Octane Daz3d

This article and all of the images within were created by the very talented Brian Sains. Copyright © Brian Sains. Check out his gallery here.

You can download the modified maps on my gumroad page Download Materialize via this link http://boundingboxsoftware.com/materialize/down. For those of you that are unaware, the Daz Studio Octane plugin is a unique and powerful render plugin that is used by many of the major players in the entertainment industry because its ability to work within a variety of platforms that include Cinema 4D®, 3ds Max®, AutoCAD®, Blender® and Lightwave® to name just a few.

Sub-surface scattering (SSS)

In the introduction to this series I explained how Physically Based Render engines work – simulated light bouncing around interacting with surfaces.

SSS is the process that defines –

  • How light passes through a translucent object,
  • How it interacts with the properties of that object, and
  • How it exits the object (at a different point – hence scattered).

In practical terms, particularly with skin, it is the effect where you see light pass through extremities like the ear, producing a reddening glow.

Showing Sub-surface scattering (SSS) effects as it passes through the ear, producing a reddening glow.

That is about as far as I can take the science, so let’s look at how SSS is controlled within Octane. SSS is applied to a material node using a scattering node, which can be applied to both diffuse and specular materials (but not glossy ones). If you look at the skin shader material in our previous skin tutorial, you will see there is a scattering node attached to all four material nodes (3 scattering nodes, as one is shared between two specular nodes).

Node-graph diagram of our skin shader showing the a scattering node attached to a material node.

The diagram below shows the three scattering nodes controlling (from left to right) the skin’s deep/mid layer, the mid-layer and the surface layer.

Settings for three scattering nodes controlling (from left to right) the skin’s deep/mid layer, the mid-layer and the surface layer.

Octane Scattering Node Settings

1. Density

Density controls how fast light travels through an object, the higher the value the faster it travels (a value of 0 would result in no scattering). My interpretation of this is that the higher the value, the deeper light can penetrate a surface. When using other materials, particularly those from the online database, I have found this setting to be very low. It is very dependent on the size of the model, and therefore the scale used within Daz. Normally these materials have been developed for use within other 3d applications with a different scaling system, which is why they tend to be set lower.

2. Absorption

The scattered light will be the opposite of the absorption colour.

This setting defines which light is absorbed faster, in the case of the 3rd node it’s a green/blue. It took me a while to get my head round this, but essentially the effect is the scattered light will be the opposite of this colour (from a wavelength perspective). The image shown here is from the colour picker within octane – a colour set to absorb blue will scatter as red.

3. Scattering

Scattering is similar to absorption, but defines the speed at which light will be scattered when it passes through an object.

4. Phase/direction

This controls the direction the light is scattered:

  • 0 – light scattered the same amount in any direction
  • 1.0 – more light continues to travel in the direction it was originally traveling
  • -1.0 – light backscatters in the direction it came from

5. Adjusting the scattering nodes

Sadly there is no one definitive setting that will work across all objects. It very much depends on scale, lighting, position, kernel settings and so on. It is very much a case of trial and error, and an area I still need to work on.

Practically, you may not need to worry about this setting too much, for example if the object is distant or if the ears are covered. But if you do need to, it’s a juggling act between getting the right amount of scattering across all skin materials.

Note – any changes you make to one material (e.g. ears) will have to be adjusted in other skin materials (e.g. arms), otherwise the change will be visible in the UV seams. Consider the girl with the red ear above – she was one of my first attempts at SSS. Now look at her hand …

Light wouldn’t scatter like that through a hand. As a result I tend to pose a model with the hand next to the ear, and then adjust the density (starting with the deep scatter node). Density (from left to right) 1, 250, 500.

I tend to pose a model with the hand next to the ear, and then adjust the density. Density (from left to right) 1, 250, 500.


The last area I would like to cover regarding the skin material is gloss/reflection. This is for subtle gloss effect, so you wouldn’t use this for a wet skin look, but more for areas like the lips, nails, lacrimals, or eye socket.

Gloss is controlled in Octane using the Roughness setting in both specular and glossy nodes, but is not available in diffuse nodes. The scale between 0 and 1 determines the level – the lower the roughness, the more glossy/reflective the surface.

The lower the roughness, the more glossy/reflective the surface.

Let’s consider a practical example using the lips. The lips are currently sharing a material with the face and the ears, which is no good as we don’t want a shiny face!

  • Return to the Material tab and select the Lips surface.
  • Select the material assigned to the lips and copy as a new material.
  • Now apply this new copied material to the lips. It now has its own material that we can edit.
Select the material assigned to the lips and copy as a new material.

You can get away with this with the lips as they have a clearly defined line between the surrounding face surface, so the seam is less obvious.

With the newly assigned lip material selected, open the node viewport. I have found, surprisingly, that the best place to adjust the roughness for the lips is in the uppermost scattering node (the one for the deep scatter), which to me, sounds counter-intuitive. The image below shows the lips with roughness set to 500,250 & 0 (top to bottom).

Lips with roughness set to 500,250 & 0 (top to bottom).

Finishing up in Daz

Octane comes with a free online material database containing 100s of organic and non-organic materials. I used the auto-material function in Octane for the eye-lashes. This feature takes the surface settings from within Daz and tries to convert them into Octane. The results vary, and it struggles with iRay materials (though it is getting better). Within the Material tab, right-click the item and select Create new material > Auto Material.

I used the auto-material function in Octane for the eye-lashes.

The other materials I used in the Mei portrait are:

  1. Cornea and Eye Reflection – Clear cornea shader (Octane database)
  2. Eyelashes – Auto-material
  3. Iris – RedSpec
  4. Pupils – RedSpec
  5. Sclera – TonySculptor Sclera (Octane database)
  6. Hair (Actual Hair 2) – RedSpec Hair Shader

The RedSpec materials are part of a set purchased from a 3rd Party.

I used the iRay OOT Hair Shaders for colour and transparency maps. I sometimes increase the smoothing value within Daz for hair as well.

I have always had a real dislike of the Tear object around the eye, which is now part of the eye moisture object in Genesis 3 characters. I remove it in Daz by using the geometry tool.

  • Click anywhere on the tear.
  • Right-click and do Geometry selection > Select connected.
  • With the tear now selected (see image below), you can right click Geometry assignment > Create surface from selected.
  • Name it, and then repeat with the other eye.
  • I then apply a null-shader (diffuse node with no settings, and opacity set to 0) to the tears, and there you have it, no more tears!


So that’s it for Daz Studio, Octane, and skin. I still have some work to do, in particular on skin reflection, index of refraction, Fresnel effect, falloff textures and more. I also want to break down the material a bit more and make it more processor efficient.

Having spent so much time on the skin, I also need to work on bringing the standard of my other materials up to scratch. You will notice many of my models don’t smile, simply because I am yet to develop a material I am happy with. Same goes for clothes.

Thank you for visiting my Daz Studio Octane tutorials. Hope you enjoyed them.

This article and all of the images within were created by the very talented Brian Sains. Copyright © Brian Sains. Check out his gallery here.

Octane Render Daz3d

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Dino Muhic is a Motion Graphics & VFX Artist / CG Generalist / Art Director from Hessen, Germany with 11 years of industry experience.
He likes to work with Cinema4D.

What led you into the CGI/3D? Tell us your story.

I started photoshopping my own photos and artworks with 17 years, right after I got my first PC and always wanted to go into VFX, because I’m a huge film-freak since early child years.
I loved watching movies even as a small kid and always appreciated the CGI and SFX in them.
It went so far that I started recording horror movies very early (I think with 10 years) on VHS tapes, which I still got.
It was always obvious to me that those monsters in the movies are not real, nor is the blood or gore and I always wondered how they did it. My technical curiousity was always quite high.

Where do you go to get inspired? What/Who inspires you?

It’s hard to NOT get inspired these days. The internet is just too full of good stuff to look at.
So much, that I kinda started to watch less and less and rather went back to just diving deep into my own imagination to find original ideas and stuff I really like and which defines me and who I am.

How does a typical working day look like?

I’m a typical 10-7 worker when I’m freelancing. Waking up is quite hard though, since I tend to work on my private stuff long into the night when my wife falls asleep on the couch! 🙂

What does your workplace look like?

My workplace is a typical one-screen setup. I use a Samsung S27D850T because I find the 2,5k resolution on a 27 inch screen pleasant for the eyes. However I am more often directly working with clients in their studios and thus use much bigger screens there. At home my PC is coupled with a Surface Book 2, which is my companion when I’m offsite and also acts as a second working tool at home. I still use my first Wacom, the Intous 3 Pro wide, which just won’t break, no matter what I throw at it! Best pen tablet I’ve ever worked with. I finished building a Multi-GPU Workstation just this month, which will be fed with multiple RTX, since I love GPU rendering.

How do you stay motivated in this tough industry?

I’m lucky that I can work on amazing projects with amazing teams. I’ve met a lot of great people in the 10 years and love spending time with them. That’s also why I like to work at studios more than at home. My colleagues and the fun I’m having with them and how we can push each other to get better is what keeps me being a freelancer. I have visited some great places while being a freelancer, which I otherwise would have never had the chance to see. I would be doing what I am doing right now, no matter how the industry would be, because I really did transform my hobby into my daily work. This has its upsides as its downsides but I’m happy where I am.

What is your passion beside CGI/3D?

I love drinking great coffee and probably will become a barista when I can’t work in front of a screen anymore, so there’s that. I started taking photos when I got my first pocket camera with 15 years, especially beautiful landscapes or people. The first thing I bought from my money which I earned as a freelancer was a DSLR, because there is a connection between photography and CGI. For both you have to develop an eye for beauty, you have to learn how to deal with shadows and light and how a lens works, how an aperture and focal width setting can change the appearance of something. But the thing is, I just LOVE looking at beautiful things, no matter if its a gorgeous sunset, a body or an architectual or design work.

I’m just a sucker for beautiful art, no matter if its visual (nature, film, CGI) or hearable.
I’m a guitar player in a band for 12 years now, which was formed with people I went to high-school with and we still produce music and meet each other every week. I am also playing piano since I’m 8 years old and like to write my own songs and record them.

Informal outline However, you can still follow these basic steps to have a more understandable informal outline: 1. Write the Title of Your Outline The title of your outline should directly reflect the title of your actual paper. Formulate Your Thesis Write your thesis clearly and label it as “Thesis.” For. DEVELOPING AN INFORMAL OUTLINE Galileo and the basic refractor the multi-element telescopes of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries Newton and the reflecting telescope the construction of massive reflecting telescopes the advantages and limitations of refracting and reflecting designs.

Octane Daz3d

Octane Daz 3d Renders

I’m coming from a musicians-family where all have a great passion for music, so thats a big part of my life.
One day I plan to release an album with those songs. It’s a big point on my endless bucket list. Life is not long enough to ever get me bored. I wish we had 48 hours per day and not just 24h. Chilling on the couch and watching anime with my wife is also quite high on the list.

Octane 3d Model

How do you keep your portfolio up to date? Any tips?

I always try to get my work online as soon as possible and also communicate this with my clients I work with. I tend to not do jobs, which I can’t talk about or post online afterwards. Being present in the industry is important (for me) and I make sure to collect all the data I’m allowed to, so I can use it in a showreel. Though my last showreel is from 2013 I have enough footage now to edit a completely new one, however time is the biggest problem.A good online presence is part of the game, though I’m totally NOT an instagram user (I have an Instagram account but I only use it for my photography).

Octane 3d Program

What Software do you use to create your artwork?

Mainly Cinema4D, with Octane and X-Particles as the main plug-ins.
I also started using Realflow and Redshift lately. For the comp I use After Effects and Trapcode/VideoCoPilot plug-ins, which is where I started initially.

What Software do you want to learn in future? And why?

I would love to learn everything Substance-related (Designer, Painter and so on) but the Node Editor in Cinema4D R20 is so powerful, I wonder if I will have to learn substance at all anymore.

Which books would you recommend to the read?

The only one I ever had: Kribbeln im Kopf by Mario Pricken and Christine Pricken
OK, here is the thing. This is the only book I cared to read, because one of my professors at my university was a fan of it. However, everything I learned I did by the power of the internet and my own curiousness. The internet is the biggest dump of knowledge ever, you just have to learn to navigate it.

What music do you listen to while working?

  • Pantera
  • Trivium
  • The Prodigy
  • Queens of the Stone Age
  • Old Muse albums
  • Led Zeppelin

Everything rock and heavy to be honest. There is so much good music out there, its a wonderland.

Any advice for new Artists?

Octane 3d Render

Just be curious, try stuff out, play with it, like I did with LEGO for the first 15 years of my life. Develop a rich fantasy in your mind, from then on its relatively easy. Don’t copy Beeple please. :p