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This is a simple tutorial to help you create a modern noir oil painting from your Poser/DAZ Studio renders.
You will need a paint program that supports layers and photoshop plug-ins (I'm using Paint Shop Pro 8).
You will also need the plug-in Virtual Painter 4, this is sold at http://www.JASC.com for about '20. What you get for your money is about 12 filters designed to simulate natural media - its very effective, a lot cheaper than Painter 9 and will even run on my low spec computer.
There are a few rules you need to follow to pull of this effect. The first is to keep everything simple and bold. The smaller your detail, the less painted your picture is going to look! So, patterned textures should be large and simple and all figures need to be in the fore-ground. On the plus side, you can safely reduce the size of the textures you are using - this method is about colours and shadows.
I've used V3 with Awful Soul's Mox Pearl outfit. There is a chair from Deco Redux but the rest are just squares from Poser's own props, sized and coloured without texture maps.
Next rule: No global lights! You want lots of shadow.
I've been using just two light sources, one low intensity source to provide some ambient light, and one intense source to provide the shadows.
For the ambient light here, I've just used an infinate light at a very low intensity - low enough not to need to turn off its shadows. If you are rendering a completely enclosed scene, you will have to use a spot.
For the main source, I've again used an infinate, this time at a high intensity. If you're shining through a window, the a spot light is probably better. If you want to use a lamp then employ a glow ball (there are some free ones at Renderosity, as well as a python script to create them).
Now, resize the window to get the image you want to render. There are points of poke through on the skirt and the boots dip a little into the floor - I'm not worried about these as they will be obscurred by shadow once rendered.
When it comes to rendering, you will need to render quite large. My images average 2500 by 1500 - this is large enough to look good in print at a reasonable size!
First tidy up the image where needed. On my image there was a line of green on the right wall to paint over.
Now, create a duplicate layer and make sure this is selected. Start up Virtual Painter, select the Gothic Oil filter and load the settings from the support file.
The Gothic oil effect, siplifies and intensifies the colours and details in the picture, now you need to create the finer brush strokes.
With the duplicate layer still selected, start up Virtual Painter again and this time select the Oil Painting filter and again, load the settings I've supplied.
The last stage is to change the blend mode of your top layer. There are two settings you can use and the best will vary with your pictures. Try overlay first, this can work very well with the boldest images but more usually Hard Light will work best. This will restore your details whilst keeping the brush strokes.
Now you just need to crop your image. At this size it should print well at 200-250 dpi. For display on the web, reduce down by at least 60%.
And that's it - I hope you enjoy having a go!