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Poser 5 has some really cool built in functions that can really enhance your renders. Lighting has got to be one of the real make or break features of a killer render.
This tutorial will show you how to use posers own shader nodes in the material room, to turn a hi res ball prop, into a brilliant lighting accessory.
The first stage, as ever, is to set up your figure and pose it how you like. In this case I have V3 with sassy hair in a portrait shot. The lighting is set to default, except I have turned light 2 into a spotlight and pointed it at her head (Object menu, Point At then select head in the heirarchy tree).
So set up your scene, or load a favourite you have saved.
Now that you're all set up, open your props library and select the primitives folder. From there add a Hi Res Ball to your scene.
With the ball selected go to the materials room and click on the Grouping Tool
Now click on “Reverse Group Normals”
And close the group editor.
It's a little small to be of use, so scale up the ball until it encloses your scene. For a full figure I've scaled it up to 4000%. In the case of my protrait scene I have scaled it to 1000% and moved it along the y axis to 0.689.
Go the the materials room and make sure your sphere is selected.
Add a new node, 3D textures, marble and set both scale and turbulence to 3.
Connect this to the Transparency socket and set transparency to 1.
Now make a copy of the marble node and paste it back into the window, connect it to Diffuse. Now swap the base and the vein colours.
One last thing, set the Spectacular value to 0.
What we have made is basically a screen with holes in it all round the figure.
Now make sure your light is outside the sphere and pointing at your figure.
Once you are happy with that, render your scene (make sure cast shadows is turned on). You may take a couple of renders to get the effect you want. If the shadows are obscuring your subject too much, try rotating the sphere, or expanding/contracting it.
Change the colour of the light, raise the intensity, or for a more defined shadow increase the shadow map value (I use 1024) or turn raytracing on for shadows (don't forget to turn ray tracing on in the render settings).
For this image I set the intesity to maximum and changed the light colour to a soft yellow
You arn't restricted to a marble shader, you can use just about anything.
This image was done with a spot node.
You could use anything, including images to create the transparency. A black and white image of leaves for example, could have your model sitting under a tree.
I hope this tutorial has given you a few ideas.
Take care and have fun.
Fugazi1968 (aka John)