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Imperial Brotherhood, for Paladin and Paragon

Imperial Brotherhood
Product: Imperial Brotherhood, for Luthbel's Paladin and Paragon
Product Code: ps_tx2851b
Programs Supported: Poser 6+, DAZ|Studio
DAZ Original: No
Published Artists: Arien
Released: February 2010

Imperial Brotherhood is a texture set for Luthbel's Paladin and Paragon, by Arien. The textures were design to also mix and match with with Arien's previous “Brotherhood” series: Arcane Brotherhood, Wild Brotherhood and Dawnrazor: Mourning Brotherhood

For other promotional images, visit the Imperial Brotherhood Gallery

Contents

Imperial Brotherhood consists of:

  • 5 Full Texture Sets for Mourning Sun:
    • Obsidian
    • Emerald
    • Amethyst
    • Cobalt
    • Jasper
  • 5 Textures Sets Include
    • 33 Metal Difuse Texture, Bump, Displacement, Specular, Specular Colour and Mask Maps (4000 x 4000)
    • 32 Fabric Difuse Texture, Bump, Displacement, Specular, Specular Colour, Mask and Transparency Maps (4000 x 4000)
    • 33 Leather Difuse Texture, Bump, Displacement, Specular, Specular Colour and Mask Maps (4000 x 4000)
    • 23 Hammer Difuse Texture, Bump, Displacement, Specular and Specular Colour Maps (2048 x 2048)
    • 28 Shield Difuse Texture, Bump, Displacement, Specular, Specular Colour and Mask Maps (2048 x 2048)
    • 1 HDRI TIFF file for reflections
  • Poser MAT Poses (.PZ2)
  • HSS DAZ Studio Material Presets (.DS) (Requires Elite Human Surface Shader)

Mixing and Matching

The outfit was designed to have different looks possible, and to be combined with other existing clothing items. In general, the sets are matched as follows:

  • Obsidian to Assassin
  • Emerald to Healer
  • Amethyst to Mystic
  • Cobalt to Astronomer
  • Jasper to Ranger

Use the supplied poses for making parts of the items invisible to aid in overlaying and mixing; you can also use the free expansions provided for items like Mourning Sun and Cobalt Hierophant to facilitate this further. Links at the bottom of the page.

Materials and Shaders

To apply the specific high-end materials for either Poser or DAZ|Studio, go to Pose\ Paladin and Paragon\Imperial Brotherhood, make sure you’ve got your item selected, and then click on the required MAT pose. The Poser materials use advanced shader nodes and displacement, and because of this, require you to render using Firefly, and have displacement enabled. More information at the end of this document.

Note: When using the pose to make the bottom of the tunic invisible, you have to first apply the full top pose, and only then apply the tunic off pose. This pose will only affect the tunic material.

Studio

As part of a new functionality of Studio, you can find the Studio shaders in the same folder as the Poser shaders; just click on the desired thumbnail and Studio will automatically load the Studio shader instead of the Poser one. Be aware that while every effort was made to get them as close as possible in both Studio and Poser, in some cases we preferred to play on each programs’ strengths, and so the ones depicted in the thumbnails might be slightly different from the ones loaded. You will need the Human Surface Shader to be able to use these HSS materials (available with any of the Elite Textures, and separately as ds_ap47), and also that the render times might be longer than standard Studio shaders.

Lighting and Reflections

Metals are a huge part of this set, and so special care was taken to render them as realistically as possible, while keeping to the aesthetics of the whole series.

In Poser

The metals are set to raytrace, as this provides better effects overall. This means that it is fundamental to have items in the scene to reflect, or else they will not look their best. This also means that when rendering, you must enable raytracing, with a recommended minimum bounce of 2, otherwise the reflections won't work as expected. You can replace the raytraced reflection with a reflection map, but the improvement in render times will be negligent, and the overall look will not be as good, so you shouldn't do this unless strictly necessary.

In DAZ|Studio

The metals in this set are not set to raytraced, using instead HSS’s HDRI provided image. This was done as raytracing would cause longer render times without any significant improvement in realism for the common user. However, it is possible to set them to reflect accurately its surroundings. To do this you will have to go into the Reflection section in the Advanced Surfaces tab, and change the Reflection Mode from “Environment Map” to “Raytraced” if using the HSS set. Keep in mind that to look at its best, there has to be something in the scene other than the clothing item and the figure for it to reflect.

In both

If you find that you need your metals to have more of a glossy sheen, it is a good idea to give them something light to reflect. Set up a few white or light-coloured primitives outside of the camera view, or even above, so the metals have something to reflect; this should liven them up. This is a trick used quite often for car photography and 3D renders, and should work well for you. Raytraced reflections will make your renders longer, but if you want the metal to reflect less, you can reduce the reflection percentage in your surfaces, or you can go back to the reflection maps settings in the provided materials.

  • adjust the bucket size according to your computer’s performance
  • higher Pixel Samples settings produce renders where the textures show much better.
  • add Ambient Occlusion to the lighting if you have the processor power to do so, as this will increase realism. Alternatively, you could do a separate AO-only render and composite in Photoshop.

Finally, remember that good lighting is essential to obtain good raytraced reflections. If you are using Studio’s or Poser's default lighting, or very low levels of light, or light that doesn’t shine onto the metal, it won’t have the same look as a properly lit scene. It might also be a good idea to include a specular-only light, as it will help improve your renders, in particular if you are using an IBL or GI style of illumination. Also, as mentioned above, make sure that you are using the right level of samples to avoid jaggies, “dirt” or “spots”; if necessary, raised samples and shading rate, both of your lighting figure and in your overall render.

DAZ|Studio

UberEnvironment

UberEnvironment is a perfect companion to the HSS materials. However, be aware that light materials, like pale skin, are very sensitive to “spots” and “dirt” caused by the Ambient Occlusion even when using the 4X settings; you can prevent this by using higher Occlusion Samples and Shading Rate. These settings can be changed in the Parameters Tab of the UberEnvironment figure.

Be aware that you can use the included HDRI image in your UberEnvironment to have a light matching the environment reflected on the metal.

Poser

  • always use Firefly, and the manual settings
  • enable raytracing if you are using raytraced shadows, ambient occlusion, reflections or refractions; a setting of 1 bounce will suffice if only the former two are used, otherwise use 2-3; this set uses both AO and, raytraced reflections, so the latter will be a better choice.
  • for the displacements to show, displacement needs to be enabled; minimum displacement bounds of 0.020/0.030 are recommended; some of the materials in this set use displacement so enable it when rendering.
  • if you are on P5-6, disable texture filtering, and always set the maximum texture size to the size of your bigger texture; for Imperial Brotherhood, this value shouldn’t go below 4000px. Reducing this value will result in muddy or blurred renders.
  • for draft renders, your min. shading rate can go to 2, but for final renders, always reduce this to 0
  • similarly, use a value of 2 or 3 for the pixel samples for drafts, but you can go much higher up when doing final renders; anything between 3 and 5 might be a good compromise for screen usage, although for very smooth or detailed renders you could go quite higher; be aware, though, that this will increase your render times

Troubleshooting

  • items look dull or odd when rendered: if you’re using Poser, check that you are using Firefly to render. In Studio, make sure you have HSS correctly installed. If you’re using a third party software like Vue or Carrara, edit the material to suit your application better
  • Studio surfaces show no bump, or some other surface oddity: the very first installation of HSS was flawed, and installed items in the wrong place; re-download either your Elite textures or HSS and reinstall
  • can’t find the Studio-specific materials: Studio mats can be found within the same folders as the Poser materials; Studio will recognise them and load them instead of Poser’s. Just select your material as normal.
  • Top-NoSKirt poses are not applying well: make sure you load the full top pose first; the NoSkirt poses affect only the tunic material.

Required and Related products

Required product:

Optional Products:

Freebies

Coming soon

Products used in Promos

  • Cobalt Hierophant, by Luthbel
  • Arcane Brotherhood, by Arien
  • Wild Hearts, by Luthbel
  • Shades of Atlantis: Wild Brotherhood, by Arien
  • Mourning Sun, by Arien
  • Dawnrazor: Mourning Brotherhood, by Arien
  • Blaine Hair, by AprilYSH
  • M4 Elite Bundle, by DAZ
  • Caleb, by Shimuzu
  • Brock, by Morris
  • Moon Cult, by D&M Productions
  • Atonement, by RedHouse Studios

These textures for Paladin and Paragon were released by Arien