Paolo Ciccone is the author of Reality, a plugin for Poser and DAZ Studio that introduced Physically Based Rendering (PBR) around 2010, when PBR was not that familiar for Poser and DAZ Studio artists. PBR provides more photorealistic or natural looking renders than previous render techniques. Reality takes advantage of the LuxRender rendering engine.
Download and listen to the podcast session 36
Get training on Reality from our previous webinar sessions
Reality gives a rendering solution that extends DAZ Studio and Poser and is described as providing the most advanced Physics-Based Rendering system in the market.
In the session of the podcast we interview Paolo on the latest version of Reality (4.2) and we cover the key features of this plugin which has fantastic advantages for rendering your artwork:-
- It’s made for the artist – less technicalities to worry about.
- Provides stunning results
- Fast rendering
- Allows GPU+GPU+Network rendering
- Powerful materials library which allows easy editing
- Automatic conversion of materials from Poser or DAZ Studio (including the latest shaders)
- Offers great materials to work with
- Very handy material presets
- Render whilst you edit a scene
- Change colour and/or intensity of lights whilst rendering
- Available for Windows (32 and 64 bit) and OSX
Latest version of Reality 4 available here
News on Reality 4 from Paolo’s Pret-a-3D news feed
Runtime DNA Reality gallery
Margotmaine’s Reality 4 inspired artwork at Renderosity
Snippet from the transcript
Digital Art Live: Now, Reality is described as being made with the artist in mind. So by definition, does that allow the artist to focus on the art rather than all the technicalities that you could get with a rendering machine?
Paolo: Well, yeah, that was one of the goals from the beginning. I do have a background in art. I studied at the Art Institute. So I’m trying to balance the two different interests I have, one is the technical, logical programming interest, and the other, the artistic side of my mind. So from the artistic point, and from talking with several people in the forums and directly Poser and DAZ Studio users, I have a pretty good idea of what the artist is expecting from software.
So when I looked at integrating LuxRender in DAZ Studio and Poser, I saw that LuxRender is really a very complex piece of machinery. It’s a very sophisticated software. And it took me a long time to really understand all the intricacies of the program. I’m still learning, by the way, because LuxRender is still evolving.
But I didn’t want to have such a learning curve for the user so that that they needed to get involved into the technicalities. I really think that the way people use Poser and DAZ Studio is for creating art by inspiration of the moment. A lot of people adopt these softwares to try to express some need they have internally. And there’s nothing more frustrating, or at least it’s very frustrating when you’re trying to express yourself and you can’t find the words or the tools, or you have to struggle with a user’s manual.
Now, a little bit of study is expected to be done on any product, but a little bit is much different than being swamped by details. And so one of the concepts that was crucial in the development of Reality was to shield the user from the complexities of the underlying technology.
And paradoxically, what happened is that Reality provides a more realistic, a more professional result for Poser and DAZ Studio users, but it makes the process easier than using the underlying technology, the built-in technology of DAZ Studio and Poser.
Digital Art Live: Sounds like a win-win then for the artist.
Paolo: Yes. And I keep working on it. Like any software, it’s an evolving process. So I’m looking at what we have today and I’m thinking, okay, we can simplify this, we can make this a little less technical. But it’s an effort that is going on continuously. It’s a focus of my development, and it was one of the founding principles of Reality when I started six years ago now. Because it was released in 2010, but of course the development started a year before.
Digital Art Live : So, for example, you don’t see something like a complicated node system?
Paolo: No. I really think that is such a letdown. Actually I’m writing a three-part story on my blog. I published the second part today, and I really started addressing that in the story, in the articles because nodes are…it’s a funny thing that even this morning, just this morning, I received a comment in the blog from a customer who said, “To tell you the truth, I don’t even know really what the node does.” So that exemplifies, that really demonstrates how the node system is so far away from what the artist wants to do.
And the fact is that in computer science, we are very familiar with graphs. So there is a lot of talking about graphs, like this and that, etc. Graphs are great tools for mathematicians and programmers. When you’re looking at the problem, like defining a material, how to create all the properties of a material, it leads automatically to a graph.