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Using advanced lighting in poser 6

Author: thisstuffinside

Tools Needed

  • Poser 6


I recently did a portrait render in poser and was asked by a couple of friends how i did the lighting, I have always wanted to do a tutorial so here it is. We will be using poser`s new lighting systems to produce some very lifelike renders, although we will be using some advanced features, i promise they are not hard to get you head round. Let's get started!


Step 1 - Set the scene


Place your figure on the stage, I am using the Stephanie petite base. Do not touch any lights at this point, just concentrate on your figure. Apply a skin texture and some hair. I am using darya and jada hair, all available here at daz. Apply a suitable pose to your figure. As we are going for a portrait shot switch to the face camera or just move your camera into a close up position.


Step 2 - Sub surface scattering

This is where it starts to get interesting. Sub surface scattering replicates the way light bounces off the inside of your skin, this method really brings out parts of the textures you have never seen before. Ok, make sure your figure is selected and open up the material room. By default the figure 1 torso skin should be selected, click the advanced tab. On the right side of the screen you will see lots of buttons, click the one that says- Add subsurface scattering. You will see some new nodes appear and a window telling you that your lights have been set to depth map shadows, click OK.


Step 3 - The tedious part

Now you should repeat step 2 for all parts of the skin texture that are framed in your portrait. i.e. neck, face, scalp etc. Just follow the same steps as before but with the different parts of the texture.

Step 4 - Lighting

I keep the standard 3 point light system that is set by default when you create a new scene. The first thing to do however is to delete one of the lights ( i usually delete the bottom right light) Ok, select one of the remaining lights and open its parameter dials ( Ctrl + Shift + N ) Click on properties, change this light to a diffuse ibl, uncheck the shadows box and turn on the ambient occlusion.


Now click on advanced material properties, you will be taken to the material room. We have to add an image map for the ibl, to do this:-

1) Click and drag from the little box next to the color of the light.

2) release the mouse button and a box will appear.

3) point to new node > 2D texture > image map

4) on your new node click the “none” next to image source and a browse window will appear.

5) navigate to the poser6 textures folder in the poser6 directory, then open the light probes folder, and finally select the interior light from side picture.

You should now have something that looks like this


Step 5 - More light

Ok now we are getting somewhere, now all we have to do is cast some light on the eyes, with your second light, change it to a point light and position it so it is casting light onto your figures eyes.


Now you may think this is a bit too bright, so what we're going to do is head back to the material room, so select your light and open the material room. On the lights properties, change the diffuse color from white to black.


What this will do is make the light only cast reflections, not any actual light!

Step 6 - Render

We are pretty much there! OK, one thing i have learned through testing this is sometimes ray tracing can conflict with the lighting we are using, so we will do a test render without using ray tracing. Open your render settings, click on firefly, then manual settings and enter something similar to what i have.


Now with a bit of luck you should get a render similar to this.


Notice the highlights around the edges of the skin, the hair looks much more layered, there is just a whole lot of depth now.

Step 7 - Finished

Now do a full render at which ever settings you like, i would advise against ray tracing, but have a go and compare the results. After a little post work this is what i came up with.


Using detailed textures works really well with this as well, here is another example


I hope that you have enjoyed this tutorial, and i hope it helps you produce some amazing art!