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Everything to do with Lighting in Bryce 7.1
Posted: 02 September 2012 08:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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David Brinnen - 01 September 2012 05:15 AM

Mark,  Bryce 5 minute project - put a label on a jar - a tutorial by David Brinnen

Dummies?  Aye, that’s right, I had to record this video again because I spelt “label” wrong when used it as text for the label.  What an idiot at spelling I am.

I think we can overlook the occasional misspellings *gasp David is human* so long as you keep making the discoveries you’re making. smile

Thanks for the tutorial, it’s just been moved into the “next slot” on my tutorial que. Hopefully with it’s help I will create a convincingly realistic prescription label with which I can practice creative license on rolleyes

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Posted: 02 September 2012 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Well after reading the lighting discussion of the last page I can’t help but feel as if I’m active in a thread that may one day have historic significance in the Bryce realm.  I don’t understand most of it but hey at least I’m here, surround by smart people….all starting to glare at me for distracting the conversati….okay I’ll shut up now. smile

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Posted: 03 September 2012 01:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Mark,
I am certainly not the one staring. Peter, Horo, and David are truly smart individuals. I am just an extremely determined “pretender.” Beneath all the artsy fartsy is solid mathematics which one either has the background to keep with up or they don’t. I fall someplace in the middle where I get most of the math, but not all of it like Horo or Peter or even David. Ask me to write an equation to calculate the surface luminance of an object and I’m sure I could probably do a good deal of it, but I’d probably not have the chops to complete it. Horo on the other hand, would. For some reason I seem to have a knack for knowing when light appears to behave naturally in a render, and an ability to recognize even if I cant describe it concisely, when the light doesn’t behave naturally. This lead to much discussion (some of it pleasurably nasty) regarding TA and other tools back in the days of Bryce 6 and earlier. Now that some of us have had the benefit of discussion with actual programmers who can see the code and algorithms we can have more productive discussions than we used to. Hence, the last few pages.

In theory TA especially with Boost Light enabled is the most technically tricky lighting tool to discuss once you have gotten the hang of IBL concepts and the idea of high dynamic range light and color. In the case of lighting threads I tend to initiate, I am all about taking the guess work out of it all. I want solid consistent solutions that are easy to use and comprehend, solutions that simply work, solutions that are as accurate as possible. For those solutions that dont yet work, I am very much interested in finding out WHy they dont work so i can figure out a way to make them work down the line when I need them. I am not alone in this approach, I am just as stated above an extremely determined pretender of sorts.

This thread will be significant. Even if Daz is not developing Bryce currently, Horo, David, myself, and several others are doing what we can to continually develop Bryce. Many of the tricks we discussed in earlier lighting threads matured into full features in Bryce 7 we all can use now such as Domes, 3D Fills, TA Optimization and much more. It would not surprise me in the slightest if this thread also yielded useful tricks that could be turned later into mature features for Bryce 8 or later.

All that to say, you are very much welcomed to this thread. A thread dominated by a bunch of bitchy old biddies (no intended offense to anyone) discussing the most subtle of subtleties is not the sole point of this thread, though some degree of that is expected and encouraged in this thread. So stick around and please feel free to distract the conversation as you see fit.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 01:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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_ PJF _ - 02 September 2012 06:13 PM
Rashad Carter - 30 August 2012 08:47 AM

I literally have to thank PJF for the idea which I then took to another level and implemented it as a full feature.

Have checked PM folder, Hansard, Honours list, and PayPal balance - but the parched and cracked tumble weed of forgotten desolation is the same discovery always. The collar of my threadbare coat is turned up against the steady drizzle of decline as I trudge wearily past abandoned tanks of yor on the trail of tears heading back to Germany.
Or, something…


Just catching up with this enjoyable and fascinating thread. Really wish I had more time to play. Feels especially nostalgic watching David’s video when he turns the sky off and starts messing about in a small area under blackness.

 

Caustics would simply not be possible without Boost Light.

Not as good, probably not even useable – but certainly possible. This Renderosity thread from nine years ago (!) features me pratting about with caustics using Bryce5 TA.
http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/showthread.php?message_id=1445509&ebot;_calc_page#message_1445509

Of course, David B. working with today’s improved TA options is way, way ahead of my earlier fiddlings. But they do show the potential was there. “If only there could be more light,” I said at one point. Well now there is, and David (B for brilliant) has found a way of reducing its horrible side effect.


You’ve all done very well…

.

.

Thank you for the link.  2003… before internet here I think.  But I did have Bryce 5 from late February onwards.  And I did tinker with TA and thought “Hmn… this seems like a good way to bring my CPU to boiling point for no very good reason”.  I’d just upgraded to my AMD 750 Mhz system and was playing Planescape Torment…  Sorry I’m getting lost in memory lane.

So to your thread….

Talk about re-inventing the wheel!  All very familiar territory.  Looking at the renders I am suspecting that the caustic effect created by the light travelling through the glass was a result more of the less scattered nature of legacy TA than correct optics - however I will re-examine my tests with lenses to see if I have missed a trick.

It is clear, you have nicely predicted what was possible by a cool 10 years!

Please, if you would be so kind, email me with the numbers for next weeks winning lottery ticket (preferably before the ticket is drawn).

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Posted: 03 September 2012 01:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Mark, well done getting the models into Bryce and that’s a nice looking render - it must have taken a while?

What I would suggest, rather than passing these bulky models around, is if you write up a tutorial on how to get them, convert them and import them - post it up on a thread here and I’ll get my friend to transfer it over to Bryce-tutorials and then it will be there as a reference for other Brycers to take advantage of.

What do you reckon?

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Posted: 03 September 2012 02:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Horo - 02 September 2012 02:35 AM

Generally, I would say that more feeler rays would result in a more precise render and an accordingly longer render time - there’s no free lunch. Another path would be statitical filtering, using whatever algorithm, or cross convolving filters with error correction and relatively large masks with values smaller the farther the pixel is from the pixel in the centre that is convolved (closing low pass filter). Convolving filters are quite fast, also statistical filters can be realised. But in the end, all filters are cheating and decrease the accuracy of the render. It is a built-in post production, like AA-ing is (which most probably uses FFT).

I’m not sure GPU processing would be the solution, though I’m not the expert here. GPU’s are used to render scenes for games very fast. But games are like movies and there is not much time to behold a frame. A still image is different. It needs to be much higher quality.

Adaptive rendering would be probably a good idea, too. We’re doing something similar already. A terrain farther away and partly obscured by haze doesn’t need to be in the same resolution as a terrain in the foreground. The farther away a feeler ray has to travel to hit an object, the less precise it has to be. The same is true when tracing a light source. A direct, or almost direct, light source needs to be considered with more detail and precision than one that can be found only after several reflections.

Speed is only part of the consideration. Accuracy for me is also important as I perceive accuracy as telling more of the truth rather than hiding the truth with lies, which fudging equates to. Still, I know well that most of us CANT HANDLE THE TRUTH. So a little fudging probably is in order at all times.

I am looking for a way to increase both accuracy and speed, while also lifting Bryce rendering into the new century.

Octane Render is currently the fastest unbiased render that I have heard of and it is GPU based.

http://render.otoy.com/

Clearly, there is no point in reinventing the wheel. No matter what we do with TA, it will take a bit of work to get to the level of Octane Render. What I think we need is to do a bit of what DazStudio has done, and cozy up to one of these unbiased render solutions. I would actually prefer Octane to Luxrender, because super fast rendering is something Bryce has not been able to boast of in nearly two decades. This GPU stuff seems promising to me, makes CPU discussions almost seem irrelevant in terms of where to go in the future. GPU all the way.

Am I wishing upon too distant of a star?

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Posted: 03 September 2012 02:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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David Brinnen - 03 September 2012 01:50 AM
_ PJF _ - 02 September 2012 06:13 PM
Rashad Carter - 30 August 2012 08:47 AM

I literally have to thank PJF for the idea which I then took to another level and implemented it as a full feature.

Have checked PM folder, Hansard, Honours list, and PayPal balance - but the parched and cracked tumble weed of forgotten desolation is the same discovery always. The collar of my threadbare coat is turned up against the steady drizzle of decline as I trudge wearily past abandoned tanks of yor on the trail of tears heading back to Germany.
Or, something…


Just catching up with this enjoyable and fascinating thread. Really wish I had more time to play. Feels especially nostalgic watching David’s video when he turns the sky off and starts messing about in a small area under blackness.

 

Caustics would simply not be possible without Boost Light.

Not as good, probably not even useable – but certainly possible. This Renderosity thread from nine years ago (!) features me pratting about with caustics using Bryce5 TA.
http://www.renderosity.com/mod/forumpro/showthread.php?message_id=1445509&ebot;_calc_page#message_1445509

Of course, David B. working with today’s improved TA options is way, way ahead of my earlier fiddlings. But they do show the potential was there. “If only there could be more light,” I said at one point. Well now there is, and David (B for brilliant) has found a way of reducing its horrible side effect.


You’ve all done very well…

.

.

Thank you for the link.  2003… before internet here I think.  But I did have Bryce 5 from late February onwards.  And I did tinker with TA and thought “Hmn… this seems like a good way to bring my CPU to boiling point for no very good reason”.  I’d just upgraded to my AMD 750 Mhz system and was playing Planescape Torment…  Sorry I’m getting lost in memory lane.

So to your thread….

Talk about re-inventing the wheel!  All very familiar territory.  Looking at the renders I am suspecting that the caustic effect created by the light travelling through the glass was a result more of the less scattered nature of legacy TA than correct optics - however I will re-examine my tests with lenses to see if I have missed a trick.

It is clear, you have nicely predicted what was possible by a cool 10 years!

Please, if you would be so kind, email me with the numbers for next weeks winning lottery ticket (preferably before the ticket is drawn).

Peter is an incredibly fascinating guy. That thread was a bit like reading a prophecy. Scary almost! I feel it necessary to try that mirror test again with Boost Light and TA Optimized light sources. So glad I have the day off today!

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Posted: 03 September 2012 07:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Rashad Carter - 03 September 2012 01:27 AM

Mark,
I am certainly not the one staring. Peter, Horo, and David are truly smart individuals. I am just an extremely determined “pretender.” Beneath all the artsy fartsy is solid mathematics which one either has the background to keep with up or they don’t. I fall someplace in the middle where I get most of the math, but not all of it like Horo or Peter or even David. Ask me to write an equation to calculate the surface luminance of an object and I’m sure I could probably do a good deal of it, but I’d probably not have the chops to complete it. Horo on the other hand, would. For some reason I seem to have a knack for knowing when light appears to behave naturally in a render, and an ability to recognize even if I cant describe it concisely, when the light doesn’t behave naturally. This lead to much discussion (some of it pleasurably nasty) regarding TA and other tools back in the days of Bryce 6 and earlier. Now that some of us have had the benefit of discussion with actual programmers who can see the code and algorithms we can have more productive discussions than we used to. Hence, the last few pages.

In theory TA especially with Boost Light enabled is the most technically tricky lighting tool to discuss once you have gotten the hang of IBL concepts and the idea of high dynamic range light and color. In the case of lighting threads I tend to initiate, I am all about taking the guess work out of it all. I want solid consistent solutions that are easy to use and comprehend, solutions that simply work, solutions that are as accurate as possible. For those solutions that dont yet work, I am very much interested in finding out WHy they dont work so i can figure out a way to make them work down the line when I need them. I am not alone in this approach, I am just as stated above an extremely determined pretender of sorts.

This thread will be significant. Even if Daz is not developing Bryce currently, Horo, David, myself, and several others are doing what we can to continually develop Bryce. Many of the tricks we discussed in earlier lighting threads matured into full features in Bryce 7 we all can use now such as Domes, 3D Fills, TA Optimization and much more. It would not surprise me in the slightest if this thread also yielded useful tricks that could be turned later into mature features for Bryce 8 or later.

All that to say, you are very much welcomed to this thread. A thread dominated by a bunch of bitchy old biddies (no intended offense to anyone) discussing the most subtle of subtleties is not the sole point of this thread, though some degree of that is expected and encouraged in this thread. So stick around and please feel free to distract the conversation as you see fit.

Oh I was only joking about distracting the thread, I just said that because I know how serious people can get when discussing the technical aspects of things they are passionate about. As for you being a pretender well keep in mind, that how you see yourself compared to the likes of David and Horo but that’s proabably the only person that sees you that way. Me personally I see you as a very dedicated and enthusiastic member of the steering committee. I’m not sure if this is your intended job description in the committee but what I see you doing is keeping after people to keep improving things rather then get too complacent.

As for the historic comment, well I can easily see similar discussions having happened in the past that led to changes in Bryce 7 so likewise I could see this thread having implications for Bryce 8 and beyond. Oh and on the issue of math. Let me explain it this way. I was fine with math al the way up until high school. Then I had to take either Algebra, Calculus or Geometry. I had always heard the first two were very hard so I passed on them and went for Geometry. Which was fine, I always liked geometry before because it mostly involved drawing shapes and using compasses and protractors. In high school though it was nothing like that. Instead it was mostly memorizing a ton of proofs and theorems which bored the hell out of my hormone enhanced teenaged mind at the time. Needless to say I didn’t do well in math.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 07:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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David Brinnen - 03 September 2012 01:55 AM

Mark, well done getting the models into Bryce and that’s a nice looking render - it must have taken a while?

What I would suggest, rather than passing these bulky models around, is if you write up a tutorial on how to get them, convert them and import them - post it up on a thread here and I’ll get my friend to transfer it over to Bryce-tutorials and then it will be there as a reference for other Brycers to take advantage of.

What do you reckon?

Well there isn’t much to write up. All I did was install meshlab (free app available here: meshlab.sourceforge.net) open it up, select the option to “import model” which will allow you to select any supported format which in this case was .ply. Then after that I selected, “export model” which lets you export it in a number of formats including .obj. Once it was in .obj form I then imported it into studio, scaled it if necessary (some of the items come in like 10 times bigger then your viewport) and then sent it via the bridge to bryce. The trick was just waiting long enough for it to happen but for you guys with your muscle machines for computers shouldn’t need as much patience as I had to muster.

As for the time it took to do the render, well I made it take a long time even though I didn’t have to, just to have some cool looking materials on them. The solid diamond brain and the ruby golfball is what hurt the most though. Those two alone tripled the render time. I also used soft shadows to use the premium render and set the rays to 256 per pixel for the final draft as you suggested in the capsules video but if I had left it there I’d probably just be posting the picture now instead of last night. Instead I cut it back to 144 rays per pixel which reduced the render time from nearly 24 hours to around 14 hours

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Posted: 03 September 2012 07:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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LordHardDriven - 03 September 2012 07:36 AM
David Brinnen - 03 September 2012 01:55 AM

Mark, well done getting the models into Bryce and that’s a nice looking render - it must have taken a while?

What I would suggest, rather than passing these bulky models around, is if you write up a tutorial on how to get them, convert them and import them - post it up on a thread here and I’ll get my friend to transfer it over to Bryce-tutorials and then it will be there as a reference for other Brycers to take advantage of.

What do you reckon?

Well there isn’t much to write up. All I did was install meshlab (free app available here: meshlab.sourceforge.net) open it up, select the option to “import model” which will allow you to select any supported format which in this case was .ply. Then after that I selected, “export model” which lets you export it in a number of formats including .obj. Once it was in .obj form I then imported it into studio, scaled it if necessary (some of the items come in like 10 times bigger then your viewport) and then sent it via the bridge to bryce. The trick was just waiting long enough for it to happen but for you guys with you muscle machines for computers shouldn’t need as much patience as I had to muster

Thanks Mark, well, I’ll give it a go and see how I get on.

In the mean time, a compare and contrast.

1 - a scene made in 2007 and rendered in Bryce 6 using many conventional radial lights.

2 - the same scene updated today, rendered with three TA optimised gel lights driven by a spherically mapped ( Spherical Mapper ) capture of the HDRI backdrop and one blocking gel to isolate the TA rendering from the IBL backdrop which drives the reflections.  Bryce sun provides specular only to drive material specular response.  In essence the same approach as taken in this video Bryce 20 minute scene lighting project - Using IBL with boost light and TA gels - by David Brinnen

Most notable about the new scene, better contrast and colour reproduction, no shadow bands to contend with.  Render time 1 hour thirty - about 10x longer than the original.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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Well I have now successfully managed to get the two statues that wouldn’t import to finally import. The problem was the sizes because in both cases after some serious decimation of the mesh I did get them down to managable sizes. the one that goes with the xyzrgb dragon had one billion faces originally. I had to get that number down to closer to one million before I could get it into Bryce in a reasonable time frame (about one minute). The angel statue named lucy I neglected to get the before and after number on the faces but suffice it to say I had to reduce it to about 25% of the original. I’m rendering pictures now to show you all later. I suppose I could post up directions on how I reduced the mesh although it would be a bit involved. I must say from a novice perspective that Meshlab seems like a pretty versatile tool for modelers.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 10:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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Thanks Mark, I’m going to get that Mesh Lab installed (haven’t found it before) and get those Stanford thingies again. We’ll see whether I can manage.

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Posted: 03 September 2012 10:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Mark,

Those pills look fantastic! Very realistic. The only quibble I can generate is that the division between the green and purple areas is too soft, it should be much sharper. I think the impression should be of a capsule made of two pieces one fitting neatly within the other. Otherwise, it looks perfect. Great work!

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Posted: 03 September 2012 11:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Hello, I’m quite a new on this forum. I’m self thought graphic designer, a bit of programmer, CG admirer and occassional beta tester of some apps.

I hope you don’t mind me hijacking this thread while my travel to look for true refractive caustics in Bryce wink
I started independently testing Bryce renders engine capabilities and I have some observations.

Renderer in Bryce looks for me like a brute force forward path tracer.
- http://web4.cs.ucl.ac.uk/teaching/4074/archive/2010/Slides/JK2010/03_path tracing.pdf (what PT is - easy Path Tracing maths course)
In classic path tracing the ray is shot from the specific pixel and then it travels bouncing at random direction from the diffuse surfaces, at reflection angle from mirror surfaces or is bend when going into the refractive objects, and it bounces till it finds light source. Let’s consider two situations:
1. exterior environment with open sky
2. interior with small light source

In 1st situation the sky is being found quite quickly terminating the further ray bounces and rendering becomes quite fast. In situation 2 the rays are bouncing till they find a light source or reach maximum depth. If the light source is very small there’s no guarantee that bouncing ray will ever find the light source. What more in Bryce the TA optimized lights are probably regular meshes (primitives) with the direct light inside them that is including for taking account into lighting only the light mesh. I’ve made a model of such light in Bryce 5 by using sphere light inside the sphere with ‘range’ so that only the sphere is lit. It emits the light of maximum strength of 1. Scene has TA enabled (in 5 it’s legacy one) and there’s no Boost light switch. Image 1b.png
This way of rendering area lights give a greater way of control for potential user, but at the same time is wasting time for rendering single invisible diffuse ray bounce. True area lights with importance sampling would be a single bounce quicker and would had better distributed samples.

More light was allowed in 7 with Boost light option and as shown by David Brinnen in his tutorials is often created by amplifying the light on inside of the sphere or cuboid with partially transparent ‘shell’. I’ve read here http://www.kerkythea.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_easyfaq&task=cat&catid=19&Itemid=41#faq25 that creating physically correct, non amplifying light materials is a helpful way of getting rid of fireflies. So I altered the characteristics of TA optimized light material (I used fuzzy, 25% transparent, 75% diffuse, 75% ambient) and it changed a little bit light directional response and totally got rid of fireflies! (You can compare 1st image from 4_mix.png with 2 image from 5_mix.png - I’ll have to rerender 1st from 4_mix.png with new material to confirm my observations).

Another ways of getting rid of fireflies in Path Tracing in this article: http://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.6/Manual/Render/Cycles/Reducing_Noise Especially 2 options are interesting, so I’d cover them briefly here:
1. Sample as lamp - is directly connected to what I wrote above. It means that TA optimized light is possibly sampled like a regular mesh instead of the light source (well… I’ll have to investigate it a little bit more, and try out TA optimized domes and fills)
2. Clamp fireflies - is option inverse to boost light, but instead of limiting light to 0.0 - 1.0 range it allows setting the upper range to any value. Setting clamping at value higher than 1 results in getting rid of fireflies while making light response natural http://archive.dingto.org/2012/blender/clamp_overview_bmw_mike_pan.jpg
My feature request for future Bryce versions would be an option:
Clamp high (checkbox and input field - values from 0 - +inf) - if the light strength is higher than the value use value instead - option for reducing fireflies
Discard low (checkbox and input field - values from -inf - 1) - if the light strength is lower than the value then stop tracing further rays - option for stopping tracing rays and speeding up rendering or getting rid of black fireflies when max tracing depth or clamp when using negative lights

Several posts ago somebody mentioned the alternative ways of rendering Photon mapping, but I think it’s not very ‘mega scene’/instancing/displacement friendly. Storing big photon map makes use of memory and often is not good idea for big scenes. It however works well for interiors and especially for caustics, it would be nice addition for rendering caustics but imho not a primary method (comparison of rendering methods: http://raytracey.blogspot.com/2011/01/which-algorithm-is-best-choice-for-real.html )


Back to the refractive caustics… I think I’ve managed to catch the real ones :D (1st image from 5_mix.png compared to the second rendered with similar setup using direct light)
Now I need to try to render them in the mirror ( http://www.indigorenderer.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=37&t=10142&start=15 ) to see if they’ll disappear - if yes - then they’re ‘real’


BTW.
There might be a bug of how TA treats the face turned to the front compared with the face turned to the right. Please have a look at the colourization on the back face coming from the red face compared with the blue one, it might not be caustic pattern.

Regards
dwsel

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Posted: 03 September 2012 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Thank you dwsel_ for joining in the lighting thread with your insights.  The fill lights in TA optimised mode are interesting, the TA light inside is generated from the hulls of the many individual tiny light sources bounded by the total shape of the dome and fills.  They render a bit slower then radials in TA but seem to offer (I’ve not got very far with testing these) a sort of volume TA solution.  I don’t know what you’d call this, it would be as if all the space was glowing and emitting light in a great invisible cloud of light.

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