The Jimmies Tutorial Thing

Hey guys!

Now before we get going, I’m only doing this because I’ve been asked recently about how I do my posing and lighting. I’ll be honest, I’m not to sure why people would choose me. I mean, I learnt from Jenkins. Of course I’m flattered, but I don’t see why you wouldn’t go to people who have more obvious skill than I do. But anyway, here we go!


To start off with, you want to set your scene! I’ll be doing this pose on nt_redlight_ctg, a map from Neotokyo. The mod has a lot of great maps for posing, you should check it out! Anyway, the map is quite dark, so I’ll be using mat_fullbright 1. This turns off all the lighting effects (I think)[/T]

Now, the model I’ll be using is one of Jenkins Towerlight soldier models, seen below. I’ve stand posed it and put it into a combat-ish stance.

I’ve then gone and tweaked the body groups and fingerposing to finalise the pose.


When you go to place the camera, you want to pick an angle that captures your desired portion of model, or whatever you’re wanting to focus on. For mine, I’ve decided to focus on the soldier with the bright lights of Tokyo in the background.

With fullbright:

Without fullbright:


Now we’re at the part that I spent hours on, constantly tweaking and finding ways to make that perfect image. There’s a lot details coming, so be sure to bookmark or write it down or some shit.

We’re going to start with the first lamp. This one will cover the front of the model from a slight top down angle, to bring the shadows of the model down. Below is an example of one of my typical lamp setups.

First Lamp:

Second Lamp (This one was moved more so the final product may be different):

However we don’t stop here. You now want to do the shadows options. Before I list the shit, TURN SHADOW DETAIL TO HIGH! NO EXCEPTIONS!
Anyway, there are two main commands that correspond to the quality of the shadows;

These commands are important, but to use them to a good potential, you need a PC that can handle it. The number settings I use for these are 0.1 for texturefilter, and 8192 (this is a pretty stressful number, 4192 is optimal) for depthres.

If you’d like more information on shadows, refer to this thread:
It goes into a lot more detail than I can be fucked doing.

Now, for composition.

Composition/Taking the photo:

By now you should’ve setup your scene, and are now ready to take the photo. If you are, here’s what you want to do. Start by setting everything to Ultra. EVERYTHING. I play with everything on Ultra all the time, but some people dont, considering it’s only really necessary during the final stages. Also, don’t just take a photo with the camera, that’s bad and it will turn out ugly. What you want to do is use SDof. Now, before you bitch that this makes it laggy, it’s going to no matter what, so deal with it, you’re not here for very long anyway. As I was saying, once you’re in your camera, open up SDof, which is under Post Processing > Effects, and you’ll be presented with a toolbar. This has two sliders, one for the intensity of the blur, and the distance of it/what you are focusing on. Use the sliders to your will to get the model(s) in focus and how you’d like the blur, then once you’ve done this, you could set the jpeg_quality to 100 and press ‘Take Screenshot’, but from experience, I’ve had better results from binding a key to “devshot_screenshot”, which provides you with a .tga file to use in GIMP and Photoshop. If you’d like to do this method, bind the command to a key, then in the toolbar you’ll see a number 5 button. Press it, then press your bound key to take the shot. Now you can edit that shit.

SDof Product:


To be honest, this section probably won’t help you much. I don’t do much at all in the ways of editing, so I’d suggest going to Joazzz for that kind of thing, but anyway. When I edit, all I do is one instance of Sharpen, and a very low amount of Diffuse Glow. Maybe gradients if it fits. Here’s the final product of the tutorial:


Well, I hope that was somewhat hopeful to people. This was pretty hastily made and some details may of been left out. If there’s something I didn’t cover very well or not at all, feel free to ask, I’m more than happy to help.


It’s way to early.

Quick Edit: I forgot to mention the gm_black map. This map is a large pitch dark room with an editable sky, sun and fog that allow for the creation of some fantastic scenebuilds. I’ve provided an example of what can be achieved along with a link to the map, which I’ll be hosting for like, ever.

Also, AFewOstriches mentioned the poster tool. This tool allows you to create a much larger resolution image, but at the cost of not being able to associate it with SDof (Garry fix that shit). To use it type “Poster #” in the console.

And since I didn’t cover the lighting too well, here is a more in depth tutorial by Ninja Nub that goes into fantastic detail about highlights. (Two Parts)

Ninja Nub
Anynone else whose helped me out :heart:


[editline]23rd December 2013[/editline]

good tutorial

its helpful

Nice, this will be useful.

Nice work, mate. One thing you should mention as well is using the ‘poster #’ command, as it basically blows up your image to the # value and saves it after which you an resize it to your normal resolution. It basically functions as a cheap anti-aliasing solution and is super handy. I know a fair number of people in this section use it, myself included.

So you’re saying that taking a poster picture and scaling it down is a cheap way to fix AA issues?

good tutorial will be useful indeed

Some shit I posted in another thread that talks about some things you didn’t mention in your tutorial.

Should go in an autoexec so you don’t to have to type them unless you need to change the granularity of the shadows to something sharp or soft

Does absolutely jack shit and hasn’t worked since the 480 was introduced, aka years ago.

The max alias setting Source supports for anything not on the Portal 2 branch is:

mat_aaquality 2
mat_antialias 8

Which is 16Q CSAA

Stick this in the same autoexec and to make sure they stick run them from the console as well ONCE in a opened map/save, and run them in that exact order, aaquality first and then antialias after.

You think ambient occlusion doesn’t work?

I’m pretty sure it does.

On a 560Ti here, and been using it since I had an nVidia equipped computer.

Also you forgot r_shadowcolor 255 255 255 to turn them off, so you can use lamps properly without seeing the default fake shadow under models.

I’m not talking about ambient occlusion. I’m talking aliasing.

Ambient occlusion is also better controlled through r_occlusion, since gary hasn’t bothered to update the vendor ids for quite some time and neither has valve.

Thanks mate. I hope it will help me. Again thanks mate.

Damn,I wish I could try this. But my fucking graphics card refuse to allow Source shadows for some reason.

Thanks a lot for making this. It will be extremely helpful and what not.