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Environment

  • Environment Mode - Provides options for choosing between lighting contributions from lights in the scene and an environment dome.
    • Dome and Scene - All lighting from all enabled sources is evaluated during a render.
    • Dome Only - Only the lighting provided by the Dome properties are evaluated during a render; any lights that exist as nodes in the scene are ignored.
    • Sun-Sky Only - Only the lighting provided by the Sun-Sky properties are evaluated during a render; any Environment Map currently applied to the Dome is ignored, as are any lights that exist as nodes in the scene.
    • Scene Only - Only the lights that are enabled and exist as nodes in the scene are evaluated during a render; all properties for the Dome are ignored.

Dome

  • Dome Mode - Provides options for choosing between a conventional infinite spherical environment and more flexible finite environments, where camera movements inside the dome provide a different environment look-up.
    • Infinite Sphere - A conventional infinite spherical environment.
    • Infinite Sphere w/ Ground - A conventional infinite spherical environment, with an implicit ground plane that can act as a shadow catcher.
    • Finite Sphere - A sphere-shaped dome that can be explicitly sized and positioned.
    • Finite Sphere w/ Ground - A sphere-shaped dome that can be explicitly sized and positioned; where the lower part of the environment is projected onto an implicit ground plane that divides the upper and lower parts of the sphere.
    • Finite Box - A box-shaped dome that can be explicitly sized and positioned.
    • Finite Box w/ Ground - A box-shaped dome that can be explicitly sized and positioned; where the lower part of the environment is projected onto an implicit ground plane that divides the upper and lower parts of the box.
  • Draw Dome - Toggles whether the environment dome is rendered.
    • On - The dome is active; rendering of the dome is enabled.
    • Off - The dome is inactive; rendering of the dome is disabled.
  • Visualize Finite Dome - Enables a color overlay of the finite dome environment geometry. This can be used to align the dome with the projection of the captured environment map.
    • Browse -
    • None -
    • Image Editor… -
    • Layered Image Editor… -
  • Environment Lighting Resolution - Controls the number of pixels used for the resolution of the polar angle. The azimuthal resolution is always twice the polar resolution. Higher resolutions result in more detail in the visible environment and sharper shadows if bright details of the environment function are small. However, baking times are increased accordingly.
  • Environment Lighting Blur - Controls whether a small amount of Gaussian filter is applied; the visual quality of low-resolution environments may sometimes be improved by enabling this option.
    • On - The blur is active; the Gaussian filter is enabled.
    • Off - The blur is inactive; the Gaussian filter is disabled.
  • Dome Scale Multiplier - Adjusts the difference between the native unit of measure for NVIDIA Iray (1m) and the native unit of measure for DAZ Studio (1cm); essentially, the size of “dome space”.

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite options.

Note : This property can be used as a general scale when Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite Box options, allowing the proportional relationship among Dome Width, Dome Height, and Dome Depth of the box to be maintained.

  • Dome Radius - Adjusts the distance between the center of the dome and the surface of the sphere-shaped finite dome; the size of the dome within “dome space.” For example, a Dome Scale Multiplier of 100 with a Dome Radius of 1 yields a dome that is 1m between its center and its surface, or 2m in diameter.

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite Sphere options.
  • Dome Width - Adjusts the distance between the center of the dome and the surface of a box-shaped finite dome along the X axis; the size of the dome within “dome space.”

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite Box options.
  • Dome Height - Adjusts the distance between the center of the dome and the surface of a box-shaped finite dome along the Y axis; the size of the dome within “dome space.”

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite Box options.
  • Dome Depth - Adjusts the distance between the center of the dome and the surface of a box-shaped finite dome along the Z axis; the size of the dome within “dome space.”

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite Box options.
  • Dome Origin X - Adjusts the position of the dome along the world space X axis.

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite options.
  • Dome Origin Y - Adjusts the position of the dome along the world space Y axis.

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite options.
  • Dome Origin Z - Adjusts the position of the dome along the world space Z axis.

    This property is hidden unless Dome Mode is set to one of the Finite options.
  • Dome Orientation X - Defines the X axis rotation for interactive rotations of the dome without the need for expensive re-baking of the environment.
  • Dome Orientation Y - Defines the Y axis rotation for interactive rotations of the dome without the need for expensive re-baking of the environment.
  • Dome Orientation Z - Defines the Z axis rotation for interactive rotations of the dome without the need for expensive re-baking of the environment.
  • Dome Rotation - Angle of rotation for interactive rotations of the dome without the need for expensive re-baking of the environment.

Sun-Sky

The properties in this group are responsible for establishing the position of the sun (the direction of the sunlight), controlling what the visible sun looks like when it is in view and creating the color gradient that represents the atmospheric skydome, which is then used to light the scene, show the sky to the camera, and show the sky in reflections.

Direction

  • SS Sun Node - Provides the ability to choose a node in the scene to indicate the direction from which the sun is shining; the direction of light is calculated between the position of the chosen node and the center of the environment dome.

Sun

  • SS Sun Disk Scale - Provides artistic control over the size of the visible sun disk. The value 1.0 is the “physically correct” size, but due to the fact that people tend to misjudge the proper size of the sun in photographs, the default is the slightly more visually pleasing 4.0
  • SS Physically Scaled Sun - Controls whether the intensity of the sun is physically scaled. When enabled, a SS Sun Disk Intensity of 1.0 causes the sun to be as bright as it is in the real world; but it can still be used to tweak the intensity (e.g., a value of 2.0 would make a sun twice as bright as the real sun). Likewise, SS Sun Glow Intensity and SS Sun Disk Scale can still be used to tweak the visual aspect of the sun but have no impact on the total energy, which is automatically adjusted to compensate.

Sky

  • SS Haze - Adjusts the amount of haze in the air; 0 = completely clear day, 15 = extremely overcast or sandstorm in Sahara. Haze influences the intensity and color of the sky and horizon, intensity and color of sunlight, softness of the suns shadows, softness of the glow around the sun, and the strength of the aerial perspective.
  • SS Blue-Red Tint - Provides artistic control over the “redness” of the light. The default value of 0.0 is the physically correct value 1) but can be changed; -1.0 = extremely blue, 1.0 = extremely red.
  • SS Saturation - Provides artistic control, where 1.0 is the physically calculated saturation level; 0.0 = black and white, 2.0 = extremely boosted saturation.
  • SS Horizon Height - This property allows tuning to the position of the horizon. The default value of 0.0 puts the horizon at standard “height”. But since the horizon is infinitely far away, this can cause trouble joining up with any finite geometry that is supposed to represent the ground. It can also cause issues rendering locations that are supposed to be at a high altitude, like mountain tops or the top of New York skyscrapers where the horizon really is visibly “below” the viewer.

Note 1: The horizon does not actually exist at any specific “height” in 3D space—it is a shading effect for rays that go below a certain angle. This property tweaks the angle. The total range available range is somewhat extreme, reaching from -10.0 (the horizon is “straight down”) to 10.0 (the horizon is at the zenith). In practice, only much smaller values are actually useful, like -0.2 to push the horizon down just below the edge of a finite visible ground plane.

Note 2 : This property affects not only the visual representation of the horizon in the environment but also the color of the sun itself, i.e., the point where the sun “sets” will change for a non-zero value.

  • SS Horizon Blur - Controls the “blurriness” with which the horizon is rendered. At 0.0 the horizon is completely sharp. Generally low values (lower than 0.5) are used, but the full range is up to 10.0 for a horizon, which only consists of blur and no actual horizon at all.
  • SS Night Color - Controls the minimum color of the sky; the sky will never become darker than this value. It can be useful for adding things like moon, stars, high altitude cirrus clouds that are lit long after sunset, etc. As the sun sets and the sky darkens, the contribution from this property is unaffected and remains as the “base light level.”

Intensity

  • SS RGB Unit Conversion - Allows the setting of the units, described in more detail below.

    The properties in the Sun-Sky group are designed to enable physically plausible daylight simulations and very accurate renderings of daylight scenarios. The value of these properties are measured in true photometric units, but the output can be converted to something else with this property.

    If set to 1, both the values for the sun and the value for the sky can be considered as photometric illuminance values in lux.

    Since the intensity of the sun outside the atmosphere is calibrated as a 5900º Kelvin, blackbody radiator providing an illuminance of 127500 lux. This is very bright when seen compared to a more “classical” rendering where light intensities generally range from 0 to 1.

    The value of this property is applied as a multiplier and could be set to a value below 1.0 (e.g., 0.001) to convert the raw lux value to something more “manageable.”

    For convenience, the special value of 0 is internally set so that 80000 lux (approximately the amount of light on a sunny day) and equals the classical light level of 1.0.

    An interesting alternative is to set this value to 0.318 so the final rendered pixels in the image are true photometric luminance values in candela per square meter 2).

    These true luminance values then fit perfectly as input to the photographic Tone Mapper with its cm^2 Factor set at 1.0.

Ground

  • SS Ground Color - Controls the color of the virtual ground plane. Note that this is a diffuse reflectance value (e.g., Albedo). The ground will appear as if it was a Lambertian reflector with this diffuse color, lit by the sun and sky only.

Ground

The Ground properties control an implicit ground plane, which acts as a “shadow catcher” and/or a modifier for the environment dome geometry when a map is in use.

  • Ground Texture Scale - Used to control the texture projection of the environment on the ground. This can be seen as an equivalent to the distance from ground where the real-life camera was placed to take the captured environment map.
  • Ground Position Mode - Controls whether the implicit ground plane is automatically adjusted or manually adjustable.
    • Auto - The plane will be moved in the negative Y direction, such that the vertical position of the plane is at the bottom of the scene bounding box; the box that encompasses all items currently in the scene. The position of the plane will not be moved above 0.0 on the Y axis if all of the items in the scene are above the natural ground, thus allowing scene items to float above the ground.
    • Manual - The position of the plane can be adjusted using the Ground Origin X/Y/Z properties that become visible.
  • Draw Ground - Controls whether the implicit ground plane is enabled.
    • On - The ground plane is active; shadow catching is enabled.
    • Off - The ground plane is inactive; shadow catching is disabled.
  • Ground Shadow Intensity - Adjusts the intensity of the shadows with a value greater than or equal to 0.0 that are caught by the plane. A value of 0.0 denotes no shadow, and a value of 1.0 denotes regular shadow intensity. Values between 0.0 and 1.0 denote a lighter shadow. Values above 1.0 increase the shadow intensity. Note that the range of useful values above 1.0 is rather limited and exceeding this range may lead to an unnatural dark shadows that can influence other additive lighting effects, such as reflections of the objects in the scene. The exact useful range is scene dependent.
1) Calculated for a 6500K whitepoint
2) The value 0.318 (1/pi) originates from the illuminance/luminance ratio of a theoretically perfect Lambertian reflector.