Product: Ludus: Sword Brotherhood, for Luthbel's AD Gladio
Product Code: ps_tx3035b
Programs Supported: Poser 7+, DAZ|Studio 2+, Poser 6 (view below)
DAZ Original: No
Published Artists: Arien
Released: September 2010
Ludus Sword Brotherhood is a texture set for Luthbel's AD Gladio, by Arien. The textures were design to also mix and match with with Arien's previous “Brotherhood” series: Arcane Brotherhood, Wild Brotherhood, Dawnrazor: Mourning Brotherhood, Imperial Brotherhood and Rogue Brotherhood
For other promotional images, visit the Ludus Sword Brotherhood Gallery
Ludus Sword Brotherhood consists of:
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:
You can turn parts off by making them invisible, or 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.
To apply the specific high-end materials for either Poser or DAZ|Studio, go to Pose\AdGladio\Ludus - Sword 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.
The Poser materials are divided in two. The materials found on Pose\AdGladio\Ludus - Sword Brotherhood\ use 16-bits pngs for better displacement, and are only usable on Poser 7 and up. Poser 6 users must use the materials found in Pose\AdGladio\Ludus - Sword Brotherhood\P6 ONLY; these materials use jpg displacements instead, but because jpgs only allow for 256 levels of grey, some differences in the rendering are to be expected.
As part of the 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, included with the free Stephanie Petite 4, and separately as ds_ap47), and also that the render times might be longer than standard Studio shaders.
Metals are a big 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.
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.
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”. 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. Also, if you do want darker materials that don't reflect as much of the environment map, you can darken them by inserting the relevant diffuse texture map in the “reflection colour” slot in the materials.
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.
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.
UberEnvironment is a perfect companion to the HSS materials. However, be aware that light materials, like pale skin or light shirts, and materials that are heavily displaced, like the shield, 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, although it will be very light and might wash out your image if the values are not controlled.
These textures for AD Gladio were released by Arien