Make Your Most Realistic Renders – Ever!

1679111220

Comments

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    tapering of the shadow....

    could also be that the bollard is wider at the bottom than it appears
    (as per greek columns that were made wider at the top to counteract the effect of perspective)
    and this difference in width is reflected in the shadow taper

    also the camera lens is distorting the bollard because the viewpoint is most probably eye level looking down (ladder?)

    so if you look at the bottom of the bollard it's perspective plane/vanishing point is different to the top of the bollard
    similar to how if you take a pic of someone there feet might be tilted down compared to their face if you use a certain focal length to fit their entire body in

    so the taper of the shadow could be related to this as well as Elele suggests

    to mimic the distortion you could try a shorter focal length in carrara, maybe less than 50mm as opposed to say 80mil?

    nice render philw

    Thanks for this. I tried most of the stuff you suggested and couldn't get the shadow to taper without the perspective on the bollard itself then being out. I suspect you could be right that the bollard itself is wider at the bottom than the top, so there is an actual taper which is not reflected in my model.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited August 2013

    pleasure

    here is a quick and dirty, the cylinder has a taper modfier of 74 percent in the z meridian
    camera 25mill focal range
    camera height?

    the effect mimicks the difference in apparent vanishing points at the top and bottom of the cylinder? maybe not

    the taper of the cylinder distorts the shadow
    but the cylinder appears to our eye 'almost' the same width top and bottom

    bollard.jpg
    1522 x 1050 - 158K
    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    Elele said:
    Does the speed up also happen if the gamma is set to lower values, even if you set it to 1?

    The image looks great Phil!
    Maybe the tapering is due to the camera focal length and the position of the distant light?

    Thanks for your comment. I make no claims that it speeds up rendering - but many people have been put off by talk of excessively long renders when using full Indirect Lighting etc, and sometimes - especially in simple cases - this just isn't true. Actually I just did a simple test and the gamma version WAS slightly faster, but only by around 10%. I use it for the boost in realism, not for render speed. Unless doing animations when frame rendering speed can be crucial, I don't mind too much about a render taking hours, I can just let it run overnight. Heck I used to do that back in the 1980s just to get an image of a shiny sphere! How times have moved on. Of course, your own render speeds will be dependent on your hardware.Yeah, a bit of extra time doesn't bother me too much, if I like the result I'm getting from the extra time. But when we're talking adding fifteen minutes or so, or more, that's where I begin looking for a 'cheaper' answer. Koukutso (from the "Post you Renders thread, but not much lately) always used Ambient Occlusion, as opposed to full indirect, to great effect. I am planning to experiment with these a lot in the next few days (and weeks) to see what sort of effects I can achieve - especially using this linear workflow. Whether I enjoy what I come up with or not, I'll show you my efforts. My scenes can end up being really heavy as far as content - which is where my lower render settings for speed come in - while optimizing it to look a way that I find pleasing. But since I'm still somewhat at the very beginning - I'd like to start nailing this down a bit more 'official'. What I don't want to do is to have an entire new change of look to my rendering in the middle of the series. From one movie to the next - and especially throughout the movie, I want coherency. ;)
    That's why I'm so grateful that you've put this on the table at such an opportune time!

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited December 1969

    Here's a possible way of thinking about ambient light.
    Consider a room lit by daylight.
    For 99 percent of the room there will be a minimum amount of light.
    Lets put that at, say, 5 percent (where 100 percent is pure white light)
    So what happens if we set our ambient setting in carrara to 5 percent.
    We have achieved a base light that we can start to build the rest of our scene from.
    But this falls down in at least three ways.

    a) It doesn' take into account variations in colour of the base light.
    b) It doesn't take into account those important areas where we have occlusion shadows.

    Occlusion shadows occur where two objects touch each other and almost all light is excluded.
    Occlusion shadows enable us to 'see' that an object is grounded. That it is not floating a few mills above eg the floor.

    c) It doesn't take into account areas that are below 5 percent - eg in M4's mouth and nostrils that appear to glow weirdly if we use too much ambient light.

    I hope this is of interest and shows another way of thinking about ambient light.

    More about occlusion shadows. http://gurneyjourney.blogspot.com.au/2007/12/albino-frogs-occlusion-shadows.html

    The pic shows a tapered object touching a plane. In the pic without ambient occlusion set in t he r ender setting you can see there is no occlusion shadow

    In the ones with occlusion shadow ticked you can see that there is still a lot to be desired - the aa settings are rough but changing the aa settings didn;t make much difference.

    Perhaps some of the other settings would give more refined occlusion shadows?

    ambience.jpg
    1663 x 1287 - 102K
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    pleasure

    here is a quick and dirty, the cylinder has a taper modfier of 74 percent in the z meridian
    camera 25mill focal range
    camera height?

    the effect mimicks the difference in apparent vanishing points at the top and bottom of the cylinder? maybe not

    the taper of the cylinder distorts the shadow
    but the cylinder appears to our eye 'almost' the same width top and bottom

    Nice test - I am even more sure that it is explanation now!

  • Rashad Bryce-CarraraRashad Bryce-Carrara Posts: 1,706
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    pleasure

    here is a quick and dirty, the cylinder has a taper modfier of 74 percent in the z meridian
    camera 25mill focal range
    camera height?

    the effect mimicks the difference in apparent vanishing points at the top and bottom of the cylinder? maybe not

    the taper of the cylinder distorts the shadow
    but the cylinder appears to our eye almost the same width top and bottom

    Clever, Heady! I was thinking it was certainly down to the sun altitude and the camera angle. I was surely wrong.

    Phil,
    Your replica looks fantastic, as I was already expecting it would. This task could be approached in several ways due to its simplicity.

    Joe,
    You likely have a lot of useful feedback to contribute in many areas and it pains me that you feel people choose not to listen to you out of spite. I enjoy talking with you and plan to do so in the future. I for one, am not ignoring you. I believe you care deeply for the Carrara community in your particular way, and you want to see it succeed. In that regard we are all alike. My opinion is that you simply invest too much time toward ensuring the other party enjoys complete comprehension of your intended line of reasoning. People think you are upset with them when all you really want is for them to get the point. But I've learned after years of online battles that most times it's just not worth it. Sometimes people will get it 100%, sometimes they just won't. This could be due to a failure on our part to explain the ideas in a way that the general public would find digestible. Or it might be because the masses really are just too plain stupid to get it and won't get it until years down the line. Usually it lands somewhere in between those two. OH well! So they might make a few mistakes..... They might even waste a few years in the quest for realism..... So be it. It's their choice. As the saying goes "We simply cannot save everybody."

    An online Forum is not a Classroom.

    I repeat; A Forum is not a Classroom.

    In a Classroom, there is a clear distinction between teacher and student. There is also a right and a wrong answer to every question. In an online Forum, there are more relative truths, based on all sorts of craziness and misinformation. Student and teacher are the same. Misinformation is bound to flourish. Truthfully, the war against misinformation is nothing new. That's the way forums operate. No reason to buck the system. Confusing these two distinct spaces will surely lead to frustrations and problems like those you are having.

    Some people come here to learn. But some people don't. Some people come here just to have fun, to escape anything that even slightly resembles the ideals of work. Those people, are just as welcome here as are the die hard "Learners" like yourself, myself, and others. So what we "Learners" must do is to be nice to the other "Learners"..... to the other guys who actually give a rat's #$%. Those guys who might be named Phil, Dart, Heady, Wendy, Holly, Rash... When we pool our knowledge in a positive manner we can get farther. But to pool anything we each must learn to be satisfied with the mere planting of seeds. Explain it once to the core group of Learners, planting the initial seed nothing more. Now we just wait. If the observations are true the seeds will grow on their own such that the next time you bring up the concept the other Learners will be on the bandwagon. No need to insist on perfect comprehension immediately. Sometimes it takes time. No reason to spoil it for the "Funners!" Fights, all fights, no matter how noble in intent, scare the Funners away. This forum needs Funners. There simply aren't enough Learners to keep the forums alive.

    People grow at their own paces. It's no surprise if they react negatively to being told how or when or where they should grow by another mere student of the forums. Help those you can help. The others, when the time is right, will probably seek you out and then you can help them too.

    Just my opinion.

    Now, onto your image. At this point I'm just curious why you chose a reddish color for the SSS, something more grayscale would make sense. However it probably would make the effect more subtle probably less worth the effort of employing the SSS in the first place. The cylinder has provided a nice puzzle to distract from the bickering for a while. Fun fun.

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    WOW !!!!! I am incredibly impressed !!!!!

    Very nice PhilW !!!!!! An excellent job !!! And we actually have an intelligent dialogue going on !!! People actually discussing issues.!!

    Again, the purpose, at least what I assume the purpose, of an exercise like this is to learn stuff. Not to discredit anyone, but to learn.

    And as always, thank you very much Rashad for being the voice of reason. You're absolutely, brilliantly correct in your observations, and it's something that an idiot like me will never ever learn. I keep having this idealistic view of things, when in fact it just ain't that way at all.

    And thank you PhilW for getting people engaged in an intelligent discussion, trying to find answers, not trying to discredit. Unfortunately, even for those here who might want to learn, having me involved in any discussions carries with it so much animosity that rational discussions just aren't possible. Some day I'll learn....

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    Andrew Finney, I Love You!!! :)

  • SadKitty_CarraraSadKitty_Carrara Posts: 22,024
    edited December 1969

    mmm
    when I looked at the default render settings for 3dsMax, gamma correction was ticked and set to 2.2
    maybe those guys at Autodesk know something too?

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    mmm
    when I looked at the default render settings for 3dsMax, gamma correction was ticked and set to 2.2
    maybe those guys at Autodesk know something too?
    Well now THAT'S something. Hmnpf! People can say what they want. But I know that 3DS and Maya offering are truly worth what they ask for their price. Just so happens that I prefer Carrara. It does what I want. Through Daz3d, ShareCG, and other 3d Poser content vendors, Carrara has the ability to behave very much like them but with the consistent content method employed by DS and Poser - rather than having to either make all assets - or make all assets work. Now I've not explored the new content usage that Autodesk has employed - and I'm not really interested in such an investigation, either - since it pretty much requires one of their top-priced version of Max or Maya suites - which are currently between just over five grand to nearly nine - depending on how into it you want to get. But then you'll need a content subscription if you want a Daz-like or Poser-like work flow - which I don't think is as pocketbook friendly as our wonderful Platinum Club.
    I'm glad that you're trying out the amazing Max, Wendy. It's quite the fluid piece of software, isn't it?

    All pricing aside, though - what I need to do and the way I want to do it is perfectly suited for Carrara - especially in combination with Daz Studio for further content creation.

    Now - I came to report that the animation I'm rendering right now is doing so much, Much faster than it was going to take before I added indirect lighting in the render room - which I find very odd indeed. I set Gamma Correction to 2.2 and set my Indirect Lighting setting to Ambient Occlusion Only. Not only did the image totally blow away the render it churned out before those two, simple settings, but it somehow (probably the linear workflow being snapped into play) added lightning speed to an otherwise, fairly slow render, that would really have needed some lighting work before I could render the video - 'cause it just didn't look right yet. Now my stars are glowing brightly, my steel construction of Philip Drawbridges HMS Fairborne model is enormously gorgeous, and Rosie's flying into to begin authorizing our plot.

    So I've got really cool shader setting on both ships - and plenty of lights to help realize all that's going on with their exterior illuminations - and inside Rosie's Aircraft Needle cockpit - HUD glowing upon her lovely face. - oh... check it out... she's smiling! Heh!
    Full stars of Starry Sky for Carrara - Medium Scene. As it's actually meant to be a test render, I've lowered object accuracy from, 0.5 to 1.0 as too with the shadow accuracy. The camera is back panning from the front of the Fairborne's massive hull to just before the huge engine outcroppings would begin to block our view. Nine seconds to go roughly half way down the hull - should make for a good panning speed, I'm thinking. I try to not have to slow my videos down, but Howler can do a beautiful job with that if I need it.
    By the time three seconds pass Rosie's Needle ship is growing from a spec into a sporty little fighter-class craft closing in very quickly with a fully textured Rosie in the cockpit. Five seconds in and she's now in face-to-face range with the viewer as we can now see her fully animated expression as she voices her approval to the Admiral to launch the remainder of her squadron.

    These frames are ripping though at just over three minutes a piece! They will increase as Rosie's face gets closer. But these speeds are very welcome, indeed! Phil - you're going to love my experiment. I really think that you will!

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited August 2013

    mmm
    when I looked at the default render settings for 3dsMax, gamma correction was ticked and set to 2.2
    maybe those guys at Autodesk know something too?

    In my research, I realised that most of the major 3d players are either already using this stuff or it is planned. And it is used by renderers such as Luxrender and Octane. I think someone was very forward thinking when they built it into Carrara, but maybe they weren't great at articulating what it was, so it got confused with a standard gamma post-correction that it implies in the manual, and then got hidden and forgotten. So I hope it is useful bringing to light again!

    Joe - thank you for your gracious response.

    Dart - I'll certainly look forward to it!

    Post edited by PhilW on
  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited December 1969

    At this point I'm just curious why you chose a reddish color for the SSS, something more grayscale would make sense. However it probably would make the effect more subtle probably less worth the effort of employing the SSS in the first place. .

    Ooops...sorry Rashad I forgot to respond to your question...

    Regarding the red color in the concrete walkway underneath the bollard....just chalk it up to someone throwing something together too quickly and paying more attention to the big stuff and less attention to the details. It was the diffuse color I grabbed for the SSS shader for the walkway, and it had too much red. I shouldn't have even used SSS on that shader, but anyway...yeah, it should be gray, not red. Dumb mistake. Apologies.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited August 2013

    So it's totally unusable due to a number of issues - which is why I performed the test render in the first place. But it still works well to help illustrate that this scene averaged 02:42/frame over an entire nine second animation. I still have not looked into "Linear Workflow". Is that the blame for the total acceleration of the render? Less than three minutes a frame was killing me with bliss to see!
    Anyways, I forgot that back when I made the shaders for the HMS Fairborne that I used pretty heavy reflection - which I am no longer going to use. The Rosie flying in was just tossed in as a second thought. Although I think it's kind of fun, it won't go in that way. She'll blast right past the camera going the other way - in an entirely different vessel - with her squadron on her tail. 'Twas a fun experiment, though - and it gave me the data I need for the shots I will be making tonight. Edit: Clip Removed. The point was lost and/or missed - I'll just keep it to myself! :)

    Post edited by Dartanbeck on
  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited August 2013

    Great concept, the only thing is that there is an abrupt change between each keyframed segment. If you use Bezier tweeners rather than linear, it will smooth the whole thing out (I usually have that set as the default in Preferences - it also works best with human movement to prevent that robotic look).

    Post edited by PhilW on
  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited December 1969

    So it's totally unusable due to a number of issues - which is why I performed the test render in the first place. But it still works well to help illustrate that this scene averaged 02:42/frame over an entire nine second animation. I still have not looked into "Linear Workflow". Is that the blame for the total acceleration of the render? Less than three minutes a frame was killing me with bliss to see!
    Anyways, I forgot that back when I made the shaders for the HMS Fairborne that I used pretty heavy reflection - which I am no longer going to use. The Rosie flying in was just tossed in as a second thought. Although I think it's kind of fun, it won't go in that way. She'll blast right past the camera going the other way - in an entirely different vessel - with her squadron on her tail. 'Twas a fun experiment, though - and it gave me the data I need for the shots I will be making tonight. Oh yeah... Here's the Clip.

    nice work Dart,
    I reckon with the right sound effects and a little speed blur you could get away with that sudden stop
    Unless Rosie's head falls off from the sudden deceleration ;) Just kidding, I know she will have air cushioning in the driver's seat.

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    LOL!!!
    Well you silly willies!
    Like I said - th... nevermind!
    :)

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,004
    edited December 1969

    LOL!!!
    Well you silly willies!
    Like I said - th... nevermind!
    :)

    So it's a failure due to the gamma setting or...? I mean, I know there were other issues with it that you mentioned, but did the gamma effect the lighting in the scene as you wished, or was that one of the things you didn't like?

  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    No... I think that gamma trick was actually a great success - and I can't wait to use it again! No... I thought I explained that I just threw Rosie and her ship in there and sped her up and into the camera as a test against render time, and how it was affected by the whole gamma thing and all. Not meant to be some beautiful piece of animation! lol Don't worry - I took it down.

  • evilproducerevilproducer Posts: 9,004
    edited December 1969

    No... I think that gamma trick was actually a great success - and I can't wait to use it again! No... I thought I explained that I just threw Rosie and her ship in there and sped her up and into the camera as a test against render time, and how it was affected by the whole gamma thing and all. Not meant to be some beautiful piece of animation! lol Don't worry - I took it down.

    No need to take it down. I only used the word failure because you did. I knew the Rosie thing was an add-on. I just wasn't clear if that was the only thing you didn't like.

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited December 1969

    No... I think that gamma trick was actually a great success - and I can't wait to use it again! No... I thought I explained that I just threw Rosie and her ship in there and sped her up and into the camera as a test against render time, and how it was affected by the whole gamma thing and all. Not meant to be some beautiful piece of animation! lol Don't worry - I took it down.

    sorry if I offended you Dart! I was having a joke. I knew it was just a thrown in thing as well. It looked like fun! No need to take it down :(

  • JoeMamma2000JoeMamma2000 Posts: 2,615
    edited August 2013

    Yeah, big guy, no need to take it personally....those were legitimate critiques.....

    Now if it had been a scathing personal attack, designed to inflict maximum pain, then I can understand you being a little upset. Trust me, I know all about how those feel. :)

    But this was nothing like that....

    Hey, I even invited "Mr. Softy" to give you the thumbs up and cheer you up a bit !!!! :)

    MrSofty.jpg
    1000 x 960 - 154K
    Post edited by JoeMamma2000 on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    No offense taken guys. Sorry... nasty spasms in back arms and legs keeping me from my PC.
    No... I did take it down because I didn't want folks to feel compelled to teach me the basics of animation over this silly test footage - that's all. It really did make me laugh (hard) when I saw the 'Rosie Approaches' sequence - hence the YouTube title I gave it.

    But, no. The crappy animation was not the only thing I didn't like. But it was a beautiful success by showing what I needed to know:

    + Still have heavy reflections on Massive Ship Shaders - must be changed

    + Although the panning timing was a wee bit quick - it really wasn't bad (the second ship w/Rosie didn't belong in that shot - was just a render test) as nine seconds gives plenty of frames for post.

    + Render settings purposefully dropped to 1 and 1, Fast - from 0.5 and 0.5, Good - simply due to it being a test check

    Very cool finding:
    Before setting the Gamma Correction on and to a value of 2.2, and adding Indirect Lighting, Ambient Occlusion Only, I haven't really even set any lights. There were some that were saved with the Fairborne, but it really looked fairly horrible from the camera angle at frame one (0). When I changed the settings as above, I couldn't believe the difference. Most of what you can see of the Fairborne (well, not anymore... I took it down), was hidden in shadow before. Not just that, but it seems that the bump channel works more as intended - and materials just look better. Maybe it's my spasm-ridden impatience playing trick on my eyes to get me to feel satisfied? Don't know. Kidding - the stuff that I was impressed with before, I am still impressed with now.

    I will be running more tests when I regain the ability to sit in a chair. This time I will leave the Fairborne to itself against Starry Sky until I get it right. Reflections need to be shut down of set much lower. Love the rest of the material settings though - highlight, shine, color, bump, glow. Part of my leaving the right ships out was the fact the they need to be Carraraized. I'll get that done - and tested against the scene with these new settings as well - and I'll likely test with changes to the lighting to where the lighting doesn't look yucky without GC @ 2.2 and IL/AO.
    Now I am interested in these new tests. Reflection has always had the tendency to slow down my render times. So did indirect lighting. So without as much reflection, is it going to still improve the speed more? Less than three minutes average frame render is like lightning to me. Especially at Accuracies set to 1. Why am I so boggled about the speed? Well because I had Ambient Occlusion on. I had a fully textured figure approaching the camera spending more than half the animation within range for Carrara to want to give it full res attention - not LOD. It never slowed down during that period. During that time, her three-layered alpha intensive usually render-intensive hair, transparent cockpit glass with glows and auras coming into focus. Not to mention the fact that the Needle ship was sporting a high-gloss reflective surface. I guess I was just surprised to see it render so quickly.
    Okay, I'll take off this broken record! ;)

  • SadKitty_CarraraSadKitty_Carrara Posts: 22,024
    edited December 1969

    I missed it :long:

  • JonstarkJonstark Posts: 2,375
    edited December 1969

    head wax said:
    Here's a possible way of thinking about ambient light.
    Consider a room lit by daylight.
    For 99 percent of the room there will be a minimum amount of light.
    Lets put that at, say, 5 percent (where 100 percent is pure white light)
    So what happens if we set our ambient setting in carrara to 5 percent.
    We have achieved a base light that we can start to build the rest of our scene from.

    Headwax, that is something I never considered before, a logical argument for some ambient light to be included in the scene. I'm not that concerned with the occlusion shadowing missing for the ambient portion, because it would only be 5 percent or so total and if the rest of the lighting is subject to global illumination it should have more than enough occlusion to compensate, I would think.

    I've always heard it said 'turn off the ambient, turn off the ambient' and it has always made logical sense to me. I've even repeated that advice for others.

    But ever since Philemo's thought-provoking post I've wondered: how do we *know* we should turn off the ambient? It seems like common sense, but then common sense also dictates that if the Carrara renderer needs the gamma correction box checked and set to 2.2 to render correctly, then it stands to reason it would be set as a default (but it's not). So I find myself wondering if perhaps some level of ambient light might be required for the renderer to give best results.

    Anyway, that was the first logical argument *for* ambient light I've ever seen, and it makes good sense to me. Going to experiment with including some low level ambient and see what happens... Thanks for giving me something to think about! :)

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited August 2013

    Jonstark said:
    head wax said:
    Here's a possible way of thinking about ambient light.
    Consider a room lit by daylight.
    For 99 percent of the room there will be a minimum amount of light.
    Lets put that at, say, 5 percent (where 100 percent is pure white light)
    So what happens if we set our ambient setting in carrara to 5 percent.
    We have achieved a base light that we can start to build the rest of our scene from.

    Headwax, that is something I never considered before, a logical argument for some ambient light to be included in the scene. I'm not that concerned with the occlusion shadowing missing for the ambient portion, because it would only be 5 percent or so total and if the rest of the lighting is subject to global illumination it should have more than enough occlusion to compensate, I would think.

    I've always heard it said 'turn off the ambient, turn off the ambient' and it has always made logical sense to me. I've even repeated that advice for others.

    But ever since Philemo's thought-provoking post I've wondered: how do we *know* we should turn off the ambient? It seems like common sense, but then common sense also dictates that if the Carrara renderer needs the gamma correction box checked and set to 2.2 to render correctly, then it stands to reason it would be set as a default (but it's not). So I find myself wondering if perhaps some level of ambient light might be required for the renderer to give best results.

    Anyway, that was the first logical argument *for* ambient light I've ever seen, and it makes good sense to me. Going to experiment with including some low level ambient and see what happens... Thanks for giving me something to think about! :)

    A lot of the default settings in Carrara (and indeed other 3D software) were set many years ago in order to make quick renders when hardware was a lot less powerful than it is these days. And when new versions were released, the defaults were kept, possibly because of compatibility with previous versions, possibly just because no-one has questioned it!

    Ambient light was always just a "quick fix" for proper full indirect lighting from the days when such computationally intensive techniques took far to long for many users. But these days, with modern computer power, these things needn't be prohibitive. I've always shied away from blurred reflections for the same reasons, and yet tried it recently and it rendered at a reasonable speed - and certainly faster than using Luxrender.

    So I view the indirect light component of a scene as choice between:
    - use full indirect lighting and no ambient as the most realistic but slowest option - but quite often not that slow. It is important to have gamma set with this (it actually seems to make it slightly faster too!). This actually models the effect of light bouncing off objects and around your scene (in the same way as Luxrender and other unbiased renderers, but probably a simplified version). As an example, I recently rendered a 2000 x 1500 image in 15 mins with this option.
    - use ambient light with the ambient occlusion option, this is not as realistic but can often look good and renders faster. This would be my choice for animation if the first option renders too slow (and I know evilproducer laughed when I said that before, but for simpler scenes I think it is now feasible to at least consider full indirect lighting - and for animations such as a walk-through, you can use the same irradiance map and so it only needs to be calculated once).
    - as a last resort, use just ambient light but keep it as low as possible.

    The lighting in any scene can be broken down into three components:
    - direct lighting, from the likes of distant lights, spots and bulbs that we are familiar with, and that Carrara defines as "lights";
    - environmental lighting, such as the light from the sky. This is the purpose of "Sky Light" in Carrara and you need to set a source for this, whether it is the Realistic Sky option or using an HDRI (as examples).
    - Indirect Lighting, this is the light that bounces around your scene from one object to another, and which is modelled by one of the three options above.

    I hope this is useful. As a general rule, unless the render times are prohibitive, I will personally always use No Ambient, Full Indirect Lighting (set to "Best") and Gamma On (and at 2.2 unless I want more contrast when I will reduce it a little) from now on in all my renders.

    Post edited by PhilW on
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    I missed it :long:
    I'll make a new one, perhaps tonight while I sleep, without the crappy animation so that my friends are less inclined to feel the need to educate me about the differences between bezier and linear tweeners! :)
    During some more experimentation, I'm seeing why I place the reflections on the surfaces. I'll try again keeping reflections in place.
  • DartanbeckDartanbeck Posts: 14,643
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    As a general rule, unless the render times are prohibitive, I will personally always use No Ambient, Full Indirect Lighting (set to "Best") and Gamma On (and at 2.2 unless I want more contrast when I will reduce it a little) from now on in all my renders.
    I'll try this as well. I've always found myself enjoying using both shadowless up lighting ambient light enhancers along with a touch of ambient light from the scene effects tab. It can be a lot of fun applying color to your shadows in this way - and is quite simple to predetermine the end result, once you get used to it. And, like you said, it was used to apply super-speed to renders.

    However, I am finding that many things I've avoided in the past to save time, aren't that much of a time hog to begin with. Like using geometry over background images. Carrara can really breeze through distant geometry sometimes. I'm now finding myself using my skydome collection less and less.

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited December 1969

    I missed it :long:
    I'll make a new one, perhaps tonight while I sleep, without the crappy animation so that my friends are less inclined to feel the need to educate me about the differences between bezier and linear tweeners! :)
    During some more experimentation, I'm seeing why I place the reflections on the surfaces. I'll try again keeping reflections in place.

    Sorry! :red:

  • PhilWPhilW Posts: 4,933
    edited December 1969

    PhilW said:
    As a general rule, unless the render times are prohibitive, I will personally always use No Ambient, Full Indirect Lighting (set to "Best") and Gamma On (and at 2.2 unless I want more contrast when I will reduce it a little) from now on in all my renders.
    I'll try this as well. I've always found myself enjoying using both shadowless up lighting ambient light enhancers along with a touch of ambient light from the scene effects tab. It can be a lot of fun applying color to your shadows in this way - and is quite simple to predetermine the end result, once you get used to it. And, like you said, it was used to apply super-speed to renders.

    However, I am finding that many things I've avoided in the past to save time, aren't that much of a time hog to begin with. Like using geometry over background images. Carrara can really breeze through distant geometry sometimes. I'm now finding myself using my skydome collection less and less.

    Yes we've all used lots of "tricks" in the past to make up for issues in our renders. With the techniques I have outlined, the need for corrective tricks and extra lighting should be a lot less (by all means use them for creative purposes!).

  • Headwax_CarraraHeadwax_Carrara Posts: 7,748
    edited August 2013

    JohnStark wrote :

    Anyway, that was the first logical argument *for* ambient light I’ve ever seen, and it makes good sense to me. Going to experiment with including some low level ambient and see what happens… Thanks for giving me something to think about!

    pleasure :)

    I must stress though that I personally make "pictures" and haven't really been attracted to mimicking reality. Though I certainly admire what PhilW and everyone is achieving in this thread!

    My personal search takes me away from the 'appearence' of reality and in particular the appearance of computer created reality.
    I also render for publication and am in the middle of a project that will require about 150 images when finished - so I will need to make about two hundred ??? as they all don't get used - so render times are important for me as well. eg 15 mins would be the maximum I would ever wait, impatient soul that I am. :)

    Post edited by Headwax_Carrara on
Sign In or Register to comment.