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What pixel do you render at?
Posted: 19 June 2012 04:35 PM   [ Ignore ]
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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?

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Posted: 19 June 2012 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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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)...

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Posted: 19 June 2012 04:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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holly wetcircuit - 19 June 2012 04:46 PM

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?

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Posted: 19 June 2012 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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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.

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Posted: 19 June 2012 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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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.

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Posted: 19 June 2012 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Garstor - 19 June 2012 06:08 PM

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.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 04:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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DougS - 19 June 2012 07:40 PM

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!

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Posted: 21 June 2012 05:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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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…  wink

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reflection_channel.JPG
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Posted: 21 June 2012 06:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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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.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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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.

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Posted: 21 June 2012 07:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Garstor - 21 June 2012 04:34 AM
DougS - 19 June 2012 07:40 PM

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!

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Posted: 21 June 2012 07:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Dartanbeck - 21 June 2012 07:22 PM

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/viewthread/1073/


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

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Posted: 21 June 2012 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Dartanbeck - 21 June 2012 07:33 PM

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) surprised

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Posted: 21 June 2012 08:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Dartanbeck - 21 June 2012 07:22 PM

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).

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Posted: 21 June 2012 08:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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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!

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Posted: 21 June 2012 08:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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evilproducer - 21 June 2012 07:36 PM

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

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. wink

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