That was what I was ‘almost’ remembering… The per surface AO control and quality per surface. As you say, I had come to the conclusion researching them that pwSurface seemed more flexible but I wasn’t at the point I could test them effectively at that time. I wonder if there are occasions where US2 is better then pwSurface? Does the layered surface make a difference for instance?
I like the idea of Reality and Oxygen renderers but am wondering if there aren’t times where the control of using 3DLight might not be useful.
Both options for rendering have their place. Rendering in DS is faster so if you need to render sooner then later and hyper realism is not a key issue, then DS it is. If time is not an issue and hyper realism is called for, Lux is the better option. But it can also depend on ones own desires or tastes. Looking at my own work in DS with pwS2, I would say it has a slight comic book feel to it whereas none of my Lux images do. Lux is more demanding of your system. My current scene is using over 3GBs RAM for a single A3 character, short hair and a bikini top. But there is subdivision on all surfaces of the model and hair (minus the mouth and teeth) so it looks more smoothed out and real. The biggest scene I have ever rendered in DS had 22 people + clothing, 5 cars and 2 stonemason sets in it and render in about 30 hours. But it only took about 5GB of ram at the most. With my current scene in Lux, by the time it reaches 3000 samples, it will be over 60 hours of rendering. One of the last scnes I did in Lux reached 3000 samples in 6 hours but it was an outdoor scene with the sun overhead and no reflective surfaces. This newest one is indoors with one mesh light and glossy surfaces. Big difference but it is so worth it for the quality. Forgot to add, one advantage Lux does have over DS for rendeing is that you can see what your seen is like in a matter of minutes or sooner so you’re not wasting time sitting there waiting for a test render to finish in order to see all the details.
Since i dont use Ubersurface2, I could not tell a thing about the layered surfaces. Didn’t even know it was in there.
To Mattymanx & anyone else using Reality 2.2. with DS4+,
You said that a render could take as long as 60 hours with a whole lot of elements(characters, textures, environments & props) so I’m curious as a relative beginner what sizes you’re rendering at. What is the largest image size you’ve rendered with Reality/Lux & how many hours did it take? And how many lights did you use?
The thing with Luxrender/Reality is that there is no point that it will ‘finish’...you decide when that it is. Basically that means you can let it render for a year. I have found the fewer ‘lights’ the better…IBL and mesh lights work very well in Luxrender (in fact you can, with a little work, create mesh (geometry/objects) lights using ‘real life’ light data/profiles).
The image I posted earlier in the thread (the one of Thomas…) is 800 x 1000 and I rendered it in about 40 mins on SPPM (a slightly tweaked SPPM setting), with the only light being IBL. Since I don’t use Reality (I’m saving up for it, since it doesn’t look like LuxrenderDS will be updated to DS4.x anytime in the near future…), I’m not sure how to get to SPPM rendering in it…but it should be an option and it is generally faster, than any of the other options than hybrid (GPU…which still has some problems on Luxrender’s end).
And yes, Reality should be Win7 compatible…you just need to remember to get the 64 bit version of Luxrender…and if you’ve got an OpenCL compatible video card, don’t forget to get that version of Luxrender.
Size wise I normally do 600x900 or 1280x960 since they both fit to my screen quite nicely. But as stated before, what you have in your scene, your lighting and the settings of your surfaces will cause the render times to vary. A lot of questions about Lux may be answerable via their online wiki here - http://www.luxrender.net/wiki/Main_Page - I admit I have not looked at it much there is useful info there. Also feel free to hang out in their forums too since that talk about lux all day long there. I have picked up helpful pointers from the developers.
One pointer is concerning the light groups tab in lux. The Light Group tab was not designed as a way to freely tweak your lights as your rendered. It was actully designed to help you figure out how much you need to increase or decrease you lights by via the exporter (in our case Reality) The reason for this has to do with light output (if I recall correctly) If you light needs to be increaded to 5.0 in lux, doing so in lux does not actully change how much its emiting into the scene whereas if you go back to Reality and adjust the Gain to 5.0 then in Lux the light emmits as it should (not quite the cool technical answer but its the basics)
Also related to that, the lighting groups are only intended to help you figure out what each light or group needs to be set to as described above. Once you go to do your final render and you have all the lights Gain values adjusted to where you need them, make all the lights apart of the same group. It saves on RAM.
Regarding pwSurface, I was trying to apply it to surfaces.. did the same as I would HSS, Uber etc… I selected the surface then ctl+clicked, clicked, double clicked… nada. I’m wondering if I’m doing something wrong or if I just have to reload pwSurface.
Actually uberenvironment and ubersurface have been a part of D|S since 3 came out. If you want a recommendation on an excellent set of lights for a reasonable price take a look at Lantino’s Lights all of which include uberenvironment as a part of them. They are great on their own or as a jumping off place to start tweaking/adjusting for your own needs.
The biggest flaw in uberenvironment is in the default settings which even at 4x high setting doesn’t look great without adjustment. Select the uberenvironment light and look for a setting called “occlusion samples” and set this to at least 128. This will clear up the mottling effect you see with the default settings.
When I bought Lantios Lights 2 in March, I was brand new to the world of 3D, and I noticed an immediate, significant increase in the quality and realism of my renders: http://www.daz3d.com/shop/lantios-lights-2
Edited to add: I don’t own (and thus didn’t use) UberSurface2, pwSurface2, or Interjections, any of which would probably have yielded even better results (but my examples should hopefully illustrate that with the right lightset you can get good results even without these things, or the Reality plug-in, or even much knowledge and experience about lighting). I did use the Elite Human Surface Shader, which is included in DS4 and DS4.5 (I think in DS3 also).
Using DS and Reality to get to LuxRnderI have gotten some large renders (2400x3800) that had a single light source but were files in Studio upwards of 50MB - 70MB with several hundred surfaces to render in about 3-6 hrs. that I was happy enough with to call then finished. I7-920 12G RAM. I’ve never had anything come close to 48 hrs. let alone 60. Personally when I compared them to similar projects in Uberenvironment I like how they came out in LuxRender better. Lux does seem to slow down as more lights come into the scene but all of this depends on how your surfaces are set up. Scene setup is a combination science and art, out of the box without adjusting those surfaces generally leads to needlessly longer rendering times.