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https://youtu.be/z5nBA45DvRo

 

Andrew Kramer has announced a November release for Video Copilot's Element Version 2.

 

Element is an Adobe After Effects plug-in that offers realtime GPU based 3D rendering, right within the After Effects application. Version 1 was a big hit but had obvious drawbacks in that with realtime GPU you can not generate shadows or reflections... well, with V2 he appears to have jumped those hurdles, and threw in realtime sub-surface-scattering and refraction as well! The shadows, refraction and SSS look pretty nice, and the reflections use a bit of a 'cheat' as realtime raytracing is still unobtainable.

 

It is kind of amazing! Prices and upgrades have not been figured yet, and the release date is 'November'... Element 1 was less than $700.

 

What does this mean for A:Mer's?

 

It offers a possible 'alternate render' solution, something some users may never need- others may have been longing for... PLUS- the fact it is REAL TIME is a bit of a bonus! Another new feature being that obj imports in Element will support accompanying .mat files... which A:M's obj exporter is capable of generating. Element ALSO supports .obj sequence imports- so exporting actions, textures, and models from A:M looks all possible... and with Elements new 'physical' materials users may want to leave some of the attributes blank for texturing in Element with their robust presets and easy manipulation. Element V2 may be 'luring' users from C4D, Max, modo, Maya for their rendering needs.

 

Among other new features(there are many I am missing) is a 'primitives' generator, but Element does not claim to be a modeling program at all.

The 'speed of realtime' is actually limited by your graphics card and the speed of your After Effects... as he demonstrates at :25 where loads the engine model into his AE RAM-preview... that is the 3D renderer working 'zippity-click' FAST!!! The render QUALITY may be open for debate, especially with inaccurate non-raytraced reflections, and 'who-knows' about the anti-aliasing smoothness (I have Element V1, renders were 'not bad' from what I saw... I got busy learning other apps and it fell thru the cracks...) But from what we can see in this demo... renders look pretty good!

 

Still are some features users are requesting... would be good to see mdd support... but Element V2 looks like something to keep an eye on as a complimentary program to A:M!

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Looks cool, Serg... reminds me of Lumion 3D architectural pre-vis app:

 

http://lumion3d.com/

 

Lumion has V5 coming out soon... times are exciting in the realtime world right now with all these emerging applications!

 

I know William Detwiler(DetBear) uses Lumion, I wonder what his impression is of Twinmotion

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Here is some cool samples of work being done in Lumion:

 

If you look closely, you will notice something 'wonky' with reflections, but- INCREDIBLE lens effects, water, environments, and architectural pre-vis's for their competition.

 

http://lumion3d.com/winners-lumion-competition-2014/

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Hey Guys,

 

I have little doubt that Twin Motion works well. But for me at this time, I wouldn't think of switching over from Lumion. The

Lumion team is very nice and they work to help on their forum. I find their forum help and support to be much like ours

here at A:M. They are very quick to respond and help.

 

I do use Lumion a good bit. I have Lumion 4.5 and get 5 when it comes out in 8 days. It is simply amazing. It isn't

a modeler and it has no character tools as we think of them. It is specifically for importing and rendering models inside of

it's environment producing system. Hands down....it's edge is SPEED. I would say the ease of use is a 9.8 out of 10.

 

Whereas VUE's ease of use I would give about a 4.5. VUE's speed is well........Ghastly slow...

 

Lumion is a powerhouse of a software that is very impressive. IMO

 

William

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Thanks for that review and endorsement, William- is VUE the same software that Serg mentioned above- Twinmotion...? Or are there 3 major arch-cad-pre-vis softwares?

 

As far as not being able to animate within Lumion, you can still import animated characters, right? I see lots of 'avatars' within their videos... are those Lumion 'safe' generated and come with the software-- or could you possibly model/animate characters outside the app and bring them in for use within your Lumion scene.

 

ALSO, have you heard any 'hubb-bubb' on what Lumion 5 will be featuring?

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Hey,

 

No. Vue & Twin Motion are two different softwares. VUE is a widely used matte painting tool for feature films.

 

HOWEVER.....Vue is a very slow renderer compared to these newer "real time platforms".

 

Don't get me wrong, VUE makes extremely great feature quality images. But you have to have a render farm to

get the frames at a good speed.

 

ABOUT LUMION 5:

 

From what I understand, the programmers and staff at Lumion decided that they released too much about their previous versions. This time they're

keeping it all secret until October 20th. In my opinion, they are wise in doing this because they are way, way, way ahead of the curb.

I anticipate that in the future they will be adding compatibility with fbx and animation utilities. If they were to merge motion capture files

and character transfers like BVH's it would be a really exciting move.

 

William

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Thankfully, I get the upgrade because of my current Lumion License. So I'm very excited about the announcement today.

 

The promo teaser (at the end) claims a 50% faster render on the same hardware. It's already SUPERSONIC fast, so the speed improvement alone

is extremely amazing.

 

Physically based materials will be a great feature as well. The water reflections also add more realism.

 

Currently I'm working on a very large scale architectural project. This may come at just the right time. Even though Lumion 4.5 is already working really well.

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There are two things previewed in Lumion that I'd like to see implemented in A:M.

Note that only one actually exists in Lumion... the other is just hinted at in the preview.

 

Mass Placement

With mass placement you draw a line and along that line a set of objects are placed.

The most common usage for this type of thing to date has been to place trees into a scene.

Other programs such as Unity follow more of a paint-it-into-the-scene approach.

What success might look like in A:M is drawing a path that has a set of sequential models applied to it.

The keyframe numbers and the ease of those keyframes for objects on that path could then be adjusted.

 

While it would not be as elegant as a feature programmed specifically for that purpose we can creating this feature ourselves by setting up an Action that references a group of models (sequentially or otherwise) which then could be applied to an empty model dropped into the Chor. The path would then be adjusted as required. This approach would lack dynamic adjustment of keyframes and quantities but would otherwise work quite well.

 

Time-set rendering

This is the one that isn't quite a feature in Lumion but is a good approach to rendering in my estimation.

(In Lumion the quality of rendering is apparently set with 'stars'. IOW if you want a really high quality rendering you would set the render to '5 stars'.)

 

The idea here being to 'set' the quality of a render based on the user's time desired.

If you desire a 30 minute render per frame you get exactly that.

If you desire 1 minute per frame... same same.

The trick here of course would be to ensure the quality of render for objects in a scene remains consistent across n number of frames.

For still frames some variation might be okay but for animation changes in quality might produce strobing effects or worse.

Again, I am not suggesting that Lumion has this feature... the preview only hints at that.

 

It's already SUPERSONIC fast,

 

Can you define 'supersonic'. (I must assume you don't mean that Lumion literally renders at 768 miles per hour here)

I assume the end goal of rendering is 'immediate' or 'real time' but 'supersonic' doesn't provide a clear point of reference.

I will say though that '50% of supersonic' does sound fast. :)

 

This does play into my thought above about Time-set rendering.

This 'could' be a way to more accurately measure rendering in that 1000 fps would be a useful measurement (within the same renderer). This could be used as a means of comparison from renderer to renderer as well as long as the final quality of the rendered images (primarily for animation... not only still frames) were specifically accounted for. In other words if a VERY low quality was desired 1000 fps could be set and the renderer would render for exactly 1 second**. Likewise, if the renderer was set to 24 fph (24 frames per hour) in one hour you would have 24 frames (quality of each frame averaged... or otherwise set... over all frames). Hope that makes sense. ;)

 

 

*Time-set rendering is a term I am using. I don't know what such a thing would actually be called.

** The number of frames rendered in 1 second being what I consider a high watermark.

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Supersonic is just my way of saying it's faster than anything I've ever used.

 

AS FAR AS THE "Stars" THINGY. That's a recent add. Even with the stars all the way up, it's still Supersonic fast :)...

 

THE WAY I see it is that Lumion is a much different type software. The things I love about Animation Master, would never effectively work

as easy in Lumion. And also the other way around.

 

Lumion is an environment builder to bring CG assets into....ALL the things that normally drive the renderer into the dirt, are streamlined in lumion

almost automatically. Wind, caustics, volumetric lighting, water, reflections, Shadows,displacement mapping, particles like leaves and atmospheric dust in the air, etc.

 

I do like the concept there of having a time set render feature....ALTHOUGH I think the results would be yuky.

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I do like the concept there of having a time set render feature....ALTHOUGH I think the results would be yuky.

 

It would be very hard to get consistent results from a vast number of settings versus only a few or 'none'.

 

One of the ways that Lumion can be optimized so well is that it limits the options available to the user... thereby increasing throughput.

A major issue with time-based rendering would be the difference you get say when you use Global Illumination (or all the fancy bells and whistles on) vs when you render with all options off. One minute render of one wouldn't get you near to the other... in fact the first might not even be fully calculated in that timeframe. But here I assume that the 'rendering time' is mostly that from the moment calculations are already performed but now must be executed. The trick to such a thing would likely be to 'entertain' the user while the calculations are being done in the background. In other words, there is a large part of 'rendering' that is perceptual. Current efforts to gradually reveal an image and then refine that image the longer you wait are an example of that approach. The answer to the question of 'How much quality do you want?' then depends on how long you are willing to wait for it. In essence this is almost 'time-set rendering' except for the setting part. In that scheme of rendering the setting is obviously set high and the renderer will keep chugging away until either that level is reached or the user gives up but I'm not sure most of those renderers allow you to change that upper limit (although they should if they don't).

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Long time ago Electric Image solved some of the speed issues in rendering radiosity by baking it in the objects. Something that might be possible with SSS, reflections etc. in AM.

 

If I remember right you build the model, baked the attributes and you were able to animate and when render time came the info was pretty much done. Baking might work with GPU's.

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Supersonic is just my way of saying it's faster than anything I've ever used.

 

THE WAY I see it is that Lumion is a much different type software. The things I love about Animation Master, would never effectively work

as easy in Lumion. And also the other way around.

THIS is what I have been eluding to and is basically the reason for this thread.

 

SUPERSONIC... I've recently been toying with full blown versions of modo801 and C4D R15, both amazing renderers... I had a job come along that asked for a 'chandelier' effect... basically thin plates of backlit beveled glass both reflecting and refracting 1000's of other glass pieces around them, as they all rotate slowly. Now= I know A:M has the capability renderwise and featurewise to do this... but the rendertimes in both apps were around 20 seconds per frame with soft reflect/refracts... at 1920 X1080 HD resolution... with 'off the hook' render quality.

 

The problem I had was getting the 1 'master' plate with bevels and thicknesses just the way I envisioned them. I know both apps CAN do it but I am not advanced enuff... but I turned to A:M and made my model lickety-splick - exported a obj file, applied a glass material in the other app- adjusted to taste(I ended up using C4D because the mograph module multiplied and displaced the multiple parts easily)

 

I didn't try an A:M render- but I think the frames would have been at least 10+ min per frame or more. Now, modo and C4D are not GPU renderers, but take the 20 sec per and divide that by 4 or 5...6 and we are talking SUPERSONIC!

 

What I am envisioning, and hoping the future will hold... is the ability to setup, model and animate SCENES in A:M and export via obj, obj seq, collada, mdd, bvh into other apps like these for advanced texturing and rendering. THAT is why I am talking Element 3D, Lumion V5 etc... I know they are kinda 'game quality' now... but in 2 years... !

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Recently, I was invited to visit one of the largest 3D printing facilities in the South East. These guys print unbelievably large components. They also use realtime simulations in correlation with their

developments. AND GUESS WHAT SOFTWARE THEY ARE PUTTING THE BIG BUCKS INTO!!!! UNITY.

 

SO with the large industries placing their large budgets into Unity.....It wouldn't be a bad idea to become familiar with it ;)

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My first test with exporting animation from A:M via obj sequence straight into Element3DV2 rendering using the After Effects 3D camera and E3D providing DOF, shadows, reflections, textures, fog. Having some trouble with my GPU in After Effects or possibly a E3D bug- but working out the method, slowly.

 

Render time per frame at 1920 X 1080 res... 2 seconds. Happy with that!

E3Dproblem render2.mov

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Hey Matt C.,

 

A quick question and very important... Is there a way that you know of to match the Camera(and camera motion) of an A:M shot with Element in order to also match a shot?

 

Thanks,

 

William

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Hi William- No, I don't. too many factors involved... mainly that E3D is an 'in between' program between A:M- where the models and animation happen, and After Effects- where the camera is set. If anyone has figured an A:M to AE camera export method, maybe thqat would work. Hope you are well!

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Another E3D sample: A 'quickie-logo' starting in A:M and exported via OBJ to E3D in After Effects for PBR materials, animation and... NO RENDERING! It is just another layer on the timeline and when I render my final movie file, the 3D renders... really quick! I liked in this sample how I was able to get really close with the camera to the model and the details just come alive. Just really important to have your normals facing right way in A:M

temp2.jpg

E3D_RR2.mov

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Resurrecting this old thread to show some E3D stuff.

This was a nifty little combo between A:M and E3D (Element 3D, a GPU renderer)

 

Client is International, they make semi-trucks. Their logo has a very particular hi-light to the letters that are cutout of the metal... 1st thought was to simply use a boolean to cut out (reverse) the letters in C4D, but then, that would ignore the particular hi-light- I know how these corporate clients are sticklers for the details of their logo (it is very important.) So I knew I had to MODEL this particular little offset highlight(it is the white edge around the text)... C4D's modeller is easy for simple stuff but I don't know it well enough to get intricate like this. But I know A:M's, and it was pretty straightforward. I also used Photoshop to prepare the images to be used as the 'metal' from the logo itself and applied them as decals in A:M. Once I had the bar with the text modelled- I used the mesh-mode deformer to put the 'bend' into the bar, and exported the model as an .obj WITHOUT using the 'generate model maps' function (when I used it... it had seems around each patch image... no good.) But, when I opened the OBJ in C4D- there were the images (now considered UV's) I was then able to send the file out to the other animators working on the job who were scratching their heads as to how I did it (ancient Chinese secret...!)

 

Whatever new changes are coming in V19... EASY REQUEST... don't change anything with the obj exporter! It rocks!

 

Once I confirmed everything was looking good in C4D I saved it as a C4D file (yes, I used C4D as a very expensive file-converter...) and imported the .c4d file into Element 3D- which resides as a filter inside of After Effects. Element has some nifty render features... on this, I employed DOF, AO, shadows,glow, and set some E3D physical materials onto what were once my A:M groups. As a quick test, I used E3D's replicator to duplicate the model 8X and gave it a spin... an AE camera and 2 AE lights(AE is SO clunky in 3D!)... the lens-flare was another AE layer with Video CoPilots lens-flare applied. RENDER at 1920 X1080 took 2 seconds per frame- 10 minutes to make a :10 loop. I am using E3D more and more in these corporate jobs and A:M is a perfect model generator and animation program for it. (as far as animation goes, the graph editor in A:M just plain ROCKS! I struggle with C4D and After Effects graph editors and come to realize... they just don't GET IT.)

3Dlogo spin test.mp4

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Re-visiting this old thread... kicking some life into it because I am excited about this. Had another 'A:M to E3D' job this week, where I needed footage of an old-timey film projector and the client was sold on a certain look and style... the resolution was above HD (some 2500 px X 700 high for a corporate presentation before some 5000 employees) The popular consensus was that I could just 'find some footage of that style projector' to use... which I knew was a million to 1... and- I am an animator, not a google-researcher... so I modeled in A:M and exported as .obj to E3D within After-Effects and animated the camera doing exactly what was needed for our establishing shot. With all the After-Effects lens-flares and additional effects added... full resolution renders are taking less than 1 second per frame- with full shadows/reflections/AO/DOF/fog and PBR materials. LOVE!

3D Projector 1.mp4

aaa_1.jpg

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Very nice :). I love the look of it and with that kind of render speed, it really must have been fun :).

Best regards

*Fuchur*

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