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V4 got you seeing Blue?

Author: BTLProductions

Tools Needed

  • Carrara
  • Image processing software (like Gimp)
  • Poser 6+
  • Transposer (Optional but recommended.)

Introduction

When bringing V4 into Carrara, the Carrara import is only partially successful at reading the Poser shaders. This gives you a blue tinted skin. This tutorial shows you how to get rid of the blue color. Further when importing people into Carrara, Carrara tends to leave the bump maps out on import. This tutorial can be used with all skin textures as a way to fix that situation. Carrara has some other neat features in the Shaders and this tutorial helps explore some of those to help you better understand how to create your own skin shaders in Carrara. This Tutorial takes you from the left side of the picture to the right side. :)

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Step 1 - Preparation

OK We are going to start in your 2D application. I use Gimp, but this should work in Photoshop or any other image manipulation software.

Step 1a. Open your Image manipulation software.

Step 1b. Import the V4 Bump Map. (Found in Runtime\textures\DAZ\Characters\MilWom\V4)

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Step 1c. Adjust the brightness down about 50% and the contrast up about 25% Save the new files under a different name in the same directory so you can find it.

Step 1d. Repeat for each of the three V4 bump maps.

Step 2 - Poser

Since V4 doesn't have JCM but instead uses internal deformers (Magnets) which Carrara doesn't, at this time, support, you should bring V4 into Carrara using Transposer. If you are going to bring her in using the native importer, the following steps are similar except that the shaders for V4 are broken up over various shaders, 1 per body part. IMHO, while this still works it takes a little more care and time.

To bring V4 in with Transposer, simply open V4 in Poser 6 (Poser 7 will work provided that you still have Transposer pointed at Poser 6 and still have Poser 6 installed on your system. Poser 5 will also work but doesn't properly support the deformers.) Apply her texture as normal. and save the scene as a pz3. (Don't bother with putting anything else into the scene it will just confuse the issue.)

Close Poser.

Step 3 - Import V4 and open her shader

3a. Import V4 from her pz3 using Transposer.

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You will notice she comes in as Blue-Green.(This applies to the Standard and High-Res textures, for other characters, so far, they come in normally as they don't have a Poser 6 shader attached to them.)

3b. Select the Texture room.

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(Top right of your screen.)

3c. Select the Instances tab.

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(Bottom Right.)

3D. Select V4 and her shader.

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Your screen should now look something like this.

Step 4 - Adjust V4

Now we are going to adjust her shaders. There are basically 3 skin shaders. One is half skin tone and half blue, one is skin tone with a couple blue dots in the skin tone and half blue, and the third is Skin tone with a blue cross on it.

4a. Open the first blue and skin tone shader. (It should be lips.) Open the multi channel shader. The first should be color (Which will be a mixer.) Below the mixer will be a color with a texture map and a blue shader. Grab the color (The one with the skin tone and white.) And just drop it on the mixer. This will eliminate the blue shader and the mixer and just replace that whole mess with the color being the texture map.

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(For character texture maps without the blue tinge 4a can be skipped.)

4b. Go down to highlight. Change it from color to texture map.

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4c. Load the highlight texture map for the head you previously created. Set the brightness to about 5%.

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4d. Go down to Bump. Eliminate the mixer again, using the same method. set your texture map as the bump map. and set brightness to about 7%.

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4e. Go down to Subsurface scattering and turn it on. Pick a color that is a little darker and just a touch bluer, than skin tone. (I am using 181, 149 and 141 for RGB sliders.) Check the box that says subsurface scattering. Set the intensity to about 25%, leave the rest of the settings at default.

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Note that this will slow things down, especially if you have automatic update checked in the render preview. That is normal.

Step 5 - Copy shaders

Step 5a. Go up to where it says multi-channel, right below where it says parametric mapping for this node of the shader. Click on it and look at the various nodes within the shader, specifically make sure your bump setting is set to the setting you previously chose, around 7%. (For some reason it tends to say 100% here and needs to be adjusted.)

Step 5b. Now right clock on the Multi-channel Mapping for the node and hit copy.

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Step 5c. For each additional head shader (there are three of them) open them and right click on multi channel and hit paste.

Step 5d. Open the first Body node. Go up to one of the head nodes and right click on the subsurface scattering node and copy, then on the first body node go to subsurface scattering and click paste.

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Step 5e. Repeat what you did for the lips and the rest of the head nodes only this time for the body nodes.

Step 5f. Repeat for the limb nodes. (Including the copy of the subsurface scattering.)

Step 5g. Those are the only nodes you should have to mess with.

Step 6 - Finishing up.

Step 6a. Your finished shader tree should look something like this.

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Step 6b. Render and make sure she looks right.

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(Lighting will make a difference.)

Step 6c. Make any adjustments you feel you need to make.

Step 6d. In the Assembly Room or the Texture Room, go to the bottom panel where it says Sequencer and Browser and choose Browser along the side then Shaders along the top.

Step 6e. Scroll down through your choices until you come to My Shaders. (If not there add it.)

Step 6f. On the bottom right choose the shaders tab.

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Step 6g. Drag and drop your new V4 Shader to the browser then name it so you will recognize it.

From now on when you bring in V4 you can just select her and hit preset, then choose your V4 shader.

Step 7 - Importing V4 with Props attached.

In the future, if you bring her in with Props attached. (Hr2 hair, dynamic clothes, jewelry, guns, etc.) you will need to follow these additional steps to change the shader in your scene.

7a. Open the imported V4 shader with the props on it. (And the horrible blue tone.)

7b. Open your V4 shader from your browser. (You can just drag it over to the shader tab.)

7c. On your V4 shader you can create a number of additional nodes which correspond to the additional nodes that the imported shader has (The props).

7d. Copy the prop nodes on the imported shader to the new nodes on your shader.

7e. Assign V4 to your shader and on the assembly tab you should then remove unused master shaders. :)

It takes much less time to do this than it took to write this.

Step 8 - Final thoughts

This works with most of the V4 characters and I find it easier to just take the characters that I intend to use later (Emma for example, wet skin, etc.) and set them up. Then later when I am ready to build a scene I am all set and can simply apply the shader after loading or setting the scene. (Instead of going through a long list of shaders to find the correct ones to modify.