Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

Take A Break From Gi

46 posts in this topic

#1   Posted

It seems, even with the "awesome" new abilitities if AR3, that many peolple get frustrated and feel let down when doing gi animation renders, especially with object animation.

With all the hype pushed out by the developers you could be forgiven for believeing that most animations have to be done with GI. Sadly most renders are no where near perfect when it comes to gi object animation ( I think GI animation in AR3 is very overated and all the mutiple pass farting around is a real pain) Vray is not bad and from what i have seen of FinalRender it is probably the best. But which ever way you go it seems that at a bare minimum you need a dual core and more likely a quad core to get half decent results in a decent time frame. And if you are really looking for top quality renders that an octo core is a must

But looking at many scenes that people have issues with i often think..does this really need gi ? Why is it that we have become so obsessed with doing every render with gi and often overlook the critical role lighting plays in a render

As a case study here is a render i did using no gi, just 3 lights, render time is under a minute a frame on a dual core 2.4 ghz

http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/stuff/pills11.mov

I have given my first test settings here http://www.black-and-white-to-color.com/ip...?showtopic=2244 and will add any new renders

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#2   Posted

Very good Paul. I've just got myself V-Ray but haven't had time to play too much with it.

Nigel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#3   Posted

for non gi renders AR can be better that vray since it handles the ao very well

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#4   Posted

using just lights was how animation from big production companies was done (and probably still do)

if you got your hands on a scene from 1 of the animation eg.. the movie "Ice Age"

youll probably find about 30 lights in each scene

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#5   Posted

I don't have AR or VRay etc, and my main interest is animation, so I'm looking to get frames out as fast as possible rather than chasing photo-realism.

I get decent results using the free MoGraph Skylight plugin, it's essentially an enhanced lightdome, similar to Lumen lite (Lumen lite crashes for me in 10.5 though).

Here's an example, it could do with a couple of extra fills to highlight the head of the snake, but I think the overall look of the lighting is reasonably pleasing to the eye.

I can render animations like this at about 1-2 minutes per frame at HDTV settings on my quad. And no flicker!

Cheers,

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#7   Posted (edited)

Sorry Paul but I disagree with just about every point you made in setting out this thread.

Your fundamental question seems to be "Why is it that we have become so obsessed with doing every render with gi... ?" which is a kind of daft question. It's simply a better way to render. All other things being equal, a GI render will always be better than a Ray Traced render. And I see no evidence that people are, én mass, just turning on GI and "overlooking the critical role lighting plays in a render". Check the threads here. People are still sweating blood over their lighting set ups and asking as many lighting questions as they ever have.

As for the render engines being nowhere near perfect for GI. I agree that AR3 might be a little overrated but I think the problem is more to do with expectation than over selling by MAXON. I think it's a symptom of the collective relief that they finally did something about the long standing short comings of AR2. C4D was never going to be taken seriously outside of our community until they fixed AR2.

Vray is better than "not bad". It does perfect flicker free Object GI with no problems. Here's an example of full GI Object Animation

http://web.mac.com/karl.lloyd/GI_Clip/GI_Clip.html

(That reminds me, I must update my digger thread!)

As for Final Render being the best. Well I've yet to see anything that amounts to more than those conveniently simple test kind of renders that all the manufacturers put out that never really tell you much about a render engine's potential when used 'under fire', so I think the jury's still out on FR.

If your point is about render times then I'm afraid it's simply a case of you don't get nothing for nothing. If you want better renders you have to put up with longer render times. This is more a case of unrealistic expectations from the hobbyist. Time and time again you'll read someone in a thread here saying something like "I'm simply not prepared to wait ten minutes a frame...". Well, you can forget decent renders for all but the most basic of subjects, then. Of course we all want to cut down our render times, even if we have render farms at our disposal, but extended render times are a fact of life if you're pushing the envelope. Having said that, this might be one area where the manufacturers are guilty of over selling. They are fond of terms like 'BLAZING FAST RENDERS!!!!!' You should always read the word 'fast' with a certain sense of relativity. If the rendering of a frame were to come down from eleven hours to, say, four and a half hours, in a relative sense, that would qualify as 'fast'. Still wouldn't be fast, though!

Cheers

Karl

Edited by Lesia44

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#8   Posted (edited)

Lesia44 i think you need to go to the link that paulselhi posted then youll see the you can get as good quality with a light setup as you could get with Gi.

(it is easier to setup with Gi )

read the lighting tut

http://www.3dluvr.com/content/article/39/4

and this 1

http://www.3dluvr.com/carles/tut01en.htm

Edited by dataflow

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#9   Posted

conventional lighting is nowhere near extinct. I think that knowledge of the basics used in combination with GI can produce great results. Gi is a tool and enhancer if anything. I think yu have to look at all the lighting situations such as indoor also. Where a light dome isnt as helpful because it doesnt produce realistic bounce lighting. But with knowledge of good lighting principles such as carles piles and use of new tools such as AO some really great illustrations can be produced. In agreement with the title i would say yes give GI a rest and pic up a good lighting book. On a side note i am very happy with the new AR3 and GI engine. I work with a pretty decent archvis company and while some renders do take long to render they take also take a fraction of the time compared to AR2+R10. So in terms of productivity and efficiency AR is very favourable and affordable vs the "industry standard" VRAY. Goto my site to see samples of my work or to www.create3d.com for the archvis stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#10   Posted (edited)

Karl..point taken..as usual i may well have been talking out my derriere. But i personally would love to get my lighting skills up several levels and then maybe use gi as a final touch

when i said vray was not bad i suppose i meant to say that the solution can be accurate but it involves very high settings and is not network render friendly, nor for that matter is AR3. Final render object animation is staright frorward to setup and i believe ( though i may be wrong) is network render friendly

Edited by paulselhi

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#11   Posted

Hey dataflow,

I have used that technique wih my "backyard Scene" works great and renders fast.

The BackYard

As said above. He is a master :)

Peace,

Rich_Art. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#12   Posted

Gi vs. normal lighting... well GI looks really nice and most of the times the basic setup is pretty easy/fast (sky,main light etc.) if you tweak the setings right rendertimes can be acceptable....

One thing I preffer when working with 'normal' lighting is the amazing control you have over everything... alittle shadow here alittle specular highligt there... it takes alot longer to setup right but in the end it is very rewarding... also I think when starting with 3D it is a good practise to work with norml lights and even try to simulate GI with 'normal' lights...

Greetz Dutch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#13   Posted

... personally would love to get my lighting skills up several levels and then maybe use gi as a final touch

Absolutely. Not only does improving your lighting skills lead to better renders but in general it will make every day life easier when you have the knowledge and experience not to have to fight with every lighting set up you have to tackle. But GI is not a "final touch" or an "enhancer" as Cyclad put it. It's a fundamentally more accurate way to simulate the behavior of light (and before anyone picks me up on that last statement, yes I know, it's not strictly speaking, an 'accurate' way to simulate the behavior of light).

By the way, not saying you can't do good renders without GI. I've seen plenty, and done a few myself. But once you get that light bouncing around you add a whole new level of 'life' to your images.

Oh yeah, and Paul, love the way you keep banging out theses interesting scenes when you're in a thread!

Cheers

Karl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#14   Posted

yeah I think too much emphasis is being placed on GI when its not absolutely necessary in alot of cases and you can cut down on render times and spend more time perfecting the scene or animation

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#15   Posted

What would the day be like without a nice juicy bit of sarcasm. LOL!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#16   Posted

Wow, this has turned into an interesting argu.. er.. debate. :)

I'm curious does anyone know if they use GI on any of the big animation movies like stuff from Pixar, Dreamworks etc ?

I remember reading before that Pixar only use regular lighting but that article is probably a few years old now.

Cheers,

Brian

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#17   Posted (edited)

Ive talked with some guys from Rainmaker studios and they rarely use GI for any of their stuff. Area lights, spot lights, omni's, AO, and a lot of enhancing in post is what they use, and their stuff looks amazing.

I try to use standard lighting as much as possible.

Edited by Vilandra

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#18   Posted

All hail Lucifer Lord of Light

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#19   Posted (edited)

Hey ScottA no one said anything about realism or realism in animation, of course those are good examples of where GI is absolutely necessary. What about the hundreds of other kinds of 3D art and animation eg 3D logos, abstract art, cartoony animation etc etc etc...people are using GI for stuff like this when it isnt really always necessary. I have no doubt GI is the future which is why I often use vray but we arent in the future yet, we are in the present where GI isnt always easy to set up or quick to render and with projects that dont strictly need GI theres just no point putting yourself through all the pain of doing GI renders especially when under time constraints.

Edited by SilverTalon

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#20   Posted

I think you can probably draw a parallel between the use of processor/time consuming render effects, and then nature of the work.

There is a rather clear divide between the hobbyist, and the professional. And by "professional" I only mean to categorize those people who derive their livings from computer animation and design, not to put down the hobbyists.

Global illumination and ambient occlusion can produce some stunning renders. On top of that, they require substantially less experience & knowhow to set-up, as compared to conventional multi-light and multi-pass render schemes. However, the render times are almost completely prohibitive from a budgetary standpoint. That is in reference to most all broadcast and corporate animation. High-budget feature films are still in a league all their own, and continue to boggle the mind with their budgets and resources.

When creating designs or animations for personal, non-paying projects, one has a tremendous amount of latitude with the approach. When there are practical deadlines, budgets and inevitable last minute client changes (!!!)...five-minute-per-frame renders aren't in the cards. So the professional animator has to be extremely creative when it comes to problem solving, and really can't rely on many of the built-in render features which bolster the sales literature for any given 3D application. That is, if they like to be profitable.

However, fortunately, some day these advanced render features will be as common-place as Raytraced reflections are, today. I remember when it was completely out of the question to use real reflections, and had to settle for environmental phong maps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#21   Posted

Global illumination and ambient occlusion can produce some stunning renders. On top of that, they require substantially less experience & knowhow to set-up...

...five-minute-per-frame renders aren't in the cards.

Eh? Maybe Paul was right after all. Maybe there are people out there who think that you can just switch on GI and you're done. Setting up a GI light set up is no easier than setting up a normal light set up... not if you're doing it properly.

And you think five minutes a frame is too long in a commercial environment? Most commercial studios would be delighted if they could get five minute frames when tackling anything of complexity. Check out the excellent descriptions of the process, contained in this thread about the AixSponza F1 job here

http://www.vrayforc4d.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=3637

They were averaging 2 hours a frame with frames ranging anywhere from 20 minutes to four to five hours. My digger job was ranging between 15 and 55 minutes a frame, depending on how many diggers were in shot.

Cheers

Karl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#22   Posted

What I meant, Karl, is that with nothing more than the default settings, a GI-lit scene will look more comprehensive than one with a single default light. It takes skill and time to set-up a conventional light rig to simulate the effects of light and shadow based on a real environment. But of course setting up a highly tuned GI lighting environment is going to take a long time, as well. But far fewer paying jobs are going to support those kinds of render times. Although, the ones that do (like that beautiful Singapore F1 piece) are true gems to work on! And, my "five-minute-per-frame" comment was hyperbole, just to make a point.

By the way, Karl, I'm contemplating either bumping up to R.11 or buying Vray for an upcoming job. I know it's a complicated comparison, but in a few words, what are your impressions of the differences between AR3 and Vray, in terms of render quality versus speed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#23   Posted

sneather

I have upgraded to R11 to get the 64bit capability (R10.5 in 32bit would only let me render 2 of my diggers at a time before falling over due to insufficient memory. With 64bit I can render all 24 diggers at once) but being on Vray I've skipped AR3 for the moment. I may get round to it because Vray is still missing a few capabilities that AR has (true volumetrics, for instance). Hence I can't give a first hand account of the pros and cons. But my general impression is that although MAXON have done a great job of addressing many of the short comings of AR2, Vray is still in a different class. Still, AR3 has come so far that it's now possible to look at your choices in a different way. When it was AR2 v Vray there was no contest. If you wanted to do a professional job you'd have to get Vray. Anyone who said otherwise didn't know what they were talking about. Now though I think you can make a decision based on how far you want to take things rather than the simple black or white choice you had to make before. Now, in many professional situations, AR3 is all you need and it represents a bargain compared to Vray. Personally, having a sort of obsessive compulsive disorder when it comes to my work, I have to go as far as I can each time so it has to be Vray for me. I can see the difference and I don't particularly care if anyone else, even my clients, can or not. I can and it drives me nuts if I'm not maxing out all the time. Having said that, I certainly wouldn't argue with anyone who felt that AR3 did all that they need. In a great number of situations it probably does. Only you can decide how far you need to go for any particular job.

By the way, a lot of people will tell you that Vray is very difficult to use (of course, a lot of thoses people will never have actually used it!) but don't believe 'em. Yes it will drive you nuts for the first two weeks, but once you get your head around it it's incredibly easy to use.

A general thought: I think we're at a turning point for C4D. We now have two excellent render engines and also access to the Render Man complaint renderers. I think this is of huge significance for C4D. Now we can finally be taken seriously. That was never going to happen when we only had AR2. This may be the point at which we start to see C4D being used in more and more high profile projects.

Cheers

Karl

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#24   Posted

Thanks for all that input, Karl. The couple overlapping projects I have would afford me the opportunity to upgrade to R.11 & buy Vray. However, even as I typed my previous response, I realized that I probably won't have the luxury of time to introduce a completely new render engine to my work-flow. I may have to wait until I finish, and then make the move.

It sounds like you feel that AR2 never had a chance against Vray. I would assume that was from a render option/quality standpoint? What about speed? I realize that might be asking an apples to oranges sort of question, but does Vray seem to offer tangible render speed advantages? That is, before you added all the extra bells an whistles to max out your system...?

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#25   Posted (edited)

Yes, Vray is way beyond AR2 quality wise and it was certainly way faster than AR2. It could do full GI renders faster than AR2 would do Ray Trace. I think Vray still licks AR3 for GI renders but there seems to have been a big improvement in AR3's Ray Tracing Speed. Best solution of all is to have both and and multi pass to the strength of each, then comp in something like After Effects. Thats how I did the Courvoisier animation ( http://web.mac.com/karl.lloyd/Site_2/Courv...__________.html ). The flames and some reflections and refraction were in AR and the rest was in Vray. That' why, despite thinking that Vray is superior, I will be getting AR3 as well.

Cheers

Karl

Edited by Lesia44

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.