Fixing Skin Surface Settings in Daz Studio
While working on promotional images with a light set, I had a nearly impossible time finding textures that did not need to be fixed in some way to work, and look, better in Daz Studio. Some of the skin sets didn't work as well for me as I might like, because of choices the content creator made. But others (even though they had Studio mats) obviously had never been looked at to see if they would load all of the mats and have Studio settings.
There is no single perfect fix that will give you just the right settings for every skin texture. There are too many variables and personal preferences for me to be able to say "do this and it will be perfect". And every one has different aesthetics that may not be the same as mine. While you will have to do some testing and make some personal choices, I will be able to give you the information you need to find what needs fixing and do it!
First and foremost are situations where the content creator has simply not included any Daz studio settings. They may say "not tested in Daz studio", or they may say "no shader option" included. In some cases they actually say that Daz Studio mats are included, however those mats were created with spider shader and are in no way optimized for Studio. In those cases you can't depend on any of the settings that load initially, or even that all the mats are going to load.
Second are situations where an artist may have taken the time to create an actual Daz Studio mat setting, but it isn't doing the texture justice, or you prefer a different look for your characters. We won't cover those in detail but it will be easier to figure out what to change to bring the character closer to a look you prefer.
Load the character texture and do a test render with neutral lights. Be sure your lighting isn't too "hot". In other words, you don't want the lights so bright the image is overly white, or the skin texture has a pink "glow" because the lights are casting to much specularity.
Have a look at your render. You may see be a variety of 'not quite right' things about the skin tone. You may find the character looks plastic (too shiny) or totally flat with no specular gloss. The skin may look a bit green or seem unnaturally tan.
If you don't have the surface tab visible you will need to open it up now.
Go to view/tabs and select surface. Put the tab on one of the sides so you can work with it. I like to have the surface list down the side because more of them show. You can do that by selecting the little arrow in the top right corner of the surface tab and selecting the "surface list on side" setting.
Next we want to have
a peek at four settings that tend to be wrong when the mat file isn't properly set up for Daz Studio. let's move on to the next page to see what they are!
Illustration 1: Surface lay out