or disable lights independently from how they are in Poser.


The Camera Editor

The Camera Editor is where you select what camera you want to use for the rendering and how that camera should behave. The Camera Editor takes the list of cameras dened in Poser and presents them in a list. By default the active camera in Poser is selected in the Camera Editor. As you switch camera view in Poser the Reality Camera Editor changes its selection. You can change this behavior by explicitly clicking on one camera name. In that way Reality will recognize that you want to render through the selected camera regardless of what camera is active in Poser. An asterisk after the focal length column marks what camera is currently active in Poser. The exposure control panel can be used to set the desired exposure for each camera. If the exposure is not set explicitly then Reality will render the scene by selecting the Autolinear tonemapper in LuxRender. Otherwise Reality will set the Linear tonemapper with the parameters that you set.

For animators
Setting a consistent exposure for all frames of an animation is fundamental, otherwise you can end up with annoying ickering caused by the automatic adjustment of the exposure done on each frame. If you set the exposure in the Camera Editor then all frames generated via Reality will have the same exposure.


The Volumes Editor

LuxRender includes a exible, powerful volume system that controls how light behaves when it moves through objects or the space in-between objects. Typically, when creating a scene that uses volumetric rendering you create a set of medium types, which are then assigned to the interior and exterior of objects in the scene. The



interior medium denes how light moves within the object, and the exterior medium denes how light moves through the space between the object it just left and the next one it encounters. The interior volume setting is primarily used to give absorption and internal scattering to the object it is assigned to. In most cases you will create a separate medium for each material you want to have internal absorption and scattering eects with. The exterior volume setting is generally used to provide atmospheric eects, and is kept the same for all objects in the scene.1 The Volumes tab in Reality allows you to create new volumes and to set up all the properties for Lux volumes. You can then attach volumes to materials, assigning them for the inner or outer portion of a material.


Advanced settings

The Advanced tab controls certain aspects of how Reality behaves and how it sets defaults for new scenes. Lets see the values used in this tab one by one. Max material preview cached. When you work on materials Reality shows you a preview the material you are working on. To speed things up Reality keeps a certain number of materials in memory. This value determines how many material previews are kept at any given time in memory (cache). The default is of ve. Higher numbers will give you faster response from the program at the cost of a little more memory used. Lux Display refresh interval. When Reality generates a LuxRender scene it sets how often Lux should refresh its display. This value controls that interval. Lux write interval. This value determines how often Lux will save the rendered image. Ignore Innite Lights. Innite Lights (also known as Distant Lights) generally render very poorly in LuxRender. They are an articial construction of biased renderers and are generally not useful at all with unbiased renderers like Lux. Since there are several pre-made light sets designed for Poser that employ Innite Lights, this setting is a handy way to avoid having to remove those harsh lights. Convert Innite Light to mesh lights. This is an alternative approach to using Innite Lights. When this value is set Reality will convert the Innite Lights to large mesh lights oating above the scene. This approach removes the harshness of Innite Lights while keeping the contribution of the light to the scene. Results can vary widely, depending on the setup. Nevertheless this ag can be easily turned on or o before exporting to compare the result of its inuence.
1 Extract

from the LuxRender wiki page about volumes



Convert Spot lights to mesh lights. This ag acts in a similar way to the one for Innite Lights. A very small mesh light will be created in place of the spot. This option will produce a more pleasant, less harsh light but the mesh light will not have the characteristic spot cone. It will be just positioned and oriented in the same way of the original spot. This ag can also be toggled on or o before exporting the scene to Lux. The second group of values is grouped under the label Defaults for new scenes. Those values aect how Reality congures a new scene when its created inside Poser. Lux GPU acceleration On. If this value is enabled then the GPU acceleration will be enabled for all new scenes. Overwrite warning On. If this value is enabled Reality will ask you conrmation before overwriting the Lux scene le and the related rendered image, if they exist before exporting the scene to LuxRender. OpenCL Group size. Some nVidia drivers have a bug that causes the image to be completely black if the OpenCL group size is not set to 64. By setting this value you avoid having to set it for every new scene.


The dockable panel

Reality provides a convenient panel that can be docked in the Poser UI. This panel provides a bit of information about the objects handled by Reality and two convenient buttons:



Figure 4.7: The Reality Dockable Panel

The rst button calls the Reality UI; it works like the option in the Render menu. The other button, labelled Render Frame, does the same thing as the Render Frame button in the Reality UI. These two buttons can easily speed up your workow. You can dock the Reality Panel in any part of the Poser UI that you nd convenient.

Chapter 5


5.1 Careful with those light sets

While Reality can easily convert any Poser light set it is important to understand why you should avoid using light sets made for Poser. The lighting model of the Firey renderer and the one used by LuxRender are very, very dierent and use completely dierent approaches. A typical light set from the Poser library can use an IBL light in conjunction with two-three Innite Lights. Innite lights are almost never used in LuxRender. One single Innite Light can cause severe over-lighting; two are a recipe for disaster. This is because in Lux indirect lighting is always present and there is no need to simulate it with innite lights. So, while you can use the Poser light sets, chances are that the result will not be pleasant. Here is a simple recipe to convert a light set to something that can work for you: Remove every Innite light If the set contains an IBL light then keep it Replace every spot with small mesh lights Possibly replace every point light with mesh lights as well In general you will nd out that you will get better results and faster renders with a lighting setup that is designed for Lux. Using the Reality MeshLight gives you the best results.


Chapter 6

6.1 Unbiased vs. biased renderers

LuxRender is a physically-based, unbiased renderer. If you are not familiar with these terms, its worth spending a few seconds learning how they aect your work. Most rendering engines, including Firey (the renderer of Poser), are biased. What that means, in simple terms, is that you can drive the renderer to create eects that are not possible in real life. For example, in Poser you can arbitrarily decide if a light projects shadows and if the shadow is soft or hard. In real life, if you turn on a light, that light will cause shadows. You cannot change that. And if that light is small, in comparison to an object, the shadow will be sharp. If the light is large, like in the case of a big photographers softbox, the shadows will be soft. This is a law of physics that you can use to your advantage, and these physically based behaviors are the basis of unbiased renderers like LuxRender.


Creating soft shadows with Reality

Remember, sharpness or softness of the shadows is not based on the brightness of the light but on the size. For example, the Sun is a very small light source in reference to people and even buildings. Of course we know that the Sun is several times the size of the Earth, but because of the distance it appears as a point in the sky. During a bright sunny day shadows are sharp. If you were to create a Poser scene and decided to set the sun with soft shadows, while visibly showing an outdoor, sunny day, that scene would look unrealistic. People might not know immediately what was the problem but they would perceive that something was not quite right. During an overcast day shadows are very faint, to the point of not being visible. That is because the layer of clouds between the Earth and the Sun diuses the light and acts as a light source; a huge, all-covering, light source. Large light sources create soft shadows. The larger the light, the softer the shadow. If you want to create soft shadows in your Reality scene stay away from sunlight and spotlights and use a Mesh Light or a Soft box, both provided in the Reality add-ons. Any polygonal mesh can be turned into a mesh light 36



but simple planes are usually the best option because they only have one face. When using a mesh light each face/polygon is a light source and each light source will add more time to your render. Unless you need very special shapes for the light source, the Mesh Light add-on will work perfectly. If you need to use the Sun and want to have softer shadows, like during an overcast day, you can simulate that situation in Reality. Contrary to what many believe, dimming the sun doesnt give soft shadows. Remember, the brightness of a light doesnt determine the sharpness of the shadows, the size does. Place a diuser (a simple plane primitive) between the Sun and your subject Set the material for the diuser to be Glossy and enable the translucency Adjust the alpha (transparency) to add a little more transparency to the diuser so that a little more light passes through. Dont overuse this, you just need a little transparency. This little trick, which is used every day in Hollywood productions, will give you soft light and soft shadows while using the Sun.

Indirect lighting is always on

Light, in real life, bounces o objects and touches surrounding objects, picking up colors and other characteristics. For example, light hitting a metal surface will be reected quite strongly and will light nearby objects. This is called indirect lighting. In Lux indirect lighting is always active and so your scene will require generally fewer lights than when using Posers built-in renderer.


Lights are visible

In many 3D applications, Poser included, it is possible to place a light in view of the camera and then set it to be invisible during rendering. This is not possible in Lux, which is a very good thing. Hiding lights during rendering is a time-honored technique used by conventional renderers because it was often necessary to use several lights to simulate ambient light. Those lights needed to be placed in strategic points in the scene and they were often visible by the camera. That trick is not necessary with Lux because indirect lighting is always on and it doesnt require any additional light. In aiming for realism we need to think like a photographer, and photographers cant hide the lights from the camera. If we were able to do that our brain would register that there is something out of place in the image. Photographers have learned to hide the lighting xtures with a variety of tricks of the trade. In aiming to achieve realism we can do the same.



Chapter 7

7.1 The Material Editor

The main component of the Reality UI is the material editor. Reality automatically converts all the elements in your scene, like materials, lights and cameras to corresponding elements in Lux. For example, a shiny object is converted to the Lux Glossy material, others are converted to Matte and so on. Reality automatically recognizes the materials for DAZs Generation 3, 4, Miki 4, Alyson and other gures. For example, the face material is converted to Skin and the cornea is converted to a Glass material with the Index Of Refraction (IOR) of a human cornea. Reality also generates Sub-Surface Scattering (SSS) settings for the skin of known models.


Editing materials

The following picture shows Realitys Material editor after the plug-in has been invoked on the Victoria 4 model:

Figure 7.1: Material Editor 39



The Material list is ordered alphabetically by name, by default. You can reorder the columns to your liking and you can sort by material name, owner, the model that holds the material, and by material type. This kind of organization makes it easy to nd materials of the same kind and to operate some transformations on them. When you select a material, the lower part of the window shows the properties of that material grouped in several tabs. For example, the Glossy material has three tabs: Glossiness/Specular, Alpha Channel, and Modiers. The Modiers tab is common for most materials and contains the settings for bump/normal map, displacement map, subdivision and other geometry modication ags.

Figure 7.2: The Modiers tab If you dont agree with Realitys selection for a material (for example, if you want to change from Glossy to Matte), you can simply select a material, right-click on it, and select a new type from the menu.


Changing multiple materials

Reality allows you to quickly change multiple materials with a single action. If you need to change the type of multiple materials at once you can simply select all the materials aected and then select a new type from the menu. All selected materials will be changed to this new type. If you edited one material and you want to apply those changes to a set of similar materials: Select the source material youve changed. Select all the target materials.

Select Copy from the applications menu. Select Paste from the applications menu All the settings from the source material will be copied to the targets except for the textures. This allows you, for example, to copy the skin settings from V4s torso to V4s limbs without losing the textures in the target materials. If you also need to apply the textures, use the Paste with texture option instead.




Finding the right material

Here is a quick video that shows you how easy it is to nd the material to edit even with large scenes containing dozens or hundreds of materials. Video tutorial: how to nd a material1



Reality has support for multi-edit, the ability to edit one or more parameters for multiple selected materials. Simply select multiple materials either via Shift-Click or Cmd/Ctrl-Click (Cmd for Macintosh, Ctrl for Windows), and then change whatever parameter you want. For example, you can change the glossiness level of all selected materials.


Save your Scene

Reality saves its own data inside the Poser scene, so when you save it, all the Reality materials and conguration data are saved as well.


Reality materials are simpler

Dont be alarmed that the rather long list of nodes that you see in the Poser Surface window is not showing in the Reality Material Editor. Reality materials are dened by their characteristics, like being Velvet, Metal or Glass. Those characteristics in many cases include multiple parameters in a traditional renderer that may not be necessary for an unbiased renderer. For example, a Glass material needs opacity control in Poser, while that is not necessary in Reality since Glass is by denition transparent. The alpha channel for Glass in Reality is only used to create irregular edges or holes in the material. So, the list of properties in Reality is in many cases dierent and generally simpler than what you see with a biased renderer. Its also easier to read because it maps properties of real-life materials.


See before you render: The Material Preview

When tweaking and adjusting a material its nice to be able to see how it will look without having to wait for the whole scene to render. For this task there is the Material Preview.



Reality works in the background and renders a preview of the material whenever you make a change automatically and without waiting for the process to nish. This is a quick approximation of your material mapped either to a sphere or a plane. The preview is close to the nal result but its not completely accurate, for reasons of speed. It will give you a good understanding of the materials colors, textures, level of glossiness, and so forth. Nevertheless we constantly improve it and for Reality the glass preview is closer to the nal result than before. When making materials for such important areas of human models like lips, face and eyes, you have a third option for the preview: Shape. Shape gives you a stylized pair of lips, a simplied face and a stylized eye to help you see more precisely the eect of your material. These shapes are all mapped to reect the real model so that textures project as expected. Reality introduces the Face shape for the rst time. Another great feature of the Material Preview is that the previews are persistent: if you select another material and then come back to the original material, the preview will be shown immediately without re-rendering it. The number of previews cached is limited. By default Reality will cache ve previews. You can change this number, setting it up to twenty, in the Advanced tab. Reality also detects automatically the Shape preview for certain materials. When previewing the lips or face materials of DAZ gures Reality will automatically select the Shape preview.


Resetting materials to the original state

Sometimes things dont go in the direction that we want. After tweaking a material for a few minutes you might nd yourself in a situation where you would rather start again from the beginning, from the original material that was imported by Reality from Poser. In this case you can simply right-click on a material and then select to convert it to any kind. If you select to convert it to the same kind it is, for example Glossy, the original denition of the material, as converted from Poser, will be reloaded.


Reality material reference

Reality provides access to most of LuxRenders materials. Reality materials are designed to provide all the advantages of using Luxs physics-based materials but without the complexity generally found when using renderers of this kind. Lux materials, and therefore Realitys, are dened by a series of properties and textures. What Lux calls textures other systems call nodes. For example, the Poser material editor uses a wide array of nodes to dene its materials. The term node is a bit vague and it refers more to the way information is stored in the computers memory than to what it represents. Luxs use of the word texture is more accurate. A texture is not just an image stretched over a surface. A texture is anything that generates a visual pattern or image. A brick node, common in many 3D apps, generates a brick pattern. We are correct in calling that function a brick texture and that is exactly how its called in LuxRender.



Reality allows you edit and create most of LuxRenders textures. Some of those textures will be the result of the conversion process from the original Posers materials. Others can be dened by you from scratch by using the powerful Reality Texture Editor. Each texture is shown in the material editor in a small rectangular area called the Texture Preview. Clicking in the texture preview itself will open the texture in the Texture Editor, where you can change the properties of the texture or even convert it to a whole new type. Next to the texture preview there is a gear menu where you can select a few of other features. When clicking on the gear button a menu will be shown providing the following options: Use existing. This option allows you to select an existing texture for the channel that you are editing. This is called linking to a texture. For example, you can dene a texture for the bump map channel and then link to it from the displacement channel. Any modication done to that texture will be reected in all channels using it. Unlink. This option allows you to unlink a channel from an existing texture. The option is not always available for every channel. If you see it greyed-out it means that the channel doesnt support the unlinking of textures. Edit. This is the same of clicking on the texture preview: it loads the texture in the editor.

One of the most widely used materials, it can be used for things like plastic, glossy paper, semi-glossy stone, leaves, and even human skin. Glossy has the following channels: Diuse. This channel denes the base color or texture of the material. Specular. This channel is usually set to a color of an image map and it denes the amount of light reected by the material and its color. The brightness of the color determines how much light is reected. High values of brightness cause the material to reect more light. For best results the brightness should not be past the midpoint or it will result in unrealistic results and possible generation of Fireies (Appendix B) or high amount of render noise that will take longer to resolve. Glossiness. This channel controls the amount of glossiness, or how shiny a material is. This is the eect of polishing a surface until its very smooth. Glossiness is expressed as a number, from 0 (dull) to 10,000 (mirror nish). A texture can also be used to control the level of glossiness at any point in the surface. Top coat. This channel controls the denition of the coat of the material. A Glossy material is basically a Matte material with a shiny coat on top, as if the material has been covered with a coat of varnish. The Coat parameter allows you to control that coat and will result in a glaze on top of the material. The color parameter



controls the translucent color of the coat. The thickness parameter, by default at 0.3, determines how visible the coat is. Higher values will make the coat more prominent. Translucency. This channel allow you to make the material translucent. The texture in the channel determines how translucent a material is. Brighter color cause more translucency. Surface Fuzz. This property is used to access the Asperity option of Lux. It adds a surface scattering of the glossiness. This eect works best with high values of glossiness and can be used to create velvet-like materials. Its extremely eective for human skin when combined with a specular map.

As the name implies, the Matte material has the purpose of helping dene surfaces that have no specularity. Only the Diuse tab is unique to the Matte material. In it you can nd a diuse color and texture. In addition you can adjust the roughness of this material. Similar to the Glossy material there is also a translucency channel. It works in exactly the same way. The Over-exposure limiter ag helps in avoiding having the texture for the translucent material being blown out when a light is placed behind the translucent object. Also note that you can use the Alpha channel to control the opacity of the translucent material to make it partially transparent and let it pass more light through.

Glass is a simulation of real glass and it can create near-photographic results. Glass is mainly dened by the Reection and Transmission parameters and the Index Of Refraction (IOR). Reality includes dozens of IOR presets measured from real materials. For example, if you want to render an emerald you can nd the exact IOR for it, 1.56, under the Gemstones preset group. The IOR does not change the color of the material, which needs to be modied manually. Glass has three tabs: Glass, which denes the glass characteristics, and the usual Alpha Channel and Modiers tabs. The parameters for Glass are: Reection. The color or texture of the reections on the surface of the material. The specular color from Poser is imported in this channel but its usually best to change it to an o-white (250,250,250 for example). The higher this number is, the more reective the glass is. If you want to create the eects of a glass pane that has been coated with an anti-glare treatment, use a low Reection value, like 42,42,42.



Transmission. The color or texture that the glass will have and consequently the amount of light that will pass through the material. Posers diuse color is applied to this channel. If you want to create a green glass bottle this is where the green will be congured. This is the color that the light will pick up when traversing the glass. For neutral glass, like windows or car windshields, you should set it to white. For Lara Crofts sunglasses a nice shade of orange will do. If you convert the texture to use an Image Map you can achieve a plethora of stunning eects, including stained glass and light gels. If the texture washes out because of the light going through it, mix it with a dark gray color, like 20, 20, 20. Architectural. Glass is computationally expensive so if the object is small and at a distance, or if you dont need absolute accuracy for it, enabling this parameter will speed things up while maintaining the basic characteristics of glass like being reective and transparent. The refraction deformation will be less visible. Volumetric. Lux 0.7 introduced volumetric glass, a material that transforms light based on its volume. What this means is that the thickness of the glass in the model aects the nal result of how its painted on the image. Also, light is aected when passing through the glass and it creates colored shadows. Volumetric is basically the opposite of Architectural and thats why the two options are mutually exclusive. In Reality 2 this was called Hyper-realistic. Frosted. This ag creates Frosted Glass, or rough glass. When enabled, the Roughness slider will be activated. Higher values of roughness make the glass appear more and more as if it was sand blasted. Thin lm thickness. This value allows you to dene a glass material with a lm coat that is expressed in nanometers. Optical instruments, like a camera lens, are often coated with a thin lm to reduce the glare caused by direct bright light like the sun. This coat can show as an iridescent lm when seen at a certain angle. A good starting value for this parameter can be 200nm. The images below show what a glass sphere looks like without and with thin-lm coating. Thin lm IOR. This is the Index Of Refraction of the thin lm. Dierent IORs will create dierent colors in the lm. For this IOR you can try 1.0 and move from there to see the shift of iridescence in the coat. When converting glass from a Poser material you need to keep an eye on a couple of issues. Poser simulates glass via a transparency map or opacity value. Both these options should be avoided in Reality. If you convert a material to Glass check immediately if it has an alpha map. If so, erase the le name or the resulting material will be too thin and transparent. Also check that the Opacity value should be 1.0. Also check the texture in the Transmission channel of the Glass. Some textures in Poser are designed to create a certain coloration in the simulated material. Unless the transmission texture has a real image, you are better o by removing it and using the transmission color instead. If the texture has a sort of painting, like the images found on stained glass, then it will be OK to leave it in place. Dispersion. This ag allows you to create real glass eects like when a light is split into its basic colors by a prism. The Cauchy coecient can be used to control the



Figure 7.3: A glass sphere without thin-lm coating

Figure 7.4: Glass sphere with thin lm coating. Thickness at 200nm, IOR at 1.5



result, together with the Clarity at depth. This option is best used with Volumetric of Standard Glass.

This material simply denes a mirror surface. The parameters include a color for the reectivity. The brighter the color, the brighter the mirror. For example, if you dene the reectivity to be 50,50,50 (a dark shade of gray), the mirror will act as if the glass was tinted dark. Generally shades of gray work best for this parameter. The other parameters dene the optional thin lm (zero thickness will disable it), and the IOR for the lm. These work exactly like their Glass counterparts.

This material denes metallic objects that can have anisotropic reections (see the Polish parameter, below, for a denition). There are several presets: Aluminum Chrome Cobalt Copper Gold Lead Mercury Nickel Platinum Silver Titanium Zinc These presets can be congured to have variable levels of shininess and they can be used to create other types of metal. For example, very shiny silver can be used in place of stainless steel. Besides the usual Modiers tab, Metal has also an Alpha Channel. You can also select Custom metal and use a simple color channel to create materials like anodized aluminum in seconds. Or use an image for more sophisticated eects.



The Polish value sets how shiny the metal is. Higher values bring more shine. The Horizontal and Vertical sliders are linked together by default to give uniform reection. When the Synchronized option is deselected the two sliders can move independently, allowing you to create a polish that has dierent values for the vertical and horizontal directions, called anisotropic reection.

This is a great material for clothes and other textile objects like drapes. In addition to the usual diuse color and texture, similar to Matte, velvet includes a Thickness parameter. Higher values accentuate the velvet eect.

This material is one of the most exciting features of Reality. Water allows you to create very realistic-looking water like you see in high-end 3D programs. The parameters for water denition are: Tint. The color for the water. Use it to create orange juice, wine, beer or any other liquid. Please render responsibly. Clarity. The measure of how far you can see into the water. Expressed in meters. The easiest way to add water to your scene is to use the Water Plane prop provided with Reality. Just drop it in your scene, subdivide it a couple of times right inside Reality and render. Alternatively you can import any OBJ into Poser and convert it to water. If the OBJ already has a single material called RealityWater then Reality will do the assignment of the water material automatically. Water has also an alpha channel to help dene irregular shapes for the water prop by using a transparency map. Please note that the same issues for alpha maps explained in the Glass material apply here.

Null is perfect for when you need to hide something in the scene. Please note that if you make a model or a part of a model invisible in the Poser scene tab, that object will not be exported. Using the Null material is dierent, in that it allows you to selectively hide materials while keeping the geometry.



Alpha Channel
The Alpha Channel controls the transparency of a material. The values available are: Opacity/Map strength. Without a texture the value indicates the level of opacity of the material. A value of 1.0 means that the material is perfectly opaque. A value of 0.0 means that its completely transparent. If you have an Alpha Map the value works in the same way but in conjunction with the texture. The value is taken directly from Poser during the conversion of the material, but it can be changed to your liking. Alpha map. A texture that denes the alpha map. White is solid and black is transparent. This value is taken from Poser if present. You can use any of the procedural textures available in the Reality texture editor.

This tab is named in this way because the values in here have the potential to modify the geometry of the model. Bump Map. You can load a bump map or a normal map in this part of the UI. Reality will take the bump map from Poser, if one is used in the materials shader. If you use a normal map you will have to notify Reality about this by enabling the Normal Map in the texture editor: Reality recognizes several standard suxes for the le name. If the le ends with NRM, normal or nmap (this is case insensitive) then the ag will be set automatically. When a normal map is used the Bump map value of Strength, Negative and Positive are not used. Normal maps also provide a much more realistic result and can be an excellent replacement for displacement maps resulting in renders that take a fraction of the time and the memory to nish, compared to displacement maps. There are several programs, free or inexpensive, that can generate normal maps from the diuse or bump map. Its denitely worth spending some time getting familiar with this great technique. The parameters for controlling the eects of the bump map are: Strength. The strength of the bump map. Negative. The maximum value for the negative bump. Positive. The maximum value for positive bump. Displacement map. The parameters are similar to the ones used for bump mapping, and can be used in conjunction with those. Displacement mapping creates a real alteration of the rendered geometry. It depends on the subdivision level, which has



Figure 7.5: Normal map ag

to be increased to 1 or more. Higher values of subdivision produce ner detail in the resulting geometry but require a much larger amount of memory. This could be an issue with computers running with a limited amount of memory, like the ones using a 32 bit version of XP. Keep in mind that each level of subdivision, when not using the microfaceted option, quadruples the amount of polygons in the mesh (for quadrilateral polygons). The microfaceted option activates a higher-detail type of displacement. Please note: In Lux/Reality a displacement map has a Negative and Positive value. The negative value indicates how recessed the geometry should become when the lowest value in the map, pure black, is found. The positive value indicates how raised the surface should be when the highest value in the map, pure white, is found. Therefore, if you dont want to displace the geometry a mid-grey value, 127,127,127, needs to be used. If your displacement map has been made for Poser be aware that Poser assumes that black is no displacement. In that case you should set the Negative value to 0. Subdivision. Reality/Lux can subdivide the material to make it appear smoother.



The Reality subdivision option works well for water planes and other single-material objects. Keep sharp edges. This option determines if the subdivision will round the edges of the subdivided material or not. This only makes sense when using open gures like oor planes. For human and organic gures this checkbox should be unchecked. Use Micro facets. This option allows you to displace a geometric surface with very high resolution, even when the original geometry is coarse. Enabling this option raises the maximum number of subdivisions from 8 to 500. With this kind of displacement the facets are at shaded. This means that the displacement is in fact faceted and not smooth. Depending on the resolution of the original geometry this might not be an issue. Microfacet displacement is ideal for simulating brick, stone surfaces, metal engraving and so on. As a general guideline, if you need to displace organic shapes, like muscles and veins, do not use the microfacet displacement. If you need to displace walls, oors, weapons etc. then try the microfacet variant. If your base geometry is fairly detailed you can use low values of subdivision. If the geometry is very coarse, like when a oor is dened as a single polygon, then very high values of subdivision, 100, 300 or higher might be used. Be aware that higher values will require more memory and will take longer to render. Be conservative in increasing the subdivision level.



You can create any number of volumes with Realitys Volume Editor. Click on the Add new volume button to create a new volume. There are two kind of volumes available: clear and scattered. Clear is a simple volume that features refraction and absorption but no scattering. It is primarily meant to be used with clear materials, in particular the glass materials. A clear volume is created automatically by Reality when you use Volumetric glass or Water. The scattered volume represents a volume with an even distribution of microscopic particles. You can set a volume to be scattered via the Scattered checkbox. When used as an interior volume, it can be used for sub-surface scattering (SSS), cloudy liquids, or rendering an object as smoke. Reality automatically generates a volume for SSS. The following video shows how to use Volumes in Reality: Reality 3 for Poser : Creating a beam of light2


Chapter 8

8.1 Render options

The Render tab has all the options to control the nal result of the render. The page shown in this tab is organized by group. We select a group by clicking on a name in the left column list. The groups available are: Output. This group A LuxRender scene is generally composed of a few les. The way Reality exports your Poser scene to Lux is via 2 les: reality_scene.lxs This base le contains the general scene denition, including the resolution, format, and name used for the rendered image. This le references the following two include les. reality_scene.lxi This le contains the denition of the objects in the scene. The Render tab allows you to change the name of the base le, which will determine the name for the .lxi include le. These les and their purpose are mentioned here purely to give you all the information necessary to back up and transfer your scene les. Copying the .lxs le is not enough. You have to get the corresponding .lxi le as well. Output path When you select a new destination folder for your scene Reality will set that folder as the default destination for the new scenes created afterward. File type The output le formats supported for your render are PNG, EXR, and Targa. The size of the render is taken directly from Poser but you can also select to have the nal render at 100%, 75%, 50% or 25% of the size, or at 200%, 300% and 400% of the size. This is a great way of making test renders that take a fraction of the time of the nal scene. The % of frame rendered parameter is persistent, and its remembered across invocations of Reality for the same scene. Alpha Channel 52



The Alpha Channel checkbox allows you to create an alpha channel for your scene in case you want to do background replacement in graphic packages like Adobe Photoshop. When this option is selected, any part of the scene that is not covered by some object will be set to transparent. Preserve Light hue When the camera faces a light, and that light has a certain color, or hue, the objects lit by that light will take the hue but the light source itself will render almost pure white. If you enable this option then the light hue will be preserved. Overwrite Warning This is new for Reality. When this checkbox is enabled Reality will warn you if the scene le (.lxs) that you are creating for the export already exists on disk. You can then decide to overwrite it or not. This ag is saved for each scene. The default for new scenes, on or o, is decided by the setting in the Advanced tab. Collect Textures Another Reality feature. Collecting textures allows you to store all the textures for the scene in a location where they can easily be copied. For example when you need to move the scene to a dierent computer. Reality created a subdirectory named name of the scene le-resources. For example, if the scene le is called reality-scene.lxs then a directory named reality-scene-resources will be created at the same subdirectory where the scene le is stored. In that directory Reality copies all the les necessary to render the scenes. There is where the collected textures are stored. Texture Size Together with Collect Textures this option allows you to greatly reduce the amount of memory required to render your animation by resizing the textures. For example you can set each texture to be no wider than 1024 pixels. During the texture collection Reality will check the width of each texture and compare it against the maximum value selected. If the value is higher, then the texture is resized. Reality saved the scaled texture as a PNG le to avoid loss of data due to transcoding. The minimum size of the texture is 256 pixels wide (0.25K). The maximum is 2048 pixels wide (or 2K). The last value for this slider is Full size. This allows you to collect the textures without resizing them. GPU Acceleration If your computer has a OpenCL-compatible video card (note, dierent from OpenGL) you can now take advantage of that additional computing power by selecting this option. Another new feature of Reality, it enables the rendering via GPU of LuxRender. GPU acceleration is limitet to the Bidirectional and Monodirectional scene types but you dont have to worry. If you select a scene type that doesnt support GPU rendering and you have selected GPU acceleration, Reality will warn you and it will disable the GPU option.




Scene type

Lux can use a myriad of dierent rendering options based on the type of settings. The parameters are really complex and can make a grown man cry. To make things simpler Reality groups all those settings in a series of Scene types. Most of the time you will need to use just the Bidirectional type. This provides the highest quality of rendering for both interior and exterior scenes. Sometimes you might get some speed advantage by using the Monodirectional type while having an outdoor scene lit by the sun. There are also Photon Map and Smart Photon Map scene types. These are provided for the more adventurous types who like to test and experiment. The plain Photon Map corresponds to Luxs ExPhotonMap and its a fast rendering option that brings results close to the Bidirectional type but possibly in much shorter time. This is a description of it from the LuxRender Wiki: Exphotonmap is physically based, and consistent. It can simulate more or less all the optical phenomena supported by LuxRender, and given precise enough settings, should look basically correct. With that said, exphotonmap is biased, so it intentionally takes some shortcuts; how much this aects the rendered result depends on which render settings are being used. Exphotonmap is not going to render your scene in a blink of an eye. Although when congured properly it will outrun path tracing (Monodirectional) and bidirectional (Bidirectional) path tracing by a long shot, it is still spectral progressive rendering. Words between parentheses are to indicate the corresponding Reality settings. You can nd the full technical description of this conguration at Intro_to_ExPhotonMap. In some cases Photon Map can be twice as fast as Bidirectional. Please note that Photon Map will take a long time up front during which it calculates the photon map. During this time you will not see any image being rendered. This is normal. You can see the activity progress in Luxs Log tab. After the photons are calculated the rendering will happen quite quickly. The Photon Map scene type has several parameters that are exposed by the Scene Parameters Editor (see below). Particularly, the amount of direct, indirect and caustic photons can play a large role in the nal result. Smart Photon Map, what Lux calls SPPM, is a variation on the Photon Map theme in which the number of photons used is variable and dynamically adjusted as the rendering proceeds. It has the characteristic to start rendering almost immediately and produce a very splotchy image with green color tones. Progressively the image becomes more detailed and the green color cast goes away. This scene type has provided very good results but its still a work in progress. Scene Parameters Editor Reality, gives you tje option to edit the internal rendering parameters passed to Lux for each scene type. This allows you to optimize Lux for the specic scene that you are rendering. This option is best used by people who are quite familiar with Luxs internals. Otherwise you can simply continue with the defaults. The editor is shown automatically below the scene type selected.



Max samples The Max Samples slider is used to force Lux to stop rendering after a given number of samples per pixel is reached. Leave it at zero for no limit. This slider is also essential for the rendering of animations, both with Lux and with SLG. Setting it, for example, at a value of 500 will stop the rendering of a frame when that number of samples has been reached, and will cause Lux to start rendering the following frame. Otherwise, if left at zero, Lux would never move past the rst frame in the series. FF Removal To help in removing certain types of rendering noise, nicknamed Fireies, Lux has a special parameter that works as a sentinel. This rendering parameter was used by Reality 1.2 with a xed value of 5. In Reality it can be adjusted to your liking. Higher values can be more eective but will introduce bias. Please note that the normal rendering noise that you see at the beginning of the rendering is NOT an indication of the presence of Fireies. Fireies are very large specks of white pixels that either stay of get worse over time. They dont appear often and they are frequently caused by over-lighting very shiny surfaces. In any case the parameter is used by default by Reality. You can set the value to zero to marginally speed up the rendering. Gamma This value can be used to alter the gamma correction to the scene, if necessary. The gamma value is set up automatically by Lux to be correct for your system. If you are not familiar with this value its better to leave it at the default.


Frame numbering

Reality has support for animation rendering. Animations are rendered as sequences of frames, each frame saved to an individual le. To create a video animation le you then need to assemble the frame using an NLE (Non Linear Editor) like Adobe Premiere, Apple Final Cut or compositing programs like Adobe After Eects. Blenders video editor can also be used, which provides you with a zero-cost solution for video editing. If you want to automatically create a le name that includes a number corresponding to the frame, simply add a certain number of # characters at the end of the le name. This feature works both for the scene le name (.lxs) and the image le name. For example, if you change the scene le name from the default to reality_scene##.lxs and you render frame 42 of your animation, Reality will export the scene to a le named reality_scene_42.lxs (and reality_scene_42.lxm and reality_scene_42.lxo). If you use more # signs the le name will be padded with zeros if necessary. For example, if the pattern used is reality_scene ####.lxs the generated scene le will be named reality_scene_0042.lxs. If you want to use the same feature for the image le name you can add the # to that name too. Simply using the # on the scene le will not automatically apply the auto-numbering to the image le as well. If you render an animation and you forget to add the # symbols Reality will add automatically a number of those symbols sucient to represent the highest frame number in the animation.



Once youre done setting your animation range all you need to do is to click on the Render Animation button. Reality will export each scene le and then call LuxRender, adding the full animation set to the Render Queue. You will be able to see the full set of scene les passed by clicking on the Queue tab in Lux.

Chapter 9

Realism is achieved by careful use of lights. What Reality and Lux allow you to do is to avoid using the usual cheats of traditional 3D lighting and start applying lighting solutions that work in real life. If you have experience in photography then the way Lux handles lights will be immediately familiar. For example, if you need to ll a part of your scene with some soft diuse light you can set a plane on the opposite side of the subject, facing the light source, and you have a beautiful ll without using an additional light. The following pictures show this principle in action. In the rst picture we see a car lit by a single large mesh light suspended above it at an angle. Notice that the front of the car and its side are dark and we cant quite see the detail in those areas.

Figure 9.1: Simple lighting with top mesh light Instead of adding lights we can add a couple of planes, one in front and one on to the side of the car, to reect the light from the top xture. 57



Figure 9.2: Adding reectors to bounce the light

Now the exact same scene, with no added lights, shows more details of the car. On a similar note, if the Sun light is too harsh you can place a plane between the Sun and your subject, set the plane as Matte translucent, and in doing so you created a diuser in two easy steps. Remember, think like a photographer and the software will react as expected. The sooner you stop using some of the trickery acquired by using biased renderers, the sooner your images will look as you want.


Light types

Reality supports the following types of lights: Mesh Light. These are also sometimes called Area Lights and they are geometric meshes that emit lights. These are generally the best choice for creating good lighting and for achieving realism. To create a mesh light you can simply add a plane or cube or any kind of primitive, rename it RealityLight and orient it in the direction you want it to spread light. A cube will emit light from all six sides, and a plane will emit light from the direction pointed by its surface normals. If you need more light sources



Figure 9.3: More details visible without adding lights

simply add a sux: RealityLight_1, RealityLight_ll, RealityLight_hair, etc. The important thing is that the object starts with RealityLight. Capitalization has to be exactly as in the examples given. To make this task easier we have included three meshlights in the Reality Add-ons: MeshLight: this is a simple plane that is precongured to work as a light-emitting object. It provided beautiful lighting and its very lightweight Top Mesh light: a mesh light that is positioned to shine from top to bottom. Sun. This is a Poser innite light that is named Sun. When used, Reality will export a Sun plus atmosphere which will be rendered very believably in Lux. The angle of the Sun will determine the type of light. Horizontal Sun will look yellow-orange and Vertical sun will look cooler and more on the blue side of the spectrum. The position of the Sun in the scene is not relevant, only the angle is. You can place the Sun wherever it is convenient for you. Of particular use is the Sun size control. With that you can make the sun, if its visible by the camera, appear larger than the default size determined by Lux. The turbidity parameters can be used to create a more visible atmosphere. The default of 2.2 is what is normally used by Reality. Reality generates a separate light group for both the Sun and the Sky so that you can adjust their balance in Lux while rendering. Look in the Light groups tab of Lux and you will nd a sun and sky group that you can adjust independently from each other. For this eect to work you should use the Linear tonemapper. * Spotlight. A Poser spotlight is converted to use the exact same orientation, position, and cone angle in Lux. The color of the spotlight is also preserved. If the lights color is any shade of gray then the standard color temperature of 6,500 Kelvin is used. This can be changed



dynamically in Lux when the scene renders. Spotlights usually have a soft area around the edges, where the light is feathered. Poser doesnt have that control and so Reality sets the edge feather at 5 degrees. It can be adjusted to other values in order to make the edge as soft or as sharp as you need. You can also set a texture for the Spotlight. This turns the spotlight into a projector. * Point Lights. Reality supports Posers point lights which are light source that emit light in all directions. Pointlights are also enabled to use IES proles. See the description about IES lights below. * Projectors. See video tutorial1 . * Innite light. This kind of light is used to simulate the sun and ambient light in Poser. They have little or no use with Lux and should not be used whenever you plan to render your scene with Lux. If you use one for seeing the objects in the scene you can then disable it in the Reality light editor so that it has no inuence in the nal render. Innite lights generally produce the worst type of light and detract from the overall realism.


Converting materials to lights

Converting materials to lights

You can also turn any material into a light by right-clicking on its name in the material list and selecting Convert to light. When this option is used the material will be removed from the list and instead a light with the same name will be added in the Light tab. This option can be used eectively to convert a large amount of scene elements into LEDs and other light sources. To revert a light back to a material, click on the Convert to material button in the Light Editor.

Reality has a sophisticated light editor that allows you to control all the aspects of each light. In addition to expanding the parameters available, the light editor provides presets for lights and allows you to assign textures to some types of lights. Look in the Light properties group box below the list of lights. There you will nd controls for changing the characteristics of each light. The light editor automatically shows only the controls that are relevant for each type of light. You can set the color of a light based on the desired model. If you are a photographer you are probably comfortable with color temperature. This is the physical model of light and the default one. You can simply move the slider and go from a very warm light, 1,800K for example, to a cold one, 8,000K and set your light from all ranges from candle light to bright sun light. If you prefer to dial in a specic color, simply select the RGB model and you will see the familiar color picker. Finally, you can select one of the light presets dened in Lux based on real spectral data. These presets are useful if you want, for example, to accurately reproduce the light of a



neon tube. Create a cylinder in Poser, convert its material to a light and then select the preset for neon.

Color Temperature
Color temperature controls the spectrum shift of each light. Natural light has a color that is determined by the source. For example, incandescent light bulbs have a more yellow color than neon tubes or sunlight. The sun shifts color temperature during the day, being more yellow/orange during sunrise and sundown and being more blueish during the day. These shifts of tints are dened as color temperatures and are measured in Kelvin. The following table gives a few reference values: Table 9.1: Light color temperatures
Light type Candle ame Common Tungsten bulb Sunrise/Sunset Quartz Light Fluorescent Daylight Kelvin value 1930 2,5002,900 3,000 3,200 3,2007,500 (cool white) 5,5006,500

Image Based Lighting (IBL) Image Based Lighting (IBL)

Reality provides a great IBL system that supports full HDR (High-Dynamic Range) images both in HDR (.hdr) and OpenEXR (.exr) format. With IBL you can create incredibly realistic renders in which your 3D objects are bathed by light that is coming from all directions and that is obtained from photos of real places. IBL in Lux uses one single image to generate both the light and the background. This means that, with the right type of image, you can create spectacular backgrounds for your scene with the same image used to generate the lighting.

Which IBL format?

In addition to the format used to encode an IBL le (HDR, EXR, Ti, etc) an IBL map can be created in two dierent layouts: - LatLong, from "Latitude" and "Longitude." This layout works best with Reality and Lux for - Angular, or "Light probe." Both formats are supported but LatLong is generally your best choice.



Using images with IBL: HDR vs. LDR

Arent we having fun with TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms)? When using IBL, you will need to provide an image of some kind. One characteristic of images is whether or not they provide high ranges of light information. HDR (High Dynamic Range) refers to the ability of an image to provide a high amount of light information, higher than conventional photographs and closer to the range perceived by the human eye. LDR (Low Dynamic Range) refers to the limited range of light information handled by conventional photographs. The human eye can detect a wide range of light with nesse, and this HDR ability becomes part of our experience with the real world. In contrast, lm and digital cameras can only capture a small subset of light (in the low to medium ranges), resulting in LDR images. For example, if you want to take a picture of a friend facing you in a room, with her back to a bright window, your camera will be unable to take a good picture. You will either need to expose the image to have your friends face well lit, which will overexpose the window behind her, or, you can expose for the bright window but then the face will be just a dark oval. This problem demonstrates the limitations of cameras. When implementing IBL, you can use LDR images, but the result will be a very low-contrast type of lighting. In that case you can improve your render by adding one or more lights positioned to reect the light into dark areas of the scene. The ideal solution is to use HDR images for IBL. Photographers create HDR images by taking multiple exposures of the same image and then combining all those exposures inside a single le that contains light information that a program like Lux can use. You can often nd these images for purchase on the Internet.

IBL without images

You probably noticed that there is a color control in the IBL editor. You can use that color to add a tint to the picture, in case you want to shift the tone of it. Or, you can use it by itself without any picture. If you have a picture the color will be combined, multiplied, with the picture. If you dont use any picture you will still get an excellent even lighting of the whole scene with the selected color. This can be an excellent way of adding some dim, blueish light to a night scene lit by a spot to simulate the moon. There are many other uses. Experiment with this to nd creative ways of adding diuse light to your scenes.

The Lights tab

Before hitting the Render button its a good idea to check your lights. They are listed in the Lights tab. Lights can be turned on or o in this page directly, by checking or unchecking the Active box. The status of the light is remembered. For mesh lights you can adjust the brightness up to 5,000 watts. The Invert Lights button swaps the active state of each light so that you can switch which ones are on or o.

Light groups
Lux has a powerful feature that allows you to adjust the brightness and color of light while the render is running. To use this feature you need to create light groups. When one or



more groups have been dened then you can use the Light Groups tab in Lux to adjust the brightness, color temperature or tint. Reality automatically sets up some groups. The sun is set in its own group called Sun and the sky has its own Sky group. Spotlights are grouped in Spots Mesh lights are grouped in Mesh Lights Point lights are grouped in Point Lights Distant lights are grouped in Misc.

Custom light groups

Reality allows you to dene your own groups for ner control. In the light editor there is a eld where you can type the group name. Using the same group name for multiple lights will group them together. Please remember that this feature can take more memory during rendering so its best to use the minimum amount of light groups necessary.


IES lights

IES Lights
Reality can used IES les to make a MeshLight or PointLight behave like a specic, real, light. IES stands for Illuminating Engineering Society. The IES standard le format was created for the electronic transfer of photometric data. An IES le contains the measurement of distribution of light. Its a digital prole of a real world light. Lux supports the use of IES les and will reproduce the physical characteristics of the light described in the IES le. IES light les are provided by several lighting manufacturers and can be downloaded freely from their sites. One such lighting manufacturer is Lithonia Lighting2 which has an extensive library of IES les in dierent categories. You can simply enter the IES le in the light editor and the rest is done automatically.


Chapter 10

The Camera tab is used to control the use of the camera, including the use of DOF (Depth Of Field), the exposure controls and, new for Reality, the Film Response.


Selecting the rendering camera

Reality will use whatever camera is active for rendering. If you prefer to use a particular camera for rendering, regardless of what is selected in Poser, simpluy click on the name of the camera in the Reality Camera Editor and that camera and Reality will remember your choice.


Shallow depth of eld

You can get beautifully shallow depth of eld with Lux. Reality makes this operation as easy as point-and-click. Set the focus length ( this is not the focal length ) in Poser. Once in Reality, click on the Camera tab. Check the Enable DOF box. Select an f/stop (lower values make the out of focus part blurrier). Now, when you render the scene, the objects closer or further away from the focal point will be increasingly blurred, like the eect of using a 35mm camera in similar conditions.


Exposure controls

The Camera Editor allows you to set the exposure controls for each camera. These controls are the same that are found on a standard photo camera: ISO speed, shutter speed and aperture (f-stop). If you render animations it is important that the exposure is kept consistent throughout the animation. To do so render one test frame and set the exposure in Lux . Copy the values 64



to Reality and then render the whole animation. The exposure will be set for each rendered frame and the sequence will render correctly.


Film Response

This feature allows you to use one of the many lm emulations of Lux. Film response proles are descriptions of the way several real lm stocks react to light and color. For example, the Kodachrome series of lms have been used in the past by photographers to achieve a certain look because of the very specic color response of that lm. Reality provides access to the whole set of Lux lm response les with a twist: the Reality descriptions are a bit easier to read. We have done extensive research with the manufacturers to get the right name for each lm type. As soon as possible we will update the LuxRender code to reect the same naming scheme. Some Film response names have the B&W sux to indicate that its an emulation of Black and White lm. Some names have the Color Rev. sux to indicate diapositives or lm for slides. This is called color reversal lm because the nal result is expected to be projected and not printed on paper.

Chapter 11

Realitys log les

If something unusual happens while using Reality, if you think that you found a bug you might need to nd out whats happening behind the scenes. Reality logs some events into a text le called Reality_plugin_Log.txt which is stored in your Documents folder. If you open that le in a text editor you can nd possible error messages that can explain if something unexpected happened. If you contact our tech support we might ask you to send a copy of the le to use to help us diagnose the issue.


Chapter 12

How to contact us
If you need customer or technical support for Reality you can reach us via email using Our website1 is constantly updated with news and information about Reality and LuxRender. There a very active online community of Reality users that can also help you with common tricks and techniques that have been developed over the years. The ocial Reality forums are found at: You can follow all the latest news and developments about Reality through the main social networks: -Facebook3 -Twitter4 -Google+5


2 3 4



Chapter 13

Updating Lux
You can nd new versions of LuxRender at the LuxRender website1 . Look in the Downloads section. Please verify with us rst if the new version of Lux is supported.



Chapter 14

Known issues
The James low-resolution model has an error in the mesh. The hip area has inverted normals, they point inside instead of outside. For this reason Lux will not render the hip area. This is an error in the mesh, not in Reality or LuxRender. As a simple alternative use the high-resolution mesh, which doesnt have this problem. Alternatively give the poor man something to wear. Poser dynamic hair is currently not supported. A future version of Reality for Poser will add support for it. Loading a Poser scene by double-clicking on it from Windows Explorer or the Macintosh nder will not load the Reality data included. This is a caused by a bug in Poser, which has been reported to Smith Micro. The Poser developers are working on a x which should be included in a future release of Poser.


Chapter 15

The LuxRender development team
I personally want to acknowledge and thank all the developers and dedicated individuals who made LuxRender a reality, no pun intended. LuxRender is a real gem of a program. Through the genius and dedication of the developers we now have a state-of-the-art rendering engine that is available to everybody, on all major Operating Systems, and that has been designed to last a long time. If you can, please go to and thank the generous people who made this possible.

The Reality beta testing team

Id like also to thank the invaluable beta testers who patiently put up with the lack of documentation and with the lack of a proper installer for the beta. They did an astounding job at testing every part of Reality with as many models as possible and provided great feedback throughout the process. A big thanks goes to: Alex Lewis Anton Van Tonder Claudia Atteveld Cyrstin Bech-Yagher Eric Cone Eric VanDycke Frederic Jouret Janet Jackson Joe Thoennes John Whiting Margot Shea 70



Mario Bush Mary Williams Matt Minnis Natalia Roudne Paul McErlean Peter Kember Ray Phelps Russ Sprouse Ryan Biggs Sam Halburian Shawn Buys Steve Golding Victoria Goodman If I forgot anybody, my deepest apologies.

The makers of Poser

Reality would not have been possible without the help of the dedicated, fun and skilled people at Smith Micro. I particularly want to thank Steve Cooper, Larry Weinberg, Stefan Werner, Uli Klumpp and Jack Walther for their great help. SmithMicro changed the actual code of Poser to support Reality, a dedication that speaks volumes about their commitment to Poser and its great community of artists.

The one who made it all possible

Lastly I want to thank my wife Holly, for her saint-like patience in dealing with anhermit husband for the months that it took to develop Reality. She also provided invaluable help in reviewing and editing this manual. . . again. If this guide is at all readable its all because of her attention, amazing editorial skills, and great wisdom. All the mistakes are entirely mine. Paolo Ciccone

Chapter 16

More Reality resources

You can nd more tips and techniques at our forums: Stay updated with Reality! Be sure to get the latest about Reality by visiting our website at There youll nd news, tips on how to get the most out of your scenes, video tutorials and updates to this documentation. You can also subscribe to our YouTube Channel to nd instructional videos on how to use Reality: For the latest about Reality and upcoming products be sure to Follow, Like or Circle us on: Twitter: Facebook: Google Plus: All content in this document is copyright c 20102011 by Pret-A3D. Reality plug-in, Reality Engine and ACSEL (Automatic Custom ShadEr Loader) are all copyright c 2010 2011 Pret-A3D. All rights reserved. Reality: See the light!


Appendix A

Network rendering
With LuxRender you have an unlimited license to use as many CPUs and as many render nodes you want. Network rendering is accomplished by running the command-line version of Lux on each render node and then connecting the main render process to the nodes. Render nodes can be a mixture of Mac OS, Windows and Linux machines. Install exactly the same version of LuxRender on every machine that will participate in the render process. The exact version means the revision number; you can mix Mac OS, Windows and Linux nodes without issue. For the sake of this tutorial we assume Luxrender 0.9 Start the command-line processor on each node. On Mac OS you need to use, located in /Applications/Utilities. On Linux you can use any of the many terminal emulators available. On Windows you need to start cmd.exe. Run the luxconsole command in server mode by typing the command: luxconsole -s Take note of the IP address of the render node. For this example we assume that it is Go back to your machine where you have Reality installed, and start the render as usual. When Lux starts rendering your scene click on the Network tab and add in the Server input eld. - Repeat the process for every render node that you have. Lux will seem frozen while it sends the scene and all the textures to the render node. If you look at the render node screen you will see the activity about the sent les. After a while the nodes will start sending samples and contributing to the render process.


Appendix B

Fireies and render noise

As we have seen before, LuxRender renders the whole scene in a single pass and then it renes the result as it computes more samples per pixel. The grain that we see on screen, while the image is still unnished, is called render noise. Render noise is removed as the scene renders. The time needed to achieve this is depeneding on many factors, including: Number of CPU cores and their speed Size of the image Number of light or light sources in the scene Amount of glossiness in reective srufaces Sometimes we see the term reies used to indicate render noise. That is not correct. Fireies are mostly a thing of the past and they dont happen today with Lux, except in the most extreme cases. Fireies are not render noise. Instead they are large specks of white pixels, much larger than render noise, an they dont get resolved over time. In fact they tend to become more pronounced as the render continues.


Appendix C

Reality plug-in software license

END-USER SOFTWARE LICENSE AGREEMENT The Pret-a3D Software delivered is intended for individual personal use only. Redistribution is not allowed. 1. GRANT OF LICENSE: Copy and Use - Application Software. Pret-a3D grants to Recipient a limited, non-exclusive License to install, use, access, display, run, or otherwise interact with (RUN) this copy of Reality plug-in (hereinafter the SOFTWARE PRODUCT), or any prior version, on a single computer, workstation, terminal, handheld PC, or other digital electronic device (COMPUTER). The primary user of the COMPUTER on which the SOFTWARE PRODUCT is installed may make copies for his or her exclusive use on other computers. Pret-a3D retain all ownership and title to the Software at all times. Support and Updates. This License does not grant Recipient any right to technical or Software product support of any kind, bug xes, or any enhancement or update, by Pret-a3D. This License applies to any updates or extensions of time-protectedsoftware which may be supplied to Recipient by Pret-a3D or any of its distributors. Redistribution and Content Use. This License prohibits the Recipient from redistributing of any part of the Software Product, including images, models, applets, documents, icons and programs, both for commercial or non-commercial purposes. This License grants to the Recipient the right to use images and models created through using the Software Product for either commercial or non-commercial purposes. At no time may the Recipient redistribute images or 3D models that are delivered with the Software Product. The Recipient may not re-license or re-distribute the images, models or clip art that are delivered with the Software Product without rst receiving written permission from Pret-a3D. For the purposes of this agreement, e-mail is not considered a valid form of written communication. 1. RESTRICTIONS: Copyright, Title, ownership rights, and intellectual property rights in and for the Software Product shall remain with Pret-a3D and its suppliers. The Software Product is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and international copyright treaties. Title, ownership rights, and intellectual property rights in and to the content accessed through the Software Product is the property of the applicable content owner and may be protected by applicable copyright or other law. This License does not provide any rights to Recipient for such content. Recipient must maintain all copyright notices on all copies of the Software Product. Recipient shall not attempt to reverse-engineer, decompile or take actions to disas75



semble the Software Product. 2. DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: The Software Product is provided on an AS IS basis, without warranty of any kind, including without limitation the warranties of merchantability, tness for a particular purpose and non-infringement. The entire risk as to the quality and performance of the Software Product is borne by Recipient. Should the Software Product prove defective, Recipient, and not Pret-a3D, assumes the entire cost of any service and repair. In addition, the security mechanism implemented by the Software Product has inherent limitations, and Recipient must determine that the Software Product suciently meets Recipient requirements. This disclaimer of warranty constitutes an essential part of the agreement. SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW EXCLUSIONS OF AN IMPLIED WARRANTY, SO THIS DISCLAIMER MAY NOT APPLY TO Recipient AND Recipient MAY HAVE OTHER LEGAL RIGHTS THAT VARY FROM STATE TO STATE OR BY JURISDICTION. 3. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES AND UNDER NO LEGAL THEORY, TORT, CONTRACT, OR OTHERWISE, SHALL Pret-a3D OR ITS SUPPLIERS OR RESELLERS BE LIABLE TO Recipient OR ANY OTHER PERSON FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES OF ANY CHARACTER INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, DAMAGES FOR LOSS OF GOODWILL, WORK STOPPAGE, COMPUTER FAILURE OR MALFUNCTION, OR ANY AND ALL OTHER COMMERCIAL DAMAGES OR LOSSES. IN NO EVENT WILL Pret-a3D BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES IN EXCESS OF Pret-a3DS LIST PRICE FOR A License TO THE SOFTWARE PRODUCT, EVEN IF Pret-a3D SHALL HAVE BEEN INFORMED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, OR FOR ANY CLAIM BY ANY OTHER PARTY. THIS LIMITATION OF LIABILITY SHALL NOT APPLY TO LIABILITY FOR DEATH OR PERSONAL INJURY TO THE EXTENT APPLICABLE LAW PROHIBITS SUCH LIMITATION. FURTHERMORE, SOME STATES DO NOT ALLOW THE EXCLUSION OR LIMITATION OF INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES, SO THIS LIMITATION AND EXCLUSION MAY NOT APPLY TO RECIPIENT. 4. TERMINATION: This License will terminate automatically if Recipient fails to comply with the limitations described within this Agreement. On termination, Recipient must remove the Software Product from all computers onto which it is installed, and must destroy or return all copies of the Software Product. 5. EXPORT CONTROLS: None of the Software Product or underlying information or technology may be downloaded or otherwise exported or re-exported (i) into (or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iraq, Libya, Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro), North Korea, Iran, Syria or any other country to which the U.S. has embargoed goods; or (ii) to anyone on the U.S. Treasury Departments list of Specially Designated Nationals or the U.S. Commerce Departments Table of Deny Orders. By downloading or using the Software Product, Recipient agrees to the foregoing and Recipient is representing and warranting that Recipient is not located in, under the control of, or a national or resident of any such country or on any such list. 6. MISCELLANEOUS: This Agreement represents the complete agreement concerning this License between the parties and supersedes all prior agreements and representations between them. It may be amended only by a writing executed by both parties.



If any provision of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable for any reason, such provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed under California law as such law applies to agreements between California residents entered into and to be performed within California, except as governed by Federal law. The application the United Nations Convention of Contracts for the International Sale of Goods is expressly excluded. NOTWITHSTANDING ANYTHING TO THE CONTRARY IN THE GENERAL LICENSE AGREEMENT, THE USER MAY NOT TRANSFER OR ASSIGN THE PRODUCT OR ANY COPY THEREOF, OR THE USERS LICENSE TO USE THE PRODUCT TO A THIRD PARTY. Manufacturer is Pret-a3D, Aptos, CA 95003 USA., c Copyright 20102011 Preta3D All rights reserved.