Dull looking renders, or not?

Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
edited July 2012 in Carrara Discussion

In the Beta thread I stumbled on Joe's remark: "IMO. Carrara’s renders have always looked very dull compared to the bright, snappy renders you get elsewhere." and some weeks ago I would have been the first one to raise my arm and say: yes!


But then I rendered 90 sec of an animation, which looked dull on my notebook and I thought, okay, as usual, adjust the levels in post. Only my amateur video editing tools didn't gave me the desired results. So I copied the unchanged (only converted to xvid) video on an USB-stick and plugged it into my TV ... wow, great surprise: the animation didn't looked dull anymore, maybe some kind of low key (slightly) but overall satisfying.


(Please don't give me a lesson on color profiles, rgb, adobe-rgb, wide gamut etc., and I know already, that the color space of notebook displays is even worse than on desktop monitors.)


What I want to know is how the "dull" looking renders of Carrara look on hard-copies in real life. I don't have a color printer. I don't know how a Carrara render looks on a digital printer. Any experience?


(PS: if I don't answer on topics of my own threads: this forum has a special way to deal with topic-reply-notifications ... :) )

Post edited by Frank__ on

Comments

  • AscaniaAscania Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    Easiest solution - take your usb stick to the photo counter in your local supermarket and get a print made, just like you would with pictures taken with your digital camera.

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited July 2012

    If the image is looking washed out, that is a problem with the shaders and lighting.


    When you can control the lighting and shaders, you won't need to "fix" them in post. Adjusting levels in post may superficially look better, but it is the equivilant of boosting the bass and treble on a poorly recorded mp3.... It's "louder", but it's actually exaggerating the lack of a full dynamic range.


    There was a time (about a decade ago or more) when oversaturated color was considered amateurish 3D. Images were suppose to be less saturated because that's how colors look in photos, therefore photoreal was less saturated. Now photos are hdr or instagrammed. "Real" photos look hyperreal or filtered to look "wrong".... My point is, if you are unhappy with the colors, go back to the source and think about ways to make the original more the way you want.


    Drop by a photography store some day. There are these new aluminum prints they make from your digital files that look amazing! The color is fused into the metal. I want to get some of my primivol art printed that way.

    Post edited by holly wetcircuit on
  • DustRiderDustRider Posts: 989
    edited July 2012

    I guess it all depends on you're definition of "dull". A lot of it may be personal taste or style preferred by the artists, but I've seen a lot of renders from Carrara that I definitely would not call dull. Stu's stuff is always very bright and colorful. and over at Rendo elianeck, akulla, and many others have some fine examples of bright and colorful renders.

    The image below would be my own example. The Girl might be a bit "dull", but that's my own doing, not a problem with Carrara. However, I think the car is far from dull, but of course that's just my opinion, your mileage may vary.

    G4_Car2_DAZ_small.jpg
    600 x 520 - 115K
    Post edited by DustRider on
  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited December 1969

    I have been told by iClone users my Carrara animations look dark and not as well lit as iClone renders.
    but
    I personally find the limited lighting in iClone (needed for realtime GPU rendering) very fake and overlit
    I deliberately use no ambient light in Carrara and dark, not soft shadows btw as it is to my taste for a homemovie effect as I usually go for.
    I think it is personal taste actually, I could do bright sparkly renders but do not like them, I like bits hidden in shadows to be revealed etc instead of seeing everything at once.

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    Ascania said:
    Easiest solution - take your usb stick to the photo counter in your local supermarket and get a print made, just like you would with pictures taken with your digital camera.

    Good idea. My local supermarkets doesn't have photo counters, but I have an idea where to look.

    If the image is looking washed out, that is a problem with the shaders and lighting.


    It's not so much "washed out", but more like missing the "vibrancy". Difficult to describe.



    There was a time (about a decade ago or more) when oversaturated color was considered amateurish 3D. Images were suppose to be less saturated because that's how colors look in photos, therefore photoreal was less saturated. Now photos are hdr or instagrammed. "Real" photos look hyperreal or filtered to look "wrong"....

    Nice info.


    My point is, if you are unhappy with the colors, go back to the source and think about ways to make the original more the way you want.

    That leaves the problem, that my test animation looked okay on the TV. If I adjusted the lighting on the render, so it would look the same on the PC, on TV it would be waaay over-saturated.

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    dustrider said:

    The image below would be my own example. The Girl might be a bit "dull", but that's my own doing, not a problem with Carrara. However, I think the car is far from dull

    I agree completely with you. Especially because the girl has that "dullness" compared to the car.

    Also a "stage" scene (or an outdoor scene) is easier to lit. I'm doing mostly indoor scenes and there's only so much I can do before the lighting would look completely wrong.

    I wonder how your picture would look on another medium.

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    I have been told by iClone users my Carrara animations look dark and not as well lit as iClone renders.
    but
    I personally find the limited lighting in iClone (needed for realtime GPU rendering) very fake and overlit
    I deliberately use no ambient light in Carrara and dark, not soft shadows btw as it is to my taste for a homemovie effect as I usually go for.
    I think it is personal taste actually, I could do bright sparkly renders but do not like them, I like bits hidden in shadows to be revealed etc instead of seeing everything at once.

    Of course it's personal taste how you set the lighting atmosphere, but I find the comments of the iClone users interesting, because obviously there is something with the renders which make them think so. And I don't think it's only your lighting decision. Did you have watched some of your animations on a TV? If so: how they looked there?

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    ...when you say TV, I'm thinking like a flatscreen LCD/plasma, not a CRT tube TV...? Not going to do the technical speak, but new TVs are adjustable too (mine has a "Picture" button that chooses 4 or 5 presets that are named things like Computer, Theater, etc... but might as well be called Painfully Bright, Squinty Dark, etc.... If the images are just for you then you could test the renders on your TV all along the way and make adjustments. But anyone else with another TV might have their settings different from yours....


    I use to watch the scifi show SG-1 and they had a lot of CG fx shots done on a budget. Always thought it looked pretty good on my old CRT but looks harsh/cartoonish on a big flat screen.... It's not helping, but I think you maybe can't make an image that looks perfect everywhere.... :/ Print is probably the only place you have real control over how everyone will see it...


    Can you maybe post a screen grab of your image? Otherwise I feel we're talking in such generalities...

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,392
    edited July 2012

    I know for a fact, YouTube rapes my videos!
    what looks good on my monitor, my Andoid (or my 42" plasma) looks a bit more fuzzy on Youtube.
    yes, I put them on my Android in 1920x1080 wmv format and it plays them!
    (not as big ofcourse)
    I upload to YouTube from my Android too but makes no difference if I upload from my desktop.
    I have a Carrara and iClone comparison http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mib3y6dWoj8
    Merlin's teagarden prop in both, iClone renders it very well and in about 15minutes compared to 6 hours in Carrara, I
    but does it look better? I am myself unsure, it looks different rather than better or worse to me!
    Aiko3 does look better than Gwynn!
    yes she walks into shadow, but cannot do THAT so easily in iClone!!
    I used a 360 spherical render of Howie Farkes teagarden in the background
    and on iClone's sky (not as big though as size texture limited about 2000x1000 compared to 12000x6000)

    Post edited by JaguarElla on
  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    ...when you say TV, I'm thinking like a flatscreen LCD/plasma, not a CRT tube TV...? Not going to do the technical speak, but new TVs are adjustable too (mine has a "Picture" button that chooses 4 or 5 presets that are named things like Computer, Theater, etc... but might as well be called Painfully Bright, Squinty Dark, etc.... If the images are just for you then you could test the renders on your TV all along the way and make adjustments. But anyone else with another TV might have their settings different from yours....

    Standard full HD LCD-TV; no special preset


    I use to watch the scifi show SG-1 and they had a lot of CG fx shots done on a budget. Always thought it looked pretty good on my old CRT but looks harsh/cartoonish on a big flat screen....

    I had this problem the other way: The Fifth Element SFX looked quite cheesy on my CRT-TVs but better on an (also analog) beamer. SG-1 FX maybe was optimated for CRT, 5th Element FX for Cinemas.


    It's not helping, but I think you maybe can't make an image that looks perfect everywhere.... :/ Print is probably the only place you have real control over how everyone will see it...


    Can you maybe post a screen grab of your image? Otherwise I feel we're talking in such generalities...

    It's not so much about a special image, but a more general question ... maybe I should buy someday (if I have too much money) a calibrating tool. The general problem I see there with the difference between computer and TV display is that if you make an animation/render which looks light- and color-wise right on the computer display it maybe looks off on another media.

    So the best solution for me at the moment, will be testing at least on the media I have.

    And I will surely make a photo print (and hope that the photo printer is calibrated :) )

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    I know for a fact, YouTube rapes my videos!
    what looks good on my monitor, my Andoid (or my 42" plasma) looks a bit more fuzzy on Youtube.
    yes, I put them on my Android in 1920x1080 wmv format and it plays them!
    (not as big ofcourse)
    I upload to YouTube from my Android too but makes no difference if I upload from my desktop.
    I have a Carrara and iClone comparison http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mib3y6dWoj8
    Merlin's teagarden prop in both, iClone renders it very well and in about 15minutes compared to 6 hours in Carrara, I
    but does it look better? I am myself unsure, it looks different rather than better or worse to me!
    Aiko3 does look better than Gwynn!
    yes she walks into shadow, but cannot do THAT so easily in iClone!!

    Strange video ... :)

    But it has different looks: even with the more higlight/specularity in the Carrara-render it looks (hate to say it :) ) "duller" than the iClone one. Overall I think the Carrara -render is better, but that should be no surprise comparing the render times.

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    I can't really tell which is iClone and which is Carrara... Need to spend more time in iClone this week...


    I love the dancing men in orange at the end. YAY!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,585
    edited December 1969

    I've noticed through the years that televisions have a bit more luminosity than my monitors. It doesn't seem to matter if it's an old tube TV or a digital LCD or Plasma TV. Back when I used to use a CRT display for my computer there was still an issue with the difference in luminosity between my monitor and TV, and not just with computer generated imagery either. I noticed a difference when editing video. Much brighter looking on my TV than on the computer screen.


    I can't say for sure, but I always suspected that it was because TVs are meant to be watched in a wider variety of places and light conditions, and the distances between the viewer(s) and the TV are greater than a computer screen and user, that the intensity of the light (either through the tube or the backlight) needs to be much greater. How's that for a poorly constructed sentence!

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    I've noticed through the years that televisions have a bit more luminosity than my monitors. It doesn't seem to matter if it's an old tube TV or a digital LCD or Plasma TV. Back when I used to use a CRT display for my computer there was still an issue with the difference in luminosity between my monitor and TV, and not just with computer generated imagery either. I noticed a difference when editing video. Much brighter looking on my TV than on the computer screen.

    The luminosity might make the difference.

    Regarding the video-editing: when video-editing started to become a possibility for "normal" people a standard requirement was a video card with one output to the computer CRT and on to the TV, because of the differences you described. Obviously nothing has changed: LCD/LED/soon OLED for computers is still different than for TV.

    At least that's some outcome ... :)

  • tsaristtsarist Posts: 946
    edited December 1969

    Frank__ said:
    What I want to know is how the "dull" looking renders of Carrara look on hard-copies in real life. I don't have a color printer. I don't know how a Carrara render looks on a digital printer. Any experience?



    I have quite a bit of experience having things printed out.
    Most renders tend to be a little darker when printed.
    In order to get the right colours, I have always had to brighten the image either in Carrara or later in Photoshop to get it to look like it should.


    This is my experience and the experience of about a dozen other people I know.


    I'm sure there is someone who will run in and say "that can't be true", but that is our experience and MAY not be universal.


    Best of Luck!

    :coolsmile:

  • Frank__Frank__ Posts: 233
    edited December 1969

    tsarist said:
    Frank__ said:
    What I want to know is how the "dull" looking renders of Carrara look on hard-copies in real life. I don't have a color printer. I don't know how a Carrara render looks on a digital printer. Any experience?



    I have quite a bit of experience having things printed out.
    Most renders tend to be a little darker when printed.
    In order to get the right colours, I have always had to brighten the image either in Carrara or later in Photoshop to get it to look like it should.


    This is my experience and the experience of about a dozen other people I know.


    I'm sure there is someone who will run in and say "that can't be true", but that is our experience and MAY not be universal.


    Best of Luck!

    :coolsmile:

    The new (most welcome) forum adjustments seem to push up long lost threads to the surface ...

    Thanks for the info, anyway. So it seems, that print is darker and TV is brighter/more saturated. So the solution would be to test one (!) good looking render on the computer on the intended publishing media before going to tweak and tweak and tweak :)

  • jrm21jrm21 Posts: 81
    edited August 2012

    Frank__ said:
    ...when you say TV, I'm thinking like a flatscreen LCD/plasma, not a CRT tube TV...? Not going to do the technical speak, but new TVs are adjustable too (mine has a "Picture" button that chooses 4 or 5 presets that are named things like Computer, Theater, etc... but might as well be called Painfully Bright, Squinty Dark, etc.... If the images are just for you then you could test the renders on your TV all along the way and make adjustments. But anyone else with another TV might have their settings different from yours....

    Standard full HD LCD-TV; no special preset


    Just a thought...

    Many/most LCD displays are shipped from the factory with the settings turned up fairly high. In effect, they have a high brightness and color settings giving a brighter, more saturated appearance. A properly calibrated TV screen will look a little "duller" and "darker" - which is actually the "correct" color rendition.

    Is the TV monitor you are using calibrated? (If it isn't, consider doing so. The pumped up color settings can shorten the life of the screen). This is different than the presets Holly refers to... and many TVs will also allow you to calibrate and store settings within those presets.

    Post edited by jrm21 on
  • EyosEyos Posts: 106
    edited December 1969

    Hi Frank,

    One thing that can help renderings not to be 'dull':
    Select 'Scene' in the hierarchy.
    Then in the 'Effects' tab (at the top) reduce the Ambient light to 0.
    Hope this help.


    Frank__ said:
    In the Beta thread I stumbled on Joe's remark: "IMO. Carrara’s renders have always looked very dull compared to the bright, snappy renders you get elsewhere." and some weeks ago I would have been the first one to raise my arm and say: yes!


    But then I rendered 90 sec of an animation, which looked dull on my notebook and I thought, okay, as usual, adjust the levels in post. Only my amateur video editing tools didn't gave me the desired results. So I copied the unchanged (only converted to xvid) video on an USB-stick and plugged it into my TV ... wow, great surprise: the animation didn't looked dull anymore, maybe some kind of low key (slightly) but overall satisfying.


    (Please don't give me a lesson on color profiles, rgb, adobe-rgb, wide gamut etc., and I know already, that the color space of notebook displays is even worse than on desktop monitors.)


    What I want to know is how the "dull" looking renders of Carrara look on hard-copies in real life. I don't have a color printer. I don't know how a Carrara render looks on a digital printer. Any experience?


    (PS: if I don't answer on topics of my own threads: this forum has a special way to deal with topic-reply-notifications ... :) )


Sign In or Register to comment.
Rocket Fuel