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Carrara 8.5 Fast Mip Map DEGRADES all texture maps!
Posted: 03 September 2013 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]
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The images below is a simple example of the differences between Fast Mip Map and Sampling Filtering for textures in Carrara 8.5.

The phone box on the left uses Fast Mip Map and the one on the right uses Sampling.

The phone box on the right (in the Top image) has much more detail and in particular the text is much clearer and sharper.

To get both phone boxes to appear the same, the Object Accuracy must be set to .5 pixels in the render settings.  With this setting there appears to be little difference between the two instances of the phone box (second image), although I think the phone box with Sampling still looks slightly better.  However, even this simple example took 3 times as long to render (less than 1 second with the default Object Accuracy of 2 pixels and more than 3 seconds with the .5 setting).

I can only imagine (and shudder) at how much longer a complicated scene will take to render with this setting.

It seems ridiculous to have to increase render times this much just to get the same results with Fast Mip Map that we can get just by using Sampling.

As Fast Mip Map is now the default setting for C8.5, we will now be forced to choose between outrageously increased render times or the hours it will take to change all the shader elements from Fast Mip Map to Sampling by “hand”.

I think it is imperative to be able to set a preference in C8.5 to choose between the two Filtering methods.  Without this I feel that C8.5 will be very difficult to use effectively.

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Phone_Box_-_Mip_Map_vs_Sampling.jpgPhone_Box_-_Mip_Map_vs_Sampling_.5_Pixel_.jpg
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Posted: 03 September 2013 08:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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kakman - 03 September 2013 07:59 PM

The images below is a simple example of the differences between Fast Mip Map and Sampling Filtering for textures in Carrara 8.5.

The phone box on the left uses Fast Mip Map and the one on the right uses Sampling.

The phone box on the right (in the Top image) has much more detail and in particular the text is much clearer and sharper.

To get both phone boxes to appear the same, the Object Accuracy must be set to .5 pixels in the render settings.  With this setting there appears to be little difference between the two instances of the phone box (second image), although I think the phone box with Sampling still looks slightly better.  However, even this simple example took 3 times as long to render (less than 1 second with the default Object Accuracy of 2 pixels and more than 3 seconds with the .5 setting).

I can only imagine (and shudder) at how much longer a complicated scene will take to render with this setting.

It seems ridiculous to have to increase render times this much just to get the same results with Fast Mip Map that we can get just by using Sampling.

As Fast Mip Map is now the default setting for C8.5, we will now be forced to choose between outrageously increased render times or the hours it will take to change all the shader elements from Fast Mip Map to Sampling by “hand”.

I think it is imperative to be able to set a preference in C8.5 to choose between the two Filtering methods.  Without this I feel that C8.5 will be very difficult to use effectively.

oh oh, thanks for pointing this out
so does this setting come in at a certain range or is it all the time?

 

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Posted: 03 September 2013 08:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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headwax said:

oh oh, thanks for pointing this out
so does this setting come in at a certain range or is it all the time?

headwax,

I am not sure what you mean regarding the setting?  Would you mind giving me a little more detail?

Thanks

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Posted: 03 September 2013 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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greetings Kakman smile

Ahh I’ve bought 8.5 but am just lurking watching the carnage , so am not using it as I really can’t afford a screw up like s/numbers timing out etc. Or having textures degraded ....

My question…. I was under impressiion that mip mapping cliucked in when an object was a certain distance from the camera - to save resouces etc. But from what I can see this is not necessarily the case in your pic. ? Your pic indicates that it is degrading the texture regardless of distance from camera?

maybe I have the horse by the mouth ? smile

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Posted: 03 September 2013 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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headwax - 03 September 2013 08:50 PM

greetings Kakman smile

Ahh I’ve bought 8.5 but am just lurking watching the carnage , so am not using it as I really can’t afford a screw up like s/numbers timing out etc. Or having textures degraded ....

My question…. I was under impressiion that mip mapping cliucked in when an object was a certain distance from the camera - to save resouces etc. But from what I can see this is not necessarily the case in your pic. ? Your pic indicates that it is degrading the texture regardless of distance from camera?

maybe I have the horse by the mouth ? smile

Hey headwax,

The Fast Mip Map problems certainly become more obvious as the distance increases.  In fact “seams” begin to appear in a great many skin textures as the character is moved further from the camera.

I have found, now that I am experimenting with a large variety of models (clothing, buildings, props, etc.) that the degradation becomes quite noticeable regardless of the distance.

I find the whole application of the Fast Mip Map to be spurious regardless of the placement of the model.

I know that most times I want the appropriate details to be rendered for all the objects in a scene, not just the close-up ones.

 

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Posted: 03 September 2013 09:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I would like the choice in general/application preferences to chose default map type too.
Mostly for some C8.5 saved stuff I wish to open in C8.1
and if not using Genesis I frequently do so for many reasons.
not the least being you can have multiple instances of C8.1 open whist rendering!! C8.5 does not like this much.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 09:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Where you’ll really notice a difference - but this also applies to Sampling as well, is this:
Set it at .5 object and shadow accuracy
Close in on the subject with the camera. Perhaps even too close
Render and observe render time

Leave the settings the same and the entire scene the same, but back off away from the subject without bringing anything new into the scene in front of the subject - obviously we’ll be getting more of the surroundings

Now we can see the entire figure off into the scene - just a small fraction of the scene

Render

The scene still has the same texture to calculate, but can render out the subject with much few pixels

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————

I have my Rosie model that I’ve been working with forever now. She can really slow down renders when brought close to the camera, mostly because of her hair, which I’ve discovered (by removing them in a test) is mostly because of the alpha maps. But Carrara can really work them out with the camera backed off a little - but that has nothing to do with the Mip Map thing being degraded.

This is a very interesting discovery.
Personally, I don’t know the facts about Fast Mip Map technology. The most I’ve heard, but I cannot remember the specifics, was said by Kevin Sanderson.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 09:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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wendy♥catz - 03 September 2013 09:19 PM

I would like the choice in general/application preferences to chose default map type too.
Mostly for some C8.5 saved stuff I wish to open in C8.1
and if not using Genesis I frequently do so for many reasons.
not the least being you can have multiple instances of C8.1 open whist rendering!! C8.5 does not like this much.

True - I think that most users would enjoy having that within preferences.

Do you think Fenric’s Shader Tool would let you switch filter type across the board?
Speaking of Fenric, if you read this, is there any way you could sell your new plugins here as a bundled pack or something?
Somehow I cannot buy them now. Can’t remember what the issue was - but I really would love to have them.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Fenric’s Shader Doctor would be the perfect tool to address this (assuming the Carrara devs don’t release a corrected update that allows this preference first, but I’m betting Fenric could put it together much faster).

There was an announcement he made over on the Carrara Cafe a couple of days ago that he was going to be updating the Shader Doctor to include ‘Skin Doctor’, which I am wildly excited about, as it will allow for a one click solution to make Poser material settings turn into Carrara friendly skin settings.  I think that something like Carrara Skin Doctor ought to be something DAZ wants to sell in their store.

The picture example he gave of four different textures before and after, looked really great, and this could be a really important plugin tool for Carrara, equal to how important SkinVue is for Vue, so I hope he releases it soon and makes some good profit, as he deserves smile

But on topic, I’m not a programmer, and I’m betting Fenric himself could comment on it, but it seems like adding a function in Shader Doctor to automatically switch all selected shaders texture maps from mip map to sampling would be right in line with Shader Doctor.

He might not see this thread though…

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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An interesting discovery – yes!

I just do not understand why such a decision was made.  Carrara is supposed to provide high quality renders, so I am confused why anyone at DAZ wants to force me to choose between rendering a lower quality image or investing excessive hours in render time or texture editing to get the high quality renders that I was used to getting with C8.1.

I think as more people begin to see the deleterious effect that the Fast Mip Map has on the details of various objects in their final renders and how much time and effort it takes to correct it, they will be as aghast as I am.

The degradation becomes very obvious on shingle roofs, and anything with stones and grout in it.  Clock faces become blurry as does text.  And it doesn’t just affect things in the distance either as the phone box images I have posted demonstrate.

I am hoping that the great PhilW chimes in on this, especially since he has put in so much time and effort with the whole gamma correction thing in an effort to get the most realistic renders ever.

And keep in mind that as the images get displayed on bigger screens with better resolution the effect becomes more pronounced.

I have found that in many instances the Fast Mip Map makes an object look as if it is slightly out of focus.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Jonstark - 03 September 2013 10:15 PM

Fenric’s Shader Doctor would be the perfect tool to address this (assuming the Carrara devs don’t release a corrected update that allows this preference first, but I’m betting Fenric could put it together much faster).

There was an announcement he made over on the Carrara Cafe a couple of days ago that he was going to be updating the Shader Doctor to include ‘Skin Doctor’, which I am wildly excited about, as it will allow for a one click solution to make Poser material settings turn into Carrara friendly skin settings.  I think that something like Carrara Skin Doctor ought to be something DAZ wants to sell in their store.

The picture example he gave of four different textures before and after, looked really great, and this could be a really important plugin tool for Carrara, equal to how important SkinVue is for Vue, so I hope he releases it soon and makes some good profit, as he deserves smile

But on topic, I’m not a programmer, and I’m betting Fenric himself could comment on it, but it seems like adding a function in Shader Doctor to automatically switch all selected shaders texture maps from mip map to sampling would be right in line with Shader Doctor.

He might not see this thread though…

I had exactly the same thought as you Jonstark (and Dartanbeck as well) regarding having Fenric come to the rescue, but I feel it is incumbent upon DAZ to correct this issue in C8.5.

I just do not think they should have made this release of Carrara less effective than the previous versions.

 

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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kakman - 03 September 2013 10:44 PM

I had exactly the same thought as you Jonstark regarding having Fenric come to the rescue, but I feel it is incumbent upon DAZ to correct this issue in C8.5.

I just do not think they should have made this release of Carrara less effective than the previous versions.

I 100% agree that DAZ should correct this, but I have more faith in Fenric to be able to more quickly provide a workable solution then that the Carrara devs will be able to release an 8.5.2 addressing this in a timely fashion smile  But I do agree that this is a problem that should be incumbent on DAZ to fix.  Wonder what the appeal of adding mip maps in was anyway?

 

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Posted: 03 September 2013 10:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Jonstark - 03 September 2013 10:55 PM
kakman - 03 September 2013 10:44 PM

I had exactly the same thought as you Jonstark regarding having Fenric come to the rescue, but I feel it is incumbent upon DAZ to correct this issue in C8.5.

I just do not think they should have made this release of Carrara less effective than the previous versions.

I 100% agree that DAZ should correct this, but I have more faith in Fenric to be able to more quickly provide a workable solution then that the Carrara devs will be able to release an 8.5.2 addressing this in a timely fashion smile  But I do agree that this is a problem that should be incumbent on DAZ to fix.  Wonder what the appeal of adding mip maps in was anyway?

 

Yes, we certainly do not want to be awaiting a “DAZ soon fix” - I am not sure that I have all that many years left to wait.

I too have faith that Fenric could make a fix that works, possibly as an addition to the already fantastic Shader Doctor.
If he can provide it, I will buy it! (As I have with all his other products).

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Posted: 03 September 2013 11:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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It is strange that they chose this as the default.

I would also like to see this in preferences or handled in some way that doesn’t involve manually changing shaders. This sort of thing makes me feel somewhat better about my decision to skip this upgrade.

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Posted: 03 September 2013 11:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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In case it hasn’t been mentioned yet: it’s probably easier to change the filtering in bulk using a text editor. Just decompress the files first if necessary (cbr files appear to be compressed).

I don’t know exactly what needs to be changed, but it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out. “Filt” is a likely candidate.

Edited to add that there are programs with which you can easily edit a whole bunch of files in one go. Like this for example:
http://stefanstools.sourceforge.net/grepWin.html

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Posted: 03 September 2013 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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FYI,

I sent Fenric a PM through the system here to see if he would be interested in (and able to) add this to the
forthcoming Shader Doctor update.

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