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Ned here, from NedStudios. We'll quickly cover some simple ' tweaks and trick' and mess with Poser's Material Room a bit, in order to create some insanely good looking close-up renders.
In this tutorial we'll try to use only absolutely essential tools for great close-up shots in Poser(let's says we're beginners and we're running on a tight budget).
If you're into posing beautiful girls like I am and if you want some great results fast, then here's how to get them!
I suppose after purchasing Poser 5, the best investment I've ever made was purchasing 'DAZ Victoria 3', her
'Head Morph Pack' and 'Body Morph Pack' by DAZ. As far as the skin texture goes, I highly recommend 'Zeta Studios' Sirya for V3'. Apart from jaw-dropping textures and a beautiful character, you also get some amazing global lighting sets. You should get your hands on this one fast! I know I have and this is what I was able to do with it:
Some time ago I've created this female face using V3+ Face Morphs. Even under default Poser light setup she renders decently and it all looks quite nice (Figure 1). The overall impression greatly improved after loading Sirya texture and eyes. Rendered, she looks stunning under Sirya's 'B-Gen Light Set 1' (Figure 2). As you can see, I have changed the eye- color by applying a different texture but we may talk about that process some other time. You may also apply some of Sirya's eye- sets.
This all looks quite nice but in order to achieve that 'natural appearance' we'll have to tweak some settings in Poser's Material Room. We'll be adjusting Diffuse Color, Specular Color and Ambient Color settings. Remember, our final render is going to be an 'insanely close' close-up shot. Apart from emotions and atmosphere (which our 'female actor' has to convey)the skin has to have the right sheen and moisture and that goes for the eyes, lips and teeth as well.
Depending on how close you want to get, you may or may not want to put some hair on her head. It was irrelevant but I did put some hair on, simply because I'm not into ladies who shave their heads.
The face (and optional hair) should look something like in this split image(Figure 3/4) after you've applied the lights and changed the colors of the above mentioned settings (as seen in fig 5 and 6). You have to left click the color rectangle with the color-picker and pick your shade from the drop-down box. They are black by default but as you can see, I have changed some into white and some into shades of blue. Naturally, this is a matter of personal preference so feel free to play for a while. After you're done, render and export your image to the directory of your choosing. It's good to mention that you can change settings for the whites and corneas (of the eyes) separately, just by clicking on them. Be careful when clicking on teeth or lips with the color-picker. We do want to change their Specular Color settings (fig 7 and 8) but you might accidentally, click on the facial skin surface, since the image in the material room is rather small. You may want to zoom in a bit.
In our final step, let's say we don't have Adobe Photoshop. I find 'Microsoft Picture It! 7 ' to be quite user-friendly for beginners and quite inexpensive for all the good results you can achieve with it. I hear some computers even come with factory-installed versions of it so chances are that you already have it. In general, the more post work you're getting into, the bigger the odds that you'll eventually mess up the whole thing. Think about this before you even start posing your character and you'll avoid the post work nightmare.
Because we were mindful, the only thing left to do now is to sharpen certain areas of the face to accentuate skin pores with the cropping tool (remember to soften the edges of the cropped- out section). We can also work on the hair and eyes (fig 9). Or we might as well forget about the hair and get deep into the facial expression itself (Figure 10).
As a final touch, I always put just a little bit of film grain over the finished image. You don't have to do this but I do. Reminds me of my old 35mm camera shots.
The render settings I used for this experiment were plain and simple(Figure 11).
Of course, you may find your own 'magic combination' which works for you. I guess that's what this kind of work is all about; Find YOUR OWN MAGIC!
So, let's see it now!
Check out some of my work at http://www.yessy.com/ned over there you'll find two of my galleries; LANDSCAPES (classical painting) and GRAPHICS (computer based digital artwork)