Make Your Own Reality: 11 lessons on powerful lighting and material techniques

Please note: the “Radiance of Spirit” set featured in the lessons is now available from Jack Tomalin’s website.

In “Make Your Own Reality” you will learn how to create great lighting and great materials while using Reality 1.25 for DAZ Studio. These tutorials take you deep into the lighting concepts and material definitions. You will learn, in an easy and practical format, all those photographic techniques that you cannot usually find in other tutorials for 3D software. Paolo’s well known, down-to-earth approach, which has gained popular acclaim with the “Blender Survival Guide,” will guide you through practical examples that create great images with Studio, Reality, and Lux.

Please note, this class is designed for Reality 1.25. All the concepts apply to Reality 2.0 but the User Interface is slightly different.

Format: MP4 (H.264) videos compatible with Mac OS and Windows.
Resolution: 1280×720 (HD 720p)
Author: Paolo Ciccone, author of the Reality plug-in
Exercise files: Included
Total running time: 3hr 23min

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“These video tuts are simply fabulous!” — DarkGoddess (DAZ3D Forums)


  • A movie player like QuickTime 7.x, Windows Media Player, VLC or player able to read MP4 videos.
  • DAZ Studio 3.1
  • Reality 1.25
  • LuxRender 0.8 (RC4)
  • Basic knowledge of DAZ Studio 3 and Reality/Lux
  • For lesson 8 PhotoShop CS3 or similar program , like The Gimp, for additional post-processing exercise.


Lesson 1:

  • Program setup
  • Quick introduction to lighting: differences between light types
  • Spotlights vs mesh lights
  • How to get soft shadows and why
  • Quick portrait lighting lesson: how to add light without a light source
  • Length: 19m 43s


Lesson 2:

  • Understanding the Linear tone mapper of Lux: making sense of sensitivity, shutter, and f/stop
  • Length: 13m 56s


Lesson 3:

  • Preparing the scene: the sword warrior
  • Setting up the scene with the character, and the environment
  • Camera controls and framing
  • Basic material setup
  • How to make a stained glass window appear correctly
  • Length: 18m 28s


Lesson 4:

  • Light setup
  • Hair light
  • Lighting the stained glass window
  • Composition techniques
  • Light motivation
  • Length: 19m 56s


Lesson 5:

  • How to control light from spilling
  • Using the softbox
  • Advanced lighting techniques
  • Length: 23m 18s


Lesson 6:

  • Advanced material setup
  • Understanding color operations
  • Understanding the Glossy material
  • Length: 20m 13s


Lesson 7:

  • More advanced material techniques
  • Displacement and subdivision
  • Adding missing bump maps
  • Simulating missing bump maps
  • Creating backlit hair
  • Length: 17m 49s


Lesson 8:

  • Rendering techniques
  • Adjusting the light balance
  • Advanced post process techniques with Photoshop and light control
  • Length: 20m 17s


Lesson 9:

  • Using the Fog prop
  • Setting up the scene
  • Configuring the fog
  • Adjusting the lighting for the fog
  • How to break the light into separate beams
  • Length: 19m 06s


Lesson 10:

  • Simulating the moon light
  • Adjusting light balance to shift from night to day
  • Length: 16m 59s


Lesson 11:

  • Mastering the right exposure in Lux
  • Length: 13m 16s


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