Graphic Art Cameras for DAZ Studio

Contents

A clay ambient occlusion render of a race car. Introduction Important Concepts Quick Start Quick Tips Engrave Camera Parameters Halftone Camera Parameters Known Issues

Introduction

Color newsprint style render of a steampunk airship.

The AoA Graphic Art Cameras create printed, engraved and block print style images from 3d scenes in DAZ Studio.

40 style presets are included, covering many looks such as linoleum block print, money style engraving, CMYK halftone and crosshatch patterns.

All of these non-photoreal styles are procedurally generated by the cameras. No special textures or shaders are needed. Because of their procedural nature the effects can be adjusted through dials on the camera for almost limitless variation.

I hope that you find these cameras fun and inspiring.


Important Concepts

A stylized image of a sphere with bold horizontal lines rendered using the engraving camera.

The cameras sample the scene and produce renders made of mathematically generated lines and dots. Because of anti-aliasing and a limited number of pixels to create patterns from, very low resolution renders may not convey all styles very well.

Fortunately, these cameras render just as fast as a regular DAZ Studio Camera. Actually, you can usually create good looking, printed style renders faster with these cameras than with a standard DS camera.

This is because the Graphic Art Cameras generally need less detail information and work quite well with far lower quality render settings (such as Shading Rate, Pixel Samples and Shadow Samples) than are required by standard DS cameras.

Three renders or a red sphere showing the differences between a standard DAZ Studio Render, the engraving camera and the halftone camera.

The Engrave Camera creates images using lines. The Halftone Camera produces images made of dots.

Most of the settings on both cameras are based on render dimension percentages. So if the engraving camera is set to create an image using 100 horizontal lines then the image will have 100 lines whether it is rendered at 500 x 500 pixels or 2000 x 1000 pixels.

The reason to note this is that non-square renders may benefit form using line or dot counts that are a percentage of the render size ratio. For instance, a 650 x 500 pixel render may look better using 65 horizontal dots and 50 vertical dots rather than an equal 50 x 50 dots.

Similarly, angles are based on the assumption of a square image so lines set to run at a 45 degree angle will run exactly 45 degrees in a 1000 x 1000 render but will appear to be at a shallower angle in a 1920 x 1080.

These are not set rules. They are only mentioned to better explain what is happening, under the hood, to generate the images. I encourage you not worry about math or set numbers but to experiment with the settings freely and see what cool effects and styles you can create.


Quick Start

DAZ Studio screen capture showing the engraving camera and preset loaded into a scene.

The cameras can be found in the content folder under Cameras - Age of Armour - Graphic Art Cameras.

Load whichever camera style you prefer and aim it like any other DS camera.

To apply a preset, select the camera in the scene then double click a preset from one of the Engrave Presets or Halftone Presets subfolders. The presets contain only style parameter settings. They do not change the location or angle of the camera.

Render settings are not particularly important with these cameras. You can often use very low quality render settings and still achieve good looking, print style images.

With that said, cameras using a high dot or line counts tend to look better in large renders. Also, because of the patterned nature of the images produced by the cameras, simpler scenes with distinct items tend to look nicer than very busy and detailed scenes. Again, this is a general observation, not a rule.


Quick Tips

General


Engrave Camera Parameters

3d rendering of a marble bust and 19th century paintings using the money engraving camera preset.

Color Group

The Engrave Camera creates monochrome images using varying thickness lines over a solid color background. This gives the look of old world illustrations printed by applying ink onto carved wood blocks or engraved metal plates then pressing them against paper or velum.

The thickness of a line is determined by the brightness of objects in the scene. Lines become thicker over dark areas of the scene.

Pattern Group

A blue and white render of a man showing how very unique patterns can be created by randomizing cross hatch lines.

The parameters in the pattern group allow for setting the density, randomization and angles of lines used to generate the engraving effect.


Halftone Camera Parameters

A chart showing how dots of cyan, magenta and yellow can be mixed in various sizes to create any color.

The Halftone Camera creates images similar to more modern printing techniques like those seen in magazines, comic books and newspapers.

Because printers often use only 1 to 4 colors of ink, different hues and gradients are simulated by printing cyan, magenta, yellow and often black (K) dots near eachother. For example, cyan and yellow dots printed over eachother will appear green. Cyan dots near magenta dots will appear blue. All three colors together appear gray or black.

Different hues can be achieved by varying the size of the dots of each color independently. Lowering the size of all dots together causes more white paper to show through, simulating highlights.

Color Group

Note that the Halftone Camera has strength settings for Red, Green and Blue rather than Cyan, Magenta and Yellow. This is because the camera code uses the standard, additive, RGB color setup of computer monitors for the input and output. However, the final result appears like multiplicative CMYK color used in printing. A bit confusing I know... That's just how it works haha.

Pattern Group

Angry Aiko concert poster created using the halftone camera.

The parameters in the pattern group allow for setting the density, randomization and angles of the dots used to generate the halftone effect.

Despite the few available parameters, there is quite a large number of different looks that can be achieved by changing just a few settings.


Known Issues

Always - While rendering you will see the error message:

"3Delight message #145 (Severity 1): S2073: 'SceneMin' is not a parameter of shader 'brickyard/{148dec1c-1a47-4fee-9c25-a139f25cfe9d}/shader_Imager"

This should have no negative effects. The cause is probably due to DAZ Studio attempting to add a RenderMan token (a bit like a note) to the camera referencing a variable that the camera does not have.


Top Introduction Important Concepts Quick Start Engrave Camera Halftone Camera