What pixel do you render at?

BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 483
edited December 1969 in Carrara Discussion

I've been playing around rendering at 1 pixel, but it's slowing things down a bit. Do you typically render at .5, 1, 2 or 4?

Comments

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    1 if I can get away with it and the render will be scaled down in post...
    0.5 when I need a lot of detail (like city windows, etc)...

  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 483
    edited December 1969

    1 if I can get away with it and the render will be scaled down in post...
    0.5 when I need a lot of detail (like city windows, etc)...

    And that's for animation as well?

  • holly wetcircuitholly wetcircuit Posts: 0
    edited December 1969

    yes.
    -
    if you need to speed up your render, factors like using fewer lights, shadow buffers, and ambient occlusion instead of image-based lighting will radically improve render times.
    -
    Baked textures and one or two key lights only is the fastest way to render animations.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I'll leave it a 4 for a draft render (I really hate the actual Draft renderer since it is single-threaded).

    I have been curious about how the different settings (both render and shader) affect render times. I have a rather simple scene that I have been experimenting with lately and it takes many many hours to render -- admittedly, I am currently only running 4 cores.

  • DougSDougS Posts: 68
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    I'll leave it a 4 for a draft render (I really hate the actual Draft renderer since it is single-threaded).

    I have been curious about how the different settings (both render and shader) affect render times. I have a rather simple scene that I have been experimenting with lately and it takes many many hours to render -- admittedly, I am currently only running 4 cores.

    A simple scene with few objects, not complicated materials, and typical raytrace render 800x600 should take seconds not even minutes. Add radiosity/skylight/indirect and render may take minutes but not an hour unless RAM is like 2GB and CPU is like 2GHz as in a laptop.

    Maybe you can tell us more; otherwise I suspect an issue somewhere.

    Otherwise I'd suggest you run several renders at various pixel settings and see for yourself and compare render image results against render times....it is a trade-off in meeting your end results/purpose.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    DougS said:
    A simple scene with few objects, not complicated materials, and typical raytrace render 800x600 should take seconds not even minutes. Add radiosity/skylight/indirect and render may take minutes but not an hour unless RAM is like 2GB and CPU is like 2GHz as in a laptop.

    I have to confess, I was using a higher pixel size than 800 (I used 1200x675). Most of the scene is completely black and renders eye-blink fast.

    The slow parts were with a specific shader so I'm sure I made some poor design choices there. The model itself is a pretty simple vertex model intended to be a lantern. There is a bulb light source "inside." I made 4 duplicates of the model to see how they would look:


    I'm still certain that my shader setting contributed to the insanely long render time - I'll have to grab a screenshot of those later.

    Thanks!

    Lanterns2.jpg
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  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    My goal is to have rather opaque "glass" faces for the lantern that still allow light to escape and light-up other parts of the scene. Ultimately, these (or something like these) lanterns will be used as lamp posts along a walking path.

    Here is the top-level, reflection and transparency channels for the "glass faces" shader. Hopefully this illuminates (ahem) others with what not to do... ;)

    transparency_channel.JPG
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    reflection_channel.JPG
    716 x 558 - 75K
    top_level_shader.JPG
    716 x 556 - 81K
  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,685
    edited December 1969

    Looks like you have a couple issues here. At first, I thought that the In-scattering option under Reflections being set to Sub-Surface Scattering was the issue, but upon further inspection I noticed that the In-scattering option box was unchecked. I did however notice that Blurry Reflections were enabled. Blurry reflections will slow your render down to a crawl. If it's an animation you probably don't need it, as the eye may not have time to focus on it. It will depend on the scene of course.


    Even though it's not checked, I would still change the In-scattering to something other than SSS. Carrara might still calculate it at some level- or confuse it. There is a specific SSS channel that works in conjunction with the Translucency channel. Again, if animating, use SSS with caution.


    I think with your lights, you could get away with either transparency or translucency or both together. Personally I might go with just translucency. It will still cast light through the shade. These images use translucency with no transparencies.

    Cygnus_fly-by421.png
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    Cygnus_fly-by566.png
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  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Beautiful work, as always, EP

    BC, it truly depends upon your ultimate goal. I have been shooting some high adventure action sequences and performed some tests to see what I would ultimately use. I noticed that, at 1 pixel I got much sharper detail throughout the animation and even more at 0.5
    In the end, I was quite pleased with the slight lack of sharpness I was getting at twice the speed (at least) using 2 pixels. With my new workstation, the wait is really no longer much of an issue - but I'm still doing my action sequences at 2. I just like it better and there's no denying the time savings. If, however, you were performing a slow pan of something that begs for high detail with sharp, crisp definition, then the 0.5 or 1 pixel settings are certainly worth the wait. Do some tests in 2 or even 4... but then set it up to do a final render in higher resolution. I'm also filming at 1280 x 720 for full, wide screen quality without going nuts for the even higher option.

    Again. It really boils down to the requirements of your own satisfaction and product needs. Play around and have fun with it. If it turns out that you feel the need for super high lighting detail and 0.5 pixel accuracy at 1950 x 1280 (or whatever), then try creating shorter overall animated sequences and shoot more of them over time. On my slower machine, I would create many sequences scenes and load them up in the Batch Queue. I'd launch the batch just before I went to bed (or just done with the computer for the night), and let it render all through the following day of work. Sometimes I'd get home to find my computer still rendering a scene. Then I'd check to see how long it has left to decide whether or not I'd let it finish.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    DougS said:
    A simple scene with few objects, not complicated materials, and typical raytrace render 800x600 should take seconds not even minutes. Add radiosity/skylight/indirect and render may take minutes but not an hour unless RAM is like 2GB and CPU is like 2GHz as in a laptop.

    I have to confess, I was using a higher pixel size than 800 (I used 1200x675). Most of the scene is completely black and renders eye-blink fast.

    The slow parts were with a specific shader so I'm sure I made some poor design choices there. The model itself is a pretty simple vertex model intended to be a lantern. There is a bulb light source "inside." I made 4 duplicates of the model to see how they would look:


    I'm still certain that my shader setting contributed to the insanely long render time - I'll have to grab a screenshot of those later.

    Thanks!


    Great lanterns! Hours to render or not... I think you should be proud of this accomplishment. Very well done!
    Right. Like the Evil one mentioned, blurry reflections will slow the render time - as I'm sure you've noticed. Forcing the light through the transparency is another thing that can slow your renders. Great freaking job, though bro!

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,685
    edited December 1969

    Beautiful work, as always, EP

    BC, it truly depends upon your ultimate goal. I have been shooting some high adventure action sequences and performed some tests to see what I would ultimately use. I noticed that, at 1 pixel I got much sharper detail throughout the animation and even more at 0.5
    In the end, I was quite pleased with the slight lack of sharpness I was getting at twice the speed (at least) using 2 pixels. With my new workstation, the wait is really no longer much of an issue - but I'm still doing my action sequences at 2. I just like it better and there's no denying the time savings. If, however, you were performing a slow pan of something that begs for high detail with sharp, crisp definition, then the 0.5 or 1 pixel settings are certainly worth the wait. Do some tests in 2 or even 4... but then set it up to do a final render in higher resolution. I'm also filming at 1280 x 720 for full, wide screen quality without going nuts for the even higher option.

    Again. It really boils down to the requirements of your own satisfaction and product needs. Play around and have fun with it. If it turns out that you feel the need for super high lighting detail and 0.5 pixel accuracy at 1950 x 1280 (or whatever), then try creating shorter overall animated sequences and shoot more of them over time. On my slower machine, I would create many sequences scenes and load them up in the Batch Queue. I'd launch the batch just before I went to bed (or just done with the computer for the night), and let it render all through the following day of work. Sometimes I'd get home to find my computer still rendering a scene. Then I'd check to see how long it has left to decide whether or not I'd let it finish.

    Great to see you back Dartanbeck! Thanks for the compliments!


    I wouldn't be a good fellow Cheesehead if I didn't point you to this thread:
    http://www.daz3d.com/forums/discussion/1073/


    I'd go post something there right away, before Wendy goes into full-on mourning or decides to make you a tribute video! ;-)

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    Great lanterns! Hours to render or not... I think you should be proud of this accomplishment. Very well done!
    Right. Like the Evil one mentioned, blurry reflections will slow the render time - as I'm sure you've noticed. Forcing the light through the transparency is another thing that can slow your renders. Great freaking job, though bro!

    Thanks guys!

    I have switched off the blurry reflections and am now rendering again (Fast antialiasing, Object / Shadow Accuracy of 4 pixels). It is going much faster now -- already at 46% complete and an estimate of 53 more minutes. Far better than what I was getting before.

    Next, I'll try switching off the transparency and just use the translucency. I'll get my head around these various settings eventually.

    (Dart, I'm sure WendyCatz will be elated to see you back in the forums a bit) :wow:

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    With my new workstation, the wait is really no longer much of an issue...

    My new toys are starting to arrive. Still waiting on the hard drives and cases. Although these machines are for work ultimately, I will do double-duty with Carrara on the 24-core / 64 GB Fire-Breathing Dragon (hopefully I can swap my runtime hard drive in and not have to reinstall everything).

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    I'm currently trying a new scene using a sky dome of a blurry forest backdrop that gets all of its light from the glow channel. No shadows received or cast - and all lights are set to ignore it. Fake global illumination using spot lights replicated to the upper slope of a large globe. I then filled the inside of the dome with a forest scene using many duplicates of various Howie Farkes preset trees of many varying sizes and a leafy undulating terrain for the ground. The character within is a bundle of a render on her own mostly due to her having three sets of conforming hair with massive transparencies throughout. This fact makes the fog a bit of a trick. When Carrara fog touches a trans mapped surface, it tends to make the trans part of the map glow :(
    I'm experimenting with Fenric's Stacking tweener - Oscillating Bezier to control the completion of the creepy, chaotic, swirling fog. At 2 pixel accuracy and the 1280 x 720 resolution, my six second animation is estimated to take eight hours and twenty-two minutes using all eight cores. For an 'All CGI' shot, this timing is quite fast due to the minimal settings I purposely use for such. This shot would never pass in any movie house. My machine would take over 72 hours per frame for some of those Lord of the Rings CGI scenes. I've adopted a style and look somewhere between realistic and Star Wars: The Clone Wars stylized. I do use the realistic dimensions rather than the exaggerated feature of the Clone Wars, but most of my shots don't require that we see the pores in the skin. Granted, I could get by with vastly quicker renders. Many might say that I should push for longer ones. I've drawn my line that I'm comfortable with - for most shots. Although some things can go - like the higher pixel accuracy, other things still have to meet my standards. I do use some extensive reflection work and I spend a good deal of time designing new morphs in everything to get them to animate the way I need them to. I've spend a bit of money and time trying various tree models. Although the Carrara tress can take some time to render, I do know that Mark Moir's products use a lot of Carrara trees that render quite quickly - so perhaps it's the extra detail I'm using by opting for Howie's shaders and presets. This is a situation where I'm fine with waiting on the longer renders in trade for the look that I want. I have some great tree models from Daz. In the end, my favorites of those either take just as long to render or use transparencies for the leaves, or both. Besides, I really dig how versatile the Carrara plants are. A few turns of a dial make a world of difference!

    Holly uses 1 or better pixel accuracy. If you check out her work, you'll see why. Evil Producer is efficient and knowledgeable and seems to be able to solve anything Carrara. Again... amazing results, so you can easily see why they use the settings that they recommend. Garstor is fairly new here and has some quite ambitious projects going on. You can certainly tell that he's on the right track. But when it all boils down to it... you must decide yourself. I bought everything that Howie Farkes sells with the exception of one... which I still need to collect. His sort of high settings and superb attention to detail will simply not work for me in my animations. I bought them to learn from, for the presets, and to rip them apart and use parts of them in my scenes. Since I have to work for a living, I had to make a decision regarding the timing issues involved in making Carrara movies. Mark Moir's BMF for Carrara (and others) products are especially handy as they render quite well, plus have an impressive wealth of instructions to learn from - not to mention what can be learned from dissecting the aspects of his scenes. It's refreshing that others, like Phil W, 3dage, Dimension Theory, 3dLust, Magaremoto, etc., are also making some handy (and very cool!) products specifically for Carrara. Some may not be efficient for animations - some are. But all of them give me ideas from which to jump into a whole new realm of rendering within Carrara!

    Oooops. Babbled again!

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    I'd go post something there right away, before Wendy goes into full-on mourning or decides to make you a tribute video! ;-)

    She might even get an Australian National Holiday in his honour!

    If it involves consumption of beer, I'm sure the Aussies will go for it. ;)

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 6,943
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    With my new workstation, the wait is really no longer much of an issue...

    My new toys are starting to arrive. Still waiting on the hard drives and cases. Although these machines are for work ultimately, I will do double-duty with Carrara on the 24-core / 64 GB Fire-Breathing Dragon (hopefully I can swap my runtime hard drive in and not have to reinstall everything).


    - Quickly wipes up the drool from the floor to prevent others from slipping -
    I want! I want!!!!

    Although I must say, this Zambezi 8 core sure is a nice render chip!

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    - Quickly wipes up the drool from the floor to prevent others from slipping -
    I want! I want!!!!

    Although I must say, this Zambezi 8 core sure is a nice render chip!

    I've been dreaming of this for awhile now... Apologies for the geek-porn. ASUS 2 socket server-grade motherboard with 16 slots for RAM.

    The 64 GB machine will be running two SQL Servers as a simulated failover cluster...then on the weekend, I'll let Carrara loose on it.

    1.jpg
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  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 7,685
    edited December 1969

    Dartanbeck, regarding the fog, have you tried using a volumetric cloud instead? I've had terrible results animating the cloud parameters, but decent results rotating the clouds or moving the camera through them. The advantage is that you don't have the alpha issues that you have with the fog. I don't know about 8.x.x, but in C7, just about the only thing that doesn't render if it intersects the clouds is dynamic hair.

  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 483
    edited December 1969

    Hm. And here I am making a short film using a measily Pentium D dual core.

    LIKE A BOSS

  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 483
    edited December 1969

    Just noticed the smoke talking bit. If it's of any use the way I create smoke, steam etc is to use particles. I'm sure most people do it this way, but basically you set your particles to zero gravity (or directional if necessary), "add" the scene light as a bulb, set the light to only affect the particles, click over to mesh so that you can see what you're doing, and then shrink down the bulbs, add a "glow" to the lights and Edit the glow parameters to about 3-5% a piece depending on the thickness. You can also change the color of the bulbs to change the smoke to reflect whatever it might be reflecting, you can add additional bulbs, etc.

    I like this method better than volumetric clouds as there's a lot more life to it. Also if I'm doing Just fog/smoke filling a scene I just use practical smoke in AE.

    Oh and you mentioned 3DLust earlier -- I'm using Sirius Labs in my short and yeah -- it's a friggin BEAST to render. I'm resorting to just doing PNG sequences with transparent backgrounds for characters and placing them over th pre-rendered lab scenes. Only possible way to use them with my meager set up.

  • GarstorGarstor Posts: 1,411
    edited December 1969

    BC Rice said:
    Just noticed the smoke talking bit. If it's of any use the way I create smoke, steam etc is to use particles.

    Interesting! I haven't had much success with using particles for anything myself (I blame me). I don't do animation for much the same reason. :)

    Oh and you mentioned 3DLust earlier -- I'm using Sirius Labs in my short and yeah -- it's a friggin BEAST to render. I'm resorting to just doing PNG sequences with transparent backgrounds for characters and placing them over th pre-rendered lab scenes.

    Are you showing off any WIP somewhere? I'd love to see how this turns out.

    As for the lanterns; using EP's advice, the render time dropped to 1 hour 48 minutes. I'll see if I can bring that down a bit further without losing the overall effect.

    Now off to buy some of Neftis' on-sale stuff!

  • BC RiceBC Rice Posts: 483
    edited December 1969

    Yeah it's here under "BC's short film WIP". Probably on page 2.

  • JaguarEllaJaguarElla Posts: 10,629
    edited December 1969

    Garstor said:
    I'd go post something there right away, before Wendy goes into full-on mourning or decides to make you a tribute video! ;-)

    She might even get an Australian National Holiday in his honour!

    If it involves consumption of beer, I'm sure the Aussies will go for it. ;)


    hey :red: I didn't start the thread!
    (just added the awful poetry that I thought scared him off :red: )
    just checked here to see what you guys were saying!
    I use 4pixel accuracy for animation btw to stay on topic, takes too long otherwise.

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