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How to Set Up and Export an Outdoor Poser Scene with Pose2Lux to LuxRender and Pose2Lux Quick Start Guide


I have been using the Pose2Lux plugin for a while now. It is an exporter for Poser like Reality 3 but is free. I have been trying to get a decent looking sky when rendering my Poser exterior scenes in LuxRender, but my skies kept coming out looking dull and low in contrast. I searched the internet but I could not find any Pose2Lux tutorials on how to get a good sky for outside scenes. So I had to go by trial and error. Now, I think I have finally figured out how to get a good-looking sky. This tutorial will show you how I did it. Below is the resulting sky that you should be able to get after following my tutorial.

A Poser scene done in LuxRender with a good looking sky.

Bascially, the key to getting a good sky in LuxRender is to not use the Special/Skydome material when you are applying materials in Pose2Lux. Instead, you apply the Basic/Matte material to the sky material zone and, in Poser, you set the transparency of the sky material zone to a low value like 0.1 to let the sun light shine through. You also set the ambient value to a value greater than 0 so that Pose2Lux recognize the sky material as an emitter. Finally, in the Cameras and Lights section, you check the checkbox that says "Use texture instead of colour" for the sky light. That's really all you need to know as far as how to get a good sky. If you are already familiar with setting up and exporting the scenes with Pose2Lux, you don't have to read the rest of this. But I have in bold the most important steps below for getting a good sky.

This tutorial is also intended to serve as a step-by-step walkthough for helping total beginners quickly learn to use Pose2Lux so they do not have to spend as much time as I did trying to figure out the workflow.

  1. Download and install Pose2Lux and LuxRender on your computer.

  2. Download and extract my sky sphere, ground, and office building zip files from the freebies section. The sky sphere OBJ is a mesh with its polygons facing inward so that when your camera is inside the sphere, you will see the texture that is applied to the sphere.

  3. Open up Poser. Delete all the lights except for Light 1. Make sure Light 1 is set to as an infinite light. It will serve as the sun light when we render the scene.

  4. Set Light 1 as an infinite light

  5. Import the meshes you have downloaded: Go to File-->Import-->Wavefront OBJ. . . You should get a dialog box. Uncheck everything in that box.

  6. Dialog box for importing OBJs

  7. Click OK and choose the "skysphere" OBJ to import it. Then repeat to import the "ground", "building_land", and "building" OBJs.

  8. OBJs imported

  9. Go into the material room and select the "building", "building_land", and "ground" objects and set the diffuse color in each material zone on each object to a color you like. I applied green to the "ground" object and to the "grass" material zones on the "building_land" object because they will contain grass in the render.

  10. OBJs colored, scaled and moved

  11. Go back into the Pose room and scale and move the "building" and "building_land" objects until you get something like the image below. Tip: you can select an object and then press Ctrl+D to Drop it to the ground.

  12. Land and ground objects scaled and moved

  13. Go back to the material room. Move the eyedropper over to the skysphere and click on it. Set the transparency to 0.1, set the ambient value to 0.1, set the diffuse color to white, and then apply a sky texture to the diffuse node. You can find many sky textures on CGSkies.com I used one of the 3000x1500 JPG sky textures from that site.

  14. Apply a sky texture map to the skysphere sky material zone

  15. Select the "GROUND" object and uncheck its "visible" checkbox. This will make Pose2Lux skip exporting the "GROUND" object when Pose2Lux is launched.

  16. Make GROUND invisible

  17. Open the Python Scripts window (Window-->Python Scripts), find the Pose2Lux button and click it to launch Pose2Lux.

  18. Python scripts window

  19. You will get the Pose2Lux interface as shown below.

  20. Pose2Lux user interface

  21. In the LIST OF MATERIALS section, select all of the material zones. In the LUX LIBRARIES, select the Matte material and then press the Assign button. This assigns the Basic/Matte material to all of the material zones.

  22. Basic/Matte material assigned to all material zones

  23. Select the Glass material zone and click on the Custom button on the far right and next to "Lux material", select mirror in the drop down. Press the USE button next to the "Use custom material" checkbox and check the checkbox. Press the red Assign button to assign the mirror material to the "Glass" material zone. You will see Basic/Matte change to **Custom** under Lux material next to the Glass material zone. Leave the Sky material zone as Basic/Matte

  24. Assigning material to Glass material zone.

  25. Now click on the Camera and Lights button. Under the Sun section, click on the "None" drop-down and select Light 1. Select the skysphere/Sky light and under Light groups, click on the drop down and select Sky and then click Set. Select Light 1 and under the Light groups drop-down, select Sun and click the Set button.

  26. Set the lights

  27. Select the skyphere/Sky material and click on the Grab button under Emitter Parameters. Increase the Wattage, Gain and Efficacy values. Check the Use texture instead of colour checkbox. Press the red Assign button.

  28. Tuning the sky emitter

  29. Click on the Export to Lux button on the left to go to the EXPORT settings page. In the FILM section, slide the Firefly killer value to 4. Check the checkboxes next to Write to FLM file. The rendering progress will be saved to that FLM file. Under Export location, click on Select and pick a location to export your Poser scene to and type in a name for your exported scene file and then click Save. Click the ">>" button next to the Select button and then click the red Export to Lux button to export your scene.

  30. Exporting the scene

  31. Go to File-->Save Scene and save the scene settings. You can load this scene data file in the future so you don't have to go through all the previous steps again.

  32. Open up LuxRender and then open the exported .lxs scene file to begin rendering. On the Imaging tab, adjust the Exposure and Fstop values as needed. On the Light Groups tab, you can adjust the intensity of the Sky and Sun lights as needed. You should end up with a vividly colored sky. You now just let it render until you are satisfied with it.

  33. Exporting the scene

    Here is another render I did following the steps I laid out above. The only difference is that there are several more objects and material zones.

    Well, that wraps up the tutorial. If you have any questions or comments, leave them in the comments below.


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