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Posted: 30 November 2012 10:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 106 ]
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larsmidnatt - 30 November 2012 10:00 PM

I agree, I’ve said it a few times in various places myself that price will be a hurdle for some people. Fortunately everyone gets to pick what works for them. Cycles and POVray are alternatives for those who are interested, will come down to what interests you most. Luxrender isn’t comparable as it’s slow as can be. You end up spending a ton more on computers and electricity then you would buying Octane. But then again you could surely try out cycles with blender and not pay anything.

Octane has a free demo for those who want to try it out and see what the results are. After I tried the demo i opted to make the jump and get away from Lux and it has worked well for me.

i am very tempted to jump on this. i have used Vray and maxwell in the past and now almost always use Luxrender, but i am finding the limited material and lighting options and the slowness in Lux to be more of a hindrance than anything else.

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Posted: 30 November 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 107 ]
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The octane forum has a Resources and sharing sub forum so if you want to look there for info you can. I can’t remember if the demo comes with the manual or not. there is a thread called “Octane Render Tutorial Series” that I watched when i first was dabbling with it.

Frankly I don’t love the nodes system but i got used to it and found some ways to simplify changing materials for a large selection of surfaces, but the plugin will eliminate my need for tricks like that. From what I have seen about the plugin versions for Max and the upcoming DS one, the plugins have much better workflows than the standalone.

That said I would keep using Octane at this point without a plugin if I had too because I’ve got a system, but the plugin will be a better solution.

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Posted: 30 November 2012 11:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 108 ]
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larsmidnatt - 30 November 2012 10:00 PM

I agree, I’ve said it a few times in various places myself that price will be a hurdle for some people. Fortunately everyone gets to pick what works for them. Cycles and POVray are alternatives for those who are interested, will come down to what interests you most. Luxrender isn’t comparable as it’s slow as can be. You end up spending a ton more on computers and electricity then you would buying Octane. But then again you could surely try out cycles with blender and not pay anything.

Octane has a free demo for those who want to try it out and see what the results are. After I tried the demo i opted to make the jump and get away from Lux and it has worked well for me.

Did you ever try SPPM mode in Lux? 

On my dual core machine I can get very nice renders in SPPM in under an hour.  Yeah, I know Octane is faster…but one of the test scenes I did, it still took half an hour in Octane to do a ‘final’ render…and two hours to hand convert all the materials, because the ‘free’ version doesn’t let you test any plugins…even if there is a free version of the plugin, and in the case of the DS plugin…there wasn’t.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 12:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 109 ]
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Yes SPPM mode sucked every time I tried it. things looked really bad.

Doesn’t take very long for me to convert materials in octane, a genesis figure can be done in a few minutes. I map all the limb textures to the same material macro, same for the torso. So when you need to tweak later because you changed the lighting, you only have to tweak a few materials instead of all 20 or whatever.

Same idea for clothes and hair i set up macros for them so I can end up editing a lot less separate pieces in the long run. There isn’t a free version of the DS plugin, there is a free demo of the 3D max one, but since I’m not currently a MAX user I never tried it. The DS plugin will allow you to edit multiple materials much faster.

one thing about Octane to remember is that just because the “best” mode is PMC doesn’t mean it’s really needed. Also it defaults to 16 steps for the light bounces and for outside environments it really should be set to 4. interiors can be set to 8. But the direct lighting mode set to diffuse looks just as good as PMC in many situations and takes a fraction of time to render.

Render time for me varies greatly, from 15 minutes to a few hours. But there are a lot of variables in there. With lux I usually stopped at 1k samples, sometimes I would wait till 2k, but with octane I never do less than 2k and typically go for 4k. My average render time with lux was like 12 hours, going into 60 hours. My longest render in octane is typically about 4 hours.

EDIT: if you need to edit the environment heavily then this does take a good bit of time, but using macros can help there too. Also if I need the environment in multiple renders I just save a different version of the file so I don’t have to redo settings. Also you can copy and paste from one open instance of octane to another. Also octane uses instances, so if you need 100 trees, just export one tree as an obj, load into octane. Set up its materials and then use multiple placement nodes to replicate the tree as needed. this way you only edit the material for that tree once. Use of geometry groups and placement nodes will eliminate the need to edit the same leaf texture 100 times. or just make one macro for the leaf and link all the separate ones to it if you like.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 12:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 110 ]
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Oh and thinking about it, I’ve never resorted to hiding teeth, tongues and unseen limbs of my characters to speed up an octane render. I probably should consider hiding more of the environment sometimes, but I stopped using those techniques as soon as I started with octane. I haven’t covered a room in a matte box so that light is more contained either. I really should try those things to see if they help Octane, but the time it takes to do tricks like that would probably about the same as the time saved in render (pure speculation).

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 111 ]
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Hi larsmidnatt,

Those are some really useful tips for using octane..I have copy pasted them to look into later once the plugin is released, so thank you for those.

Out of interest what graphics card or cards are you using to run octane on.  I am considering getting 2 GXT 670 4gb,as the main render cards and a bog standard 550 gtx to use as the display card.

S.K.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 112 ]
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Glad I can help SK. I’m am only running a TI 660. A single one. The 5XX series is still faster(i think by 20%, not certain), but I am happy with the card I have because it has 3 gigs of ram so I never have issues there. Also Octane allows the kepler cards to have 2x as many textures referenced compared to the older cards, so you don’t run into issues there. When dealing with a stonemason environment and a genesis character with many pieces of clothing, or even two characters it was easy to hit the texture limit in the older releases of octane (or even in the current release if you are using the older cards).

I will eventually get a display card, but I haven’t since i don’t use my machine for other task while octane is rendering. Since I still have my lux slave machine in the office I just use that machine to work in daz or photoshop while renders are going. Thanks to DS4.5 and the duf format it is easy to swap work files form one machine to another.

But if I had a few extra beans I would surely get a cheap dedicated display card. My current rig can’t fit another powerful video card though.

EDIT: Me love edits today. Also I know cheap display cards aren’t too pricey, but I only have 8 gigs of ram in my pc, and octane still needs ram to work. So I’d rather switch to my other machine that also has 8 gigs of ram so I can have all of that for programs. A display card still would help octane menus run quicker, but I tend to pause the realtime render if I want to change a ton of stuff at once.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 113 ]
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Those Ti 660 are good cards, with as many cuda cores as the 670’s, I am only considering the 670 for the extra gig of RAM, you can never have too much RAM!!!!.

I do have a 580 GTX at the moment, but as you rightly point out the texture limit is the killer on the older cards. I believe that the actual texture limit on the Keplar cards has been increased to 256 slots, with the latest drivers, but octane can only access 144 slots, I believe, though I could be incorrect in that belief, I have just started scouring the Octane Forum for info, so things may have changed with the latest releases etc.

Hopefully when the plugin is released we will end up with a thread similar to the Reality one over at Renderosity, that would be really useful for hints and tips..

S.K.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 114 ]
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larsmidnatt - 01 December 2012 12:08 AM

Yes SPPM mode sucked every time I tried it. things looked really bad.

Doesn’t take very long for me to convert materials in octane, a genesis figure can be done in a few minutes. I map all the limb textures to the same material macro, same for the torso. So when you need to tweak later because you changed the lighting, you only have to tweak a few materials instead of all 20 or whatever.

Same idea for clothes and hair i set up macros for them so I can end up editing a lot less separate pieces in the long run. There isn’t a free version of the DS plugin, there is a free demo of the 3D max one, but since I’m not currently a MAX user I never tried it. The DS plugin will allow you to edit multiple materials much faster.

one thing about Octane to remember is that just because the “best” mode is PMC doesn’t mean it’s really needed. Also it defaults to 16 steps for the light bounces and for outside environments it really should be set to 4. interiors can be set to 8. But the direct lighting mode set to diffuse looks just as good as PMC in many situations and takes a fraction of time to render.

Render time for me varies greatly, from 15 minutes to a few hours. But there are a lot of variables in there. With lux I usually stopped at 1k samples, sometimes I would wait till 2k, but with octane I never do less than 2k and typically go for 4k. My average render time with lux was like 12 hours, going into 60 hours. My longest render in octane is typically about 4 hours.

EDIT: if you need to edit the environment heavily then this does take a good bit of time, but using macros can help there too. Also if I need the environment in multiple renders I just save a different version of the file so I don’t have to redo settings. Also you can copy and paste from one open instance of octane to another. Also octane uses instances, so if you need 100 trees, just export one tree as an obj, load into octane. Set up its materials and then use multiple placement nodes to replicate the tree as needed. this way you only edit the material for that tree once. Use of geometry groups and placement nodes will eliminate the need to edit the same leaf texture 100 times. or just make one macro for the leaf and link all the separate ones to it if you like.

That’s the thing…and yeah the plugin will eliminate a lot of it…but go back to the first few times you set up a material.  Heck half the time is spent just figuring out what you want to group together under a single macro.  Once you get that down, yeah you can cut down the amount of time.  But even with that, a moderately complex scene is going to take time…

As to instances..Lux and 3Delight both do them, too…so that isn’t a ‘selling’ point (I believe Cycles can, too…but I’m not 100% sure on that).

Speed…maybe a selling point.  A couple of ‘cons’...price.  Need of a medium to high end Nvidia card. 

What I’m saying is there are lots of options that are much cheaper…that can give just as good results.  Maybe not as fast, but they don’t have to be as slow as most Lux renders are set up to be.  A $100 plugin? To get to an over $200 renderer?  Come on…really?

Now, if I were in a production environment/churning out renders for profit…maybe it could be a ‘justifiable’ expense…maybe.

It seems to me that they are pricing themselves right out of the hobbyist market…especially with the DS plugin.  If/when I buy Reality it will not be at full price, because even though I really like Lux, I don’t like it enough to spend over $50 on a plugin to get me there. (I’ve been porting stuff back to DS3 to use the free plugin by Tofusan for any Lux renders I’ve done lately.)  And I’ve been playing some with Cycles…

Yeah, I played with the Octane demo for a few weeks, but overall wasn’t convinced it was worth the price…at least not for what I usually do.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 115 ]
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I think your number is correct regarding texture slots. With the older cards I think 74 or so was the limit. The break down on what types of textures have what limit is a bit complex. greyscale, color, 8 bit, 16 bit all have different limits LOL.

The octane team said going to 256 slots would require more coding changes and would be a later change, but I was happy they at least upped it as much as they have.

And I’ve already said what I needed to about pricing, it’s not worth a long debate.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 116 ]
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@ mjc1016 Don’t take this the wrong way, but from what you have written, clearly Octane is not a solution for you, in the enviroment in which you create / render..Thats fair enough, so not sure why you are bothering to post in this thread.??

For me Octane will be very useful, as I do have a production level setup, and the hardware and resources to be able to fully leverage the power that Octane will bring..

Cost is relative..with Octane I can get Maxwell or Vray equivelent render quality at a considerably reduced cost, whilst still employing a DAZ software and content Pipeline, thats worth a hell of a lot to me.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the plugin release very much, and have no problem with its cost.

Peace,

S.K.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 01:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 117 ]
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Whether I am setting up materials for 3DL, Lux, Visual Style shaders or Octane it takes time. When you use new clothes you have to learn where the metals are etc. So this is the same no matter how you are rendering. Now if you are used to using stock material presets then yes it’s more work to go custom, but I’ve never been fond of stock presents anyway so I always end up getting intimate with each surface. I don’t think most hobbyist do that though. And I don’t think Octane is for everyone. But for me, time spent on materials isn’t any different from one renderer to another. And when I know I am going to use Octane i don’t waste time in DS making things look pretty. Sometimes I export the objects with no materials at all and just create and assign them in Octane.


Also i export the background scene separate from the character so the meshes are easier to deal with. Again something that won’t matter with the plugin.

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Posted: 01 December 2012 06:10 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 118 ]
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I have tried the beta and I loved it, but I think that it is expensive if you need both the base and te plugin to make it work :( I was sure that the beta plugin worked without the beta standalone?

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Posted: 01 December 2012 08:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 119 ]
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No you need the standalone to use the plugins. That’s how all of the plugins are. They usually sell the plugins bundled with the stand alone, that used to save you some money. But I got the standalone without the DS plugin since at the time there was no option, still isn’t a DS bundle since plugin isn’t offical yet. Max and Poser users for example can get a bundle right now as well as a few other packages.

But to be clear if you used the demo beta, I’m sure you were using the standalone beta. That or the max demo beta. Because there is no studio or poser trial plugin at this point. (you can pay to get into the poser beta though)

You can use just the standalone and it would work with anything that exports obj files. The plugin will make integration with Studio faster, but it’s not a requirement.

edit: just remembered the free plugin that is not an integrated solution with studio, maybe you used that? I have not tried that, it is supposed to help with exporting daz content to go into octane but I haven’t found a reason to try it.

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