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Bryce 8 or 9 ...?
Posted: 14 November 2013 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 76 ]
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Verlon - 14 November 2013 11:08 AM

Either way, no word on the Bryce front and Mac users continue to be out of luck.

Well… That’s the other side of the update coin. I’m a Mac user, and I’m still running 10.6.8 (but when I get my brand-spanking new Mac Pro early next year, that’s all gonna change, baby). I still use Bryce. When I get my new hardware, I’ll STILL use Bryce (albeit less and less). For the work I do, I don’t need to update Bryce. In fact it’s no secret to many in this forum that I still use Bryce 6.3, and even so there are large areas of Bryce I’m woeful at, and no amount of updating is going to fix that smile

My specialties are animation and modeling. That’s not to say I’m good at it: it’s just what I prefer doing. Bryce’s animation toolset hasn’t changed since it was added. Despite that, very few people use the animation toolset, for several reasons, but two of the biggest are it doesn’t yield immediate results (because it takes ages to render even a second of broadcast quality footage), and because animation demands that you use several applications – not just Bryce – to complete a competent production. You need video editing software, at least. You might need sound/music production and special effects software as well, not to mention extra hardware to record good sound or camera video. Even though these days the capital outlay is pretty cheap, trying to learn all of that stuff to any form of competence – not even excellence, just competence – can be seen as a mighty mountain to climb!

That’s why most people specialise and collaborate on animation productions. That’s the reason the credits in animated movies takes forever.

I’ve long since given up on a Bryce update. But I don’t throw away useful tools either.

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Posted: 20 January 2014 06:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 77 ]
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Just stumbled across this thread. I cut my 3D teeth on Bryce (before that I think I played with POV once or twice) back around Bryce 4 (maybe 3). But converting it to 64-bit will be a real challenge, and considering how buggy many of the advanced features are, I have every reason to expect a very buggy 64-bit version. But I doubt it matters—the longer DAZ delays in updating it, the fewer reasons they will have—more outdated, more missing features it should have like SSS, etc. to the point that I suspect DAZ would make more money selling a plugin that allows better integration with Vue than they would updating Bryce (with the added side benefit of possibly exposing DAZ Studio to pros and other hobbyists operating outside of the DAZ ecosystem). I am not sure how feasible it would be, but I suspect the best shot Bryce has these days is if DAZ could open source it (and that would likely prove difficult for legal reasons). Sad times for Bryce fans. :(

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Posted: 21 January 2014 05:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 78 ]
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Most Bryce users do not subscribe to any of those comments. Yes we would dearly love an update, but Bryce is still going strong, and there is plenty to play with, and once you learn to use the advanced features they mostly work absolutely great for most.

Try browsing the Render thread to see what some users are doing with Bryce, it is on it’s 6th iteration now.

Also Check the back challenge threads to see how many people are taking part in those. There were 34 images entered in the last challenge, and it is still quite a new thing, and it is sponsored by DAZ 3D. A wonderful mix of new, somewaht new and more experienced users taking part.

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Posted: 31 January 2014 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 79 ]
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Getting new users for Bryce would be a plus.
As a Carrara user who paid for Bryce Pro a few years ago, and bought some excellent tuts for it
I still don’t use it.
For me the sticking point is the render times compared to Carrara.

Render times can make or break a program.

The quicker you can do a render the more mistakes you can make.
The more mistakes you make, the better you get.

But if you haven’t the time to wait around for renders to be finished in the end you just give up.

Of course render times are relative to other software.

It’s annoying because Bryce is obviously a good program.

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Posted: 31 January 2014 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 80 ]
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head wax - 31 January 2014 03:03 PM

Getting new users for Bryce would be a plus.
As a Carrara user who paid for Bryce Pro a few years ago, and bought some excellent tuts for it
I still don’t use it.
For me the sticking point is the render times compared to Carrara.

Render times can make or break a program.

The quicker you can do a render the more mistakes you can make.
The more mistakes you make, the better you get.

But if you haven’t the time to wait around for renders to be finished in the end you just give up.

Of course render times are relative to other software.

It’s annoying because Bryce is obviously a good program.

Well having grown up with Bryce (3D-wise) I guess I am used to the render times. I set a render going and then wander around and do other things, like chatting on the forum or even, shocker, real life things.

OK maybe watching that little line moving down slowly is not so entertaining as watching the buckets move around in Carrara, but Howie Farkes scenes tend not to render too swiftly.

Besides when I see the times some people say they are getting for renders using Lux etc, Bryce is quite speedy.

For me the setting up always takes a lot longer than the render.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 04:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 81 ]
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@head wax - I won’t contradict you that long render times are a pain but I do agree essentially with chohole that Bryce isn’t particularly slower than other render engines. Quality needs time. There are many strategies to make a render faster. As far as checking for errors is concerned, Bryce offers the plop render option. Users of all programs complain about long render times. You have to compare render times using the same or a similar scene.

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Posted: 01 February 2014 11:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 82 ]
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I tend to agree with Headwax. Bryce is much slower than it should be. These statements are not meant to bash Bryce in any way, but rather to show a different view of the situation.

Keep in mind that a fast render is not necessarily a good one, especially if it causes us to water down our choices in favor of greater speed.

Bryce is “fast” if you adhere to the following restrictions:
1. Avoid all lights other than the Default Sun. Every additional point light slows rendering. IBL and Light Domes are not ideal because they are constructed of numerous virtual point lights.
2. Avoid Soft Shadows at all costs
3. Avoid Transparencies of all kinds including Translucency and SSS
4. Avoid Reflections of all kinds including Internal Reflections
5. Avoid Bump Mapping
6. Avoid Specularity (this goes along with avoiding reflection, but since they are separate channels I mention it separately)
7. Avoid geometrically complex scenes with lots of polygons!!!!
8. Avoid all materials which are Volumetric

People sometimes state that Howie’s Carrara landscape scenes are slow to render. And on the surface this is true. But this is an unfair statement to my view. Lets consider some of the characteristics of a Howie Farkes scene:
1. Howie uses numerous point lights arranged in somewhat of a dome for indirect lighting. Each of the individual lights has soft shadows enabled.
2. Howie uses the Sun for direct light, with Soft shadows also enabled.
3. Howie’s scenes are extremely complex geometrically. A single frame can show tens of thousands of individual leaves. A single scene can have many billions in polygons due to Carrara’s surface replication system.
4. Howie employs translucency for all of the millions of leaves in each of his scenes.
5. Howie uses Specularity on the leaves in his scenes
6. Howie often includes Cumulus Clouds overhead as well which cast shadows onto the landscape below.

Now let’s be honest? When is the last time you created a scene in Bryce that was even remotely as complex geometrically as a Howie Farkes scene? Answer for most is never. But I’m different. I personally have wrestled Bryce into Howie Farkes levels of complexity and I’ve learned that Bryce is eternally slow. I will explain. Though a few of us have worked with translucency on a single tree or two, few of us have employed translucency in a Bryce scene that features thousands of trees all with translucent leaves, as well as ground level vegetation that is also featuring translucent leaves. What you discover in complex scenes is that the light rays cast by the lights must travel through many layers of transparent leaves on the way back to the camera’s eye, creating a compounding slowing effect a lot like compound interest rates at the bank. Before you know it, a single frame containing truly complex geometry, translucent leaves, and decent quality lighting can cost a week in render time…and that is on my 8 core Dual Xeon monster workstation that most Bryce users dont have access to. If the render on my machine is a week, then expect the time to be at least triple that for the average user.

In my Volcanic Archipelago scene, I’ve had to do away entirely with translucency on the leaves, which makes me extremely sad. At last count Volcanic Archipelago had over 13.5 BILLION polygons….roughly a polygon for each year the Universe itself has existed. If I had lit the scene using only the sun, render time would not be bad but it would look like crap. I didnt use TA because we all know it isnt faster than conventional lighting. Fake GI is the only option. I have had to use a Light Dome arrangement. There are two domes, and each carries only 49 virtual points totaling less than 100 total points when combined. At such low quality, the shadows cast by the domes are highly banded and not smooth.  Attempting to enable soft shadows for these Domes is like applying soft shadows to 100 radial lights….eternally slow. We already know how one soft shadow light source adds to render time, imagine 100 of them. And forget the idea of simply lowering the Dome to a minimum quality of 16, and applying soft shadows. What you will find is that the lack of points means the light doesn’t distribute as it should on the models, and worse, the shadows dont soften nearly as much as they should so in truly large landscapes you end up with banded shadows even still.  The reality for me is, that even with fully opaque leaves with no transparency of any kind, these frames still take around 17 hours to render at a modest 1280x900 pixel resolution. This is far from true HD. And as stated above, when I take the same lighting and then apply translucency to the leaves, the render time jumps to over a week.

I’ve never heard anyone say it took them a week to render a Howie Farkes scene, regardless of the complexity of geometry or lighting! What Carrara users consider a “long render” is nothing but the “standard” for Bryce users. But what we Bryce users fail to realize is how the slow rendering in Bryce can often cause us to avoid applying the effects we need for greater realism such as reflections and transparencies. I’ve had to do away with translucency on leaves so that I can use more lights than just the sun on a landscape that relies heavily on translucency. This is a problem.

The initial problem with Bryce’s render speeds is that the engine has never been optimized to handle geometric complexity to the level we can throw at it now with the Instancing Lab. It wasnt designed to handle the lighting complexity we have access to nowadays with Domes and IBL either. Bryce was always assumed to only be useful for very low impact projects, simple shots, with default sunlight and some skydome glow and material ambience glow, not sprawling shots of vistas that example grass as far as the eye can see in all directions lit with well executed fake GI rigs.

Once you take Bryce outside the safety zone and really start to push the limits, you realize how stifling the slow rendering can be.

I believe there are ways to make these calculations faster, as other engines do it much faster than Bryce. I look at Vue landscapes all the time that feature fully translucent leaves and are rendered with Global Radiance which is full GI. These renders do not take a week per frame, that’s why Vue gets used in Hollywood pipelines.

Bryce takes too long doing the things it does, no excuses to my mind, the engine must get faster. Even from a “green” standpoint, isnt it environmentally irresponsible to spend a week rendering a single frame in Bryce when Carrara or Vue could get the job done using much less fossil fuel?

All that said, I still work almost exclusively with Bryce because it is the one I love for all sorts of non logical reasons. My love of Bryce doesn’t blind me of the shortcomings.

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Posted: 02 February 2014 05:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 83 ]
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LOL Rashad.

I will always argue with Andrew, it’s fun. After all he was the one trying to keep me captive in the Carrara forum, refusing to let me go until someone paid the ransom and disclosed the secrets as to how some Brycers could produce the wonderful landscape images they did.

I have to argue with him   cool smile

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Posted: 02 February 2014 07:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 84 ]
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chohole - 02 February 2014 05:01 AM

LOL Rashad.

I will always argue with Andrew, it’s fun. After all he was the one trying to keep me captive in the Carrara forum, refusing to let me go until someone paid the ransom and disclosed the secrets as to how some Brycers could produce the wonderful landscape images they did.

I have to argue with him   cool smile

Ah! Well in that case, I disagree with him too.

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Posted: 03 February 2014 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 85 ]
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chohole - 02 February 2014 05:01 AM

LOL Rashad.

I will always argue with Andrew, it’s fun. After all he was the one trying to keep me captive in the Carrara forum, refusing to let me go until someone paid the ransom and disclosed the secrets as to how some Brycers could produce the wonderful landscape images they did.

I have to argue with him   cool smile

heh, heh, I didn’t realise you had escaped smile

sorry I haven’t been getting updates on this thread :(


Howie Farkes - well I have never managed to render one of his scenes - so good point!

Rashad wrote:

Bryce is “fast” if you adhere to the following restrictions:

Thanks for those tips. wink and those observant comments about Farke’s scenes.


Horo wrote:

@head wax - I won’t contradict you that long render times are a pain but I do agree essentially with chohole that Bryce isn’t particularly slower than other render engines. Quality needs time. There are many strategies to make a render faster. As far as checking for errors is concerned, Bryce offers the plop render option. Users of all programs complain about long render times. You have to compare render times using the same or a similar scene.

Yes quality does need time - most of the time.
As Chohole says

For me the setting up always takes a lot longer than the render.

I guess most of the time I spend is on lighting - so I think that’s why fast render times are important. In a way the render times during setup are more important than the final render times I guess.

For me in Carrara I avoid IBL… soft shadows etc, so maybe if I turned on all the bells and whistles in Carrara the render times would be the same as Bryce?

Render times are important for me as I work 12 by 24 inch 300 dpi in the misguided hope that one day I will be less infamouse smile

 

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Posted: 03 February 2014 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 86 ]
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“Howie Farkes - well I have never managed to render one of his scenes - so good point!”
for real - they don’t take that long ( about 1hour 10min.)

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Posted: 03 February 2014 01:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 87 ]
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so this is 12 by approx. 18 by 300 dpi? you must have a good machine wink

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