"Schools Out" Renders so slow

marblemarble Posts: 4,259
edited December 1969 in The Commons

I bought School's Out while it was on sale but I'm afraid it will not be used. The main problem is there are bits of geometry which are not selectable in the scene and which slow down the render to snail's pace.

These are items of vegetation (leafy ivy on the walls, etc.). I can find them in the surfaces tab but they are not listed in the scene. Thus, turning off the opacity does nothing to speed up the render - they are still processed as though they are present.

Any hints? Could I prevent the offending geometry from being loaded into the scene?

Comments

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 21,654
    edited December 1969

    Is there the option to load the scene, versus loading the building or whatever has the offending ivy/slow-down-props? If you have selected the surface tool and can find the ivy in Surfaces, but not in Scene, that tells me it is in a "group" that won't be broken down (if I recall correctly)

    If there is an option to load things separately, you might find the building or whatever has the vegetation may have it listed that way.

    That is annoying if you don't have much control with what's in the scene or it's removal by hiding it. Vendors should take that into consideration and I'm surprised AntFarm didn't. I don't have the product so can't check it.

  • JackFosterJackFoster Posts: 143
    edited December 1969

    I don't know if you have access to Poser, and there may be a better way, but if you can load the model in Poser, you can use the grouping tool to select everything besides the vegetation using the materials, then spawn a new prop from it. It's not ideal, but it's one possible solution.

  • marblemarble Posts: 4,259
    edited April 2015

    Novica said:
    Is there the option to load the scene, versus loading the building or whatever has the offending ivy/slow-down-props? If you have selected the surface tool and can find the ivy in Surfaces, but not in Scene, that tells me it is in a "group" that won't be broken down (if I recall correctly)

    If there is an option to load things separately, you might find the building or whatever has the vegetation may have it listed that way.

    That is annoying if you don't have much control with what's in the scene or it's removal by hiding it. Vendors should take that into consideration and I'm surprised AntFarm didn't. I don't have the product so can't check it.

    Afriad not - the plants are included in the base object. I've PM'ed Ant Farm but I'm in the UK so there may well be a time difference.

    In the meantime, it has just occurred to me to change the shaders to UberSurface so that I can disable Ray Tracing on those surfaces.

    [EDIT]

    OK - that helped. It still lingers over the vegetation but the render time has been cut in half. It races over the brickwork but slows down considerably on the "greens". I'd still like the option to remove the geometry.

    As for Poser - I have Poser 10 but hate it. Just can't get the hang of it (and it crashes often) - biggest waste of money ever for me.

    School_Exterior_Render_02.png
    1600 x 1280 - 4M
    Post edited by marble on
  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 61,063
    edited December 1969

    You can also use the Geometry Edit tool in DS - switch to the tool, from the Tool Settings pane, then in the Tool Settings pane click the + next to each surface you want to zap; right-click in the viewport and click Geometry Visibility>Hide Selected Polygon(s), then right-click again and select Geometry Editing>Delete Hidden Polygons.

  • marblemarble Posts: 4,259
    edited April 2015

    You can also use the Geometry Edit tool in DS - switch to the tool, from the Tool Settings pane, then in the Tool Settings pane click the + next to each surface you want to zap; right-click in the viewport and click Geometry Visibility>Hide Selected Polygon(s), then right-click again and select Geometry Editing>Delete Hidden Polygons.

    You always come up with stuff I didn't even know was there, Richard :) I'll certainly give that a try.


    [EDIT]

    Wonderful! Render time down from the original 14 minutes to under 3 mins. Thank you :)

    Post edited by marble on
  • AntManAntMan Posts: 1,870
    edited April 2015

    Thanks Richard, I got to the thread a bit late but I am glad you're omnipresent and were able to help.
    Also Does the DS render engine have the ability or setting to ignore hidden or back facing polygons when rendering.


    PS I'll keep the veggies on the side next time.

    Post edited by AntMan on
  • marblemarble Posts: 4,259
    edited December 1969

    Thanks Richard, I got to the thread a bit late but I am glad you're omnipresent and were able to help.
    Also Does the DS render engine have the ability or setting to ignore hidden or back facing polygons when rendering.


    PS I'll keep the veggies on the side next time.

    Aside from the geometry issue, I have to compliment you on such a realistic looking set. I have the city block one which was also on sale but have yet to try that. I'll get to it soon.

  • JOdelJOdel Posts: 5,134
    edited December 1969

    You can also use the Geometry Edit tool in DS - switch to the tool, from the Tool Settings pane, then in the Tool Settings pane click the + next to each surface you want to zap; right-click in the viewport and click Geometry Visibility>Hide Selected Polygon(s), then right-click again and select Geometry Editing>Delete Hidden Polygons.

    Does that actually delete the polygons from the model, or just from the matt zone/face group? I've tried deleting polys with the geometry editor, but it just threw them into a group called 'default'.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 61,063
    edited December 1969

    JOdel said:
    You can also use the Geometry Edit tool in DS - switch to the tool, from the Tool Settings pane, then in the Tool Settings pane click the + next to each surface you want to zap; right-click in the viewport and click Geometry Visibility>Hide Selected Polygon(s), then right-click again and select Geometry Editing>Delete Hidden Polygons.

    Does that actually delete the polygons from the model, or just from the matt zone/face group? I've tried deleting polys with the geometry editor, but it just threw them into a group called 'default'.

    If you do the two-step process of hide, then delete hidden then yes. If you simply select and delete the material zone (or selection group) then no, as you are only reorganising the polygons not removing them.

  • JOdelJOdel Posts: 5,134
    edited December 1969

    Thank you, that will be a tremendous help in kitbashing.

  • NovicaNovica Posts: 21,654
    edited December 1969


    PS I'll keep the veggies on the side next time.

    LOL.
    You're thoughtful :)

  • CypherFOXCypherFOX Posts: 3,349
    edited December 1969

    Greetings,
    Weird; I was fairly sure that setting an opacity of 0 was treated as 'not there' for the purposes of rendering speed; is that not the case...?

    -- Morgan

  • FixmypcmikeFixmypcmike Posts: 17,698
    edited December 1969

    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    Weird; I was fairly sure that setting an opacity of 0 was treated as 'not there' for the purposes of rendering speed; is that not the case...?

    -- Morgan

    No, AFAIK the calculations don't treat 0 opacity as a special case.

  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    Weird; I was fairly sure that setting an opacity of 0 was treated as 'not there' for the purposes of rendering speed; is that not the case...?

    -- Morgan

    No, AFAIK the calculations don't treat 0 opacity as a special case.

    It treats it as if it was transparent...because even, in some cases, transparent things can cause shadows, occlude other surfaces, interact in other ways with light. Turning the 'eye' off on geometry, in the Scene tab DOES make it as if it were not there, though (or the 'visible in render' item under the object's parameters). So, if it wasn't a separate object then no, it's still calculated.

    With more complex surface shaders, it may be possible to drop 0 opacity items out of the render calculations, but it's definitely not with the default ones. It would probably involve all sorts of raytype tests and such, and may not actually end up being any faster...

  • TeofaTeofa Posts: 823
    edited December 1969

    If you delete the polys do the vertices remain?

  • SpottedKittySpottedKitty Posts: 6,827
    edited December 1969

    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    Weird; I was fairly sure that setting an opacity of 0 was treated as 'not there' for the purposes of rendering speed; is that not the case...?

    -- Morgan

    No, AFAIK the calculations don't treat 0 opacity as a special case.
    What about also removing all texture settings from the materials? The geometry is still there, but it shouldn't have the overhead of processing the textures of completely transpartent mesh as well...

    ...or will it?

  • marblemarble Posts: 4,259
    edited April 2015

    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    Weird; I was fairly sure that setting an opacity of 0 was treated as 'not there' for the purposes of rendering speed; is that not the case...?

    -- Morgan

    No, AFAIK the calculations don't treat 0 opacity as a special case.


    What about also removing all texture settings from the materials? The geometry is still there, but it shouldn't have the overhead of processing the textures of completely transpartent mesh as well...

    ...or will it?

    I'm not sure what you mean by texture settings but I zeroed out everything (diffuse/spec/gloss/bump, etc.) in the surfaces tab with little to no effect. Changing the shader to Ubersurface and killing raytrace did help but the most dramatic effect was achieved by following Richard's method, above.

    Post edited by marble on
  • marblemarble Posts: 4,259
    edited December 1969

    One more point about this product. While it looks very realistic from a distance, it really needs a displacement or a normal map for the brickwork. The edges of the walls, etc., are razor sharp.

    I seem to remember that displacement maps can be created by desaturating the texture in Photoshop and applying the B&W image into the displacement channel. Is that correct?

    I'll give it a try when I get some time later.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 61,063
    edited December 1969

    marble said:
    Cypherfox said:
    Greetings,
    Weird; I was fairly sure that setting an opacity of 0 was treated as 'not there' for the purposes of rendering speed; is that not the case...?

    -- Morgan

    No, AFAIK the calculations don't treat 0 opacity as a special case.


    What about also removing all texture settings from the materials? The geometry is still there, but it shouldn't have the overhead of processing the textures of completely transpartent mesh as well...

    ...or will it?

    I'm not sure what you mean by texture settings but I zeroed out everything (diffuse/spec/gloss/bump, etc.) in the surfaces tab with little to no effect. Changing the shader to Ubersurface and killing raytrace did help but the most dramatic effect was achieved by following Richard's method, above.

    The issue is mainly the shadow calculations - if you don't have shadows on the lights things will be faster. As we know from the AoA Advanced lights, the shadow calculation defaults to evaluating the shader on a surface to decide if it should be casting a shadow - for the AoA lights using flagging you can tell a recipient surface to just use the object property and apply it to the whole geometry with a speed gain, and that might work here depending on what else you wanted to cast shadows on the walls and ground and depending on how wrong the square leaf shadows would look..

  • linvanchenelinvanchene Posts: 1,303
    edited April 2015

    Because I am a huge fan of all the creative designs of the artists your posts motivated me to check if I can replicate the mentioned issues.

    I am under the impression that most of those issues are not the "fault" of the artists but they exist because in the past the artists did not have many alternatives to work around the issues you mentioned.

    My motivation of this post is to illustrate on this practical example how "new" render engines like Iray and OctaneRender now offer new opportunites to solve some of those issues the OP mentioned.


    marble said:
    The main problem is there are bits of geometry which are not selectable in the scene and which slow down the render to snail's pace.

    I tried the scene in the OctaneRender for DAZ Studio plugin and there it rendered very fast. After about 30 seconds even at 3840x2160 resolution the noise cleared up in the highest quality PMC mode.

    In OctaneRender when you hoover with your mouse over the live viewport all the surfaces names appear in a pop up window.
    With the OcDS surface selection tool you can click on any surface in the live viewport to open it in the materials tab or the Node Graph Editor.
    With another click of a button you could simply hide the surface or the object that slows your scene down EVEN when the object is part of a group and cannot be clicked individually in the DAZ scene tab.


    marble said:
    One more point about this product. While it looks very realistic from a distance, it really needs a displacement or a normal map for the brickwork. The edges of the walls, etc., are razor sharp.

    I had a look at the provided bump map and the issue seems to be that the map covers to large of an area.

    You may be able to spot in the screenshot that the bulldog logo is also part of the mainbrick wall texture.
    It seems for the all walls one 4000x4000 texture was used.
    While in theory this sounds large in practice it does not allow for any close ups.
    Please keep in mind that more and more users will start to be working with UHD monitors and images will be looked at 3840x2160 resolutions..


    Alternative solutions:
    - One extremely large wall texture for all sides 8000x8000 or even 12000x12000
    - 4 maps for each side of the building at 4000x4000
    - tileable wall texture for each "section" at 4000x4000

    Keep in mind that most render engines or software have one click tools to reduce map sizes.
    The map in the texture folder will stay the same size but it is only loaded at 1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 of the size in the VRAM or RAM.
    So providing large maps is not anymore an issue because the user can reduce map sizes for those objects that are in the background.

    BUT It is pretty much impossible to go the other way to recreate detail when only small map resolutions are provided.

    Mixing Maps and logos

    What to do with the bulldog logo?
    With 3Delight there was only the layered image editor.
    With OctaneRender and proabably also Iray artists will now have more creative options how to combine textures with the help of nodes.

    In this example a tileable wall texture could be combined with a separate map with the bulldog logo.

    Compare example screenshot:
    A mix texture node was used to combine the background blue pane with a tiger logo.
    A displacement node could be added to the resulting material to displace both the logo and the background pane equaly.

    IF different displacement values should be used for the background and the logo then a "mix material node" can be used with separate displacment values for each part of the "mixed" surface.

    I seem to remember that displacement maps can be created by desaturating the texture in Photoshop and applying the B&W image into the displacement channel. Is that correct?

    I do some map compositing in photoshop when the artists did only provide bump maps and did not provide any displacement maps.
    The issue is that this will not be very precise.

    Side Note:
    The idea of creating displacement maps is that the original modeling application (like zbrush) creates an accurate map of all the detail that is available at higher subdivision levels.
    Accurate means that if an area is displaced by 2cm or 4mm the same displacement happens when you apply the map in another 3rd party application.

    At the same time you can also render out the bump or displacement maps.
    The user then has the choice to
    - use normal or bump maps if the object is in the background
    - use the displacement maps if the object is visible in the foreground and the details matter.

    - - -

    Alternatively as an unprecise workaround for some cases you can also connect the bump map to the displacement slot in your render engine.
    Adjust the Offset properly so displaced areas do not intersect with other objects.

    In the example screenshot you can see how some displaced bricks still intersect with the sign.
    Of course you can also add a displacement offset value to the sign to compensate.
    In this case this may not work as intended because the sign is on the same map as other objects.

    - - -

    Issues like that have plagued me for years and months when using DAZ content in other render engines.
    I did not post on the DAZ forum about it because officially only 3Delight was supported.

    I hope that now that Iray is an official render engine for DAZ Studio artists will start to have a closer look at different techniques so new solutions for such issues can be provided.

    Mix_Texture_-_OcDS_v1001.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 448K
    example_displacement_settings.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 610K
    selectable_geometry_in_viewport.jpg
    1920 x 1080 - 593K
    Post edited by linvanchene on
  • mjc1016mjc1016 Posts: 15,001
    edited December 1969

    linvanchene, much of what you are saying are limitations of 3Delight are not...rather they are limitations of the surface shaders in Studio. ShaderMixer is an attempt at a Studio version of a node based shader construction kit for 3DL. UberSurface 2 is a dual layer surface. But then again, most don't even make materials using its features (very few, overall, even use UberSurface...the single layer version, for materials), let alone venture into the custom world of SM. Part of that may be habit and stuck in the past thinking....part of it is definitely due to limited documentation of certain features...like ShaderMixer.

    And yes, as we go forward, old ways of doing things are becoming more and more 'wrong'. Small, all encompassing maps just aren't going to cut it. I'm a big fan of tiling maps for things like brickwork...

    But, as it far as it goes, something like CrazyBump or an alternative ( http://alternativeto.net/software/crazybump/) seems to make 'nicer' maps than simply just desaturating the diffuse map. It is best to bake the makes from high detail, very high poly models, in the creation app, but for other than extreme close ups, the maps created in one of those programs are better than desaturated diffuse maps...lots better.

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