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A video version is here.

I learned this method from jag11 on the DAZ3D forums, who is thanked for permission to use it in this tutorial!

In 3Delight there's no way to create atmosphere or godrays (the rays that are visible when light passes through dust or particles).  There are products to facilitate (one of them mine), but most are either not the easiest to use or ultimately just a faking of a feature the engine lacks.  Many artists use postwork instead.

DAZ Studio 4.8 Beta's new Iray engine also lacks a native mechanism for creating atmospheric volumes - but it can be easily convinced to produce them!  They will come from your lights and react to objects in your scene.  I did a test image of Jack Tomalin's Chapter House Iray scene (free to Plat Club members).

Iray Atmosphere Test 01 by SickleYield

The method is:


1. Load your scene into DAZ Studio 4.8 Beta.

2.  Set the Environment to Sun and Sky in your Render Settings.

3.  Jag11 says to set time of day to 12 noon. I set it to 3 p.m. in the above test.  I think what matters is that you set the SSS direction properly for the light direction (below).

4.  Make sure that your camera headlamp is set to OFF.  This is in the camera's parameter settings; you must render through a "real" camera and not the perspective, top, right, etc. views.

5.  Create --primitive--cube.  Other shapes will probably work.  The important thing is that you scale it up large enough that your camera cannot see past its outer edges, ideally as big as your room (or if outdoors, really, really huge).  The camera must be outside the primitive. 

6.  Select the cube in Scene Tab and look at its surface in Surfaces tab.  Select the surface.  Apply the Uber Iray Base shader.  Turn OFF all the glossy settings (glossiness, glossy layered weight, etc.)

7.  Scroll down to the Refraction.  Set the amount to maximum and the index number to 1.00 (I believe it's 1.5 by default). 

8.  Scroll down to the Thin Walled setting.  Set it to OFF.

9.  Scroll down to the SSS settings.  Jag11's recommended settings are

Scattering Measurement Distance: 50
SSS Amount: .03
SSS Direction: 0.5

For the huge room in Jack's Chapter House scene, I used:

Transmitted Measurement Distance: 100 (same as the Scattering, leaving it at 0.1 produces black renders)
Scattering Measurement Distance: 100 (I reasoned that the rays needed to go further into the room)
SSS Amount: .05
SSS Direction: -0.45 (which, as it turns out, was wrong; in the version shown I've corrected it to 0.5.)

Adding a higher SSS amount will make your atmosphere more dusty.  I used an incorrect value of SSS direction at first. According to DAZ's docs, "Negative numbers (-) backscatter to the direction of the light source. Positive numbers (+) forward scatter away from the direction of the light."

Here's a scene you can use to test this, and a copy of the most successful version of the shader I used.

Freebie Iray Godray Testing Scene by SickleYield

So really, you should always use a positive number of SSS direction for this.  This is probably why I didn't get very defined rays in my scene until the second try (the version you see for the Chapter House scene now).

In the second scene, the Park Side High Lobby, I used an HDR for fill and spotlights for lighting; there is no "Sun" light.  So that is definitely not mandatory as a lighting method to get these rays.

I look forward to your renders using this method!
  • Listening to: Redwing blackbird in the creek
  • Reading: Iray Blogs
  • Watching: Channel Awesome reviews
  • Playing: Minecraft
  • Eating: banana
  • Drinking: Constant Comment tea
Add a Comment:
 
:iconeblgraphics:
eblgraphics Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017
Great tutorial it works great... What is the setting I need to adjust to accentuate the rays a bit more and if anyone replies thank you so much...
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Mar 23, 2017  Professional Digital Artist
Shorten the transmission distance and turn up the light maybe?
Reply
:iconmartinatera:
martinatera Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Many thanks for the tutorial - I used it here martinatera.deviantart.com/art…
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You are very welcome. :)
Reply
:icongolamartinez:
GolaMartinez Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yay! This works like a charm and produces amazin effects :D
Tahnk you soo much.
Reply
:iconlykantos:
Lykantos Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2016
Mhh, I am stupid?
Can't find  the Thin Walled and the SSS settings in the surface tab. :(
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Oct 30, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Are you 100% sure you have the Iray base shader applied?
Reply
:iconlykantos:
Lykantos Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2016
Ohh no, I always had chosen the cube in the scene tab. :oops:
Now that i have corrected this, the scene is rendered, but no rays are visible in the picture. Don't know, what i do wrong.:cries:
Reply
:iconphilip-howe:
Philip-Howe Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
This works very well!! Thank you so much for posting this. I have been trying to get this effect for my animations for some time and now can save a set box so that I can tweak it for each background. Using all defaults, I set the time of day to 1pm and got some very good atmosphere fog that increases in the distance. This is a much better overall effect than all the products I've purchased to try to get it to be consistent, without any banding or overlap of 'sheets' of fog on flat or curved planes. Thanks again.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You are very welcome. :)
Reply
:iconchrisryder123:
chrisryder123 Featured By Owner May 30, 2016
Amazing tutorial, can I add one tiny amendment? Don't bother playing with the hour settings in the environment tab. Just make a spotlight aimed wherever you want the godrays to appear, make the light with 100x height and width and in the environment tab select "Sun Node" - point this to your spotlight.
Iray Angel by chrisryder123
Reply
:iconraxatech:
Raxatech Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
My second time coming back to your video to create this effect. Great thanks to both you and Jag11 for sharing this technique.
Reply
:icondesignerinc:
designerinc Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
amazing tutorial....wowzy....but for some reason my render wouldnt progress from 0%....its driving me craciiiii.....what should I do....i am so confused as for IRAY it shows you a glimpse of how its going to be, and its really impressive, its just freezes at the all grainy part, nothing happens to smoothen out the render...am running it at default.... aaaaaaa... hehe....can you help me out
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
Rendering with volume on is heavy on system resources.  For render to progress is going to take longer, especially if your system is CPU-only or your cards don't have a lot of CUDA cores.
Reply
:icondesignerinc:
designerinc Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
have a nvidia gtx570 but even after 15 mins on it the damn thing remains at 0.... love the affect it was producing....if somehow can get it to complete rendering, even have reality , dont know how to get the sun and sky to work there.... i dont suppose it would as it showed black results....thanks thgh for getting back..cheers
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
GTX570 has only 480 CUDA cores.  That's actually not a lot for Iray rendering.  You're going to get major lag with any transmissive object in the scene (and especially if you try to render with multiple figures with 3072x textures, etc.).
Reply
:icondesignerinc:
designerinc Featured By Owner Apr 4, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
damn..good knowledge..thnx for sharing
Reply
:icongreendragon-gecko:
greendragon-gecko Featured By Owner Jan 18, 2016   General Artist
:) I want to try that one ... may be with my Selene renders.
Reply
:iconrobert952:
robert952 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Nicely explained tutorial.  Thanks to jag11 for letting you share his settings and such.  That data gives us (as students) a range to play with in our renders.  

Thanks for sharing.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconayiano:
Ayiano Featured By Owner Edited Jan 5, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Would this work for an underwater scene? I.E. instead of god rays, the camera is "underwater". What, if any, settings do you think would change?
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
People do use it for that.  I would probably set the transmission color to blue or deep blue-green, and of course your cube would have to be really large to properly "fade off" with distance, but otherwise these settings should basically work.
Reply
:iconayiano:
Ayiano Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the quick reply! I did some research and the technique I used is very similar to fog. In my scene, the subject is swimming through a small, enclosed tube, so the water cube is somewhat small. The key was to play around with the Transmitted Measurement Distance and Scattering Measurement Distance, while setting SSS Amount to 0.008 (seems to be an ideal setting for water), and Direction to 0.50.

Also, many thanks for your Iray Water Props for the realistic bubbles!
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Professional Digital Artist
You're welcome!

I'm glad you found a solution that worked for you. :)
Reply
:iconfractal2cry:
fractal2cry Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2015
so much to learn! ty
Reply
:iconstormbringer1966:
SickleYield,
Have you seen this post. I am curious have these changes been made in the Daz version of Iray in Daz 4.9? I ask because inside the box i would have tremendous flexability
blog.irayrender.com/post/13286…
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Nov 14, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Hey, I got a mention on the dev blog!  That's exciting. :)

Not yet, I don't think.  Those are things they're just putting into their development build, so it will be some time before they hand it out to Daz and others who have the Iray engine in their software.  I'm very excited to see that going forward, though, those are gorgeous volumes!
Reply
:iconyupasama:
Yupasama Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2015
it works lovely, thanks a lot for all your advices and explanations.
Gobeline dans une salle de bal by Yupasama
Reply
:iconretrodevil:
RetroDevil Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This is great thanks for the tips :D
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Very welcome :)
Reply
:iconbestmanpi:
BestmanPi Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you so much.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner May 20, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Very welcome. :)
Reply
:iconv3digitimes:
V3Digitimes Featured By Owner May 2, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Thanks! Lol SickleYield! I faved it before wondering who made it!
Nice explanations as usually :)
Reply
:iconaedenclark:
aEdenClark Featured By Owner Apr 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Awesome!  Thank you so very much!
Reply
:iconsecond-circle:
second-circle Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Worked like a charm. Thanks very much :)
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Apr 7, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
You're very welcome!
Reply
:icondemontroll:
demontroll Featured By Owner Apr 6, 2015
Thanks for this.

The giant cube can be parented to the camera with x-rotate set to -90 degrees, and z translate set to -10.  Then the cube can be scaled up in size to encompass the scene and it is always right in front of the camera, even when moving the camera around.

I was also getting an all black scene.  When I set Glossy Color to black in attempting to 'turn off all the glossy settings' it made everything black.  So leave Glossy Color at the default white color and it works.  No need to re-install Daz Studio.
Reply
:iconyupasama:
Yupasama Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015
thanks a lot for the tip about Glossy Color, I did the same mistake :)
Reply
:iconsuperboomturbo:
SuperBoomTurbo Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Sa-weet! I was just playing with this idea making primitive cones for spotlights, and much prefer your method. Why oh why did I not engage the SSS? Sigh, hours wasted, lesson learned =D 
Reply
:iconspyrorue:
SpyroRue Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015   Digital Artist
Thanks so much for all this sickle, I have been following all your wealth of info! I have a problem with this one though, I just get black renders and my settings match yours, I also refined it to what Jepe's screen shot showed (posted in comments here) and still black. Its like Refraction strength at any level for me renders solid black rather than transparent :/
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
What are your transmission measurement and scattering measurement values?  They need to be the same as each other.  I had to update the tutorial to reflect this so if you read the very first version you could've missed it.
Reply
:iconspyrorue:
SpyroRue Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015   Digital Artist
I didn't misread your tut, there was definitely something wrong with my install, as soon as I reinstalled Daz beta and its related content the fog worked like a charm :D Many thanks Sickle 
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
I'm glad you were able to straighten it out :)
Reply
:iconspyrorue:
SpyroRue Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2015   Digital Artist
I reinstalled Daz Studio and the Iray content and its now working! Wow very nice :D Knew there was something awful wrong when I attempted to use refraction on other things
Reply
:iconaograi:
AOGRAI Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Once again, a wonderfully useful tutorial my friend.  Thank you for taking the time to show us on youtube.
Reply
:iconsickleyield:
SickleYield Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Very welcome :)
Reply
:iconleela56100:
leela56100 Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thank you your tut are very helpful.
Reply
:iconneilv:
NeilV Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Great work
Reply
:iconluceamluceo:
LuceamLuceo Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015
Great tut! Thanks for sharing!
Reply
:iconaograi:
AOGRAI Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Great tutorial again
Reply
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