Jump to content
Hash, Inc. Forums

External Renderer?


Cybrknight
 Share

Recommended Posts

As Robert has mentioned folks do use other renderers and have since long before I started frequenting the forum.

The usage of other renderers tends to ebb and flow depending on the popularity of the renderer and how proprietary the pipeline/workflow.

Those who solved the major issues in the past tended to keep the pipeline quiet because of how that impacts budgets.

 

While an external render may not be plug and play almost any renderer can be shoehorned into A:M workflow.

If you look through the forum you'll find posts where folks have exported and rendered to just about all renderers

 

Is there any particular renderer you are targeting?

Knowing that will let those who have a similar interest know you have a 'need to know'.

 

One of the most recent external pipelines that caught my attention was that of Soulcage Department who often lights and renders shots created in A:M in other software.

 

I'm not sure if we have any Renderman experts hanging out but knowledge in that arena is always going to be useful.

One of A:M's goals has long been to keep the render process accessible to folks who don't want or need to master volumes of technical data.

But for those with the interest...

 

But perhaps you don't need all that?

If your needs are more basic, don't forget that A:M now comes standard with it's own external network renderer... Netrender.

With Netrender, we can cue up batches of renderings on one computer or over a network.

There are some guides and such for netrendering on the PC and Mac (or both) in the Netrender forum.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Robert has mentioned folks do use other renderers and have since long before I started frequenting the forum.

The usage of other renderers tends to ebb and flow depending on the popularity of the renderer and how proprietary the pipeline/workflow.

Those who solved the major issues in the past tended to keep the pipeline quiet because of how that impacts budgets.

 

While an external render may not be plug and play almost any renderer can be shoehorned into A:M workflow.

If you look through the forum you'll find posts where folks have exported and rendered to just about all renderers

 

Is there any particular renderer you are targeting?

Knowing that will let those who have a similar interest know you have a 'need to know'.

 

One of the most recent external pipelines that caught my attention was that of Soulcage Department who often lights and renders shots created in A:M in other software.

 

I'm not sure if we have any Renderman experts hanging out but knowledge in that arena is always going to be useful.

One of A:M's goals has long been to keep the render process accessible to folks who don't want or need to master volumes of technical data.

But for those with the interest...

 

But perhaps you don't need all that?

If your needs are more basic, don't forget that A:M now comes standard with it's own external network renderer... Netrender.

With Netrender, we can cue up batches of renderings on one computer or over a network.

There are some guides and such for netrendering on the PC and Mac (or both) in the Netrender forum.

 

I was looking into http://www.yafaray.org. I don't think A:M can do renders like this, but hey I am new.

 

Thanks,

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are many fine images done in A:M similar to those.

 

The people who made those images in yafaray were very careful with their lights to get results they wanted and the same care will be needed in A:M.

 

I'll note that the goal of A:M is not to provide every possible means of CG image production but to provide a set of tools that are easily understood by the artist and genuinely useful for character animation.

 

Extremely complex lighting results are rarely needed for character animation productions. I don't think studios like Pixar or Dreamworks have ever resorted to Photon-mapping, for example, in any of their movies.

 

A:M does do Photon-mapping, btw, but it is time consuming and needs to be carefully managed for great results.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A problem with many renderers (Yafray included) is that very few animation sequences are ever rendered with them because they aren't designed for such. They are generally designed to optimally render still imagery.

Is this a shortfall of a particular renderer (perhaps) but more likely it is a constraint put in place by the user.

There is sometimes an issue with some renderers in that almost all images look the same (they bury the users' style under their own)

 

Here is a sampling of a few folks who were once new to A:M. No slight on any A:M User not represented intended!!!

They all discovered they could render still imagery and animation too:

 

Marcos Rezende (Xtaz):

 

normal_pzusuicide.jpg

 

wallorkut.jpg

 

Stian Ervik Wahlvaag (agep):

 

normal_16.jpg

 

normal_22.jpg

 

normal_my%20office.jpg

 

Malcom Zinzan:

 

normal_Battleground%201.jpg

 

Eric Camden:

 

normal_25CastleFish0.jpg

 

Noah Brewer:

 

normal_fig14.jpg

 

Dark Jedi:

 

normal_Jedi%20starfighter%20(without%20colour).PNG

 

Marcel Bricman (ZPiDER):

 

normal_006.jpg

 

 

As Martin Hash once said, "There are a million things Animation:Master cannot do. No wait, now there are a million and one things A:M cannot do."

 

Don't let that stop you. ;)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was looking over the tutorial section last night, but I couldn't find any material on rendering or lighting so far. I am also reading the A:M getting started guide.

 

They have a great tutorial on creating a procedural texture, but that is about it.

 

Thanks again for all the resources. They seem to never stop :-)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was looking over the tutorial section last night, but I couldn't find any material on rendering or lighting so far. I am also reading the A:M getting started guide.

 

They have a great tutorial on creating a procedural texture, but that is about it.

 

Thanks again for all the resources. They seem to never stop :-)

 

Not totally sure about that image, but that seems to be drawn with Corel Fotopainter. ( I am not sure about that... it can of course be a 3d rendering which has been readjusted after that, but would not astonish me if it is drawn completly)

 

Lightenting-Tutorials are rare, but one of them is this one. It is old, but the principles are still very true:

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=9803&st=0

 

More infos can be found in this forum:

http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showforum=182

 

See you

*Fuchur*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't find any material on rendering or lighting so far.

 

One of the reasons we don't see a lot of A:M specific information for lighting is that lighting and rendering concepts largely apply across the board.

If for instance you know how to light a scene in the real world it's easier to adapt those approaches to the digital world.

Concepts of lighting in other software can be adapted as well.

 

As there is an internet full of information available on rendering and lighting those areas tend to be set aside in favor of those areas that are not the same accross platforms and software; primary spline technology and how that can be best put to use. While there are endless resources in the lighting and rendering arena, the go to book on lighting and rendering is still Jeremy Brin's 'Digital Lighting and Rendering'. Keep an eye out for it and you can find some copies on the cheap, especially the earlier editions.

 

Jeremy has some short and sweet articles on lighting and rendering that are must reads:

 

http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2165641

 

 

Here are most of the articles your find via that link:

 

Top Ten Tips for More Convincing Lighting and Rendering *Hot off the presses! (13 Dec 2013)

 

Lighting Environments and Architecture in Animation (26 Nov 2013)

 

How to Create Realistic 3D Shadows (18 Aug 2006)

 

Lighting Your Imagery (Aug 2001)

 

These articles are short... which makes them even more useful. :)

 

Note that this last one has a tip that transformed my understanding of lighting and rendering and that is to... 'Start in Darkness'.

While it may be useful to setup and test with default lighting in any given program you really want to get rid of the defaults and create your own for your final rendering.

Having said that, A:M does provide a nice starting place with a three light setup.

My advise however would be when going for the final image delete those default lights and start in darkness. Then start to consider where the 'real' light and heat and emotion is coming from in your scene's specific environment.

 

Another tip worth noting when adjusting lights is, "When you begin adjusting a light, the first step is to solo the light."

Turn off all the lights except the one you are adjusting and see how it is effecting your scene. In some cases you may find the light you are adjusting isn't contributing as you thought and in some cases can even be deleted.

 

A third tip which I don't recall seeing from Jeremy Brin is to consider shading all models in neutral grey while testing to avoid having the surfaces of objects trick you into thinking you are seeing effects from the lighting when it is the effect of the surface (often not yet optimized for rendering) instead.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Welcome to the family Cybrknight!

If you want a specific tutorial on lighting in A:M then HolmeSlice has a basic introduction to lighting amongst his other excellent tutorials here: http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showforum=207 (Direct Link)

Also as mentioned by Rodney, Jeremy Brin's book on lighting is a must have. If you do have it then forum member Robcat has made some very useful notes on translating it into A:M specific terms.

You can find that here: http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showt...st&p=320978

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I couldn't find any material on rendering or lighting so far.

 

One of the reasons we don't see a lot of A:M specific information for lighting is that lighting and rendering concepts largely apply across the board.

If for instance you know how to light a scene in the real world it's easier to adapt those approaches to the digital world.

Concepts of lighting in other software can be adapted as well.

 

As there is an internet full of information available on rendering and lighting those areas tend to be set aside in favor of those areas that are not the same accross platforms and software; primary spline technology and how that can be best put to use. While there are endless resources in the lighting and rendering arena, the go to book on lighting and rendering is still Jeremy Brin's 'Digital Lighting and Rendering'. Keep an eye out for it and you can find some copies on the cheap, especially the earlier editions.

 

Jeremy has some short and sweet articles on lighting and rendering that are must reads:

 

http://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2165641

 

 

Here are most of the articles your find via that link:

 

Top Ten Tips for More Convincing Lighting and Rendering *Hot off the presses! (13 Dec 2013)

 

Lighting Environments and Architecture in Animation (26 Nov 2013)

 

How to Create Realistic 3D Shadows (18 Aug 2006)

 

Lighting Your Imagery (Aug 2001)

 

These articles are short... which makes them even more useful. :)

 

Note that this last one has a tip that transformed my understanding of lighting and rendering and that is to... 'Start in Darkness'.

While it may be useful to setup and test with default lighting in any given program you really want to get rid of the defaults and create your own for your final rendering.

Having said that, A:M does provide a nice starting place with a three light setup.

My advise however would be when going for the final image delete those default lights and start in darkness. Then start to consider where the 'real' light and heat and emotion is coming from in your scene's specific environment.

 

Another tip worth noting when adjusting lights is, "When you begin adjusting a light, the first step is to solo the light."

Turn off all the lights except the one you are adjusting and see how it is effecting your scene. In some cases you may find the light you are adjusting isn't contributing as you thought and in some cases can even be deleted.

 

A third tip which I don't recall seeing from Jeremy Brin is to consider shading all models in neutral grey while testing to avoid having the surfaces of objects trick you into thinking you are seeing effects from the lighting when it is the effect of the surface (often not yet optimized for rendering) instead.

 

Thanks, I just bought the third edition.

 

What I was talking about though was lighting and rendering specifics.

 

For example:

 

does A:M support radiosity? Iif so how do I enable it. Where do I find all the rendering options? Etc, etc, etc.

 

As always, you seem to have an answer for everything. You must have decades of experience.

 

 

 

 

Welcome to the family Cybrknight!

If you want a specific tutorial on lighting in A:M then HolmeSlice has a basic introduction to lighting amongst his other excellent tutorials here: http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showforum=207 (Direct Link)

Also as mentioned by Rodney, Jeremy Brin's book on lighting is a must have. If you do have it then forum member Robcat has made some very useful notes on translating it into A:M specific terms.

You can find that here: http://www.hash.com/forums/index.php?showt...st&p=320978

 

You are a genius. Thanks for your awesome pointers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I was talking about though was lighting and rendering specifics.

 

For example:

 

does A:M support radiosity? Iif so how do I enable it. Where do I find all the rendering options? Etc, etc, etc.

 

You can enable radiosity in the Properties of a Choreography.

 

Rendering options would be under "Tools/Options/Rendering"...make sure "Advanced" is checked.

 

If you do a search of the forums for "radiosity" you'll find some discussions, including this one.

 

Hope that helps.

radiosity_01_01_2014.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello Cybrknight,

Please test this project, maybe it's what you want from A:M.

I'm sorry, I can't explain details in English because I'm very poor in grammar.

Render_02012556_2137.png

 

Don't forget to click to... [Calculate Radiosity...] and [Calculate IBL..] ...right-click in Choreography window.

This is the Project Folder :

The_Project.zip

 

My shot-note about this testing project (in Thai) with useful links.

[ http://www.bobby.in.th/TextBox/Lighting_wi...-Radiosity.html ]

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are some of my projects using exclusively a single light as the light source and radiosity . It's a very powerful resource.

 

big_foot.jpg

 

mascot_2010_xtaz.png

 

Pzu_in_a_bad_day_by_xtaz_design.jpg

 

The_biker_by_xtaz_design.jpg

 

The_Cockroach_by_xtaz_design.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

This was a very informative thread and inspiring as well. I have to say in regards to any renderer --its easy to make bad images it takes much more work to make better ones. AM's would not be an exception. I think as we can see though, AM can make some very nice images. So it's a little bit about tinkering and experimenting. But as others have indicated ---AM focus was always on animation and with that it would not be expected to hold AM renderer vs some of the newer most powerful stand alone renderers.

 

And indeed the opportunity of netrendering does help immensely when one is trying to render with some high caclulational images.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll just toss in my 2 cents regarding rendering engines in general:

Different rendering systems excel in different areas. One of the most-used production renderers is Pixar's PRMan - but one of the reasons it remains popular is it is entirely customizable. New shading methods can be written for any imaginable effect or surface, and it has been highly optimized for that sort of rigorous and highly extensible environment. PRMan is optimized for animation, it is not, however, optimized for a single artist doing an entire project on their lonesome.

 

As people have already pointed out, A:M is designed to be accessible to a single artist - as much power as possible with the least amount of technical obfuscation. This is definitely a strong point.

I personally use rendering features that A:M is not as good at - advanced lighting models, certain blurring effects, instancing, etc etc and while I model many organic forms in A:M, I do move into other packages for texturing and lighting (Texturing, by the way, is MUCH easier in A:M than other packages.)

 

Really, though, depending on what a client needs, I use the best tool for the job. I did a whole project modeled, animated, and rendered in A:M a couple years ago - and the client loved it. It was a cartoon-world theme park project and A:M's renderer was perfect for rendering all the scenes, characters, etc. It was a dream doing everything in one package =)

 

However another project called for a near-photo-real monster that needed matted fur and fire-laced breath. I ended up using three different programs to achieve that. (A:M was used for a multi-limbed humanoid creature in the same project. Renderer and all.)

 

Most recently I needed to model and render a hi-res still of completely photo-real pen. I actually had to switch renderers mid-project to achieve the perfect result and still finish by the deadline. (Client was EXTREMELY picky)

 

Basically, push your tools to their limits, but be willing to learn a new tool if your creative vision demands it =)

 

Okay, done babbling. =)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unity is really great... and it looks very promising... They are working with Mozilla to make their engine WebGL (playing without a plugin in a browser) and they are working with AMD currently to implenet Mantel...

Very cool stuff indead... realtime GI is very cool looking too. (it is very likely a trick and not realtime radiosity... sending out Millions of rays and tracking their behaviour in realtime is a little over the top for most GPUs today, if you ask me) but still it looks very very cool...

(if I am wrong, please let me know... that would be a great break through :) )

 

See you

*Fuchur*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll note that Global Illumination is not radiosity.

 

Radiosity truly includes the light bouncing off other surfaces in the scene. GI doesn't do that, it simulates it by using a map to color the light from different directions.

 

That is how it has been defined in the past.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What is the $1500 price for?

 

The pro-version costs $1500. In the past it was like that: For some advanced features you had to pay but the default once were free and you even could publish games with it, as long as you could get it going without the features.

Here you can see the differences between the pro and the free version (at least for Unity 4):

Compare versions

 

Just to note it: If you want to publish to different platforms like iOS or Android, Unity will cost more money again... But still it is a very powerful and nice 3d-/Game-engine with a very powerful Editor and environment.

I have used Unity in the past with A:M to create a small game with it, which can be found here and a turn around-application here.

 

See you

*Fuchur*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unity have licenced the Geomerics Enlighten engine for the GI. So because of that, I doubt the Geomerics GI will be available in the free Unity version. There have been several other people trying to implement GI in Unity over recent years too.

 

For a review of how Geomerics Enlighten works, see the following slides:

http://advances.realtimerendering.com/s201...g%20Course).pdf

 

For the record, there are many techniques for computing Global Illumination. Radiosity is only one of those techniques. It is an old and very limited technique and is not used anymore. Global Illumination simply means that all lighting effects (global lighting effects) are taken into account when rendering in contrast to local illumination that only takes direct lighting effects into account. Considering that radiosity cannot render several lighting effects, it is only because of its history that it is considered as a GI algorithm. Photon map is another technique to compute Global Illumination and this technique uses a photon map to provide the indirect illumination.

 

Enlighten uses a combination of several techniques to get GI in real time. Some of those techniques require precomputations and pre-run-time scene setup and are then combined with real-time use of those precomputed results. Using Enlighten in an animation project is likely to require a good amount of time in setting up the project for GI lighting. It is likely much less simple than placing some lights or a sky and press render as is the case with true GI.

 

But really, aside from that, I'd like to ask more general questions: Why looking for an external renderer anyways? What is expected? How would it be integrated in A:M pipeline?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yves, are these fair summaries of A:M lighting?

 

A:M Radiosity: A surface gets direct light from standard lights plus the light from those lights that bounces off other surfaces. There is no separate environmental light.

 

A:M Global Illumination: A surface gets direct light from standard lights plus environmental light, predefined by a map. There is no true bounce light.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Yves,

 

many thanks for your comment :). Always good to have someone who really knows what he is talking about ;).

 

But really, aside from that, I'd like to ask more general questions: Why looking for an external renderer anyways? What is expected? How would it be integrated in A:M pipeline?

 

Very likely it is about GPU-rendering speed using OpenCL or CUDA (I'd prefer OpenCL because of compatibility reasons even so some say CUDA is faster) and maybe the variation of the "style". (A:M has in my experience a very warm / not very "sharp" looking rendering result very well suited for comic characters while other renderers are often "harder" looking... I am not sure if this is the way it is because of Patches & Splines or if it is really a slight different in the renderer...)

 

See you

*Fuchur*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert,

 

Last time I worked on A:M, Radiosity wasn't available anymore. I doubt it is back. But I don't own the latest A:M version. Anyways...

 

The old A:M radiosity worked the following way: During a prerender pass, light rays were shot from lights sources and bounced in the scene surfaces. And as the rays were bounced, their energy were accumulated in color maps that were silently and automatically decaled on every surfaces in the scene. Then during the rendering pass, those decals were added to the direct lights to result in a radiosity render.

 

The curent Global Illumination algorithm used in A:M, is a Photon Mapper which is yet another technique for rendering global illumination. Photon Mapping works by shooting rays from the light sources into the scene during a pre-render pass, As those rays are bounced in the scene, their radiances are accumulated in a photon map. During the rendering pass, the photon map is combined with direct lighting to get a global illumination render. However, a photon map is not a color map decaled on surface. Rather it is an alternate 3D data structure that hold information about the photon hits.

 

By far the most used and versatile Global Illumination algorithm is Path Tracing or more specifically different variants of Path Tracing. An combining path tracing with photon mapping.

 

I think that what you are refering to, Robert, is Image Based Lighting. In itself, the IBL is not a GI algorithm but IBL can be used Inside a GI renderer to supply environmental lighting. IBL uses High Dynamic Range environment maps to supply the environment distribution of irradiances.

 

But GI algorithms don't need IBL to work. GI algorithm will compute the indirect lighting from the actual lights in the scene and bouncing these lights on the surfaces of the scene to get indirect illumination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very likely it is about GPU-rendering speed ...

Is that the main interest? Speed?

 

... and maybe the variation of the "style". (A:M has in my experience a very warm / not very "sharp" looking rendering result very well suited for comic characters while other renderers are often "harder" looking... I am not sure if this is the way it is because of Patches & Splines or if it is really a slight different in the renderer...)

You know, IMO, A large factor in this "warm" vs "sharp" look is solvable not by using a GI renderer but by following the linear workflow principles. I know of no GI renderer that does not follow those rules, in some cases even enforcing them by automatically converting the textures plus surface properties and the final render under the hood. The reason is simple, while one can get away without the linear workflow in a non GI renderer it is difficult to avoid with a GI renderer because you simply cannot get a photorealistic look without it even with the best renderer.

 

But whatever the renderer, linear workflow produces renders that look sharper because the light falloff on the surfaces is sharper. Even direct lighting will look more indirect by following the linear workflow principles.

 

So if this "warm" vs "sharp" look is the main reason, this can easily be solved with the current A:M renderer.

 

Anybody else want to share why he/she is looking for an external renderer?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yves, I remember the old radiosity that created a bitmap that was decaled on the surfaces. That one did not account for the color of bounced light. That one is gone.

 

But we still have the new radioisty called "Radiosity"

 

I think this is what you are calling "The current Global Illumination." I don't remember it ever begin called that previously, however.

 

Capture.JPG

 

 

By "Global Illumination" I meant the "Global Ambiance" above "radiosity" which does use a map to color the ambient light and is what you are calling " Image Based Lighting"

 

 

 

Fuchur, can you show an example of this...

(A:M has in my experience a very warm / not very "sharp" looking rendering result very well suited for comic characters while other renderers are often "harder" looking... I am not sure if this is the way it is because of Patches & Splines or if it is really a slight different in the renderer...)

 

Not sharp?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi Yves,

 

Frankly i dont understand all of that techy talk,

But it would be great to have the possibility to achieve a look and style

Like from physical correct renderes like cycles or maxwell.

If you are saying, you could come close with A:M if you are just knowilageable enough

The better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly i dont understand all of that techy talk,

But it would be great to have the possibility to achieve a look and style

Like from physical correct renderes like cycles or maxwell.

If you are saying, you could come close with A:M if you are just knowlegeable enough

The better.

I'm not saying that. Not at all.

 

I'm genuinely currious, though, about the expectations of those, like you, who dream of using an external physically based renderer with A:M. How do you imagine your workflow? Say you build a scene with A:M, and then what? Can you explain how you imagine the link between the scene you did in A:M and the physically based render? What are the steps? What do you need to do to your scene so it can render in a physically based renderer?

 

Have you ever rendered a scene with a physically based renderer before? How do you define the materials and the lights for example?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think, its not possible now in a way that makes sense (except the soulcagedepartment solution maybe )and most unlikeley, that we get a plugin solution from Hash to lets say cycles.

Simply not realistic at the moment or near future.

 

So for some of my purposes i am transfering some of my charas , assets to poly with the obj exporter , liberating

Many renderpipelines, but in that case that Leads to using others applications for most tasks ,leaving A:M just for basemeshmodeling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Frankly i dont understand all of that techy talk,

But it would be great to have the possibility to achieve a look and style

Like from physical correct renderes like cycles or maxwell.

If you are saying, you could come close with A:M if you are just knowlegeable enough

The better.

I'm not saying that. Not at all.

 

I'm genuinely currious, though, about the expectations of those, like you, who dream of using an external physically based renderer with A:M. How do you imagine your workflow? Say you build a scene with A:M, and then what? Can you explain how you imagine the link between the scene you did in A:M and the physically based render? What are the steps? What do you need to do to your scene so it can render in a physically based renderer?

 

Have you ever rendered a scene with a physically based renderer before? How do you define the materials and the lights for example?

 

Just to make it clear: I am quite pleased with the A:M Renderengine... I think it is quite a fast CPU renderer (and very likely one of the easierst to use).

 

I know from a recently discontinued 3d software (Softimage), that they use special materials or light/light types directly in the software, which only work with the specific renderer they are built for...

 

The best intigration I could imagine would be (I highly doubt, that this is possible in an easy way):

- Create your models, textures, materials, chor with lightenting, etc. as before.

- Click on "Render to file".

- Get a question which renderer to use. "A:M Native, LuxRender GPU, Arnold" (or whatever).

-> A:M converts the scene to be useable for the other renderer (not visible for the user).

- The external renderer starts up and asks for which settings to use. (which would be MUCH more complicated if you ask me compared to the render dialog in A:M, which I find very easy to use and very well suited to work with.

> I am not sure if this will really give a significant different result (at least not if the converter does not do anything very different with the scene)

 

Another possible workflow I could imagine, with more control, but maybe even harder to do:

- Go to the options and choose a renderer to be used in A:M. "A:M Native, LuxRender GPU, Arnold", etc.

- (since most other rendering-engines are expensive (like Arnold or Maxwell) you would have to specific a path to the installation of them.

- Create your models and textures as before and integrated some "external" materials and lights (for instance Arealights, etc) in A:M which could very likely only be renderer using Arnold.

> All the rendering work would be done in the other renderer now, since you importated materials and lights which are not compatible with A:M anymore (due to different settings, etc.)

 

Again: This is how I imagine it, but I am very aware of the disadvantages in workflow that may result in.

//////////////////////////////////////////////

My opinion is: A:M's Renderer can do everything that I ever need to do and it very likely would be my lack of knowledge and/or experience that would prevent me from doing something...

If you ask me, A:M's renderer would need some sort of GPU-optimisation (for instance OpenCL-based) and maybe some sort of area lights and maybe light-emitting surfaces (which very likely results in longer rendering times) and it could do anything I could imagine it to do...

 

A comparision between renderers can be seen here:

Compare renderer

I am well aware, that all obviously visible differences in the renderings are all possible to overcome in the renderers...

 

See you

*Fuchur*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Fuchur, can you show an example of this...

(A:M has in my experience a very warm / not very "sharp" looking rendering result very well suited for comic characters while other renderers are often "harder" looking... I am not sure if this is the way it is because of Patches & Splines or if it is really a slight different in the renderer...)

 

Not sharp?

 

Very hard to tell... it really is about the default behaviour I think...

I had a customer a half year ago who asked for a specific look I just could not get from A:M (very likely because of my lack of knowledge... a horror of any 3d artist: Customer shows you an image and says: "Excatly that look... do it like that." or even better: "I once saw an image I liked very much... it looked cooler and more sharp... do it that way...". In the end it was a scanline renderer (at least I think it was) with very nicely (and only in that specific situation suited) materials which made the image he was refering to. It looked bright and hard very sharp reflections and it was about a transparent, glass syringe with a glue-like liquid in it in a very bright environment (white) since the companie's CD needed it that way.

 

Very hard to tell, very hard to create in the short timeframe they had and close to impossible without heavy post work...

I will see if I can show off an image (at least a part of the image) so you can see what I am talking about but I have to be very careful since this is nothing allowed to be shown in the public (prescription medical background with a big customer...).

In the end they took one part of my animation they liked very much (about a transparent plastic injector and the other part was produced by someone else (looking sharp and cool ;) ).

 

I understood what they wanted but I could not get it without changing the part they liked about it since I had to change the lightening of the scene for that and I doubt I could have created it that well as the other company did... I am quite sure it could have been done, but I just was not able to do it...

 

See you

*Fuchur*

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've used Lumion 3D with really satisfactory results.

 

I have to export the Hash Model(s) out as .3ds or .obj.

 

But it has all the atmospheric elements and environment tools to populate some sharp scenes.

 

GPU is necessary, but even on a mid level machine, the render times are "Bionic" ;)

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYHVVtdeCas

 

Some of the examples look too good to be true, but I have found it to be absolutely awesome just like the samples.

 

Fortunately I got the software not long after they started selling it. I think the price is a bit higher now.

 

Cheers,

 

Kevin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lumion has some very nice aspects to it.

I suppose it all depends on the purpose it is to be used for and it certainly excels at that architectural flavor of rendering.

As such I can see it being used to create/populate backgrounds which in turn could be used with A:M.

It does implement some things that would save a lot of time if setup in A:M (creating a Chor setup or Project that allows the user to set a time of day and have the lighting adjust accordingly).

That's more about optimizing settings and sharing them with the community than anything else however.

The HDR assets are readily available and waiting to be exploited.

We (collectively) just don't use them as often as we should.

 

There is a free version for non-commercial use so everyone can use Lumion to some extent.

The free version contains a watermark. The next tiers cost $299, $1499 and $2999 respectively.

 

http://lumion3d.com/free/

 

Note: The free version is 3.2 but 4.0 is about to be released.

I'm not sure if the free version lags behind or if both free and paid releases stay in sync.

At this point I assume they stay in sync.

 

Disclaimer: Lumion doesn't run on my current system. It fails to pass the initial benchmark test that runs when first loading.

I'm not sure if this is a hardware issue, a RAM issue or perhaps both but some sort of graceful exit would be ideal.

After all that's the whole point of running the benchmark.

 

Here's the minimum requirements:

 

OS: 64-bit Windows Vista, 7 or 8

System memory: 4GB (for simple scenes)

Graphics card: NVidia GeForce GTS 450 or ATI/AMD Radeon HD 4890 (minimum 1,500 PassMark points), with at least 1GB dedicated memory (not shared system memory).

Harddrive: 7.5GB of disk space

Using Lumion via Remote Desktop is not supported

Lumion 4 requires an internet connection.

 

My current system fails in at least two areas.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For those interested in getting photo real renders, I would suggest trying your hands on Lagoa:

http://home.lagoa.com/

 

I know these guys and they have build a superb online system that uses the cloud for rendering. You can register for free and there are no differences in functionalities between the free and paid registrations. The only differences are in the amount of cloud resources allocated for rendering so don't expect the sort of blazingly fast rendering as you can see in their videos if you use the free registration but you can still get photo real renders of your scenes if this is what you are looking for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I know from a recently discontinued 3d software (Softimage), that they use special materials or light/light types directly in the software, which only work with the specific renderer they are built for...

This is an important observation and is the case of all physically based renderers.

 

The best intigration I could imagine would be (I highly doubt, that this is possible in an easy way):

- Create your models, textures, materials, chor with lightenting, etc. as before.

- Click on "Render to file".

- Get a question which renderer to use. "A:M Native, LuxRender GPU, Arnold" (or whatever).

-> A:M converts the scene to be useable for the other renderer (not visible for the user).

- The external renderer starts up and asks for which settings to use. (which would be MUCH more complicated if you ask me compared to the render dialog in A:M, which I find very easy to use and very well suited to work with.

> I am not sure if this will really give a significant different result (at least not if the converter does not do anything very different with the scene)

I can tell you that this workflow is not going to give you the photoreal renders that you would expect. The problematic step here is "A:M converts the scene to be usable for the other renderer". While converting the geometry is easy, converting lights to physically defined lights is difficult and converting materials to physically defined material is impossible. And this is why every physically based renderers out there use their own materials.

 

Another possible workflow I could imagine, with more control, but maybe even harder to do:

- Go to the options and choose a renderer to be used in A:M. "A:M Native, LuxRender GPU, Arnold", etc.

- (since most other rendering-engines are expensive (like Arnold or Maxwell) you would have to specific a path to the installation of them.

- Create your models and textures as before and integrated some "external" materials and lights (for instance Arealights, etc) in A:M which could very likely only be renderer using Arnold.

> All the rendering work would be done in the other renderer now, since you importated materials and lights which are not compatible with A:M anymore (due to different settings, etc.)

This is a more plausible workflow but nearly impossible to integrate in A:M unless you select one specific renderer that you want to integrate in A:M. The problematic step here is the "imported materials and lights". It would be a huge amount of work to allow A:M to import the material and lights definition from all the external renderers around. And in several of those renderers, their material definition is closed and not available for import.

 

If you ask me, A:M's renderer would need ... maybe some sort of area lights and maybe light-emitting surfaces (which very likely results in longer rendering times)

No. Area lights and light emitting materials don't result in longer render times in the sense that they are not more expensive to sample than the current lights. You currently have area lights in A:M and can see the results when you use ray-traced multipass soft shadows.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's what I've always been wondering... I didn't see how it was possible to use an external renderer without redoing all the lights and textures in that other environment.

 

So... it's not possible. You need to learn all the materials and lights of that other renderer to get the result that that renderer gets.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...